Email Specials from July 2004

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 a guitar!!!

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:

Fri 7/16/2004


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 be email-special-ish.

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:
Kevin Finn

Fri 7/23/2004


I've become quite fascinated with this whole "25th Anniversary" thing.

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 Strings

*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.

Tues 7/27/2004



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 Acoustic Guitar
Solid Top, Rosewood Sides & Back, Gold Machines
List Price $320.00

2nd Prize: A New DOD FX20 Stereo Phase Shifter
List Price $99.99

3rd Prize: A New Multi-Colored Hemp Gig Bag
List Price $69.95

4th Prize: A Fender Survival Pack
Strings, Picks, Wire Cutters, Screwdriver, etc
List Price $29.95

5th through 10th: A fabulous Pittsburgh Guitars T-Shirt


OK.... now I'm off to get some pretzels and chips for Saturday...


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