Guitar Man

Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Buzzy taught himself to play the guitar and piano at the age of 13. At the age of 15, he performed with his first band as the lead singer, playing guitar and keyboards. Buzzy has been making his dream real, one step at a time. After graduating from high school there were the traveling cover bands, steadily touring the Midwest from Michigan to Florida. In 1979, he moved to northern California, had a stint as a solo street performer at the world famous San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf. 

He is a Musician, A Youth Advocate & an Author

Who is Buzzy Martin?

While wood shedding his composing skills, Buzzy became the much-in-demand host of a series of coffee house open mic nights, where his knowledgeable musicianship, sunny personality and non-stop encouragement helped the caffeine scene thrive. In 1980 he began to play with many local bands and musicians as a featured artist. In early 1981, he was hired as the mainstay guitar player for an Elvis Presley impersonator and became responsible for the direction and stage presence of the band. This became a highly enjoyable group to work with and afforded him the opportunity to travel the West Coast circuit. In 1984, Buzzy started his own Top 40-style band, which quickly became recognized by club owners.

An established professional who loves the music he shares, Buzzy Martin is living proof of the rewards of following one's childhood dreams and is now the author of "Don't Shoot! I'm the Guitar Man".

PayPal Donations

The PayPal link has been established for family members, friends, and friends of friends who would like to give a non-tax deductable donation of $25.00 or more to the ”Guitar Man Film Fund”. Those who donate will receive a certificate of acknowledgement for their help.

You may also mail your donations to:
Prodigy Entertainment
P.O. BOX 27600
San Francisco, CA 94127

Don't Shoot! I'm the Guitar Man is a...

personal story as it relates with the author's unique style and subtle humor.   It gives the average person an "inside look" at prison and the inner workings of a music program in San Quentin State Prison.

LIFELONG MUSICIAN BUZZY MARTIN began teaching at-risk kids about music to help them through the trial of their daily lives.  Through this experience he was given the opportunity to teach a music class inside San Quentin State Prison.  Intimidated at first by the brutal surroundings, he soon found a common language between him and the inmates: music.  He returned to his younger students with stories about the reality of prison life, desperate to teach them that prison was not a streetwise "badge of honor."  The dangerous paths down which they were headed could be replaced by real dreams, hope and the redemptive muscle of liberating jailhouse rock.  And it is Buzzy Martin's dream to make it work!

Testimonials for
Don't Shoot! I'm the Guitar Man

JOHNNY CASH and Merle Haggard have moved on and pretty much left the prison song to Buzzy Martin.  
The Sebastopol musician and author has an entire repertoire, inspired by the time he spent teaching guitar to inmates at San Quentin. An aim of his music, and of the book that a Bay Area film production company seeks to make into a movie, is to alter the course of troubled kids who might be bound for cells.
Chris Smith Santa Rosa Press Desecrate”

"Buzzy's book captures the mood and specter of the novitiate's introduction to the world inside prison walls. What he finds, learns, and shares is the common humanity that still exist-s in spite of it all. As one who has spent his career in the   criminal jstice   system, I can vouch for its authenticity and also the novel journey it took me on."

– Elliot Daum, Superior Court Judge

"My two trips to San Quentin State Prison for parole hearings did not allow me to obtain nearly the depth of knowledge your repeated trips inside the facility afforded you. It did, however, provide me enough information to know that your book reveals the truth about life inside the Q. Your stark description of prison life, and the impact on prisoners’ lives, is chilling in its honesty."

– Jeff Weaver, Chief of Police

"While I have toured San Quentin on several occasions, Martin’s daily reports in “Don’t Shoot I’m The Guitar Man” bring to light aspects of prison life of which he makes us more aware. I have spent much of my career working with incarcerated juveniles and share Buzzy’s wish that those youth at risk of adult criminality get an accurate picture of what may lie ahead. Prison life is not what delinquent youth may think it is and Martin is more that “the guitar man”. He is the right messenger for those of us who should be listening."

– Robert G. Gillen, Chief   Probation Officer   Retired

"It has been my pleasure to read Buzzy Martins’ “Don’t Shoot I’m The Guitar Man”. I am a teacher who works with at risk youth incarcerated in Juvenile Hall. The kids I work with are involved in gangs, drugs, violence, and the court system. Though the work is rewarding, it is at most times difficult at best. I am continually looking for reading materials that my students can learn from. I would highly encourage all at risk students to read this book. It does not preach nor attempt to scare but tells the story of one mans experience teaching a music program to   inmates   locked up behind the walls of San Quentin Prison. The language is not difficult, the concept important, and the journey you are taken on through the words of Buzzy Martin makes for an emotional impact on the reader."

– Celia Lamantia
MA Education, Juvenile Hall Teacher

"Hey! Don’t Shoot I’m The Guitar Man! I should have known that Buzzy Martin, the author of this unique book would have had a wonderful story to tell. This is such a mesmerizing book, you feel like you’re in prison along with Buzzy’s students. I certainly recommend this book, not only to musicians, but also to families who might have at risk youth or loved ones that are incarcerated. Eventually this retrospect of a music program in a prison setting will become a block buster film and then, there will be many more people moved, because of Buzzy’s work giving so much of his time, helping the less fortunate, all through his spirit of music."

– Hal Blaine
World’s Most Recorded Musician
Member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Member of Nashville Musician’s Hall of Fame

"After twenty-seven years of working in San Quentin a person finds that there is no longer the perspective or view that you offer in your piece. I want to thank you for pulling a string, and finding a note in me that I thought was busted and had long gone dead."

– Len Carl, Correctional Officer Retired

"DON’T SHOOT! I’m the Guitar Man" is a stunning portrayal of every day life in the Big Q. Buzzy Martin’s search for meaning is revealed with his work through music. Buzzy's book depicts a not so glamorous account of a city of lost souls. The only glimpse of hope from the hours of being like caged animals are the two hours these inmates spend strumming the guitar and singing at the top of their lungs with Buzzy. For a close up view to a dead end street, young "Juvenile Hall Gang Bangers" might read this powerful book about life in San Quentin Prison. Having worked with juvenile offenders for over twenty-nine years, I believe these true-life stories grab the attention of the reader immediately and illustrate the shocking reality of young inmates in a prison culture who are preyed upon and changed for life."

– Matthew R. Fenske, Assistant Superintendent
Kent County Juvenile Detention Facility

"It was with great interest that I read, “Don’t Shoot, I’m The Guitar Man” by Buzzy Martin. His book immediately captured my attention and held it to the last page. His writing is vivid and descriptive, creating a vision of life within San Quentin Prison that still haunts me to this day. I was especially touched by his message to young people in trouble that they should not fall into the trap of believing being sentenced to San Quentin is somehow a badge of honor. It is a brutal place where all honor is destroyed and everyone falls victim to the lowest depths of degradation. I hope those who read his book would come to understand how severe the penalties of incarceration truly are, and anyone who believes living in the “Q” is acceptable will quickly change their minds."

– Robert Tavonatti
Principal, Court School and Juvenile Hall

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