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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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

The Ragas Release Free Album

Posted in Music, Neo-psychedelia, Psychedelic by guittard on June 3, 2008

Well I just wanted to let people know that Henry McGuinn and I have released an album on the free download site Jamendo.

The songs are from 2000 when we were establishing our band the Ragas in the beginnings of the Neo-Psychedelic scene in Hollywood.

I had enough foresight to let my 4-track roll. The tunes are pretty raw but I think captures the essense of the Ragas. We named our group the Ragas after sitar royalty Ravi Shankar and the style of raga rock music that the Beatles and the Byrds came up with.

Basically, Henry and I would jam tunes and record them and then trek out for Indian food on the Sunset Strip. It was fun times.

I hope you will download for free at:

The Ragas at Jamendo

All the Best,
Jim

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.

I Am Releasing 2 Albums On Jamendo For Free

Posted in Music by guittard on May 19, 2008

2008 – “Busted In Bulgaria”

2002 – “California Daze”

“Busted In Bulgaria” is a collection of songs that document living in a strange land. During a two year period, the tracks were all recorded in a raw stripped down way on a laptop using Adobe Audition 2.0. The songs range from psychedelic, shoegaze, folk-rock to experimental. The album is full of sound effects to add a creative vibe. Some songs even have the actual sound from students in the Bulgarian school where I have taught English in Pernik. I also sing a handful of songs in the Bulgarian language.

“California Daze” was recorded in Hollywood, California around 2002 by me on my 4-track recorder and later mixed with Adobe Audition 2.0. The songs pay tribute to the birth of the Neo-Psychedelic scene that emerged beginning in 2000 in Silverlake, California with groups such as the Beachwood Sparks, the Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Quarter After, smallstone, the Warlocks, the Tyde, and the Belle Isle.

I play the shaker, drum machine, and sing all lead and background vocals with the help of friend Vladimir Maskov for bass. Brian McKay engineered the recording of the Beach the acoustic version. I also play all lead and rhythm guitars. The song Beach is co-written by myself and Dominic Campanella of the Quarter After.

The “Swing Tune” and “Jazz Tune” are instrumentals I wrote while attending the Musicians Institute from 1999 to 2000. Here I play the lead guitar with session bassist and drummer. On the rhythm guitar is a guy from Brazil named Reginaldo. He was a student with Jim at the school. You can hear the teacher, “Mr. Lupo Groinig” giving a critique after the instrumentals end.

2008 – Busted in Bulgaria

2008 - Busted in Bulgaria

2002 – California Daze

2002 - California Daze

Please download both albums for free:

Jim at Jamendo

Enjoy!

My Connection With Rock & Roll History

Posted in Rock and Roll History by guittard on April 18, 2008

February 2000, Los Angeles, California

I drove up to the Sherman Oaks, California Guitar Center on Ventura. I had grown tired of the Guitar Center on Sunset Blvd and all the tourists. It was so loud. On this particular day, I walked in wearing my John Lennon T-Shirt that said New York City.

John Lennon - New York City

I had gone in to look for a new amplifier. I looked around the store quickly and decided that I had seen enough. I walked out the front door and down the street and decided, no I was going back in.

Inside I found a white Fender Stratocaster and got a power cord and plugged into a Fender amp. I began playing jazz chords. After a few minutes and while I was still playing a guy came up to me.

This was Henry McGuinn. He said, “Hey man. I like your playing. What’s happening? Do you like the Byrds?”

I said, “Yeah, I guess so. I don’t have any of their albums but I like Mr. Tambourine Man and Eight Miles High. That’s all I know.”

Henry said, “My dad’s Roger McGuinn, who started the Byrds.”

I said, “Yeah, man, that’s cool. Can I see your ID?”

Roger McGuinn - Rock and Roll Hall of Famer

We talked in the store for about twenty minutes. We spoke about the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones. I finally found someone I could relate to with this type of music. My meeting with Henry left me with renewed purpose. I seemed that I was just waiting around a bit in Hollywood to find the right people. I figured sooner or later I would find someone. I left the Guitar Center stoked, thinking of the possibilities. I guess I was a bit star-struck, too.

The next day, I went to the Warehouse on Sunset Blvd. to look for some Byrds music. I found and bought 5D. It was the Byrds 1966 album that had Eight Miles High, Mr. Spaceman, and I See You on it. I listened to the album a few times and decided to call Henry.

I left a message and an hour or so later he called from a pay phone.

Henry, “Hey, what’s happening? This is Henry McGuinn.”

I said enthusiastically, “Hey, Henry, yeah this is Jim. I met you at the Guitar Center.”

Henry said, “Yeah cool. I’m out by the beach just loving it.”

I said, “I bought 5D. It’s really cool. I haven’t ever really listened to the Byrds but they are really hip.”

The Byrds - Fifth Dimension

Henry said, “Yeah, they’re all good, especially ’65-’68 era. Well, so you want to get together?”

I said, “How bout tomorrow? We could have lunch and then jam.”

Henry, “Yeah, I just want to meet and see if we have chemistry, you know.”

Boy I was excited, the chance to play with someone that liked the same music I did and the fact that his dad is a rock star is totally rad!

The next day I met him outside at his truck. We brought up his guitar and then we walked to a Sandwich shop right up Las Palmas in Hollywood. We ate and talked music and began to get to know each other. We seemed to be on such a similar wavelength. It was kind of amazing chemistry really.

After lunch, we opened up our guitars. He brought out his acoustic 12- String Martin guitar. At first, I just listened to him. He sang a few Byrds tunes. He sang Tambourine Man and You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere and I believe he sang the Christian Life as well. At the time I had never heard the Christian Life and I was stoked on it. I was really inspired to start playing.

The next few times that we met, we listened to Byrds music. At the Tower Records, I loaded up on all sorts of music that he recommended. I was really into it. I bought several Flying Burrito Brothers albums, some Gram Parsons and Lovin’ Spoonful.

Our music was finally coming together. We were playing some Beatles, Byrds, and Dylan covers and some of our new stuff. He played me his cool song called Summertime that he wrote at the beach inspired by George Harrison and What You Say a song about running away and pure Byrds. I loved it. I added some rhythm guitar to it while he did his fingerpicking style soloing inspired by his father.

One day Henry brought over his 12-String Guitar Instructional Video that his dad had done. On the video his dad went wild on the 12- String Rickenbacker playing his old classics. I was again blown away.

McGuinn 12-String Instructional Video

Now prior to that point I had always thought that the Beatles were my number one group but I now believed that the Byrds were up there with them. It was great to learn more about music. I did not feel bad about buying a lot of records. I considered it an investment: The Who ’65, The Zombies, The Association, Beach Boys Pet Sounds, The Kinks, Gram Parsons, and the Flying Burrito Brothers.

The next thing I did was to buy the Johnny Rogan Byrds biography. Henry had been talking about it. It was the only complete Byrds biography written. I found it at the Book Soup book store on Sunset Strip right across the street from Tower Records. Henry and I considered it our manual on how to live a Byrdsian lifestyle.

I met Henry in February 2000 and in March South by Southwest music festival raged in Austin, Texas. We found out that Roger was playing at the Cactus Lounge on the University of Texas Campus. We felt it was a good excuse for a road trip.

Before we left, Henry and I made a trip down to the Rickenbacker factory in Santa Ana. At Rickenbacker, we both waited in the reception area. Shortly after, John Hall, the CEO, came out and I was introduced.

Henry told me stories of John Hall and the Beatles. John Hall had been to the Beatles’ Hollywood Bowl show in 1965 as a teenager and had met all the Beatles and the Byrds. John Lennon and George Harrison both played guitars that were given to them by Rickenbacker and Crosby and then Jim McGuinn would run down to S.A. for Rick customizations . Needless to say, Rickenbacker has had great influence on Rock & Roll. Henry’s father worked with Rickenbacker in designing a custom signature 12-String guitar with an on board compressor. What resulted was the wood colored (Maple Glo) Rickenbacker 370 Model. Henry is totally proud of his father.

While Henry talked with John in his office, I sat down and looked at magazines. We were there for Henry to interview for a job with Rickenbacker. I sat and waited for fifteen minutes and then Henry returned, full of hope for the future. We said our good byes to John Hall and Henry told John that he would get back in touch after our trip to Austin.

I felt on the in-crowd a bit. Rickenbacker had worked with all sorts of artists: REM, Tom Petty, Susana Hoffs, Carl Wilson, etc. I have a Rickenbacker FG 330 from those days. Henry on the 325Byrd and me on the 330 is some of the best noise ever! All the best bands play Rickenbacker.

Hope you enjoyed the read.

Henry McGuinn and Jim Guittard - Austin, Texas SXSW 2000

Henry and I put up a website for our band the Ragas. You can check it out at:

www.myspace.com/theragas

Keepin’ At It!

Posted in Music by guittard on May 29, 2007

It’s been awhile.  I normally don’t post about teaching and I still won’t.  I have maybe a month left until summer vacation.

But I’m very excited to be working on the Ragas projects.  It’s interesting.  We make many good noise.  Henry and I speak Vindaloo talk.  We came up with this while eating at some Indian restaurant on Sunset Blvd. a few years ago. 

Here’s some examples:

“Raga group no like bad vibe.  We like parry good vibe.”

“Byrd group is many cool.  You no like Byrd group, I call many cop.”

“We eat many Vindaloo Curry spice.  It many good and taste.”

“We make many joke with vindaloo.  We save world by eating vindaloo.”

“You no know what Vindaloo is, you look ups on Wikipedias.  Wikipedia make world more smarts.”    

I guess we were playfully imitating our Indian waiters.  It is funny.  I’ve been writing much new stuff for the Ragas now.  I have much free time here at the flat so I just do this.  We’ve been posting all new lyrics and everything at the Ragas myspace.  I uploaded a live show we did that you can find there and Henry sent me a really cool picture of us.  In the picture you will see my great Jumbo Guild 12 string guitar that was stolen by hoodlums, if you will.  Broke my heart.

We’re digging the scene again with the Beachwood Sparks, Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Tyde, the Quarter After, the Lilys, and Wiskey Biscuit.  Music business seems so sketchy.

The Ragas Approved Fab Movie List

Posted in Movies, Music, Society, The Arts by guittard on May 23, 2007

Easy Rider,
Blow-Up,
The Kids Are Alright,
Monterey Pop Festival,
Woodstock – 3 Days of Peace & Music (The Director’s Cut),
Altamont,
Concert For Bangladesh,
The Band’s Last Waltz,
Harold And Mod,
This Is Spinal Tap!
The Graduate,
Alfie,
007,
To Sir With Love,
The Beatles Anthology,
The Beatles – Let it Be,
The Beatles – Help,
The Beatles – Hard Day’s Night,
The Beatles – The First U.S. Visit,
The Beatles – Yellow Submarine,
The Beatles – Magical Mystery Tour,
The Beach Boys – Endless Harmony (2000),
Shindig! Presents: Sixties Superstars (1964),
Shindig! Presents: British Invasion, Vol. 1 (1964),
Shindig! Presents: The Kinks (1964),
The Trip,
The Monkees – Head,
Riot On Sunset Strip,
Gimme Shelter,
Midnight Cowboy,
Stephen Stills and Manassas: The Best of Musikladen Live,
Mayor Of The Sunset Strip,
Dig!,
The Party,
Alice’s Restaurant,
Don’t Look Back,
Bob Dylan: No Direction Home,
I Love You, Alice B. Toklas!,
Gimme Some Truth,
John Lennon’s Imagine,
Pink Floyd: Live at Pompei
Wilco: I Am Trying To Break Your Heart
The Forever Changes Concert,
The Rolling Stones – Rock and Roll Circus,
Psych-Out – 1968

The Ragas Press Packet

Posted in Music, Neo-psychedelia, Psychedelic by guittard on March 17, 2007

I am putting in a bit of my history.  It’s been about five years since I was living in Los Angeles.  Today, I can only think that I am really fortunate to have experienced, firsthand, the 1960’s music revival in its re-birth.  The following is the letter Henry and I used when contacting clubs. 

May 24, 2000

Booking
Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA  90046

RE:  Booking

Dear Club:

The Ragas duo was formed in mid-March 2000 after discovering a major musical chemistry between us.  I moved to Los Angeles from Texas to pursue my musical passion.  Henry was born here in L.A.  Henry is the son of 60’s icon, Roger McGuinn of the Byrds.

We are influenced by the Beatles, the Byrds, Bob Dylan, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Gram Parsons and incorporate 12-String guitars, and vocal harmonies in our songs.  We play both cover songs and original songs.  We focus on musicianship rather than cool grooves or beats.  The old school sounds are what we are focused on.  Our songs range from jazz rock, country- rock, folk-rock, psychedelic, and raga-rock to name a few.

At present, we are searching for a bassist and drummer to complete our band.  In mid-June, we will have two English fellows visit us to most likely join the band.  We switch off with lead guitar.

We are so excited to be involved in the music scene in Los Angeles.  We can be reached at 323-###-#### and at our address in Hollywood, California.

Please find our demo tape included.

Thanks For Your Consideration,
Jim Guittard and Henry McGuinn

Here’s one of our setlists that I scanned.

The Ragas - Setlist
*The starred songs are the ones we played.

We did not play too many shows back then but we sure went to see a lot of shows by the Beachwood Sparks, the Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Quarter After, Sunstorm, smallstone, the Tyde, the Belle Isle, Whiskey Biscuit, the Snakes, and the Warlocks. Many of these bands are still around today.

Smallstone evolved into the Electromagnetic led by James Ambrose. The Belle Isle disbanded and Cliff Magreta now leads Minutes Til Midnight. Beachwood Sparks unofficially disbanded in 2003 and other groups were formed in its wake such as All Night Radio with sometimes BWS drummer Jimi Hey and BWS lap steel and organist Farmer Dave. Mystic Chords of Memory was formed by BWS leader Chris Gunst and Frausdots was BWS bassist Brent Rademaker’s. Brent continued to play in the Tyde with his brother Darren.

I am hopeful in seeing the Beachwood Sparks get back together. We’ll see.

The Ragas – June 2000 Los Angeles, California
The Ragas - June 2000

You can listen to the show here:

The Ragas Live 2000