Gimme Some Luddite Juice [part I]

© Joe Ryan

“The old analog is going away. It's pretty sad, they took my Polaroids away and now they're taking my tape away. I just don't know what to do. I saw some petition the other day about trying to get Fuji or somebody to keep making the Polaroid film. I don't know if that's going to fly or not. It's the same thing, these technologies kind of fall out and stuff you were never able to afford hits rock-bottom prices. I mean, I found a Land camera probably 12 years ago, and it was $2 in some pawn shop that was being heated by an oven, in Lubbock or somewhere. And I'm like, ‘I can't believe this contraption is $2,’ because they're well-made. Then I wasn't sure I was going to find film and sure enough, that's where you ended up having to pay, the $20 for the 10 pictures. But the way they came out, if you nail a shot, there's nothing that looks like it” -- Jimmy Smith, April 2, 2008

After seeing this quote for the first time just two weeks ago, I thought about the Polaroids Jimmy used to take in the mid to late 90’s and emailed him to see if any had survived. I didn't hear anything back, though, and had all but forgotten about it when this reply turned up in my mailbox this morning, complete with some of those old photos attached:

'digi gonna take my poloroid, digi gonna take my poloroid, digi gonna take my poloroid away…digi gonna take my poloroid, leave this boy with no photo, digi gonna take my polaroid away.' so be it, maybe china will pick up the cuastic paste production, and feed my land camera. tills' that time here's a dozen keepers from album/archives past, con capciones.

Note: These photos can also be viewed as a slideshow

Special thanks to Joe Ryan for putting the video together.


  1. Excellent photos // excellent video
    Polaroid ain't goin nowhere, Gilbert
    The Impossible Project's gonna keep it pumpin

  2. TGN and Joe Ryan - a journalistic dynamic duo...

  3. indeed. some would even say joe ryan IS thegourdsnews. not me, of course. I would never say that. but some would.

  4. A scurrilous rumor no doubt - LOL.

  5. Love it. Some great shots in there. Surely if the Czechs and Russians can keep us in 12AX7s they can spin up a Land Camera Film factory for Jimmy.


  6. I stood in line at a sink to wash a glass with Jimmy at Postcard at SXSW once. He had that old camera slung around his neck. He's a very pleasant fellow.


  7. In the slobbergourds pic, who's the guy between Keith and Brent?

  8. the guy between keith and brent is fritz, the tour manager. according to jimmy, "he's so good at chess he doesn't even need a board". also, brian the tall bass player isn't in the shot. he must of snapped it.

  9. That is the legendary Frits Veenstra, dutch tour manager on several Gourds tours. He even trekked across USA with us once during World Cup play. We stopped at weird times and in weird places to watch the Dutch team play into the semi's I believe. That was a nasty virus Jess brought into our tour. It ripped through everyone. I thought I had it beat, but came home with it. At least I made it through the tour. There were a few nights where Jimmy and Keith seemed like walking death, playing shows in seriously bad shape. Couldn't do that now I don't think.