I got a last-minute gig and realized I didn’t have any cables at home. Even though I have hundreds of them in my studio, it was easier for me to go to Guitar Center instead of going alllll the way to the studio for 1 single cable. Also, it helped that Guitar Center was on the way to the gig.
While I was heading to Guitar Center, I thought to myself, “Damn. When’s the last time I was at a Guitar Center, or even ANY in-person guitar store?” But after all that thinking, I couldn’t remember. Has it been 5 years? Maybe more?
Being at Guitar Center reminded me of how guitar stores were more than just a place to shop.
When I was in high school, I’d go to local music stores in Japan, and I got to know all of the different types of guitars and pedals. The staff was so nice to such an annoying high school kid like me. They took time to show me around and let me play the instruments in the store.When I was a college student at Berklee, the guitar stores around Boston were my favorite places to hang out with guitar friends.
A lot of my favorite guitar shops closed down in the last decade. I do feel sad and nostalgic every time I hear that one of my old favorite guitar stores is closing down, but then I ask myself – “Did I purchase anything to support their business before it was too late?” The answer is no. Maybe here and there I got picks and strings, but flash-forward to today, and I am using way more money to buy guitar supplies on websites like Amazon and Reverb.
We all know know how shopping shifted from in-person retail stores to the internet. But the cool thing about that visit to Guitar Center was that it brought back some old, good memories. I could still feel the excitement of just being in an actual guitar store again!
Ok, time to go to the gig 🏃🏻♂️