Jim Guittard’s Place

February 16, 2003

Posted in Life by guittard on February 16, 2009

So it has been six years since an eventful night in my life.  I can still remember quite well.  I was living in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles at the time.  For three years, I was hitting the pavement in hopes of being a known musician.  But something knocked me down.

What knocked me down was a robbery.  It was in my Los Feliz apartment.  The place was ransacked and trashed and death threats were written all over the walls.  Why did it happen?    Because of shady contacts.  Yep!  Los Angeles has quite a bit.   The cops were called and the chips fell.

I was not in the apartment at the time of the robbery but had been there right before and left to go to a hotel in Pasadena because of a funny feeling.  I thought about taking my guitars but I didn’t and so three were stolen.  My apartment was broken into and a 12 String Guild acoustic, Electric Fender B-Bender and a Fender Jazz Bass were stolen. 

I was betrayed in a big way.  I now forgive the people that were responsible.  I never got the guitars back.  They may be around Los Angeles somewhere.  My Rickenbackers survived the robbery.  I guess they are a bit holy. 

It is good for you to be stripped of your possessions at times.  What is it anyway?  Property and meaningless.  I picked up my guitars again after recovering back in Texas from the whole ordeal.

 The door was busted open and it said something like “West Side Gangsters” written on the inside of the door.  Straight into the apartment ahead was my bedroom, the door was shut but hanging on the door was a note of some kind saying something like, “We know where you are and will kill you.”  My entrance was the second door on the lower level as the picture will show. 

Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California

los-feliz-los-angeles-california

 I remember rightfully being paranoid while inside and found a suspicious looking thing that I didn’t know what it was.  It almost looked like a handmade bomb.  I called the police out again and this was in 2003 you know and the cops came out with their dogs to see what it was.  It was nothing.  They taped off the whole street and I sat on a wall down the street and played like I knew nothing.  It was embarrassing.  Old ladies were being escorted across the street and I just said, “must be a terrorism scare or something” when people would ask what was going on.

So for a week, I stayed at the Westway Inn across from the Pasadena City College.  It was a new low and I wondered what to do next.  I had actually put a down payment down on a new apartment that was cheaper and in Van Nuys, California.  When I got on the phone with mom, she said it was time to come home.  I got a U-Haul and got out of there.   I maxed out my Discover Card and lost the deposit on the both apartments.  I hadn’t even moved into the second one.  Let’s just say I was depressed as everything.  

Back in Texas, I didn’t pursue charges.  It wasn’t worth it.  I had been through enough and so had the person I was trying to help.  God knows what happened and I let it go.  I think I made the right decision. 

The Pasadena Westway Inn

westway-inn-pasadena-california

 I wrote a song around this time about the thing I was dealing with.  It’s called “Confusion, Lies, Guns, and Drugs.”  The song is country-rock and I was listening to a lot of Johnny Cash at the time so it came out this way. 

 Confusion, Lies, Guns, and Drugs

The lyrics are:

Confusion, Lies, Guns and Drugs

I woke up this morning half past two.
My only problem is where are you.
You ran off with another guy.
I don’t know why.

Confusion, Lies, Guns and Drugs. 2X

We’ve been through this many a time.
It’s starting to be a crime.
Give up the jerk with the gun.
Let’s have some fun.

Confusion, Lies, Guns, and Drugs 2X

I just don’t know what you see in him.
It seems like it’s just a whim.
He doesn’t like you for who you are.
It’s just a game.

Confusion, Lies, Guns, and Drugs 2X

Ya gotta clear your mind, choose the Way.
It’ll be a brand new day.
Give up the junk and soon you’ll see.
I promise you.

No more confusion, lies, guns and drugs. 2X

Feel free to download my “California Daze” album for free that I did in 2002 here:
California Daze

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Introducing the Ragas Art by Henry McGuinn

Posted in Music, The Arts by guittard on January 30, 2009

Here are some paintings done by Henry McGuinn.  They are quite colorful and much like the “Yellow Submarine” cartoon of the Beatles.  During that time, Henry and I watched the Yellow Submarine a thousand times.

Jim with 12-String Rickenbacker and Korg

jim-guittard-with-rickenbacker-by-henry-mcguinn

 The Ragas at Topanga Beach

the-ragas-playing-at-topanga-beach

 Jim Sleeps In Bush On PCH Near Malibu

jim-sleeps-in-bush

 The Car Chase

the-car-chase1

 3 of Clubs in Hollywood

jim-at-3-of-clubs

 Jim Drinking Stout for Breakfast at Neptune’s Lounge – Topanga Canyon

jim-at-neptunes-lounge

Thanks Henry.  The art is rad and really sums up my life in 2000.  Cheers.  Jim Guittard

Listen to a live show of the Ragas. 

The Ragas Live 2000

Slow Pace of the Ragas

Posted in Music by guittard on May 27, 2008

Henry and I are sorting out the order of our album we will put out soon. The songs are all very nice. You’ll experience the raw organic world of the Ragas as it was back in 2000 in Los Angeles.

It’s part of my history and of course a part of the underground Byrds scene. Henry is the son of the Byrds founder, Roger McGuinn.

I am glad I let my 4 track roll during our Raga rehearsal sessions in my Hollywood pad that overlooked Capital Records. There are also some tracks from our trek down to Austin, Texas. My brother of Flat People helped out on the bass.

I’ll keep you posted.

Jingle Jangle Morning

Posted in Family, Life by guittard on May 24, 2008

Jingle Jangle Morning

Written by

Jim Guittard

Copyright © 2007 by Jim Guittard
Registered, WGAe #155425

“JINGLE JANGLE MORNING”

FRANK IS A SLIM RED-HAIRED 26 YEAR OLD. HE TRIES TO PLEASE EVERYONE TO AVOID FREAKOUTS AND CHAOS BUT IN THE LONG RUN HE HURTS HIMSELF. HE IS FROM A DIVORCE FAMILY. THEY FOR THE MOST PART FROWN ON PURSUING THE ARTS.

SEAN IS A HEFTY LONG-HAIRED BLONDE 25 YEARS OLD WHO COMES FROM THE MIDWEST FROM A BLUE-COLLAR FAMILY. HE LEFT THE FACTORY TO COME TO HOLLYWOOD TO PURSUE MUSIC.

INT. LAX AIRPORT LATE AFTERNOON – CROWDS OF PEOPLE HUSTLING ABOUT BUMPING INTO FRANK

Frank comes through the gate to LAX airport and then wanders back and forth looking for the way out to the outside. After finally going outside, he sees a blue sign that reads “Super Shuttle.” He sits at the bench and waits not really talking to anybody. He looks over his Los Angeles guidebook. The shuttle shows up as Frank waves it over.

Inside the blue van Frank lets out a sigh of relief.

FRANK
I’m going to the Hollywood Celebrity Hotel….. How far is Hollywood?

SHUTTLE DRIVER
It’s about 45 minutes.

FRANK
Thanks. I’ve never been here. I’m from Texas.

SHUTTLE DRIVER
You don’t say! You visiting?

FRANK
No, I’m moving here but looking for a place to live. How’s Hollywood?

SHUTTLE DRIVER
Well, it’s not what it used to be.

FRANK
Oh?

SHUTTLE DRIVER
You’ll see. Here’s your hotel coming up. Good luck.

The Super Shuttle stops in front of the hotel and Frank gets out and gets his backpack and small bag and walks inside the hotel.

INT. SMALL HOTEL LOBBY WHICH IS ALL HOLLYWOODIZED WITH PICTURES OF CLARK GABLE, BETTY DAVIS AND MARLENE DIETRICH ON THE WALLS. — EVENING

The Asian hotel clerk is busy on the phone but Frank presents his credit card and after the card is swiped Frank receives his room key which is on the first floor just down the hall to the left. Frank nods to the lady and walks to his room.

In the room, Frank goes straight for the bed because he is tired. He turns on the T.V. and the first thing that comes on is the Red Carpet for the Academy Awards. He watches and falls asleep.

EXT. OF HOTEL AND HOLLYWOOD TRAFFIC — MORNING

Frank walks along Franklin Blvd and then down Highland and to a Burger King (something familiar)

INT. BURGER KING RESTAURANT — MORNING

Frank orders sausage biscuit from Hispanic girl and then takes a table in the corner away from everybody. As he sits he listens and watches the people inside the restaurant and through the window on the street.

EXT. IN FRONT OF RESTAURANT — MOMENTS LATER

Frank is stopped by a man on the street.

DENNIS WOODRUFF
Hey, you wanna buy a T-shirt? Or a video? Or a bumper sticker?

FRANK
I don’t know. I’ve seen you around before.

DENNIS WOODRUFF
Well, I’m Dennis Woodruff. Yessiree! I’ve been trying to get into show business for 25 years.

FRANK
That’s cool. I just got here. I’ll be going to a music school. Got to follow my heart.

DENNIS WOODRUFF
Yeah. It’s tough here. I’ve lived in my car and trailer at times but I keep going.

FRANK
Well, I gotta go.

DENNIS WOODRUFF
You don’t want a T-Shirt?

FRANK
Naw. I gotta go.

Frank walks around Hollywood looking at his small handwritten map. He finds the Musicians Academy which is a 5 to 6 story red building off of Hollywood boulevard next to a Scientology Center where people stand wanting to give stress tests.

He does not go in the school but pauses in front of it. There are several rocker looking types with guitars hanging out in front smoking cigarettes. Now that he knows where the school is, he can look for an apartment nearby.

He walks around for hours ringing apartment intercoms up and only hearing voice mail. He writes down the numbers on a notepad. He leaves a message on each and it begins to sound like a rehearsed mantra.

FRANK
Yes this is Frank. I’m looking for a one bedroom apartment. You can reach me at 555-348-6603, room 103, the Celebrity hotel.

After at least 12 other places Frank walks back to the hotel to make a few calls and to rest.

INT. HOTEL ROOM — DAY

Frank lies on the bed and starts making some phone calls to apartment managers.

FRANK
(On the phone)
Hi this is Frank. I’m looking for a one bedroom apartment…..

No live person again. After 5 messages he is feeling hungry and so he walks out into the lobby as an Indian couple comes in the door. Frank goes back to Hollywood Boulevard for food. As he walks he notices what he calls Hollywood Freaks with mohawks, tattoos and piercings.

FRANK
(Mutters to himself)
Boy, this isn’t like home.

He then notices the stars along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He notices the Elvis Presley star and stops to take a picture when a rather greasy looking man approaches him.

GREASY MAN
Hey, dude, you want to get a beer?

FRANK
Naw, man. I’m good. Just hangin’.

GREASY MAN
We can go right over there.
(Pointing to nearby bar)

FRANK
I’ve gotta go. I’m in the middle of a big project.

Frank quickly walks away and being hungry he looks all around for some place to eat. The nearby places are cheesy souvenir shops or tourist places. He finally sees a sign which reads “Hamburger Hamlet.” The Hamburger Hamlet is right across the street from the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

INT. HAMBURGER HAMLET RESTAURANT ALL GLAMORIZED WITH HOLLYWOOD STAR MURALS ON THE WALLS AND CEILING OF HUMPHREY BOGART, HARRISON FORD, JUDY GARLAND, AND MARILYN MONROE. — AFTERNOON

The hostess comes after a few minutes and Frank is led to a table. He browses the menu and again notices how the menu is Hollywoodized with such items as the Babe Ruth cheeseburger, the Marilyn Monroe Sundae, the Clark Gable Steak and the Betty Davis chocolate milk shake.

As Frank sits he glances at the other tables to see if anyone famous is around.

The waitress comes, a young pretty blonde. (Maybe an Actress)

BLONDE WAITRESS
Can I take your order?

FRANK
Yes. I’d like the Clark Gable steak and the Betty Davis Chocolate Milk Shake.

BLONDE WAITRESS
Anything else?

FRANK
No.

Frank sits and waits for his food and glances at the bar across the room and notices RON JEREMY.

FRANK
(To himself he lets out a sigh)

By this time the food comes and he doesn’t eat everything because he is excited about his new adventure. He begins listening to the next table over.

AGENT
Write up a final draft; we’ll submit it. Warner Brothers will be lightin’ fires this Friday. You have to get it done.

SCRUFFY BASEBALL CAPPED GUY
All right, all right. I just don’t think I want to cut that part out. Warner Brothers can kiss my ass.

AGENT
Listen, man, you’re right. But we’ve got to play ball here. It’s a game out here. You know that?

SCRUFFY BASEBALL CAPPED GUY
Yeah, well. I’m no sell out.

Frank listens intently trying to soak up everything.

Frank finishes the food and he pays the waitress and leaves.

EXT. IN FRONT OF THE CHINESE GRAUMANN’S THEATER — AFTERNOON

In front of theater there are many tourists and people handing out flyers to see the filming of T.V. shows. Frank tries to avoid the flyer people.

He looks to the left side of the theater and sees Spiderman, Superman, and Marilyn Monroe and tourists posing for pictures.

FLYER PERSON
You want to see a free T.V. Show?

FRANK
No. Maybe later.

Frank walks back towards the hotel and in a block he gets stopped by a drug dealer.

DRUG DEALER
(Talking in a hushed scratchy tone)
Hey, you want some hash?

FRANK
Naw, man. I’m not into that. You might ask Elvis over there.
(Pointing to a man dressed as fat Elvis who was walking along the street)

DRUG DEALER
Naw, naw, man. Elvis is straight.

Frank shrugs his shoulders and steps off the corner and to the hotel.

INT. HOTEL LOBBY — MOMENTS LATER

HOTEL CLERK
Mr. Frank, there is a message here for you.

FRANK
Oh, okay. Thanks.

ANGLE ON WRITTEN NOTE:

Yulia at the Trocadero apartments has 2 apartments available and would like you to call ASAP.

FRANK
Thank you.
(As he walks towards the room)

INT. HOTEL ROOM — MOMENTS LATER

He sits in the 1970’s looking chair next to the phone and calls Yulia.

FRANK
Yulia, I got your message. This is Frank.

YULIA
(In Russian Accent)
Yes, we have two available apartments. You want see?

FRANK
Yes, of course. When can I come?

YULIA
I have to show to other people this afternoon. You come tomorrow morning?

FRANK
That’d be great. When exactly?

YULIA
Ten AM.

FRANK
I’ll be there.
(Enthusiastically)

After hanging up Frank does a victory dance around the room.

Frank then calls his mother.

FRANK
Ma, well, I’m in Hollywood.

MOTHER
How is it?

FRANK
It’s good. I hear everybody talking entertainment biz here. I just listen and listen.

MOTHER
You find a church yet?

FRANK
(With frustration and tension)
Ma, I just got here. I think….

MOTHER
(Interrupting)
Why don’t you call that lady I gave you the information about?

FRANK
I just got here. I’m trying to soak it all in now. Maybe later.

MOTHER
I wish you would. You can’t live without God’s people.

FRANK
Well anyway, I’m excited. I saw the school briefly and students hanging out in front. I’m searching for an apartment. I’m looking at one tomorrow. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

MOTHER
Let me know.

Frank hangs up and goes to take a shower. He’s hot and sweaty after walking around so much. After the shower he towels off and he hears a couple upstairs banging.

FRANK
(To himself)
Guess I’m in Hollywood now for sure.

He goes to the small refrigerator and gets a Coors Light. He sits on the bed, takes the remote and watches the 5 O’clock news. There’s some live car chase on the 5 freeway. After finishing the beer he calls a current student at the Music School.

FRANK
Sean, this is Frank. The guy from Texas. We’ve emailed each other about the school.

SEAN
Yeah dude. What ya doing?

FRANK
Awe, nothing. Just searching for apartments. Hope to find one before my flight back to Texas this Friday.

SEAN
Don’t worry man. It’ll all work out.

FRANK
So what are you doing tonight?

SEAN
Right now just chillin’. You want to meet up?

FRANK
That’d be cool. I haven’t been down to the Strip yet.

SEAN
Cool. I’d be up for it. What time you want to meet?

FRANK
Uh, how ’bout 6:30? Where can we meet? Where are you?

SEAN
You know how to get to Sunset and La Brea? I’m over there.

FRANK
I think so. Yes, at 6:30? There?

SEAN
Right on, man. I’ll see you soon.

FRANK
See ya. Bye.

After Frank hangs up he remembers what Sean told him about his life in Illinois before Hollywood.

INT. SLAUGHTER HOUSE IN ILLINOIS — DAY

Sean is shown in slaughter house clothes dealing with animals on the way to get slaughtered. He looks the same as he does in Hollywood but shorter hair.

After a few minutes, Sean walks into the boss’s office.

SEAN
(To boss)
I can’t take this anymore, I quit.
(He walks away without even letting the boss respond)

INT. INSURANCE AUTO CLAIMS OFFICE (FRANK’S PAST) — DAY

Frank is sitting at his bare cubicle. The only thing he added was his Beatles mouse pad. The telephone rings and he picks it up hesitantly after two rings.

FRANK
(With a fake pleasant voice)
This is Frank Davis. How may I help you?

VOICE
Frank there’s a Mr. Jones at the front desk for you.

FRANK
(Sighing)
Oh boy. Ok. I’ll be right down. Thanks, Susan.

Frank walks the long hallway.

FRANK
(Thinking to himself)
Some day I’ll get out of here.

Frank goes down an elevator to the next floor and through the wooden doors to the front desk. Upon entering the room, he sees a young black man with sports jerseys on and dew rag hat.

FRANK
(To Mr. Jones)
Are you Mr. Jones?

MR. JONES
I have a problem, bro. Why you not givin’ me the money, homey?

FRANK
What? What do you mean? Hey, can we go into the conference room?
(Pointing)

They both enter the room and Mr. Jones continues to stand.

MR. JONES
I’m tellin’ ya man. I got these rims and spinners. They’re worth $500. You givin’ me only $700. I need at least $1200.

FRANK
I have no authority. I’ve given you all I can. You haven’t even sent me the receipts for the rims and spinners. I need to see them for a better evaluation.

MR. JONES
Naw, naw, man. You give me more money or I’ll claim bodily injury.

FRANK
I’m sorry man. That’s all I can do.

MR. JONES
(Quickly and agitated)
That’s shit. Who’s your supervisor?

FRANK
(Quickly but not loud)
Well, okay. She may be busy now. Can you wait here?

MR. JONES
Okay, but hurry up, homey.

Frank rides elevator again and walks nervously the hall to the cubicle that supervisor sits and is on the phone. Frank sits in the chair in front of Supervisor Liz and waits.

She finally hangs up.

FRANK
(Unassertively)
Uh, Liz, uh, sorry to bother you. Um, you know that claim with Mr. Jones? Well, it’s still back and forth and he refuses to give me any receipts to his custom things on his car. He’s in the conference room now. I can’t get anywhere with him. He said that he may claim bodily injury now. I’m sorry could, could, you go talk to him?

SUPERVISOR LIZ
You say he’s here now? These claimants are something else.

FRANK
Yes he’s down in the conference room.

SUPERVISOR LIZ
I’ll go talk with him. You have the file?

FRANK
Yeah, here it is.
(Handing the file)

Frank and Liz both get up and Frank goes back to his cubicle.

FRANK
(To himself)
I’d rather be mowing lawns than this.

The full script is 139 pages.

Me In Hollywood

Me in Hollywood 1999