Jim Guittard’s Place

Oregon Vs. Texas

Posted in Uncategorized by guittard on September 10, 2009

I arrived to Portland via Bulgaria, a rather long route but in my observations it seems to be a really swell and friendly town. Quite amazing really.

Compared to Bulgaria or Texas the public transport was pleasant. The riders did not have their heads down. They were actually talking to each other. And the bus driver said, “have a nice day” to nearly every person that exited the bus. It was almost comical.

One lady who exited apparently was carrying bread in a sack. The bus driver yelled through the door to the outside to see where lady bought her bread. And she did not hear him and so he kept asking.

What is the deal with Texas?!? I have lived there most of my life and have never had this pleasant experience. People in general keep to themselves.

Another kid on the Portland bus was talking about being kicked out of house in Texas and running away, etc. And he kept saying he just wants to be himself. Is it so difficult for parents or family to understand this?? Texas to me seems so rigid and opinionated. Hey, post some comments. Let’s get it out there.

I’m tired of facing the same crap every single time I go back to Texas.

Here:

Flippity Flop

Flippity Flop
I can’t stop.
I got lyrics in my head
That’s got to be said.

I may be a hoodlum type.
But I’m ripe.
Ready to blow up big
Eat a fig.

People say, “They won’t take one like you.”
Well maybe I’ll sue.
Lock ’em all up in the zoo.

I’m not through.
I’m one of the few,
Elite H.P. Crew.

Hillcrest is the drag
To get your Jack’s bag
Scarf and hopefully not gag.

Wade in the fountain at S.M.U.
That’s the bomb when you’re blue.

I’m no criminal.
I’ve been to shrinks
To make me think.
Only makes me want to puke in the sink.

What’s wrong with a different path?
I’m not a business man, lawyer or M.D.
I’m just me.

What else can I be?
A faker stuck in a tree
After another shopping spree?

The World hurts as we sit by
Listen to them cry and we only lie.
“It doesn’t matter, I’ve got things to buy.”

“Get it together man.
Have you got a plan?
You’ll be stuck in a van,
Getting a tan.”
While others say. “what a shame.
He had such a good name.”

I’ve got places to see.
I’m a rambler just like
Woody Guthrie who said

“Ramblin’ around your city.
Ramblin’ around your town.
I never see a friend I know.
As I go ramblin’ ’round boys.
As I go ramblin’ ’round boys.”

Please see related bus blog article:
Man Almost Decapitated by Bus Door

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WWJGD

Posted in Family by guittard on April 11, 2009

Transitions are hard especially at this day in age of “crisis”. There is so much noise to sift through. Alot of screamers, talking heads, know-it-alls with advice.

So the title of the post is in reference to “What Would Jim Guittard Do?” I actually saw these letters on two separate occasions on car license plates. The original idea was WWJD? – What would Jesus do?

I am working now but want to get into something more significant. For a few weeks, I have been going down to Waco. Waco? Yeah, been trying to get in line with my family roots. There’s a street down there named after my great grandfather.

guittard-avenue

Honestly, this family history is eating at me. Great grandfather was history professor and his son my grandfather was chief justice of court in Dallas for a long time and then there is me. It feels like a lot to live up to, at least to me but I chose the more random rambling sorta life of music and art and things. I am back in Texas and wanted to find out about the original Guittard in Texas and why he came here.

He came to east Texas from Ohio at age 19 and basically made it by himself. He attended Baylor University and eventually was head of History Department there for almost 50 years. I studied history in college. However, I never wanted to be a teacher. I recently taught English. Now I’m in transition and am wondering WWJGD. Not what my family would do. So I may go spend some time just where it all began in Waco.

Anybody have any suggestions:

Look here for related post:

Guittard Destiny And Shadows

The Guittard Brothers – 1980

Posted in Family by guittard on February 24, 2009

This is an oldie. Do you remember the Muppets drum set in the late 1970’s? Well, my dad caught my brother Bob, and I on film. It was probably 1979 or 1980 when the Baylor Bears went to the Cotton Bowl. So we were hyped up with the Bears. Notice my Baylor Football Jersey. My brother was probably two at the most and I was seven at the most. And listen to the song we are playing along with: the Aggie War hymn. Pretty funny.
My brother’s at: Flat People

Chords for “Hitting the Lotto”

Posted in Music by guittard on June 7, 2008
Hitting the Lotto
C
Slam on your brakes.
FMaj
If that’s what it takes.
C
It’s easy if you try.
G
Ya won’t have ta die or cry.

C
As the person comes,
FMaj
Ya gotta scream out,
C
“I want big sums!”
G
Then call up the cops.
Chorus

Am
Hitting the Lotto
Em
That’s my motto.
Am
It’s not too hard.
G
When ya have the right card.

C
Sit and wait at home.
FMaj
You can’t go on a roam.
C
The check will be big.
G
You’ll eat like a pig.

C
What’s the next scam?
FMaj
Something with your fam?
C
Oh yeah, they’ve got dough.
G
That’s where I’ll go.

Chorus

Am
Hitting the Lotto.
Em
That’s my motto.
Am
It’s not too hard.
G
When I have the right card.

C
Call up your grandma.
FMaj
Get on the list.
C
For the big Lotto.
G
They’ve got it all.

C
Drive over there.
FMaj
Say you really care.
C
Wait for the money.
G
Get it and hop like a bunny.

Chorus

Am
Hitting the Lotto.
Em
That’s my motto.
Am
It’s not too hard.
G
When I have the right card.

C
Do nothing.
FMaj
Look for the Lotto.
C
It’s the best.
G
Not really, it’s a sham, scam.

Words and Music by Jim Guittard 2007

Hitting The Lotto

 

Flat People

Posted in Family, Good Music, Music by guittard on May 13, 2008

SAMPLE Press Articles
Enjoy!
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Nothing “Flat” About Flat People’s Bob Guittard

Bob Guittard of Flat People

Digesting music from a steady bowl of oldies, with large sprinkles of the Beatles on top, Bob Guittard developed an interest in music very early in life thanks to the combined influences of his father and brother. “I played violin and piano growing up for years, then my brother gave me one of his guitars when I was fourteen and that completely changed me forever. I taught myself to play out of Hendrix and Zeppelin tab books and immediately started writing songs and formed a band with my buddies.”
His first band, formed in the seventh grade, was called The Little Puppy Dogs. His eighth grade year saw the birth of The Daring Chapstick Officers, followed by Fandango in late high school, The Bob Guittard Band during his first year as a Radio-TV-Film major at The University of Texas at Austin, Timado in his second year of college, and on and on through a variety of front man and back up band positions until, in 2007, he formed his current enterprise Flat People. Guittard’s older brother, Jim, writes music as well. He plays sitar, guitar, trombone and he sings. Guittard’s father and grandfather both played brass instruments in their respective high school marching bands. And his mother, maternal grandmother and maternal great grandmother played violin and piano quite well, which explains how he came to choose his first instruments as a child. “[That] was kind of forced on me as a kid. I liked it for a few years then gave it up when high school hit, probably because I felt like a nerd in the orchestra would rather play the guitar.”

Guittard and his wife recently had a child of their own, a little boy named Miles, and Guittard, although he has no intention of forcing music on his son, is adamant that the boy’s time not be wasted playing video games. He’s hoping that a love of music and creativity will grow from time not spent… well… wasting time. “I think about that a lot,“ said Guittard. “He’ll always be around music and I think he won’t be able to help loving music. Kids love banging on drums so I’ll bet he’ll originally be into that. I’m definitely not going to discourage him playing music. I’m all for my kids not melting their brains and wasting the years away on video games. It seems so common these days and is such a huge waste of time. Think of all the time that could have been spent creating art, music, stories, using the imagination, whatever. I don’t get on a soapbox often, but overuse of video games for kids and overuse and prescribing of anti-depressants, especially for kids, really bugs me. I talk about that in one of the songs on my album called ‘Everybody’s Got a Syndrome Here.’”

Guittard admits that his primary musical influences as a now-seasoned songwriter vary greatly from those of his childhood. He continues to cite the Beatles as a major influence, but has added Jeff Buckley, Wilco, Neil Young, Beck, Radiohead, Air, Bob Dylan, Elliott Smith and more to the list, explaining, “All of these folks stretched themselves either musically, vocally, lyrically, or sonically. They were all so passionate and so good. These are the folks that will give me goosebumps on that long road trip at night, or make me cry, or make me wish I could write a song like that. Or angry that I didn’t.”

Guittard has floated from Dallas to Austin to Los Angeles and back again in a quest for creative and musical fulfillment. Originally from Dallas, his move to Austin was prompted by both his desire to attend the University of Texas and Austin’s “vibrant history of music.” Two months after he graduated college, he moved to Los Angeles – following in the footsteps of his brother who had moved there two years earlier and was deeply embedded in the “darker coming” of the 60s era rock revival – hoping to satisfy two dreams. The first was simply to pursue his music. The second was to utilize the RTVF degree he’d earned in college.
“I had aspirations, like everyone else in that town, of becoming the next big screenwriter, director or producer of films. Once I got out to L.A. it was cool, but I figured out that I wasn‘t that into pursuing the film dream and, once I‘d decided that, I figured I didn‘t really need to live in L.A. to do something special with my number one love, music.”
While in L.A. Guittard joined a couple of different bands and played regularly on the Sunset Strip, but didn’t stay long enough to focus on his own music as much as he would have liked to. He said that his time there contained several “dark and low points” which matured him a great deal. His car was stolen and totaled, and he had broken up with his girlfriend, a girl he knew he wanted to spend his life with.
“It made me think a lot. The beach, writing songs, and the upright piano I rented weekly helped me get through it. The journey there was a necessary evil that I look back on fondly.”
Guittard moved back to Dallas in 2002 both in the hopes of getting a “real” job (in case his musical aspirations didn’t work out), and reconnecting with the girl who would later become his wife.
“I’m not planning on leaving Dallas any time soon unless there is a really compelling reason to. Although I’d love to just take off and travel the world, I’ve got some pretty firm roots here and I’m really happy being sedentary for now.”

Art imitates life for Guittard and his music. He stated, “I tend to write about what’s going on in my life, what I’m going through, what’s got me down or up, or general things or insecurities I’ve noticed as I walk through life. Sometimes it’s in the form of a narrative disguised as other folks and sometimes it’s in a vague metaphorical journey that may make sense to me, but no one else. I’m not sure whether it hits home for others or not, but it makes me happy so I’m good with that.” According to SAMPLE Press Music Writer, Jason Manriquez, Guittard’s lyrics are “a cut-and-paste collage of image-laden tongue twisters and fantastical descriptions of everyday occurrences.”
Guittard said of his songwriting style, “I hope [people] think about the lyrics. My songs, I think, are naturally emotive in terms of how they make me feel so I hope they strike a chord with other people. I’d hate to make a record that fails to stir up some emotion in my listeners. What’s the point if not? I’ve never been one to enjoy an entire album of light, fluffy material.”

Guittard’s decision to work with Nourallah on his album was not one that he came by blithely. Although he’d seen Nourallah play a couple of live shows and loved the music, his interest wasn’t peaked until he read the Dallas Observer article regarding the troubled relationship between Salim and his brother, Faris.
“After doing some research, I figured out that he was also a great producer, really putting out some great music. So, because I loved his approach to music and songwriting, I knew he’d be a great fit to work with me on producing my album. I emailed him and he actually said a friend of his had told him about my music already, which was cool. It just seemed like it was meant to be. I later met with him and gave him my songs and he was really excited, so we began the journey together. I can’t say enough about how great that studio experience was.”

The name, Flat People, did not come about until after the studio recording was complete and the final mixing was in progress.
“We were wrapping up the mixing and I was trying my best to take a step back and look objectively back through the song lyrics and general themes that make up the record. Flat People is the result. Vague, I know.”
Vague indeed. But, unraveling the nuances and mysteries behind Guittard’s music and the Flat People name is the link that binds the listener to the sound. However vague it may be, you are guaranteed to be entranced by it.
— Jennifer Manriquez

(Photos courtesy of Bob Guittard)
Copyright: SAMPLE Press, 2008

Living With The Elderly

Posted in Family by guittard on April 25, 2008

From my diary July 1, 2005 (Dallas, Texas)

Last night, I served my grandfather dinner. We had tamales that the maid, Socorra, brought us. Before dinner, I set up the T.V. trays so we could watch the Wheel of Fortune on the new T.V. I brought down from upstairs. It was placed on top of the huge old 1980’s T.V. my grandparents still had. The old T.V. had very bad reception and no sound. (Buying cable was out of the question.)

We ate the food and it was fine and my grandfather explained this to me about five times. Five times I said, “I’m glad you liked it.” My grandfather was ready to go to bed quickly and didn’t want to finish the Wheel of Fortune. This was early. Wheel of Fortune ended at 7 PM. So I walked down the hall behind my grandfather on the walker. I then reminded him to brush his teeth, which he did. I waited and then we went to his room. I turned down the covers on the bed and waited till he got in okay.

I went back into the T.V. room and after about forty-five minutes I went into the kitchen to clean the dishes. Then I heard him coming and I looked up and saw him coming down the hall into the T.V. room.

I asked, “Do you need something?”

He asked, “What are you cooking breakfast?”

I said, “No.”

It was just barely night. It was just 7:30 PM and the sun was still up.

I then said, “Go back to bed. It’s still night.”

I followed him back to bed after he realised what was the deal.

Another time, I was in the kitchen talking on the phone when I heard some noise in the T.V. room. I came in and looked and my grandfather was running without his walker to the sliding glass door and banging on the glass with his fist. He was trying to scare the squirrels away that were outside.

Guittard Chocolate Factory

Posted in Family by guittard on October 5, 2007


In the 1850’s, Etienne Guittard embarked on an arduous journey from France to America. It was during the California Gold Rush, and in just a few short years, while still in his twenties, this adventuresome Frenchman struck gold on the rough and tumble streets of early San Francisco.

An experienced chocolate maker, Etienne had brought delicious French chocolate to trade for mining supplies, but soon discovered that wealthy miners were willing to pay premium prices for this elegant treat. Etienne sailed back to Tournus, France, where he worked in his uncle’s chocolate factory until he could afford to buy his own chocolate making equipment. In 1868, he returned to San Francisco and opened Guittard Chocolate on Sansome Street.

In no time, San Francisco became one of the great chocolate manufacturing centers in America, where ships from exotic regions
of the world brought their cacao beans to market. Of the original
family-owned companies that brought commerce and culture to the dusty, often lawless streets of early San Francisco, Guittard Chocolate Company is the only one that remains family-owned.


For Horace C. Guittard, who succeeded his father, Etienne, running the Guittard Chocolate Company would be no less challenging. Along with most of San Francisco, the legendary 1906 earthquake destroyed the family business. Undaunted, Horace quickly rebuilt on Main Street, near the Embarcadero, where he introduced coffee, tea and spices to the family’s offering of fine chocolate.


Horace’s son, Horace A. Guittard, became President of the company in 1950 and relocated the factory to Burlingame in 1955, where it became and still remains one of the foremost suppliers of fine chocolate to acclaimed professionals in pastry, confectionery and ice cream trades. Though Horace A. was instrumental in bringing the company into the era of automation, he continued to operate in the old-world tradition, producing small, carefully tended batches of chocolate and working closely with customers, tailoring products according to their needs. This visionary approach placed the Guittard Chocolate Company at the forefront of innovation for several American food trends.


One of Guittard’s earliest and perhaps most important innovations was their proprietary Guittard Sweet Ground Chocolate, which was used by San Francisco’s Cliff House at the turn of the century and later sponsored a popular radio show. Cliff House Vanilla, a specialty using Guittard Sweet Ground Chocolate, may have been the forerunner of today’s trendy cafe mochas. Guittard milk chocolate chips, white chips and super-sized chips were other notable innovations as was the idea of truffles, which Guittard passed along to some of their confectionary customers.


As the oldest family owned and operated chocolate company in the US, a new generation now continues to grow the company with the same indomitable spirit that has made the Guittard Chocolate Company one of the world’s most respected purveyors of premium chocolate.

(source: http://www.guittard.com/home/guittard_history.html )

Old Farsi (Persian) Song

Posted in Family, Music by guittard on April 4, 2007

The following clip is something my grandfather played to my brother and I as kids. Everytime we came to visit I would ask him to bring out the “Laughing Record.” That is what we called it.

I believe the music is very rare. Wish I knew what the guy was joking about. With all the Iran/British Sailor hype going on I figured I’d post on the general topic.

So here’s the clip: 

Unknown Farsi Singer

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.

Guittard Destiny and Shadows

Posted in Change, Family, Risk and the Unknown by guittard on March 5, 2007

I’ve figured everything out!  I think destinies are a bit demanding and take so much thought.  But maybe if things were spelled out more.  Here are the obvious choices for the rest of my life.   

1. I could move to California and go sell chocolates for a little company called Guittard Chocolate Company. However, I despised sales when I worked for a car rental company.  My last name may get me into this company.  I’ll show up at the front door and say, “I’m here for my job.  Give it!” 

Currently, my uncle is feverishly working on linking the Texas Guittards to the California ones by way of DNA testing.  As soon as the results come in with a positive match, I’ll fly to California and make my demands.  This will work I know it. 🙂

2. I can be a song and dance man.  My Guittard last name must have some meaning.  Maybe it was back in France that my ancestors took up the guitar because they got sick of hauling around the Hurdy Gurdy or the French Horn.

3. I could go to Waco, Texas and hang out on Guittard Avenue on the campus of Baylor University.  I could start yelling and hold up a sign about how my Great Grandfather was a History Professor at the University for fifty years. 

4. Or I can do what I do and make my own destiny without reference to the shadows of the past. 

I think that I will choose number four and I’ll make my own shadow.

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