James Clarkston  
Classical /Flamenco Guitarist Based In San Diego
(858) 412-9307

My Dream

From the heart...
Music is the one true constant in my life. Music has brought me amazing things that I could have never imagined. I met my wife because of a Poison concert.

 I met my long lost twin sisters because they watched me playing guitar on Youtube.

It was not too long ago that I realized that so many of the things I have wanted to do have come true because of playing guitar.

I dreamed of having my own line of guitar strings and I did! We sold them at our store called Clarkston Art, Guitars & Gifts.





I used to think that you had to die to get a street named after you....fortunately that is not true! This is a great honor for anybody, especially a musician and artist couple!
From The Archives
My Mom has always supported my love of music! When I was a little boy I used to love the song "Take Me Home, Country Roads" by John Denver. I used to always sing it. My mom would ask me to sing it and I would. One day my cousin gave me the record and suggested that I play the album instead of singing. So I became an instrumentalist! Ha! Then one day I met a lady that knew and worked for John Denver as his personal assistant. When I was in 6th grade my Band teacher asked me what instrument I wanted to play...my top choice was alto sax, trumpet and then drums. He drafted me to play the trombone. I was a skinny kid with long arms that could reach the 7th position on the slide, but I was not very good at it and I didn't practice much. Then I found guitar and it was a perfect match with me! My mom and my grandma heard a lot of loud music coming from my room. I practiced songs on my electric guitar, stuff like KISS, Motley Crue, Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, DIO, Iron Maiden, and Van Halen. I guess it's fair to say that I was a rocker! 
People have been composing, teaching and making a living at music for hundreds of years. It seems to me that as of late, being a real musician is more challenging than it has ever been. I attribute much of that to the digital age in which the mediocre hobbyists of the music world stand out. Reality tv shows that are nothing but an open-mic popularity contest make a mockery out of real music. DJ's are the worst! If your instrument is a Mac Laptop Computer...you are not a freaking musician! Like you, I know good music when I hear it. I don't have to like a certain type of music to recognize the talent in it. I think that it was Louis Armstrong who once said that there are only two kinds of music, good music and bad music...and I play the good kind. I could not agree more! In my years as a teacher at a charter school and in private lessons I have seen a number of kids that are very talented. However, at the same time there seems to be a false sense of what talent actually entails. There are a lot of parents that seem to think that talent is talking about some subject that they really know nothing at all about. Like bullying, gluten intolerance or any other score of subjects. Lots of these kids are home schooled because they are a flippin' genius? Or so their psycho stage mom thinks. Despite all the build up those kids tend to be quite average. Yet the parents seriously fancy them a model, actor, writer, musician, photographer, public speaker and author. Seriously?! Lots of people confuse talent with using music to further a cause like religion. Music with a "message" is not about music at all...it's just about religion. It's very simple....Music is about Music! It's about expression! It's about primal urges! Real music makes people want to cry, laugh, fight or have sex! Music is about memories! Music is not just talking into a microphone like a hyper-active kid at a family gathering. I honestly hate hip-hop! Talk about something that should have been a short lived fad. I did like some disco as a kid, yet people "killed" disco and said "Disco Sucks!" When are we going to kill Rap??? "Hip-Hop SUCKS!!! To imagine that a talentless jerk like Kanye West is so popular? The Grammys are a running joke too! Led Zeppelin, Chuck Berry, The Who, Diana Ross...never won a single Grammy? The Beach Boys never won a Grammy? Freaking Kanye West, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry have won tons of Grammys? Justin Bieber is a Grammy Winner too. ASCAP is an irrelevant relic of the past that serves no purpose anymore ! The real musicians that are making a living at the street level, playing at restaurants, clubs, bars, resorts, cruise ships don't owe a thing to a corrupt agency like ASCAP! 
In fact ASCAP is making it harder for real musicians to find gigs in the typical venues. ASCAP has spies that track down small business owners and demand money just for having live music in their own establishment. Sort of like "Mafia Protection Money". I am very passionate about my music! Music is my entire life! I have very strong opinions when it comes to music. I prefer that people either HATE me or LOVE me! Just don't forget me! Despite the prejudice against soloists, I have been and continue to be successful. Guitar is the most popular instrument in the world. I love taking in all styles of music. My playlist has tons of different music from all over the world. I truly believe that the world of music is ripe for a revolution! It is time to bring back real musicianship! I want to be part of a musical revolution, that is my dream! In my life's journey I have come across tons of wonderful people. Often I have benefited from knowing them and conversely they too have benefited from knowing me. I believe in paying it forward and opening doors for people whenever possible. I have learned to always be true to myself and speak what I really think. That is what this is all about. Thanks for seeing the person behind the guitar. I am what I am, and my dreams do come true!
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