Email Specials from August 2003

Sat 8/2/2003


I saw Shania Twain on the Today Show this morning. She had her usual band of good-looking guys standing behind her, wearing headset mics, and "singing." Although bands play live on these morning shows, it's really hard to tell what "live" is anymore. In Shania's case you could clearly hear more instruments than were on stage. My guess for this morning? Her mic was live. Beyond that it's hard to say... But it did sound EXACTLY like the record.

Last weekend I saw a friend of mine, Weird Al , down at the Post-Gazette, IC Light, Magic 97, Bob's Farm-Fresh Catfish Casserole, Chevrolet Amphitheater. In Al's case, they play along with some of his video parodies shown on big screens, so they have to use a click-track in their ear monitors to stay in sync with the video. But at least they were actually playing their instruments.

I remember once years ago, Steve Hansen (famous morning DJ) wanted to sing a song with my band (The Flashcats) and he said he was most excited about being able to give the "musician look." I asked him what he meant, and he said it was that subtle head nod that one band member gives to another to indicate "take another solo" or "one more chorus" or "the song ends now!"

Famous bands don't get to give the "musician look" anymore. Sometimes I miss those days of classic rock & roll. Like when you'd go to see The Kinks and they'd play one of their new songs and mess up the chords in the bridge...

Speaking of classic, we have some extra classical guitars in stock. We're featuring them this week. Don't you need one so you can play Willie's version of "Blue Skies"? (Now THERE'S a guy who wouldn't play along with pre-recorded tracks!)


See you soon,

PS: One time I saw The Kinks open the show with "Victoria" and the band started vamping on the opening chord and Ray came dramatically running out on stage and pulled a harmonica out of his pocket and started to play... and it was the wrong key! He had to run back off stage and grab a harmonica in the correct key. That's why I love them.

PPS: And don't get me started on NRBQ! When Terry starts a song sometimes the rest of the band doesn't even recognize it till he sings the first line... We have to get them back to Pittsburgh...

PPS: This week's Customer web site:
Weird Al Yankovic

Sat 8/9/03


Guitarists, beer-drinkers, chiropractors, vampires... a lot of people are amused by the Pittsburgh Guitars "Go For The Neck" T-Shirt. In fact, one of our most successful email specials last year was the "we're-selling-these-below-cost-and-losing-money-on-each-one-but-it's-OK-because -it's-good-advertising" T-Shirt special. (It has our logo on the front, "Go For The Neck" on the back...)

Occasionally folks even send photos of them in their Pittsburgh Guitars T-Shirt. So we've decided to: a) repeat the T-Shirt special, and, 2) have a T-Shirt photo contest.

Send in an interesting picture of you, or someone like you, in a Pittsburgh Guitars T-Shirt. It can be an interesting place or interesting activity... or anything fun. You can email the photos as a jpeg or send them the old fashioned way in the regular mail.

Photos must be in by September 15th. The winner will be chosen by our panel of expert judges (Mark, Scott, me and John, the new guy) and will receive a Brand New Martin "Little Martin" guitar. Just released this week, the "Little Martin" is a short scale travel guitar. It's similar to Martin's very successful Backpacker series, except this one is shaped like a guitar... and it's an inch shorter. (And a little more expensive...) (But still very reasonably priced...)

So, dig out your old Pittsburgh Guitars T-Shirt, or come down and get one as part of this week's email special. Take a picture of you with an armadillo on your head and you may win a new "Little Martin" Guitar!


See you soon,

PS: Here's a picture of the new "Little Martin"

PPS: Here are some photos folks have sent us in the past.

PPPS: This week's Customer Web Site:

Sat 8/16/2003


I remember the first time I went to New York City. I was 20 years old and playing drums... They had power "blackouts" even then.

One of my favorite places to visit was 48th Street. Right next to the legendary Manny's Music were four or five Used Guitar shops. (This was before anyone used the term "vintage" to describe a guitar...) The store with the biggest selection was called "We Buy Guitars." "We Buy" had hundreds of used guitars, but they were all behind Plexiglas. Actually, the entire store was behind Plexiglas. When you entered you walked down a four-foot wide, Plexiglas-lined walkway to a high counter. There was always a guy sitting behind the counter, eating. You could see every guitar from this walkway, so if there was one you wanted to play, you asked the eating guy. If you looked serious enough, he'd get the guitar and bring it around to the front of the counter where you could plug it in and try it. It wasn't exactly a customer-friendly store, but, hey, these were New Yorkers... they weren't trying to be customer friendly.

The first guitar I ever bought at "We Buy" was a 1967 Rickenbacker 325. (The model John Lennon used.) It had been hand-painted in wild psychedelic colors. I didn't mind, since I figured I'd strip it down and paint it black. Besides, the wacky paint job lowered the price to something I could just barely afford. I think it was $275... I took every New York musician dollar I had and paid the guy. Then he said, "Do you want the case? It's $25 extra." Well, I'd didn't have $25 more... so I took it without the case... BUT I promised myself that if I ever opened my own store, the price of the used guitars would INCLUDE the case they came with! And I did... and they do!

NEW guitars are a different story, because in many instances the manufacturer sells them without a case. So in order to have the same discounted prices as every other store (well... we really have better prices than the big stores.... ) we have them priced without case.

For this week's email special, you'll get a FREE case (chipboard or gig bag) with the purchase of any New case-less guitar in the store.

If the new guitar you're purchasing comes with a hard case, we'll throw in a gig bag. If it already comes with a gig bag, we'll deduct $25 from your purchase price to cover the cost of the gig bag. (I think that covers all of the options...)


See You Soon,


PS: Every one of those 48th Street New York guitar stores, including Manny's, have been bought by mega-store Sam Ash. It's very sad...

PPS: You have probably noticed that when I opened my own store I also changed the Plexiglas-walls-in-front-of-all-of-the-guitars idea.... but kept the always-eating-behind-the-counter concept...

PPPS: Don't forget our month-long contest for a FREE Martin "Little Martin" guitar!! Send in a picture of you in your Pittsburgh Guitars T-Shirt. The most interesting photo will win the Guitar!! (It can be an interesting place, interesting activity, anything... as long as we're amused!) Deadline for entry: Sept 15th.

PPPPS: Customer web site of the week:
Tribute Band



Hi Folks,

The email special is on vacation this week since Carl is in Liverpool. But he'll be home tonite, and I'm sure he'll have some good stories for next week's special.

He wanted me to remind you to send in your photo for the Pittsburgh Guitars T-Shirt contest...

And to eat more vegetables...

And to have a glass of wine every night...

And to work hard, play hard, and not take any of it too seriously...

See You Soon!


PS: Customer web site of the week:
Bill Toms

PPS: Don't forget our month long contest for a FREE Martin "Little Martin" guitar!! Send in a picture of you in your Pittsburgh Guitars T-Shirt. The most interesting photo will win the Guitar!! (It can be an interesting place, interesting activity, anything... as long as we're amused!) Deadline for entry: Sept 15th.

Carl's Guitar Corner Archives

Copyright © Pittsburgh Guitars