~ SWOSU ~
Volkswagen Van to the Rolls...and the Story goes something like this...
Thomas' talents do not end with music and songwriting. Thomas is also a Registered Pharmacist and a specialist in Oncology Medicine; a Psychologist; an Author; an Actor; a Gallery Artist; a Music Director, and Record Producer. Thomas also maintains and oversees The Guthrie Thomas Companies, Moon and Back Records, The Guthrie Thomas Guitar Pick Company, and is considered by many to be one of the finest singer-songwriter, acoustic guitarists in the world.
is little doubt in the minds of Singer-Songwriter, Country, and
Eccentric Music enthusiasts, Guthrie Thomas is
one of the most imaginary and influential
recording artists in the acoustic music industry today.
career has spanned 42 years, 52 albums, and 5 motion pictures. He has recorded and performed with some of the most elite musicians around
the world. Ramblin' Jack Elliott discovered Guthrie in a Northern California
cafe and bar bringing Thomas to Hollywood where his music career began. With ramblin' Jack's generous help and guidance in Hollywood Thomas soon gained the
attention of many notables and was soon on his way. as Thomas likes to say, "Had
it not been for Jack elliott, I'd probably be selling guitar strings in some
distant guitar shop north of Frisco. Though there were many friends who assisted
me in my journey in recording, most certainly Raynold Gideon, Arlo Guthrie, John Hartford,
Hoyt Axton, David Foster, Ringo Starr, Willie Nelson, and a host of others, still Jack was the one who gave me my
and famed Screed Writer and Producer, Raynold Gideon, produced my first Album.
Axton and myself were sitting in room 714 of Hoyt's favorite hotel in Universal
City in 1975 shooting the breeze over a bottle of Jose Cuervo and
talkin' about the future...
Actually, it was my future we were contemplating as Hoyt's was pretty well set... We discussed what the coming years may bring for me...and, as Hoyt put it, "How one would change with it." Hoyt recommended that I always have an Ace in the Hole...and that I should not depend solely on the Dynamic, undependable, and unstable music industry to carry the weight of the years to come...At the time it was meaningless jargon flying in one ear and out the other...We talked little about any possibilities concerning other careers, and Pharmacy never entered the conversation...But, that particular conversation with Hoyt held a place in my mind for many years...I soon found out just how correct Hoyt had been...The music industry is, at best, unreliable...It's no wonder so many fathers shriek in horror when their daughters come home with a musician of any kind. ( Reality note here, In truth, I earned more money before getting out of bed this morning than the music industry afforded me in the first twenty-five years I slaved at it, no exaggeration...) In any event, some years later, I realized quite suddenly that I was earning far below the standard poverty level, and that most welfare recipients were doing better than I financially...A change in the future, as Hoyt had so eloquently predicted so many moons before, was something that had to be dealt with..and dealt with quick...I was rapidly plummeting in an irreversible spiral into the tar pit of financial despair.
I was living in the California desert at the time, trying to make ends meet, and my lady was earning most of the bread and butter in her chosen field of study...I was working menial, pointless jobs, earning practically nothing, and living by the grace of my girlfriend...( This is a very bad place to find oneself-depending on the undependable )...But, the music, the recording, and living-the-high-life-in-the-fast-lane were quickly becoming a thing of the past...A change would soon be imminent... Pharmacy was my best change-in-career candidate, inasmuch, that I had always been interested in medicine, and several of my immediate family members were Registered Pharmacists...The decision was an obvious one and the decision was made. I knew my lady would stand behind me one-hundred percent..
having dinner with my lady later that evening I told her I had decided to go to
She laughed openly as if I were some sort of delusional clown..."You..! Get into Pharmacy College..!" "Ridiculous..! You didn't finish the 8th Grade and You are a Musician and play the guitar..!" "No Pharmacy College in their right mind would ever let you in...!" I said, "Well, perhaps...we'll just have wait and see." She immediately replied without any hesitation, "Well...You'll be seeing without me...! " "I am through chasing your foolish dreams with you...!" So much for the one-hundred percent fantasy... Thinking back, I really had nothing to lose...My lady was dumping me , I had a Volkswagen Van with a bad engine, and only a few Hundred bucks to my name...
Since I had never finished the eighth grade, it took me two years to drag myself through the maze of getting a High School diploma... The whole idea of Pharmacy College did seem to be a man hanging on the edge of a Precipice on the razor blade side at the time, and a razor has two sides. It was the rattlesnakes below me if I let go and that's what worried me, however, "One never knows until one gives it a try.." "After all, if I ever did get to a Pharmacy College, All they could say was no...!"
To make a very long story short...8 years later I had managed to graduate with 3 degrees under my belt...One in Music, One in Psychology and, last but not least, one in Pharmacy...Pharmacy I take most seriously...I treat it with respect...And, Pharmacy also allowed me to utilize the earnings to build my music companies, which in turn, led me directly back to my one and only lot in life...Guitar and Songwriting...And, although I practice pharmacy very little now, and only then to stay in tune with the many new drugs hitting the market on a weekly basis, ninety--nine-point-nine percent of my time is now spent enjoying the wonders of music again, recording, and traveling about the world without having to worry about cash...
Pharmacy was a good choice, a smart choice, and the right choice...The Universities and Pharmacy College I attended treated me with the highest regard and respect. It was by far the most difficult challenge I had ever undertaken...The seemingly endless 14 hour days of study and research kept my scattered mind in check...I had a fine time moving through the labyrinth of knowledge year after year to reach the end conclusion...I once again learned that helping others is always more rewarding than helping yourself...I met many new and life-long friends who accepted me for more than just an aging singer-songwriter...It again opened the doors that closed in my face so many years ago...And, even though I don't practice Pharmacy professionally as much as I did upon graduation, It most assuredly gave me the life back that I was beginning to believe was gone forever...
At the time, Pharmacy for me may have been a foolish dream at the initial time of conception, and a ridiculous, wild-eyed fantasy to some others who thought this foolish notion impossible, but dreams are nothing more than wanting to change where you are into where you think you'd like to be in hopes that your life overall may change for the better...So, chase your dreams regardless of what the unbelievers think or say...If you believe in yourself enough, it won't matter what anyone on the planet says or thinks... Realizing a dream and working to its fruition is worth a thousand unbelieving idiots...Just remember, all it takes is time..and the time is going to pass anyway...Don't waste your time..time runs out for us all...but, most importantly, have a good time along the way.
In retrospect...Indeed, Hoyt Axton gave me some good advice that day in room 714, which I, in turn, pass on to any and all who ask me how to achieve anything...My standard reply, "Doors are easy to open with an Ace in the Hole and a good education." "Believe me, It takes far less time to get the education to help support any addiction, be it music or mayhem, than it does to tackle the addiction alone...!"
And as for my old VW Van... well, I gave it to a junk yard and got something else, and now I always have the Hoyt Axton CD, "Southbound" in the CD player...
"If you Want to Learn, Learn to Listen."
This, and this alone, will Teach You Everything.
And, the first person you Listen to is Yourself.
Follow your Dream, and you will Never Get Lost.
Guthrie Thomas Company
All Rights Reserved