July 7, 2004
Have you ever had one of those
days when you're putting together your 10th Halloween show, and rehearsals and props
(lots of props) are using up a lot of your brain cells, and you
lose track of what day it is, and suddenly it's Saturday and
you didn't do the email special, so you figure that you'll do
a double one next week, but next week is the actual show and
at the last minute the guy who was going to do Barry White has
to go to Nashville, but you figure that maybe you can get Maggie
Stewart's brother to sing it `cause he has a very low voice,
and you don't really have a good Jim Morrison lined up, but Mandy
suggests Bob from down at The Beehive and it turns out he's great,
but then you can't find the giant lyric sheet to "Gliddy
Gloop Gloopy" for the Oliver song, but you kinda remember
that after last year's show you gave it to Pat McCardle, and
so you call him, and he still has it in his garage, but it's
Friday again and the email special isn't started, so you figure,
"Well, I'll do a triple one next week," but suddenly
you turn around and it's 8 months later? Me, too!!!!
Sorry I stopped writing. I've
been wondering what came over me, or more accurately, what didn't
come over me. So I went to Dee's, had a vodka and tonic, and
gave it some deep thought... Answer: it seems that I've been
"worn out." After the second drink I said to myself,
"Bruce, why now? What brought on this worn-out-edness?"
And, of course, like most folks at Dee's right around the third
drink I started doing Math problems. That's when it hit me. This
summer is the 25th Anniversary of Pittsburgh Guitars! Everybody
goes through a "worn out" spot after doing something
for 25 years!!
Yep, 25 years! A Quarter of a
Century! No wonder we're selling so many guitars to *kids* of
my original customers. Hmmmmmm... Now that I think about it,
if you bought a guitar from me in 1979, and then went home and
had a baby, and that kid had a baby when they were eighteen (hey,
it could happen...) then you could bring in your Grandchild for
Wow, I'm old. And, apparently,
so is the store.
I don't have an actual email
special this week, I have to ease back into this... but I did
just book The Rex Theater for a 25th Anniversary celebration
on Saturday, July 31st. Come to The Rex on the 31st, and I'll
buy you a beer. If you have a band, let me know. I'll bring the
amps and drums, you bring your Pittsburgh Guitars' guitar, and
everyone can do a song or two! We'll talk about the meaning of
life, and all of the guitars we've known and loved.
OK, here's kind of an email special:
Tomorrow we're getting a brand new Fender model, the "Tie-Dye,
Band Of Gypsies" Strat. It's not officially available until
the NAMM show in two weeks, but Fender likes us so much that
we're getting one early. I haven't seen it yet, and I don't know
how much it costs, but stop in and we'll give you a special "Return-of-the-Email-Specials"
price. You'll be the only one in town with one! And it will look
great with your "Woodstock 1" tie-dye shirt!!
See ya soon,
** Saturday, July 31, 2004
**Pittsburgh Guitars 25th Anniversary Celebration
**The Rex Theatre, South Side, No Cover
**Lots of music...including you!
**more details soon
PPS: Customer web site:
A few weeks ago a friend of mine
came to visit from Liverpool. Her name is Mave, and she used
to go to see The Beatles play at the Cavern in the early 1960s.
(The Cavern is a little hole-in-the-wall basement club in Liverpool.
The Beatles played there 274 times between February 21, 1961
and August 3, 1963.) (Strangely enough, 152 of the appearances
were at lunchtime. Mave and her friends used to leave work at
noon, run to The Cavern to see the band play and then run back
to work! I can't quite picture that happening today...)
Anyway, I'm glad Mave was able
to visit America and Pittsburgh. She had a great time. When I
asked her what surprised her the most, she surprised me with
the answer: trees! She expected a big city, but she didn't expect
so many trees. At first I thought, "What the??" Then
I looked around. You know, she's right. Next time you're driving
across the Liberty Bridge, look up at Mount Washington. Or the
next time you're driving up 279 look on either side of the road.
In fact, look almost anywhere. We have a LOT of trees!! Lots
and lots of `em! I guess I just never noticed before. I guess
sometimes it takes an outsider to point out something that's
right in front of you. I guess sometimes you can't see the forest
for the.... oh, wait... in this case you CAN see the...
I'm not really much of a nature
person. But I must admit the trees give the town a nice look.
And, now that I think about it, my favorite things, guitars,
are made out of trees!!
Hmmmmm.... So, even though I
like living in the city... and I don't like "camping"...
(you know, `cause of the bugs, and bears, and snakes...) I should
probably try to relate more to trees. I should probably try to
commune more with the outdoors. I should probably try to become
more in tune with trees. But I still don't like the ants....
If you want to be more in tune
with nature, start with your guitar. This week's email special
is Sabine Tuners.
And, as I mentioned last week,
Pittsburgh Guitars is now a Quarter-Of-A-Century old!
Here's the plan for our 25th
Anniversary Week: From Monday, July 26th through Saturday, July
31st, we're going to have a different "Daily Special"
each day!! I'm still working on what those will be, but they'll
Then, on Saturday night, at 9PM,
party at The Rex. We already have some folks lined up to do a
song or two. In fact, this would be a great chance for you to
do a song on the big stage, with the big amps, and big lights,
and... maybe the smoke machine!
Do you have a band that's just
about ready to play out, and you just need to see what it will
be like when you can't hear the other guys over your amp? Do
you have a regular band, but you just worked up a version of
"Chain Of Fools" and you want to try it on stage before
you go to your paying gig? Have you only ever played at home,
but you'd like to try being on a big stage in a low pressure
situation? (If you don't have a band, Scott and John and Betsy
and I can back you up....As long as you're playing a song that's
at least 10 years old... `Cause we're old...) Send me an email
if you'd like to play. Or call the store. The Rex has a great
stage. It'll be fun.
(Note: If you're under 21 you'll
probably need a parent with you, since it's a bar. But there'll
be no cover charge, so they can come in, get a picture of you
on stage for Grandma, and they'll be happy to see that it was
worth it to pay for all of those guitar lessons!)
Any questions, gimme a call.
See ya soon,
PS: Customer web site:
I've become quite fascinated
with this whole "25th
I went to the attic to look for
some old pictures, and found so many cute ones that I blew them
up and stuck them in the store window. Naturally, my first thoughts
were, "Oh, look, Scott's hair used to be dark!" And,
"Oh, look, I used to be thin!" And, "How LONG
have these guys been working here?" (Answer: Mark, 17 years;
Scott, 22 years.) But after I started to analyze them closely,
the truly interesting thing about the photos are the guitars
hanging on the walls behind us.
Interesting thing #1) I know
prices have gone up over the years. I think about that every
time I buy a Peppermint Pattie. But we sold soooooo many cool,
old guitars at such looooooow prices. It's honestly true that
if you bought an American-made guitar from me in the past 25
years, it's worth more now than what you paid for it. In some
cases, a LOT more. So, that kinda makes me feel good... I kept
the store going, paid the rent, employees, etc, etc, and at the
same time provided the customers with not only good guitars,
but good investments. (Note: If you bought a guitar from me 20
years ago, and would like to sell it back....)
Interesting thing #2) At the
other end of the pricing spectrum, things have changed almost
as drastically. In the old days, a New inexpensive Strat copy,
like a Hondo II, sold for $200 to $250. Today, a New Fender Affinity
Squier Strat sells for $149, and is far superior to the Hondo.
(And with a MUCH better paint job. The new finishes on the Affinity
Strats are amazing...) If you factor inflation and the value-of-a-dollar
into the mix, it's quite impressive. Today you can buy a significantly
better product at a significantly better price.
Which brings to mind a new amp
by Boss/Roland. We've carried Boss effects pedals for years,
and they're great pedals. Even the super-est of superstars use
them. Well, they've just come out with a small, inexpensive amp
that incorporates many of their effects. It's loud, it runs on
AC or batteries, and has a surprising amount of stuff in it.
It even gives you tuning notes: A, Ab, or Abb! Plus an "acoustic
guitar" setting that actually almost makes your electric
guitar sound like an acoustic guitar. How do they get so much
stuff in such a small cheap amp? I don't know!!!! But I did order
them, and I'm impressed. After all, what if you're out in the
park on a picnic, or sitting around the campfire, and need some
flanging and heavy distortion?
It's our email special this week...
See you soon,
PS: Here are more plans for next
week's Anniversary Week. Every day will be a different special:
*Monday, July 26: Ernie Ball
*Tuesday, July 27: All Boss Pedals
*Wednesday, July 28: 18' Pittsburgh
Guitars Talent Booster Cables
*Thursday, July 29: Martin M140s
(our best selling acoustic strings)
*Friday, July 30: New Gretsch
electric guitars in stock
*Saturday, July 31: Martin DX1
dreadnought solid top acoustic guitar
*Saturday 8PM: PARTY at The Rex
We've moved the Rex party time up an hour to 8PM, since lots
of folks want to play, and we'll have to have a drink first.
We're scheduling performers at 15 minute intervals, figuring
it'll take that long to get up on stage, plug-in, do a two-and-a-half
minute song, and get off stage.
You see, my first thought was
to have a few bands play. But we have lots of customers who have
never performed in public before, so I thought it would be cool
to give everyone a chance to be a Rock Star! (for two-and-a-half
minutes.) If you've never been on-stage with a band, this is
your chance. The Rex is a great venue. Todd Rundgren, Dick Dale
and Ritchie Blackmore have played on this stage in the last few
months. Now it's YOUR turn! We'll have a band and singers there,
so you can just blend in, and be as loud or as soft as you'd
like. This is a low pressure situation (only one song). Even
if you're just playing rhythm guitar it'll be fun. Don't be shy.
This is your chance!! We'll all have a good time.
PPS: Customer web site:
Adam Evil & The Outside Royalty
PPS: Interesting (to me) thing
#3) What's up with our accessory prices??? The first strings
I ever carried were Ernie Ball Slinkys. Twenty-Five years ago
I sold them for $4. Today they're only $5. I think there are
some accessory items that have been EXACTLY the same price for
the last 25 years!!! Hmmmmmm.
I'm looking forward to the party
on Saturday night. (The
Rex, this Saturday, July 31, 8-ish PM, no cover). We have
lots of interesting acts lined up: the fabulous and always interesting
Greg Pangle; plus the fabulous Rick Marsh singing in public for
the first time; plus the fabulous Out-Of-Tuners (the band I put
together to do one song, once a year); plus, from New York, the
fabulous Roy Goldberg; plus the fabulous John Bernardinelli singing
"Folsom Prison"; plus an actual band, the fabulous
Tangerine (appearing in New York City right before the party,
and in Toronto, Canada right after the party); plus Scott and
John-the-new-guy's band, the fabulous Elliots; plus YOU!
BUT it just occurred to me that
it would be even MORE fun if we had a give-away contest!
Come into the store anytime between
now and Saturday night to enter the contest. (No purchase necessary.
Winner need not be present to win. You must, however, come to
the store to fill out the entry coupon.)
I'll put all of the entries in
a 1966 Ludwig Black Oyster Pearl floor tom-tom and on Saturday
night we'll pick some winners.
1st Prize: A new Hofner HAS-07
Solid Top, Rosewood Sides & Back, Gold Machines
List Price $320.00
2nd Prize: A New DOD FX20 Stereo
List Price $99.99
3rd Prize: A New Multi-Colored
Hemp Gig Bag
List Price $69.95
4th Prize: A Fender Survival
Strings, Picks, Wire Cutters, Screwdriver, etc
List Price $29.95
5th through 10th: A fabulous
OK.... now I'm off to get some
pretzels and chips for Saturday...