Jim Guittard’s Place

The BJM Philosophy: Not Giving Up

Posted in Change, Family, Music, Neo-psychedelia, Psychedelic, Society by guittard on March 16, 2007

I got into the BJM in late 1999. It was well before Dig but after the Viper Room and other events made “famous” in the movie. Put aside all the fistfights, verbal attacks or whatever, the music of the Brian Jonestown Massacre stands the test of time. Forget all the hype of Anton Newcombe being some crazy guy. Who cares? It’s about music right?

Starting in late 1999, I was lucky enough to see the band in person while living in Los Angeles. Anton was a cool dude to me. I never saw any of the abuse the movie is so based upon. In fact, he’s quite intelligent and courteous.

But the mark left with me from experiencing the BJM firsthand is tremendous. If I could sum up what I have gotten out of it. For me it left me with the feeling that I can have numerous chances to do “my thing.”

It’s about going for it no matter what, not giving up. Striving through all the hype. One does not have to be near famous to have hype about them. It seems that most families have hype. They have opinions on how one’s career should be or when they should marry, etc.

With the BJM, it’s about showing the press or mainstream or others that they are wrong with their close-minded routine thinking. It is a wake up call to society to think more positively and courageously with vision. A Beatles’ song comes to mind: “Think For Yourself.” Words are “Do what you want to do and go where you’re going to. Think for yourself ‘Cause I won’t be there with you.” It’s about standing on you own feet. Making your own history.

It is funny how when I read news stories about this famous person or that. The articles always bring up the past. Writers say nothing new. They write about what they’ve been told and don’t give people the chance to better themselves. Writers go along with the status quo, maybe for what is entertaining or controversial. I think the BJM evokes courage.

In America, we talk about free speech and everything but I think, in general, it is slanted toward the controversial, trashy, and rubbish category. Why do Americans like to read about controversy? I don’t but maybe most people do. I’m 33. Not that old. I’m among the Generation X, which have been written about to be cynical or the children of divorce families. I am from a divorced family and some of my family’s past is chaotic with fistfights and verbal attacks.

Here’s an excerpt from a news article I was mentioned in concerning “Generation X” finding their place in the world.1

Jim Guittard of Dallas, who will be 32 in October, lives with his grandparents, shelves books part-time at a branch of the Dallas Public Library and hopes to head to Eastern Europe or Central Asia for the Peace Corps this fall.

Armed with a degree in American history from Colorado’s Western State College, Guittard started out working as an automobile-insurance-claims adjuster but grew tired of the constant bickering over money.

To pursue his passion for playing the guitar, he moved to Hollywood, Calif., where he found gigs playing in clubs. But the money wasn’t enough to provide a steady living. To survive, he worked a series of low-paying jobs at a talent agency, a rental-car office and an apartment-locator firm.

The experiences left him disillusioned about working in corporate America, and he moved back to Dallas a little more than two years ago.

“I don’t want to settle,” he says of his decision to seek happiness rather than money. “Do what your heart says.”

That’s why I take comfort in the BJM. The BJM, I think, looks past the obvious. The obvious is, yes, you may have a disfunctional past but you can be somebody. It’s about not labelling others. Labels can be bad.

So what else can I say? Well, if you’ve read this far then, thank you. The BJM is cool.

Back in 2001, I recorded an instrumental in tribute to the BJM.

BJM-Like Song by Jim Guittard


up1Katherine Yung, “As Generation X begins to hit 40, it’s finding its place in the world,” The Dallas Morning News, 8 July 2005.

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Cool Rock & Roll in Pernik

Posted in Bulgaria, Music, Neo-psychedelia, Pernik, Psychedelic by guittard on November 19, 2006

Friday night I went to see this band play in a club/cafe in the center of Pernik.  I had been told about this place by a teacher at the school.

I went a couple of weeks ago but I missed the band but this night I saw them play.  I was impressed with the musicianship.  And the songs were all in English.  I knew most of the songs but maybe not all the names but here is a setlist of what I did know:

1.  Norwegian Wood – The Beatles

2.  And I Love Her – The Beatles

3.  Knocking On Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan

4.  Proud Mary – Creedence Clearwater Revival

5.  Honkey Tonk Woman – The Rolling Stones

6.  Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival

7.  Who’ll Stop the Rain? – Creedence Clearwater Revival

8.  Black Magic Woman – Santana

9.  The Midnight Special – Creedence Clearwater Revival

10. Learning To Fly – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

11. American Woman – the Guess Who

12. Jumping Jack Flash – The Rolling Stones

13. As Tears Go By – The Rolling Stones

14. Cocaine – Eric Clapton

15. Stevie Ray Vaughn Song

16. Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin

There were other recognizable songs that they did but I don’t know the names.  They played over two hours with breaks. The sounds pleased me very much.  The Bulgarians danced to the music and they dug it.  The guys said that when I come back that I must play.  I better get my stuff together.

I wrote this song about that night.

Be Real True

Be Real True

In a far off land
I saw some band
They played Rock & Roll
They had soul

I spoke with them
I said, “My name is Jim.”
They said, “You should play here.”
I said, “Well, I have some fear.”

It’s been so long
Since I sang a song
God help me along
To be real strong

What else can I do?
But be real true
and follow you
For a better clue

Words and Music by Jim Guittard 2007

It was cool to shoot the breeze about cool music.  I told them I would turn them onto the cool psychedelic scene in California that I know about: the Beachwood Sparks, the Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Tyde, the Quarter After etc.  The drummer said he just loved Psychedelic Music.  So it seems that I met some people with common interests.  “Pretty neat, pretty neat, pretty good, pretty good, all right.” 

Chao