Jim Guittard’s Place

Turn On Tune In and Rise Up!

Posted in Change, Future by guittard on September 29, 2009

Music and art can change our World for the good. You already know how chaotic it is these days if you are awake: Swine Flu hype, G20 Riots, Vaccinations, Nuclear Standoffs, RFID chips, health care arguments, economy, Iraq War, terrorism, the New World Order, 1st amendment violations, unemployment, and the list can go on and on.

Now if we all rise up together we can push the oppressive things out of the way. I have compiled a Jamendo only playlist of artists I really like because of their honesty and musical quality. Please download at the link below and pass around. We can do this. It isn’t over and as long as we are breathing we can do something.

And here is another idea: If you can play guitar or piano, sing or write, get going and make a song about whatever you are going through. No matter what. Flood the internet with your viewpoint. Let’s not give in to the elite bullies in charge who want to manipulate, con and destroy us with their fear-mongering. These are all distractions.

if you paint or draw do that, too. Flood the internet with your world. We have more numbers behind us than those elite. They hide behind their power and wealth. Come and get going.

Make youtube videos, too and post. Do it!

Here’s where you can play or download the playlist for free:

Turn On, Tune In, and Rise Up Playlist

1. Rancho Relaxo – From The Hip
2. Rancho Relaxo – Quebec
3. The Zombie Drivers – There Is No Law
4. The Zombie Drivers – Shine in the Rain
5. The Henry Chinaski’s Ashtray – A Girl Got A Car Accident
6. The Henry Chinaski’s Ashtray – One-eyed-woman’s dream
7. The Ragas – Blues Raga 2
8. The Ragas – What Ya Say
9. The Dada Weatherman – What Gandhi Said
10. The Dada Weatherman – Flying On A Cloud
11. Timado – True Blue
12. Timado – Turning
13. THE GOLDEN DAWN – Enjoy the Nature
14. The Golden Dawn – Let the Sunshine In
15. I Am Not Lefthanded – Falling
16. I Am Not Lefthanded – Long Goodbyes
17. Jamison Young – Live On A Moon
18. Jamison Young – Cold World
19. Blancheneige Bazaar Orchestra – Monkey Boy
20. Blancheneige Bazaar Orchestra – Meshugge
21. Jim Guittard – BJM-Like Song
22. Jim Guittard – The Sun Shines Today
23. Ben’s Imaginary Band – Connectiveness
24. Ben’s Imaginary Band – My Self-Centered World
25. Charline Lucie – Crimes de compagnie
26. Brad Sucks – Overreacting
27. Brad Sucks – Gasoline
28. Waterfalls – The Dandy Bell
29. Waterfalls – Get Tight And Loose
30. alterlabel -Optimystic
31. Blood Ruby – Midsummer Fires
32. Blood Ruby – Babel Babel
33. Illusion of Art – Machines
34. Illusion of Art – La Plano
35. The Heavens – Echo Serena
36. The Heavens – This Beautiful Machine
37. The Wagner Logic – Conflicting Sound
38. The Wagner Logic – So Hard
39. Glass Waves – Hey Nuclear
40. Glass Waves – Virginia Tech
41. FATHER JOHNSON – Treat Ya Kind
42. FATHER JOHNSON – Transcending
43. ARTSomerville – Are You Sleeping?
44. ARTSomerville – I know, I know
45. Chapter 9 – In the Universe
46. Chapter 9 – Small Apocalypse Song
47. The Verandas – Rescue Me
48. The Verandas – Anemone
49. Charlie Gibson – Eu Só Posso Cantar
50. Charlie Gibson – Porto ou Faxinal

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Class Clown

Posted in Uncategorized by guittard on July 17, 2009

Once upon a time there was an idiot. The idiot began to lose his mind. He forgot his name so he signed up to go to school. At school, he learned to curse, throw paper, and yell. It was fun for him. But then one day, the teacher gave him bad marks and he went home crying to his parents. His parents forgave him and he went back to school and became the class clown. As class clown, he ruled over the classroom like a king. Everyone laughed and thought well of him. But the boy, constantly needed attention. His hysteria was a cover for his sad loneliness. One day, he forgot how to laugh. He lost all purpose as did his followers. Now he lives like a slave to his own fears and stupidity. He’s come full circle and is an idiot again.

Mockery Driven Purpose

Posted in Future, Life by guittard on May 9, 2009

Have you ever thought that our real enemy is ourselves?  America is falling from the inside not because of terrorists or other outside forces.  Americans need to get up from their deep sleep and take our country back.

What was America built and founded on?  Why did our ancestors come here?  Have we lost our roots?

Now alot of us are all driven by a purpose of mockery:  money at all costs, prestige, sex, fame, notoriety, wealth and fortune.  I don’t think our founding fathers would want to be a part of our current culture. 

What can we do?  Demand better, resist fear, greed, anxiety, and  mockery driven purposes.  Everybody is wondering.  What next?   Must I stay in this never-ending situation?  What should I do?  What does it all mean?  Does God care?  Why should I care anymore? 

Get up.

Frogs In A Pot

Posted in Life by guittard on February 27, 2009

You know what? I think a lot of us are like frogs in a pot that are slowly being boiled alive. Why?

Because we get so used to the stuff around us that we don’t even know we are being cooked alive. You can put a frog in cold water in a pot and then put him on the stovetop and turn up the heat. The frog won’t jump out. The frog will get desensitized and wait patiently for death to come without even knowing it.

The bottom line is for us to wake the hell up! What are we here for? To do stupid stuff day after day after day after day? Get up from your mat and walk. Life is too short to compromise and waste away to nothing. Get up! Do something.

I don’t know who this is directed to but maybe myself. I’m sure a lot of people can relate.

Wake Up Now Americans!!!

Posted in Family, Life, Society by guittard on February 20, 2009

A lot of stuff is going on right now that is more than mind-boggling.  There are a lot of folks out there that have been negligent, ignorant, selfish and greedy.  This I believe is why all this bailout, stimulus package has come about.

Do you think that throwing money at these people will help?  No!  Because it is an internal problem of the mind.  It is bad habits and total disregard for doing the right thing.  Yeah, in the old days people worked hard to get somethere.  There are a lot of Americans still today that do work hard to get somewhere. 

My Great Great Grandfather immigrated from France in 1846 to Ohio.  He didn’t know English.  He learned it and struggled his way to become a country doctor in New Bedford, Ohio.  He struggled through hard winters and cared after people with pneumonia and other diseases of the day.  There were no cars and he went around by horseback making calls on patients and would be gone from home days at a time.  THIS IS AMERICA!

Many people have the “lottery” mentality wishing for everything under the sun to come there way without any lifting of fingers.  It is sickening.  I believe America will fight the good fight.  There is something higher at play, here.  Will we exist as a nation of hard workers or a nation of “lottery” lovers.  The time is now to wake up and not settle for the mediocre, “I can’t” mentality.  Get up, stand up, rise up!  For God, For Country, For Honor!

Whose in charge here?  We have forgotten what the country was made of.  Overseas we get trashed for how America is now.  They expect us to lead!  How can we lead if we can’t even see through the confusion and chaos?  I lived overseas for two and a half years and I was confronted on few occasions about American Politics.  Let’s put it aside and go back to our roots.  It’s burning within each of us.  And by the way, Mr. Attorney General, Americans are not cowards.  Shame on you!  They stand for what is right.

Dr. Francis Joseph Guittard

dr-francis-joseph-guittard

Have You Been Scammed?

Posted in Life by guittard on February 12, 2009

Have you been scammed?
I sure have.
Have you been damned?
I sure have.
Have you been Uncle Sammed?
I sure have.
It’s no fun.

Have you been robbed?
I sure have.
Have you been kidnapped?
I sure have.
Have you been analysed?
I sure have.
It’s no fun.

Have you been chastized?
I sure have.
Have you been advised?
I sure have.
Have you been mockerized?
I sure have.
It’s no fun.

Have you been cashed out?
I sure have.
Have you been talked out?
I sure have.
Have you been drinked out?
I sure have.
It’s no fun.

Have you been on your own?
I sure have.
Have you been kicked out?
I sure have.
Have you been sent home?
I sure have.
It’s no fun.

Have you been in the middle?
I sure have.
Have you been taken to the cleaners?
I sure have.
Have you been called a fool.
I sure have.
It’s no fun.

The Replacements – Unsatisfied

You’ve Arrived To Nowhere When…

Posted in Life by guittard on February 6, 2009

1. You love to watch the birds feeding in the back yard for hours.
2. You get furious when you see the squirrels running around in the back.
3. Your only friend is your stockbroker.
4. You cuss at the drive thru bank teller b/c you’re in a hurry to get home and watch the birds.
5. You can’t stand to give up your country club membership b/c of what others might think.
6. You believe Dr. Phil is God.
7. Your only dinner conversation is, “Can you pass the salt?”
8. You believe your health insurance will cover everything.
9. You believe a pill will solve your problems.
10. You believe that no one cares.

You have arrived when…

1. You believe in yourself.
2. You fight the “good fight.”
3. You forgive others.
4. You do what it takes.
5. You remain strong and flexible.
6. You listen to your voice.
7. You don’t blame others.
8. You place higher importance in people.
9. You turn the noise off.
10. You begin to love others.

Rediscovering Myself, Again!

Posted in Life by guittard on December 18, 2008

Me in 1991

jimmy-1991

Well, I’m back in the States and so what next?  I found the following in one of my stored boxes and for awhile I really lost track of who I am, especially in my college days.  It’s a recommendation for me when I was a senior in high school from my band director.  I really think kids are smart these days and know exactly what they want to do.  To Whom It May Concern: Jim Guittard is an outstanding young man.  During the four years that he has been a member of the Highland Park Band and Orchestra program, he has consistently displayed those qualities of loyalty, dependability, intelligence, consideration and leadership which characterize truly valuable students.  He has consistently done much more than simply his part in all activities.  He served as trombone section leader in  both the band and symphony orchestra during his junior and senior years as well as being a featured soloist on both trombone and guitar with our jazz/rock ensemble, the Boogie Brigade. Jim is highly regarded both by his peers and teachers.  He is among that rare class of people who have the capacity to see a goal (group or personal) and willingly work toward its fulfillment.  He will be honored and valuable member of any group, and I recommend him without reservation for any consideration you can extend.   Orchestra Director January 28, 1992

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

Rodney Bingenheimer

Posted in Music, Rock and Roll History by guittard on May 14, 2008

Mayor of Sunset Strip
From my journal on May 5, 2004 – Dallas Texas

I went to see the movie about Rodney Bingenheimer called “The Mayor of Sunset Strip.” He is a guy that hung with many of the core music people of the 1960s and 1970s. Rodney was Davy Jones’ double for the Monkees Television series. Rodney knew Sonny and Cher and the Beatles.

He is most known for being the groundbreaking radio DJ for KROQ 106.7 in Los Angeles. He was first in putting on “the Runaways, Blondie, the Ramones, Social Distortion, Van Halen, Duran Duran, Oasis, the Donnas, No Doubt, Coldplay, Dramarama, the Offspring, the Go-Go’s, the B-52’s, X, the Vandals, and others.”1

The movie is a nostalgic documentary that shows much of my old stomping ground: the Tower Records on Sunset Blvd., Canter’s Deli on Fairfax Avenue, and the Denny’s Restaurant on Sunset Blvd. near the Guitar Center. There’s even a bit showing a crippled guy who polishes the stars along Hollywood Boulevard.2

Rodney also made his own English Disco Club that operated for awhile in Los Angeles. To me, Rodney’s a strange guy. I’ve never met him but I had a friend in L.A. that knew him well. Some people have talked bad about him but my friend said he was nice. I respect his great knowledge of music.

It seems that music was and still is his salvation. I can relate a bit. As a kid, I often locked myself in the bedroom and listened to the Beatles or Elvis. They were my heroes and took me to different places. At school, I was a freak and even loner, I suppose: the only guy with sideburns when I was sixteen years old. That was in 1990. Sideburns weren’t very in style then.

There was one time in the school cafeteria when I was sitting at the table alone and this bully behind me at the next table made fun of me. He yelled and got my attention. I looked over and he was holding two napkins up to both sides of his face like they were sideburns and laughing. I just ignored him. He was some punk clown.

In my high school days, I read biographies about rock and roll. I read one called Life With Elvis by his kid step-brother David Stanley.

At the age of sixteen, David Stanley found himself at the top of the world, traveling from city to city as a personal aide to his stepbrother Elvis Presley. Touring with the king of rock ‘n’ roll, Dave lived life in the fast lane – a way of living most people only dream about. On August 16th, 1977, tragedy struck when Dave found the king of rock ‘n’ roll lying facedown on his bathroom floor, dead at age forty-two. Life With Elvis tells Dave Stanley’s compelling story about growing up with Elvis, the dangers and disillusionment of life in the fast lane, and how he discovered true meaning in life through faith in God. — from book’s dustjacket.

It’s an interesting read. The book has a bit about how hoods often hastled Elvis about his sideburns in the boys’ room. One time at Humes High in Memphis, Elvis’ future bodyguard, Red West, stepped in to help Elvis. This was the time when short hair and flat tops were in style. Elvis styled his hair after truckdrivers. Elvis eventually became a truck driver for awhile before recording “That’s Alright Mama.”

From Elvis’ ’68 Comeback Special

It was natural that I picked up the guitar in the 9th grade and never looked back. Music was my way of relating to the chaotic world around me. Things would explode and erupt but the music remained with me. It is proof that music is power. I really hope that the kids these days can put good stuff in their heads to empower. Elvis, along with many others, instilled in me a philosophy of hope and trust.

I don’t think the kids are getting this message today. What do you think?

Me – With the Highlander Band 1991
Jim Guittard - Highlander Band 1991


up1Wikipedia contributors. Rodney Bingenheimer. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. May 9 2008, at 15:05. Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodney_Bingenheimer. Accessed May 14, 2004.

up2I spoke to him a few times en route to the Musicians’ Institute that I was attending.