Email Specials from October 2002

Sat 10/5/02


Notes from The South Side:

1) One of our email specials last month was the Pittsburgh Guitars T-Shirt. At the very moment I was writing that email, one of our customers, Karl Messner, was printing a photo to bring into the store. Back in 1991 he was doing missionary work in Africa, and he gave his Pittsburgh Guitars T-Shirt to one of the kids. He took a photo of the kid wearing the shirt, and he was planning to surprise me with the photo just as I was mysteriously deciding to use the T-Shirt for the Special. Coincidence???
Here's the photo, on our new "Pittsburgh Guitars T-Shirts Around The World" Page.

2) Two months ago we had a contest to win a free Epiphone ET-270. The lucky winner was Frank Moone. Here's a picture of Frank and the guitar.
This is the model that I sold to Kurt Cobain during Nirvana's first visit to Pittsburgh. I mentioned in the contest email that I saw a picture of him smashing an Epiphone ET-270, and I presumed it was the one he got from me. Well, I just visited the brand new Pittsburgh Hard Rock Cafe down at Station Square, and as you know, they have autographed guitars hanging on the walls. AND right there, on the wall: an Epiphone ET-270 signed by Kurt Cobain!! Coincidence????

3) Two years ago we signed up to carry new Gretsch guitars. After all, we sell lots of Hofner Basses, and the new Rickenbacker "C Series" John Lennon reissues are starting to arrive... It makes sense that we would also have a Country Gentleman reissue. (Though, as you know, when that wise man Chet Atkins signed on as a Gretsch endorser he never sold Gretsch the rights to the names "Country Gentleman" or "Tennessean", he only leased them. So when he parted ways with Gretsch he took those names with him. Gretsch has to call their reissues by different names.)

Then, right before Gretsch was going to start shipping guitars to us, they said, "Oh, sorry, there's a guitar "super store" coming to Pittsburgh, so there's no sense in us selling to you." We were annoyed. Slightly. But, what can you do? There are more important things to worry about...

HOWEVER, last month Fender bought Grestch! And since we're a Fender dealer, we will now soon have Gretsch guitars in the store! (Probably January...)

FURTHERMORE, Mars Music, Inc, the company that started the "guitar super store" concept, just filed for bankruptcy!! Coincidence???????????

And that's the news from Lake Wobegon.

Speaking of Fender, this week's special is Fender Acoustic Guitar Strings.


See You soon,


PS: Customer Web Site:
Jill West and Blues Attack

Sat 10/12/02


We just bought an old National steel guitar from 1932 and in the case was a vintage guitar strap. And by "guitar strap" I mean a piece of rope. And the best way to attach it was to tie it onto your guitar with a good strong knot.

Twenty years later several strap designs were on the market, led by the Bobby Lee Strap Company and Ace Guitar Straps. As straps got fancier and more comfortable, manufacturers started adding a second strap button at the guitar's neck joint. (At least on electric guitars... To this day most acoustic guitars only come with one strap button.)

Still, though, security was an issue. If you moved around a lot, or if your strap wasn't on tight, you could potentially drop your guitar. The Ramones and other early punk bands had an answer: duct tape. Lots of it! A successful method until you want to remove the strap. And the duct tape residue...

Dunlop came to the rescue with the invention of the straplock. You replaced your strap button with a new Dunlop one, attached the straplock to your strap, and the two pieces locked together.

A few years later Schaller further improved the concept with modifications to both parts. Their new strap button was similar to old fashioned ones, so it worked with either a regular strap or one with a straplock attachment. And the straplock on the strap was u-shaped for additional security.

You can't go wrong adding these... You can put your strap on even faster than without them, and you won't drop the guitar.


See You soon,


PS: This week's Customer web site:
Rob Rogers

PPS: And I always thought it was really wacky that when Fender introduced the Jazz bass in 1960, it featured a THIRD strap button on the back of the headstock! Fender added this to all of their basses through the early `70s. The only person I've ever seen use the headstock strap button on a Jazz bass was Geezer Butler in the early days of Black Sabbath.

Sat 10/19/02


I love going to the NAMM show. It's a twice-a-year trade show for music store owners. Imagine a large convention center with 500 booths of musical instrument manufacturers... everything from trumpets to cymbals to didgeridoos. And at every booth someone is trying out an instrument. As you enter the hall you are bombarded with a strange cacophony of melodies.. You can't really recognize any one instrument, or song, but it's a beautiful over-all sound! I love it!

And amongst the big companies like Fender and Gibson, you'll find new, small companies with wacky innovations, like a guitar pick that's curved like your fingers. One thing that caught my eye this year was a new item called a Thunder Tube. It's about the size of a coffee can, with a spring hanging down from the bottom. When you shake it, it sounds like thunder. It's amazingly loud. Even at the trade show I could hear it over all of the other noise. Of course I ordered some. It's great for spooky Halloween sounds. Stop in and try it.

This same company also sells a version of those bead-filled egg-shakers, except this one is shaped like a skull. AND it glows in the dark! It's bigger, heavier, and louder than the egg shakers. In honor of Halloween we're featuring these this week. Ideal for scary percussion.


See You soon,


PS: This week's Customer web site:
Ernie Hawkins

PPS: Friday, November 1, "Night Of The Singing Dead, #10" at The Rex, starring Larry Richert, Steve Hansen, and many many more! A musical comedy extravaganza.

Sat 10/26/02


Eons ago, when I was a kid, a lot of guitar instructors recommended that kids start on nylon string guitars, aka "classical" guitars. It is true that in those days steel acoustic strings were heavier than they are today... AND it was far less likely that a guitar was set up properly, with low action. The classical guitars *were* much easier on your fingers.

Now, though, in our store even the least expensive steel string acoustics have low, easy-to-play action. In my humble opinion, the full rich sound of a steel string is much more fun and versatile than the soft classical sound. And even though I'm a big Willie Nelson fan, you have to admit that's a wacky sound he gets on-stage out of that electrified classical guitar.

So, it makes me wonder, "Why do I have so many classical guitars here in the store?"

Answer: "I dunno...."

Solution: "Clear `em out!"
(We'll save a few for the serious classical players...)

We currently have Asian-made Fender Classicals, and German-made Hofners. Both will be on sale this week, but I can only tell you the Hofner prices via this email. Please write back, or stop in for the email special prices on the Fender nylon string guitars.

(By the way, these solid-top Hofners sound fabulous. You SHOULD have a nylon string in your collection of guitars. Let's check the list: a Strat, a Les Paul, a Martin, a Rick 12-String, a bass, and a nylon string. There's nothing wrong with some variety now and then.)


See You soon,


PS: This week's Customer web site:
The Eyeliners

PPS: Next Friday, November 1th... "Night Of The Singing Dead, Part #10"

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