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
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
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: