Tell me about your childhood music store

aiq

Silver Supporting Member
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10,336
Man, these threads make me feel old.

Breck Music, Largo FL. '68 - '69. Every day after high school before going to my jobbie-job at Benny's Restaurant. Drool over the Gibsons. The guy who played drums with us ended up working there. He and his wife have their own store now, Dixie Music, Oldtown, Fl, right on US 19 near the Suwanee River. Nice store too.

Funny, never bought anything big there. Strings, some lessons with Brad Carlton (now with Truefire), picks, a mic.

Like most poor boys had to buy used. Maybe that's why I have 12 now.
 
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gtrdave

Silver Supporting Member
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5,225
Our local music store was The Soundboard in Newark, DE.
I visited it after the guy who owned it (George something...) came to my middle school and did a guitar demo for those of us kids who were taking the music class. I had just started playing the guitar and my cheapo Hondo II acoustic was my axe and I was as green as they come...didn't know squat about anything (and I'm still learning)...and I remember walking into the small store and seeing all of the electrics.
The row of Les Paul's on the wall drew me like a moth to the flame and I remember seeing the Silverburst Custom LP behind the counter...it was like seeing the Holy Grail for me.
I was maybe 12 years old and all the dudes in the store seemed like they were in their 40s (they weren't, but still) and not too eager to help this punk kid, but that didn't stop me from visiting the store at least once a week whenever I was riding my BMX bike 'into town'.
The Soundboard moved locations once or twice and I eventually got my new '82 Les Paul Standard there and bought a bunch of Boss pedals and strings and such. I also became friends with some of the guys there, 1 or 2 who I still see from time to time and now I'm in my 40s and those guys don't seem that much older, now...
Sadly, the Newark store closed down in the '80s. There was another location, but it was a little farther away and I never went there. It, too, closed down after a while and with it The Soundboard was gone.

btw: Dana Sutcliffe, the guy behind the Alvarez Dana Scoop guitar, was from my neighborhood and is one of those guys who I met at The Soundboard so many years ago. He's still around town, fixing, building, modding, etc...
 

56Tweed

Ge Fuzz-o-holic
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2,764
I grew up outside of Rochester, NY where there is this place called House of Guitars. This is one of the coolest stores I've ever been in. The employees were unique and kind of crazy. Great place to hang out, and they had a TON of gear to play since this place is big, years before the super stores.

While it was fun getting to play all of that gear, it was not a great place to buy a guitar. They throw a lot in the racks and were not maintaining them. I once tried to buy what really looked like a used strat there. They insisted it was "new" even though there was some corrosion on the bridge hardware. The strings on it were completely dead and partially rusted as well.
 

TNJ

Gold Supporting Member
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28,788
One of the first for me was Brink's Music Center.
Southside of Indy (corner of Southern Ave. and Madison Ave.).
Little tiny shop...not much gear, as I recall. Still, as a little tot I loved
to oggle all the shiny guitars, drums, amplifiers, etc.
I dont even know if I ever bought anything from them.
Probably not...they got me started though.
From there, I went on to Arthur's, IRC, Vic Zinn Music and finally....up to South Bend and Woodwind/Brasswind, and then Chicago, and the interwebz.

S.
j
 
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germs

Member
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5,894
Prof. Erny's - it's still around, run by his kids. mostly they make a living on band instruments (like most shops) but were the Washburn/Randall dealer for a good 25 years or so. most recently, they've picked up the Orange line - so that's pretty cool. their guitar lines aren't so good, but i've purchased amps from them in the past.

Gitz Music Co. - was the Gibson/Epiphone and Samick dealer in the 70/80/90's in my city. sadly, they sold off the Gibson branch and re-focused on high end acoustics. but that failed too, and now they sell...pianos. and nothing else. sort of sad really. that was a good store.

ProSound - was a 2nd location of a traditional school band/piano store, focused on stage performance gear. they carried Fender, ESP/LTD, and some other stuff i can't remember. plus all the PA and install stuff. they're now in the same store as their parent company (different "wing" of the building) and now carry Ibanez, Schecter, and typical acoustic stuff too.

Vince's Backstage Music Co. - was the best of all of them. they had everything PLUS more. all brands, makes, and models. all instruments. and PA. really, one of those old-school mega stores. but they closed too...
 

Jahn

Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver
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28,800
Mid-Atlantic Music on Kirkwood Highway in Elsmere, Delaware. That was my jam. First place I ever saw a Clapton Strat, a JEM, first place that set up my '76 Les Paul Custom (didn't trust Accent Music down the road to do it for some reason), and way back when they were across the street under the bridge, they sold me my first guitar, a crappy Epiphone acoustic electric made in Korea. I don't blame them for this - I liked it 'cause it was black so I got it even though it had removable brass saddles for each string! Broke strings all the time...oh, and the first place i ever saw a D'Aquisto designed Fender, I think it was an Elite. Carved top, and PRICEY!
 

gtrdave

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,225
Mid-Atlantic Music on Kirkwood Highway in Elsmere, Delaware. That was my jam. First place I ever saw a Clapton Strat, a JEM, first place that set up my '76 Les Paul Custom (didn't trust Accent Music down the road to do it for some reason), and way back when they were across the street under the bridge, they sold me my first guitar, a crappy Epiphone acoustic electric made in Korea. I don't blame them for this - I liked it 'cause it was black so I got it even though it had removable brass saddles for each string! Broke strings all the time...oh, and the first place i ever saw a D'Aquisto designed Fender, I think it was an Elite. Carved top, and PRICEY!
The original Mid-Atlantic in Elsmere (under the bridge, near McD's) was a great store!
I got my '86 ESP 400 Series Strat there and a whole bunch of other crap. I used to see Vinnie Moore in there from time to time. Good tech/repair guys, too. Nick Bucci is still a friend and my go-to guy for set-ups and such.
 

axemanjoe

Member
Messages
733
I grew up in Freehold New Jersey, Bruce Springsteen playin in a band called teh Castiles when he was in high school, my older brother went to grade school with him. Ciazzo Music was the only music store in town. I took sax lessons there when I was in fourth and fifth grade. They did lessons in the "studio" downstairs which had several small rooms, there was always a Danelectro Convertable in every room, the one with the lipstick pickup in the round sound hole, bronze top with white sides.They were made nearby in Neptune so they were prevelant around those parts. I remember the owners son unboxing a new 335 one day, my eyes popped out.

We moved to Brooklyn when I was in the sixth grade. I got my first guitar at Milton Arfin Music on Church Ave. We lived about four blocks away from it. Joe Walsh worked there in '68 and '69. I used to cut school and hang out thtere talkin with him. When I first met him he said the first James Gang album had just come out. He used to make these little gray boxes, "R & E Sustainer" he called them. I was there one day when a guy with a LP/SG was playin one through a Twin, sounded awesome. Joe Walsh mentioned one time that he regreted buyin a Hot Rod and sinkin a lot of money into it, said he shouldn't have done that. He also said he wanted to open up a free recording studio for musicians that were talented but couldn't afford studio time.

I would also venure to Sam Ash on Kings Highway. That was heaven for a 12 year old kid. Wall to wall Kustom, SUNN, BRUCE, Ampeg and Fender amps, Gibson and Fenders in the glass case along the whole wall.

I dealt with King James on Flatbush Ave when they opened, I was a teenager by then.

Those were the days alright.
 

Chris Scott

Member
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9,120
Ace Music in Santa Monica, Ca.

Hank 'n Jack, the 2 brothers owned it, and it's the first "real" music store I'd ever been in, save for Wallich's (it's music city...) and I'd go there every weekend.

I remember they had a Dobro in the display window, and when Hank handed it to me I was gobsmacked - it was just the coolest thing I'd ever layed my hands on. It was $400.00, and just a bit outta my range at the time. I hitchiked w/ my best friend Jon Markowitz back into S.M. that night just so we could stare at it.

I also remember seeing local hero Randy California and Cass in there one morning - Randy plugged the LP Jr. I was just playing into a SR and turned it up and went KRANG, and I just sat there transfixed at the sounds he was getting.

Once Hank said "...hey try this Stratocaster". Musta been '70 - '71, and when he handed it to me I was all hey, this thing weighs a TON, and I distinctly remember the frets were all rough, as they had just stoned 'em all level, but managed to forget to round 'em and polish 'em...


...I put it back and resumed playing some Gibson, and I didn't play a Fender for years after, just because I thought they were all shite.
 

Stike

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14,057
For me it was the Music Service on 9th St in Durham, NC. I had just started playing guitar after having played drums for a few years. All I had was an old Harmony nylon folk guitar with one of the tuning heads broken of (tuned it with a pair of pliers). Going to the Music Service as a 13-year-old kid was a revelation. It was mostly a consignment store, and they rows of used amps and lots of guitars hanging on the racks--stuff I'd read about and seen pictures of but never actually got my hands on. I used to spend my afternoons there playing all the guitars I was curious about. Terry McInturff was a sales guy there and later become the guitar tech, so I had him as my local guitar tech for about the first decade of my playing years. He was the greatest guy! I sold my drum kit there and got my first rig, a 60s walnut Gibson SG Standard and an Ampeg VT-40 (I was a Stones nut in those days) for about $500. Looking back, that was as good a rig as I've ever had.

I remember one afternoon I had been playing in the store for awhile, when some older dude came up and said, "Hey man, it sounds really good. Keep playing and get yourself in a band." I was really happy. Later, in high school, I jammed with that guy, who had become a bit of a local legend for his killer Duane Allman-style tone and playing. It was Greg Germino.

I remember those stores well. B&B carried Ross effects, and I got my Boss CE-1 there after saving my pennies for awhile. I used to teach lessons at Oxbow around 1983-84. That was a great store!
I must be a little younger. I've heard tales of Music Service (but never went) which I think turned into the first Music Loft and when the Loft moved to Markham Terry stayed there as High Strung? Did you teach at Oxbow when they were on Franklin Street?
 

MikeMcK

Gold Supporting Member
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5,273
Frank Richards (long gone) in Livingston, NJ. Frank & Richie were the owners and I guess they got a little paternal after I'd been hanging out there, bugging them and playing guitars for about a year. I was about 12 and took all my lawn-mowing money ( ~ $500) in to buy the brightest colored solid-body & biggest amp I could get. I left with a '67 ES-345 & Traynor YGM-3.

Let's just say that it took over an hour to count out the $500. Idiot that I was, I walked across town with the money in a gym bag. And since I was getting paid in fives, ones, and change, that's what they got.
 

xpatico

Member
Messages
831
Back in the mid 60's we lived in Ft. Lauderdale. There was a shop on Sunrise Blvd. just before US 1 jogged north. It was mostly pianos and organs and there were never any customers in there.
I used to go in and hang around on Saturday mornings. They carried the whole line of Hagstrom instruments. I was really into the Byrds then and would spend hours figuring out tunes on this electric 12. OH my, what a sweet guitar! There was a really cute blonde girl that worked there and she would stand and watch me play. She must have thought I was pretty good because she asked if I was interested in joining a band that she knew was looking for a guitarist. My chops were minimal at best and I declined.
Still looking for a nice electric 12.
 

zenitB

Member
Messages
1,481
I am from Oakland and that meant I went to Leo's - and it was extra cool because he didn't sell band instruments or sheet music. Leo and John ran the place, it was on a slightly edgy street downtown around the corner from the USO. I went there alot starting in 64-65 and he had walls of guitars and basses and it was also stacked floor to ceiling with amps, mostly Fender. Later he moved to a nicer store and started focusing on pro sound stuff. I only bought one thing there over the years, a Longhorn bass, I traded a Fender Coronado for it.
 

Blue4Now

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,026
Frank Richards (long gone) in Livingston, NJ. Frank & Richie were the owners and I guess they got a little paternal after I'd been hanging out there, bugging them and playing guitars for about a year. I was about 12 and took all my lawn-mowing money ( ~ $500) in to buy the brightest colored solid-body & biggest amp I could get. I left with a '67 ES-345 & Traynor YGM-3.

Let's just say that it took over an hour to count out the $500. Idiot that I was, I walked across town with the money in a gym bag. And since I was getting paid in fives, ones, and change, that's what they got.
where in livingston? Wonder if that's the same Richie that has a shop in the Montlcair area now.
 

aT19er

Member
Messages
344
There were two music stores that had an influence on me. The first one is Ernie Williamson's Music in Joplin, Missouri. I used to take lesson there every Saturday for years. The store seemed to go through a lot of teachers, but then again all the teachers were pretty stellar and had to leave to go on tour or to pursue another aspect of their music career. There was an original crew of four that were just awesome to go in an see every week. Over time one moved to become a music teacher, another left to work somewhere closer to his new wife, and another left to pursue a different job and schooling. Man were those first couple of years there great! It brings back some good memories going back there. Some great people working there now, but something about that original crew was amazing.

Another store down the road a little bit from Joplin is called Fly by Nite Music. I tell ya, once that place closes its doors.. there's never going to be another place like it. Can't lie, it's kind of on the downside. It's not that well kept; really unorganized and dirty. But man, there are some gems in there. Lots of stuff from the early 20th century and stuff from the 30s, namely Gibson and Martin - prewar guitars. It's kind of a shame because the guitars in there would be so much more valuable if they were taken care of. Still though, an old Epiphone with strings that feel like they're from the 80's still sing. There's even some gold records on the walls.
 

bluesjuke

Disrespected Elder
Messages
24,137
Parrish Music in Waxahachie, Texas. Bought my first guitar and amp there in 83-84. Ibanez Destroyer through a Roland JC. Looking back that combo makes me laugh!!! Old Mr Parrish is still around, but now its Parrish music and pawn.


"No more Pink Houses for you & me"
 

kidtwist

Member
Messages
206
Harper's Music on 3rd Avenue in Chula Vista, California. I wasn't playing guitars then but I played banjo for a while and my sister took guitar lessons for a time. I went there many times over the years. I live far enough away now that I haven't been back and I thought they went out of business but I just did a Google search and it looks like they're still around.
 

Baxtercat

Silver Supporting Member
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12,665
Once Hank said "...hey try this Stratocaster"... and I distinctly remember the frets were all rough, as they had just stoned 'em all level, but managed to forget to round 'em and polish 'em...
Isn't that the truth. Back then they were sanded level, and that's all you git!

Thought of some others: McCabes, both Long Beach and Santa Monica. What a great hang!
And Johnny Smith's little place in Colorado Springs [I never went in, just drove by every night on the way to a Manitou Spgs gig.]
 




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