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Breaking My Guitar Out Of Jail

By Nathan Payne | pablosmoglives | 30 Jul 2022

My guitar is in jail.  It was convicted on 5 counts of rocking too hard in the free world, and was sentenced to 3 years in the Kemp Calaboose in Kemp, TX.  Bonnie Parker of Bonnie & Clyde fame once spent the night in the Kemp Calaboose.  According to Texas Hideout,

"It was after Bonnie, Clyde, and Ralph Fults had made off with a doctor's motor car, a failed burglary of a store, and the theft of some mules in order to escape the laws that a brief gun battle had erupted.  During the skirmish with the laws, Clyde made good his escape.  Ralph, however, was wounded and he and Bonnie captured.  They were immediately detained in a small, one room, dirt floor jail - 'The Kemp Calaboose.'"


Here's me visiting my guitar after its conviction:


And here's me breaking it out of jail:



Okay, so it's not strictly true.  My guitar isn't actually in jail.  It is, however, an outlaw.  After a short, celebratory rehashing of all our favorite tunes, my guitar and me were forced to flee to Mexico, where we have been living as musical fugitives for the better part of 2 years.  There hasn't been much in the way of gigs, mostly because of Covid, but also because we're not mariachis.  And we're also not great at restaurant gigs, playing background music for rich gringo tourists who want some local flavor as they spend a Mexican's week's salary on dinner.  What we really do is rock.  So we've been in partially-forced, partially-willing retirement since the United States declared us unfit for active duty as badass rock 'n roll musicians.  They hate badass rock 'n roll musicians in the United States.  The United States is all about dead Soundcloud rappers and beer-belly rock performed by weakened warriors.  I mean, weekend warriors.  The U.S. is all about dead Soundcloud rappers and Illuminati shills forcing an auto-tuned, Transhumanist agenda which everybody hates.  Their idea of a musician with a "voice of reason" is Roger Waters, who once wrote a song blaming the British high command for "taking his daddy from him" in a war against none other than ADOLF HITLER.  A real gem, that guy.  The U.S. is all about those kind of hypocritical blowhards.  Except you. 

You're the exception that proves the rule, as they say.  Everyone who likes my music is part of the solution.  But, so far, we are a minority.

So, while looking for Western Union locations in this medium-sized Mexican metropolis, I unwittingly discovered 2 bars in this city that have the word "Rockabilly" in their name.  I'm not rockabilly any more than I'm punk-rock, but I have a bit of both in me, and both scenes are generally receptive to what I do.  One of my favorite gigs in the U.S. was the Double Down Saloon in Las Vegas, which inaccurately bills itself as "the happiest place on earth," even though it's a concrete bunker full of demons.  It is a great gig though.  The room is too harsh and echoey for actual punk-rock music, which shows you how old I am, but it's perfect for solo acoustic guitarists who don't want to play for a "community" of earth-toned tree-huggers who are going to make the world a better place with their selection of organic teas (nothing wrong with your sartorial sense or choice of beverage, but when you presume to improve me and the world around me, while denying your own capacity for sin, you make me tired.  The punk-rockers don't generally pretend to be "good people."  At least they never used to).  The Double Down boasts an abhorrent concoction of swill mixed from all the leftover booze at the end of the night, which it collects in a bottle labeled "Ass Juice."  You can order it, and they serve it in a small plastic toilet.  I am sober, but my bass player ordered it once, and had some difficulty choking it down.  That's the kind of place it is.  Some of my best fans go to that gig, though.  And the owner and/or managers are genuinely cool, which isn't something you can take for granted.  It's a hellhole, but musically, they are my people.


So, since the Mexican rockabilly places seem to be open, I'm actually thinking of going down there and checking it out.  But I have one problem:

Years of being a musical fugitive on the run from Neil Young and Roger Waters fans have taken their toll, and earlier this year, the bridge separated from the body of my guitar.  The result of years of being stored in a hot van, no doubt (not to mention the little jail cell on the Texas plains).  I talked to a luthier, and he said he could repair it for maybe $50.  I have an appointment with him on Monday.  I'm also within a week of being homeless, so the timing of getting back in the saddle and playing music again could be worse.  So I'm asking for donations.

Subscribestar is a quick, easy way to donate (and you get perks, like albums), but they won't let you withdraw any money until you have 5 whole subscribers.  I'm old-school, and not down with the world of subscribers, which is a word for "content creators," not musicians.  So, you can donate to me that way (and get some albums in the process), but it won't do me any good unless you get 3 of your friends to do the same (I have 1 subscriber to date). 

The other option is a direct bank transfer, which is ideal.  Or Western Union, of which there seem to be more than 2, down here in musical fugitiveland.

Thank you in advance for helping me and my guitar break out of retirement.



Charles Schwab checking acct #440029741962

Routing number: 121202211

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Nathan Payne
Nathan Payne

I am a songwriter and bandleader who travels the world in search of the golden ticket.


Replacing my blog at

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