Survival with a guitar

He lived alone, had a job as salesman, did not have any knowledge about shooting, military or anything connected to survival or similar things. His knowledge was more about singing and playing guitar, he was nothing like famous, but pretty known with his group, playing at local weddings, or local festivals.

He missed few chances to go out at the beginning of everything, some his relatives from America called him few days prior everything started and offer him money and help to get out, but he just thought this mess is temporary thing.

Even when people started to get killed on daily basis he still thought It is going to stop very soon, it didnt. They came for him in the middle of the night, like many others, at that time they just doing the sweep, so that means a gang searches a street or several houses in an area, in order to mobilize you for fight for them or in other case to kill you or imprisoned you (robbing is included of course).


He was not material for fighter, he looked more as shy girl then as a grown up man, passing out even on mention of blood. So they just imprisoned him together with bunch of other people. Many years later he told me that hardest thing for him was not to suffer some occasional beatings and lack of food or water. Worst thing was feeling of desperation and sometimes feeling that all is only dream. A bad dream, like a nightmare. His psychological suffering was bigger than his physical suffering.

In one occasion he mention to them that he is good with guitar playing. From that day he become something like their member, he played for them while they drink and beat and tortured other folks.

It was hard for him to focus, while other people suffered but he played encouraging songs that made some men beat others in frenzy. Men adapt and get used to their surroundings.

He told me that he was not in that time neither prisoner neither their member, he was something like their clown, man who amused them, playing and singing songs on demand, not sure is somebody of them going to shoot him in head because bad song, or give him gold chain for a good song. But point is that he was under some kind of protection. He was valuable because there were few sources of entertainment.

Other imprisoned folks hated him, and were scared of him in same time, because he was more popular than they were. After few months he took chance with some foreign news reporters crew and run away, carrying big camera, blue helmet and blue body armor on numerous check points.

I lost contact with him for years, then I found him on some discussion about war and music on web. He is working as a room cleaner, in country far away. I started some discussion with him about prepping and survival and found out that he is still do not know anything about fighting, shooting or survival.

But he told me that he is playing guitar every day, alone in his room, so I guess he is now much better with that.

I think about him sometimes trying to figure out is he a good or bad man. Just a man making the best out of his situation probably. We were all grey and did what we had to do. Sometimes ugly things. But keep in mind simple extra skills give you extra value that might save your life.

There will be more about survival entertainment soon. What extra skills outside of survival do you have or learn?

18 responses to “Survival with a guitar”

  1. Hon55 says:

    Thank you Selco for sharing your experiences. Sometimes these simple things (nobody says playing guitar is simple) can save lives. I just fish and hunt, so I guess I wouldn’t be very entertaining.

  2. glenn allen says:

    Wow! I am a musician and that is an incredible story. I wish him well. I’d like to hear some of the songs he played. I wonder what I would have played.
    Fortunately I have shared your philosophy of skills are as important, maybe more, then being prepare with food etc. and developed as many skills as I can. I try ti get others to do the same thing. It is a good ides to be of some use to yourself and others
    I am a veteran army medic and a EMT so, if you get a chance,I’d like to know about how you dealt with medical issues and how medical people were used.
    Also how important was physical ability? How did people who were not physically fit adapt or overcome?
    Thanks for sharing your lesson learned. Your a great asset to survival knowledge.

    • Selco says:

      I will have more on medic site of this soon. Doctors and medical personal was also kept around and protected by gangs.

      People who could not support themselves easily and had no other support usually locked themselves in and died.

  3. Susan says:

    Yay!! It is a good day – we got another article by Selco!!! This article brings up interesting issue – as I sit here in my comfortable chair with a full belly, I think that there are more important things than surviving. Would it not be better to be dead than to be even a partial participant, as he was, in the torture of others? I guess we cannot BEGIN to imagine the dehumanization that takes place. Is is possible to hold on to your honor at times like these? Life without honor, not so precious a possession. I say that until I get hungry later and knock a llittle kid over the head for his ice cream. . . . .

    • Selco says:

      Yes, Susan its hard to imagine if you are not in situation like that. Imagine what you would be willing to do if you see your kids starving to death in front of you and your neighbor has some food but doesn’t want to give you…

  4. I am a musician. At one time I studied Bulgarian folk song.

    My teacher once told me how she escaped Bulgaria. This was after the Commies fell and there was a lot of mafia around in her city. She was a singer in a wedding band and her boyfriend played in the band. These Mafia guys decided they liked the band and kidnapped them, tied them to the tables in an empty restaurant, and made them perform all night long. She told them she had to go to the bathroom, and when they let her go she escaped out the window. They were so enraged when they found her gone that they beat her boyfriend into a coma. Right after that she came here to the US. I’m not even sure she went home first – maybe only to grab some things. Somehow she just got on a plane, came here and figured out the rest later. She was lucky that she had a passport and an uncle here. At that time she was the exact age that I am now.

    My teacher left her poor comatose boyfriend, rental property, a lucrative career, and semi-fame, to come here and work drudge jobs so that she wouldn’t be killed by the mafia. It’s so hard to have a musical career here, especially for an “ethnic act”, that she’s not working in music full time anymore, but at least she’s alive.

    And now the same s**t storm is coming here.

  5. Julian says:

    I think that the point of this article is to show that the most important single tool for survival is the mind. –
    as for your friend, I would not condemn him because he did not cause suffering or harm to the others.
    A collaborator, or quisling, would provide intelligence or information to the enemy which could result in the capture, torture or death of his fellows, and that is evil. But this man was simply taking the chance provided to him.
    Keep up the good work.

    • Selco says:

      The mind always comes first. Having a variety of abilities can help as well. Main point of this is also that you never know what’s coming. Starting to learn an instrument now might not help. But in general being more useful for other people does help.

  6. David says:

    What always shocks me is how someone can go from having quite a nice life ( or even a VERY nice life) to one of almost absolute hell. This happened to many people in WW2 who were caught up in invasions. Russia by Germany, and then the opposite when Russia invaded Germany in return. Also many Europeans who were caught up in the Japanese invasions of SE Asia.
    I wonder how many relatively “soft” people from todays society would even survive. The higher you are .. the harder is the fall.

  7. RIchard says:

    Selco, I must say it is Great that we have someone among us that actually lived thru the hell that you did and are willing to talk about it for our benefit.
    This is not just for this blog entry, but for the others that I have read through and while I read through the other articles I have kept repeating to myself, yes this is so very true, someone that is real and truthful. Having seen this in my lifetime but have a hard time putting my thoughts to words. Selco has such a way of getting the point across. I am glad that you are able to write this out and get the message through so clearly.

    Thank you, for two reasons:

    1. For giving us the realization that things are not like the hollywood films. Their are a lot of people that are asleep at the wheel, thinking that if we watch enough documentaries or Rambo movies, we will be able to survive and thrive through the storm that is coming to America. You have blown that MYTH out of the water.

    2. For giving us the Valuable information of how you did it, to us, the people that are awake and willing to see the downfall of America and are willing to do what needs to be done. So we can get through these hard times that are almost upon us.

    Keep up the great work

    • Selco says:

      Thank you Richard and everyone else who made nice comment. I appreciate that you can learn from my hard time. So some good comes out of this in the end.

      • Julian says:

        It is we who thank you; whatever the ‘back story’, the blog is so very unique and the information is excellent.
        There was an old saying in most branches of the military – no matter how good your plans are, they all disappear with the first enemy encounter – and I know that we all tell ourselves that we are prepared for this or that… but then when this or that happens, we often find ourselves scrambling around trying to simply survive. And your articles make this so clear. They teach us to think in unconventional ways, to be ready to act in unconventional ways, to adapt, improvise and survive. Very valuable lessons. thanks you again

  8. Shawn says:

    I read every post to try to get every bit of information I can – better to read and learn than to have to live (possibly) and learn.
    Was the task of survival so huge that attempting to improve your situation was beyond even contemplating – repairing your living quarters, bringing other strong families and individuals into your group, devising a plan to escape your town, developing a barter System that would bring you consistently the things you needed for comfortable survival, etc…
    Respectfully, Shawn

  9. john says:

    Selco, you say you think about him and wonder if he is good man or bad man? You will not like my thoughts.

    He is a bad man. I can understand someone so weak like him would not be able to fight. But I can’t understand why he would play music for the bad people when they hurt others. I really can’t understand why he would play music that would make them want to hurt even more. If his music helped them do their beatings more, then he is bad. He beat them with his music. He is just as bad as the people that did the beating.

    I am in agreement with the other prisoners that hated him. I hate him too.

    I’m sorry but that is the truth.

    He should stay where he is and never go back home.

    • Selco says:

      In shtf situation you have to make tough choices. I’m not here to really judge people for what they did. We all had to do what we had to do. I understand your reasoning.

  10. J Stuart says:

    The guitar man survived. I feel sure that given a choice he would have seen the tables turned on his captors. He was in an impossible situation and eventually chose freedom . How could anyone hate him for that.

  11. chris893 says:

    I’m sure he didn’t see it like that at the time. To him, it was play guitar or die. He probably didn’t take pleasure in playing for the gang/bandits but he probably enjoyed living to see the next day, even if it was hell. And he probably still fights an internal conflict about the decisions he made. A good man may sometimes make bad decisions or do bad things but that doesn’t always make them a bad person, especially in times of war. Sometimes, a man is just a man, neither good nor bad, trying to survive or protect his family.

    The blog is excellent Selco. Good work

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