Thursday, August 30, 2018

Finding your stolen guitar is freaking awesome

HERE'S A CAUTIONARY tale about stolen instruments and buying stuff from a guitar dealer in Iowa. There's a reason Second String Music doesn't buy used instruments off the street, and anytime you deal with used stuff online you are rolling the dice.

About a year ago our friend Alex Sanders had some items stolen from his step-father's house in Quincy. A dirtball or dirtballs broke a window to gain access, and they took Alex's Roland Juno keyboard, two guitars, an Ibanez 6-string bass and other items. Alex filed a police report and alerted the local pawn shops, but the items were never recovered.
This is a diving board AND a bass!

A couple of days ago Alex saw a message on the Quincy Illinois Area Musicians Facebook page. Much to his shock, there was a picture of his Ibanez bass. He checked the serial numbers to make sure, then called the person who was selling the bass, both on the Facebook page and on Reverb.

He had found his stolen guitar and was super excited to get it back.

The person turned out to be Chance McFadden of Fort Madison, Iowa. If you are a local musician or have dealt with him in the past, I don't have to say anything else. If not, take our word for it and be very careful when dealing with him. He's worked for a few places in the area and now does his own thing out of his garage.

Alex immediately made contact with Chance and told him the bass was stolen, and he had the paperwork and police reports to prove it. According to Alex, Chance was difficult and wanted $150 for the bass anyway, and gave him a sob story about needing the money.

"This isn't a personal matter," Alex said. "It's a legal matter. I'll go that route if you want."

When pressed about where he got the bass, Chance said he bought it at a local pawnshop. Alex went over there yesterday, and the pawnshop had no record of ever dealing with the bass.


Then Chance pulled the classic "I'm a sovereign citizen" line and said he wouldn't give the bass back to Alex. By then, Alex decided to go the legal route, after Chance threatened to "drop the bass and break it."

Alex got copies of the Quincy Police Department reports, then called the Fort Madison Police Department and told them about his bass. We were going to go up there this morning, but to make a long story short, Chance saw the light and brought the bass to the police department, and Alex should be on his way shortly to pick up his stolen instrument.

Alex smartly refused to make it personal and instead had the authorities handle it. After all, you should never take a Chance with a used instrument online.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Family time and the football fight

I'M HEADING TO Phoenix this weekend for the Hart Sibling Summit. Sheryl is staying here to work in the store, take care of her ailing back, and to keep an eye on the hobbled Angus.

We made a vow 13 years ago to do this annually, and I've failed to keep it. So this will be the first time in a number of years I'm with my two sisters, brother and their kids on Labor Day weekend.

First of all, it's 110 in the shade in lovely Chandler, Arizona, where my brother Steve lives, so I doubt there will be a lot of movement. They have a pool and a big cooler and that's all I need. Steve's son, Riley, goes to Arizona State University and plays in the marching band, and there's a football game Saturday night, so we might end up at Sun Devil Stadium.

However, there is another massive dilemma brewing. Also on Saturday night, Louisville is playing Alabama and Michigan is playing Notre Dame. I think it's nice Notre Dame decided to get back to playing Michigan again instead of scheduling another junior varsity team, and it should be a great game.

The problem is that Doug, my sister Kathy's husband, is a massive Louisville fan and their two children were born there. He's going to want to watch his beloved Cardinals get killed by an elephant. I'm going to watch the Michigan game. There will be a huge issue and massive brawl over the remote, or ....

We could go to the cigar bar.

That's right. Chandler has a couple of cigar bars not far away. Steve and I met up in St. Louis last February for a Blues game, and we ended up at an awesome cigar bar not far from the arena. Steve wants to do it again. I'm all for it. I assume they will have both games on and we'll figure out a way to watch them both.

The moral of the story? Smoking can ruin your health, especially if you are a Louisville or Notre Dame fan.

Or maybe we'll just stay home and jump in the pool during the commercials, and flip between the two games. I'm good either way.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Angus pulls a hammy

FLAGS ARE AT half-mast, and then they aren't. Athletes kneel during national anthems. Fires burn out of control in California. Cars are crashing at 48th and Broadway and on 24th by Chaddock.

But let's talk about something really important. Namely, Angus has pulled a hamstring.

This is serious. Angus is part cattle dog and part Corgi. He is short and squat. But he has tremendous leaping ability and his hind quarters are muscled. He keeps up with his adopted brother and sister on our walks, even though Genie and Tucker are much bigger and faster. At least three of my guitar students make sure they bring their parents to lessons, because their parents love Angus and need their Angus time during the week.

This morning, Angus pulled up lame. Normally he can jump right into Sheryl's lap or flop on the couch without issues. Now he can't. He yelped in pain when he brushed up against me. And he's just sort of waddling around, even more waddling than his usual Corgi self.
Angus resting comfortably

"We need to call the vet!" Sheryl says. "He is hurt! He might need surgery!" I might be exaggerating.

Slow down, Mother Of All Doggies. Angus is resting at my feet as we speak and he's not in any apparent distress. This might curtail his incessant demands to play fetch, not a bad thing. He just needs to take it easy and maybe get helped into the Jeep. He'll be fine.

We have experience with sick and injured dogs. Who can forget the insanity of Tucker breaking his leg a few years back? He chewed through more casts than Fleetwood Mac has had band members. And we won't even mention the final bill, which I conveniently never saw. Hush, it's paid, and that's all that matters.

So please be aware that poor Angus is on the DL and won't be able to snatch his toys out of mid-air. He's been prescribed rest and naps and belly rubs, and he'll be just fine.

You can't put a cast on a pulled hammy. Angus would just chew it off, anyway.

Monday, August 27, 2018

We love kids

THIS IS THE time of year when we get a lot of families in Second String Music. It's school band time, so parents are looking at instruments, books and accessories.

We love it. We love kids. We encourage curiosity and we think it's great when a very young person takes an interest in music. It's amazing how last Saturday we had a ton of families in the store and had a great time.

But it only takes one. (Remember that Sheryl has a broken bone in her back while I recount the story.)

We had a mom and dad in the store with their two young children, probably around 4 and 2. We asked if they needed help and they said no. After about 10 minutes of drum supply shopping, the youngest child unfortunately wandered away and ended up by himself in our bass guitar section. When Sheryl saw him trying to lift at $2,000 American Fender bass off the wall, she firmly but politely asked him not to touch the guitar. For one, it's very heavy and the child could have been hurt. For two, well, it's a very expensive instrument.

The 2 year old was startled and ran  all the way across the room to his parents, then started crying. The parents scooped him up and walked out. Then the fun really started.

The mom got on our Facebook page and complained about our rude behavior, and how disrespectful we were, and how she was going to tell everybody she knew what awful people own Second String Music.
Don't let this stuff fall on your child.

"All that needed to be said to my son was “hey buddy don’t touch okay?” And he would’ve listened. You don’t scat a 4 year old out like that! I’m surprised he didn’t knock EVERYTHING over at that point trying to get out of there the as fast as he did. It took me 20 min for me to even calm him down!" she said.

Hmmmm. That's exactly what happened (without the scatting), and he wasn't fine. She later said it was "just unfortunate you don’t like children!"

Sometimes you just can't win, so we've let it go and moved on. But let me say this loudly and clearly and as simply as possible - we love kids, we encourage you to bring your kids to the store and we are thrilled when music hits home at an early age. We do ask that there be parental supervision around all of the dangerously heavy and expensive instruments. It is only common sense, and we'll be glad to help you, too.

Thank you.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Upping our Roland keyboard game

A FEW WEEKS ago we decided to go all in with Roland Pianos at Second String Music. We are stocking quite a few of the amazing Roland keyboards, and you have to play them to appreciate them.

In stock we have the Juno DS-61 ($699), FP-30 ($875 with piano stand/pedals, $699 no stand), RP-501 R ($1,499) and RP-102 BK ($999). These are the same prices you pay online, but we have them here for you to try, plus we assemble the stands and pedalboards for you.

We already sold several, in fact we were waiting to announce these and have them all in stock but kept selling them. It was a challenge to get them all in stock at the same time.

If you buy the RP-501 or RP-102 keyboards by Sept. 15, you get a free iPad Mini. The RPs have Bluetooth and the settings can be controlled by the iPad - Sheryl has been playing them from behind the counter with the iPad Mini they sent the store!

The keys are professionally weighted and there are some very cool sythn sounds, metronomes, percussion and other features. Stacy Taylor of The Cheeseburgers has a Juno and says it washes his dishes for him .... plus makes us sound good!

A reminder to all our friends and students at Vancil Performing Arts that you get 10 percent off, which will save you the sales tax and a few more bucks. Several other piano teachers get this discount for their students too. Just let us know who teaches you piano!

Come see us at Fifth and Maine and play one yourself. We guarantee you will like it.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The guitar addict

HELLO. MY NAME is Rodney. I am a guitar addict. I have too many guitars. And I want more. Please, somebody - help me!

I just counted, and there are 11 guitars. Eleven! That's probably seven or eight too many. Well, six. Fine. FIVE. I'm working on it, people.

I actually sold one not long ago and I would like to sell a couple more. I have five acoustic guitars and six electric guitars. Call me at the store (217 223-8008) for more info. They are priced to sell, believe me.

Don't need it. Really. Honest.
A couple of days ago our Gretsch rep, Dan, came by to check on us and see if we needed anything. Silly, silly Dan! We are getting ready for Christmas, believe it or not, so there are things Second String Music may or may not "need."  But for me, personally, it comes down to the "need versus want" approach. Dan is an enabler and bad for my addiction. This is why I love him so much, of course.

Dan casually mentioned he might have a Charvel guitar or two to demonstrate the next time he swings by. Ugh. Charvel? What average guitars they make, right? No way I could ever want to strum one or two of those. OK, fine, three or four. Dan, bring 'em by the next time you are in town. I make no promises I will buy one or two.

What's that? You might have a deal going on? You might have a demo model you can sell for a lot less than normal?

Dan, Dan, Dan. I don't need another guitar. Let me repeat ... I don't need another guitar. I almost shouted that out in all caps but I'm trying to stay calm.

I especially don't need the new Charvel Pro-Mod DK4 HSH 2PT CM. Right, especially that one. You know, the satin orange guitar with 24 frets, speedy maple neck, a single coil pickup in the middle (all Seymour Duncans of course). Right. That one. Couldn't care less about it, so don't bother to bring it the next time you swing by, unless you just want me to give you my opinion.

Dan, you enabler you. Right to the gut, you punch me. I am powerless to resist, and you know it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Midweek music

TONIGHT AT THE Tap Room in Quincy there's a very cool acoustic show in the Tree House, the back area. Matt Baird of Spoken and Theody are playing, with special guest Nate Charles. It starts at 6 p.m.

This show is organized by Isaac Smith, who moved here from Utah not long ago. He's originally from the Camp Point area and if you are a local musician, you might want to check this show out and introduce yourself to Isaac. We'll have more info later but let's just say he's got a very exciting project fired up in town, and we can't wait to hear more.

Thursday night at Joker's Lounge in Quincy (614 Maine), the skunk will leave the building. That's right - Jim Constantino, one of our more colorful local musicians and characters in town, is having his last performance before moving to Michigan to be with his daughter. It starts at 8:30 and also features Devonte Clarke, Danielle Grassmuck, Darian Wheller and Noah McNally.

Friday we have our final Blues In The District show in Washington Park. At noon Friday, Logan Kammerer will play at our last noon blues show, also in Washington Park.

The Cheeseburgers get going again after more than a month off with a show Friday night in Keokuk for the Big Dam Street Festival. This one is going to be a blast and we always have fun with our Iowa and area friends up there.

As always, support local music and keep rocking, and we'll see you at a venue soon!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Misleading Twitter stuff ....

TWITTER IS BOTH a horrible and fascinating thing. So much anger and venom, yet so much unintentional comedy.

Last night a local reporter tweeted the following: "Quincy City Council members vote 8-6 to open a nightclub at 124 North 5th Street." This caught me by surprise, but actually I like the idea, because aldermen need entertainment, too. I mean, why shouldn't the city have its own bar for late night hours? It's not like there are back alley deals made all the time anyway. Now they can make them in the comfort of their own establishment.

The one thing I can see being a sticking point is letting Green Party people into the bar, but hopefully the city is open-minded enough to be all inclusive.

Wait a second ... you mean the city actually voted to allow a permit for another person? Oh. Never mind.

Also, there was another tweet about a city aldermen resigning because of an Aeronautics Committee meeting issue. This was stunning news and it's disappointing because now the aldermen spot will have to be filled and there will be one less voice heard at council meetings.

Wait a second ... you mean the aldermen resigned as the committee chairman, not as an alderman? What? Of course I didn't read the whole story, why should I do that?

I shouldn't make fun of misleading tweets. I wrote some doozy headlines back in the day, and going through old Alpena News clips last week made me cringe when seeing some of them. GUH. It happens.

And it's a good way to make sure people read the story, not just the headline or Tweet.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Oshkosh, Rod Stewart and Monday mornings

IT'S A FIVE CUPS of coffee kinda Monday morning in the rainy Q-Town ....

- I worked my last Gus Macker tournament of the season over the weekend in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. I love Oshkosh. If I had a million dollars I'd buy a summer place up there - the downtown is vibrant, the river and lake areas are gorgeous, and the locals were complaining about it being really hot on Saturday - 83 degrees and sunny, with no humidity. They have no idea how good they have it ....

Major fun inside this place Sunday with Gus.
- The Oshkosh organizers are awesome and everybody is super friendly. The tournament moved this year to the parking lot next to the brand new Menominee Nation Arena, where the Wisconsin Herd play. The Herd is the NBA D League affiliate of the Milwaukee Bucks. We moved championship games inside to the arena and played on a replica floor of the old Mecca Arena, where the Bucks used to play. Geesh, what a fun time!

- I got home at midnight, and who rolls up behind me but my neighbor, Mike Sorenson. I figured he was shooting another Bad Wolf Media concert. So who was it this time? "Cyndi Lauper and Rod Stewart. They are both still amazing performers," he said. So that's our Calftown Hood - one guy comes home from shooting pictures of rock legends, the other from working for Gus in another far-flung location.

- Sheryl kept herself busy at the store and did a bunch of stuff around the house yesterday, like trimming the Rose of Sharon and cleaning carpets, and entertaining three dogs and a cat. A couple of weeks ago she slipped on our back porch steps and broke two small bones in her vertebrae (L5). There is little she can do except wear a brace and deal with the back pain, unfortunately. Her sleeping is greatly impaired by the pain.

- Believe it or not, the fall prep sports season is upon us, meaning I'm back to work for David Adam and the sports guys at The Whig soon. Already? And kids are back in school? Already? Really? I like Michigan's idea - it's actually a state law that you can't start until after Labor Day, because of the massive summer tourist season.

We are still having our August Sale. Bass players come in and get 10% off bass guitars, bass strings, and bass amplifiers. Really!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Changes downtown

LOTS OF ACTIVITY and changes going on down here ....

- Our friend Kris Kutcher is moving his hair salon business from next door (511 Maine) to the 700 block of Hampshire. Kris sold his building to a local businessman who has big plans for the space. We are really sad to see Kris go - he's been a great neighbor and friend. But it sounds like a good move and we wish him well.

- The old Phoenix Nightclub building a block east of us has new owners with big plans. Another hair place is going in the back of the building, and our tenants, Electric Fountain Brewing, are also leasing space. EFB is not, repeat, NOT, moving from its location in our building. They are expanding and putting in a roaster in the new spot and doing some other things. We love having EFB in our historic bank vault space and we wish them the best as they push upward and onward.

- The Red Light Bar & Grill is opening in the Granite Bank building across the street. There's been a few businesses in there over the years (I really miss the old Washington Perk) and we are ever hopeful this one will be a success.

- Don't forget that tonight is the Summer on 6th event between Maine and Hampshire. The first two were a blast and Noah McNally is the musical entertainment tonight. Let's hope the rain holds off until later and we have another good one on 6th street!

- And lastly, we have some amazing new Roland keyboards in stock and have already sold a few. The Roland RP-102 can be programmed from an i-Pad and you can actually get a free i-Pad if you buy the keyboard from us. Sheryl is playing stuff on it from her spot behind the counter and it's very cool. Come down to Fifth and Maine to check it out!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Cleaning means remembering some of it

I'VE BEEN CLEANING out boxes of stuff looking for my Canadian citizenship card. One of these days I will stumble on it. In the meantime, I have several large garbage bags for stuff I'm throwing away from years gone by.

For some reason I saved a lot of my Alpena News columns and stories. I saved virtually nothing from my days at The Whig, mainly because most of it was archived and most of it (crime and courts) I don't want to relive, anyway.

I found all kinds of documents and photos from the Alpena years, 1989-96. One picture shows me on a baseball field talking to a bunch of kids and coaches. I can't remember the event at all. I'm in a lot  of softball team photos ("Mike's Bar Champs" doesn't ring a bell). Here's Emily in my old office crawling under my desk - now I remember I used to walk her down to the office in the afternoons so she'd fall asleep.

There's a photo of me and Mickey Redmond, the legendary Detroit Red Wings player and announcer, at a charity softball game in Alpena. The Wings came up several times to play golf and softball. One year I was the Alpena Area All Stars manager. I remember some wild nights with Sergei Federov and others, but I don't remember the games at all. I talked to Mickey Redmond? It was pretty cool, even though I don't remember it.

We had three Gus Macker tournaments in Alpena (93, 94, 95). We had 750 teams each year. Geesh! These were the glory days of Gus expanding across the country. I was a member of the Macker Backers in Alpena and they were awesome tournaments. I think. I remember being chased down a street late one Sunday afternoon by a bunch of mad parents after a bitterly contested game I reffed, but that's about it.

I saved the columns but tossed most the game stories, features and previews. I remember a lot of games, but I've forgotten a bunch, too. Apparently my buddy and neighbor, Mike Wojda, coached his Hillman Tigers in a Class D football playoff game. It was in Indian River. There was a lot of snow. Hillman lost on a last-second Hail Mary pass. How can I not remember that? My name is on the story and it's pretty detailed, so I must have been there.

Sometimes you have to read something to jog the memory. Apparently I helped my neighbor, Max Lindsay, put up a basketball hoop for his son Eric and his buddies. I wrote a column about it, and it might be the best column ever. I laughed out loud five times when reading it - now I remember the adventure of putting it up, and Eric looking at it and saying, "Great. Let's play hockey guys!"

It's a trip down memory lane, what little I remember of it. My overall impression is the seven years in Alpena were awesome, and I still miss the little town in Northeast Michigan, if not the nine months of winter.

I have the newspaper clips to prove it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Wacky instruments in stock

EVERY NOW AND then Steve Rees gets busy and cleans out his vast selection of whacky, weird and amazing used instruments. He brought over a bunch of stuff Monday and we are filled with all kinds of cool things.

So, in no order, we have a several banjos, a banjo uke, banjola, Tater Bug mandolin, an Erhu, wooden alto recorders, a crystal flute, a Jackson 8-string electric, an Egyptian instrument called an Oud, cymbals and cymbal stands, gig bags, a crate acoustic amp, a marimba, a xylophone, a gorgeous Pizzacci acoustic with case, and a washboard bass.

Yup. A washboard bass. It's attached to a metal bucket and has a single string on a stick. You tune it by moving the stick back and forth. Its just very ... Steve. 😊

Sheryl has the items up on our Facebook page, but you really need to see some of these to appreciate them.

Long live the Oud and Tater Bug!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Tariffs hit us at Fifth and Maine.

THE INCREASE IN tariffs will be felt everywhere, including Second String Music. We received an ominous email from one of our major suppliers Friday, and it warns that prices are going up after the next round of tariffs later this month.

A lot of retailers are stocking up before the prices rise. We can't do that. We are careful about what we buy and we try to offer internet-friendly prices, as best we can. That being said, expect prices to rise, and significantly rise, as the year wears on.

What really worries us is that suppliers are saying items are out of stock. We have enough trouble getting quality guitars in the store, like our amazing Takamine acoustics. A fresh batch arrived today after many months of delays. The struggle will hit home sooner than you think.

If we can't order stock, we can't stay in business. But hey, we're tough, just like the American farmer. We can take it.

This whole business of "short-term pain, long-term gain" is utter bullshit. I don't believe a word that comes from the White House, and they couldn't care less anyway. I'll stop now.

We are battered by cheaper online sales, sales tax, property taxes, building costs and just trying to pay the mortgage. So what's a minor thing like tariffs going to do?

I'm all about buying American. But we as a country are all about WalMarting our way through life and getting the best deal possible, no matter where items are made. Unfortunately, most are made overseas.

We'll wait and see what happens with tariffs. But be prepared to pay more, and let's hope we can take it. Shop local, small business to ensure your own economy stays as strong as possible in the upcoming and unsure economy. We are bracing for a storm.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Ref shortages

THERE ARE HIGH school football teams in our area moving games from Friday night to Saturdays because there aren't enough officials. That's right - you can't play the game unless you have refs. The Whig broke it down in this excellent article, and it's a tough deal all the way around.

I've often thought about getting registered for hoops and football, even umpiring. My excuses are that I play in four bands, I work at The Whig in the sports department and I like quiet Friday and Saturday nights every now and then. Excuses, I know.

After working for Gus Macker in Burlington, Iowa, this past weekend, it again amazes me the amount of abuse officials take when trying to do their jobs. This was a first-year tournament and the local organizers did an excellent job, but we were shorthanded for court refs, and we scrambled. I ended up doing about a dozen games, and most of them were OK, but a few weren't.

It's not my fault your player elbowed the other player in the throat on the way to the basket, and I called an offensive foul, and you got all bent out of shape and told me I was terrible. I'd advise you to jump in the Mississippi River (it was about 30 yards away) but then you'd get even madder.

What I always say about events like Gus Macker is that 99 percent of the parents and fans get it. But it's that 1 percent causing all the problems. There were a couple of dads coaching 10-year-olds on one court getting way bent out of shape at their kids, and they tried yelling at me a few times, but it was windy and the PA system was really loud and I couldn't hear them, and when they realized I couldn't have cared less about their ranting, they gave up and yelled at their kids instead.

I wonder if this is why we have a lack of high school football officials. You are going to take abuse, no matter what you do or what teams are playing. Is it worth that $70 to get yelled at all night? Sheryl says this is exactly the reason we have a shortage of substitute teachers in the school district....

So the next time you are at a high school football game, and there's a call you don't like, and you start jumping up and down and hollering, stop for one second and think about it.

Nah. Keep yelling. Maybe we'll find enough officials someday to do all the games.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Holy Hairy Cat Chairs, Batman!

WE HAVE A room in the front of Second String Music used for storage - repairs, band instruments, assorted items. There is actually two rooms with a door we leave open.

Behind that door is a chair. It's a nice chair. We have had it ever since we opened the store more than seven years ago. But it's behind the door. So our cat, Fast Eddie, lays in it all the time. Before that, Luckycat Vegas lounged away the music store days in peace and quiet.

This chair, technically, is blue. But it looks white. That's because there's seven years of cat hair layered into the fabric. I have tried cleaning it and pulled out at least seven pillows-worth of cat hair. But I don't have the patience to clean it.

So we have put it on the sidewalk. It's free. We call this a "Calftown Garage Sale" and it's an effective way of finding the chair a new home. We did the same thing for some battered chairs and sofas at the old store.

You'll have to de-fur it. It's doable. It just takes time and patience. And it's a nice chair. Meow and you are welcome.

We'll see how long it lasts on the sidewalk.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Monkees and history

LATELY I'VE BEEN digging The Monkees. It's an utterly fascinating story, four actors cast into a 1960s TV show, lip-syncing one great song after another. The band members didn't play much on the first monster records, but later morphed into creative musicians, and they are still out there, the ones that are left.

I'm using "Last Train To Clarksville" in lessons. Geesh, how come it took me all these years to realize this is a thing of genius? It rolls off the G octave in the riff and the inversions are maddening. It's no surprise the California-based Wrecking Crew played on much of the Monkees music.

The best part is when a younger person gets a charge from a song that is 52 years old. FIFTY TWO. Almost as old as me, and that's pretty bleeping old.

One of my young ukulele students learned it yesterday and said it was "pretty cool," and you can't get much better than that. She asked what the song was about, which led to a short conversation about when it was written, what the country was going through at the time, and the fact it was about a soldier about to embark to Vietnam. "And I don't know if I'm ever coming home ...." It's just a catchy pop song, but it's poignant and the student was fascinated.

Who knew a Monkees song could be used in guitar lessons and to teach history?

It's yet another powerful example of how great music is timeless.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Sidewalk Sale Saturday

THE DISTRICT HAS been approved by the city to have sidewalk sales on Saturdays in August. We think this is a great idea, and I'm already thinking of things to put out there. We have a lot of stock right now and a special on bass guitars and amps (10 percent off this month), so we'll put some stuff out and see what happens.

I have a guitar or five I could sell. Which one, or ones? This Saturday. Fifth and Maine. Be there. I'll have them priced to sell. I have a couple of amps, pedals, and who knows what else I might be able to find. We'll rock starting at 10 a.m. as long as there's shade and the weather is decent.

The city does have ordinances about sidewalks. There are some businesses down here that blur the line, and I can see why the city has rules. On the one hand, it's cool when places like the Tap Room and our own Electric Fountain Brewing put tables out and dress it up - EFB has some nice planters and even a bike rack. But they had to get a special permit for those. It is all about keeping things clean and accessible.

The other night I drove past the new bar on Maine, Joker's Lounge. There were some chairs out and there was a spirited game of bags going on, and I thought it was a great way to advertise the bar.

Other businesses tend to put out .... well, stuff. It makes the sidewalk look a little junky, to be honest. There's a fine line between creating a street vibe and making it look messy and unorganized.

Anyway, come see us Saturday morning, assuming we survived another epic Blues In The District on Friday night. We'll be on the sidewalk for that, as well.

Monday, August 6, 2018

More new Fender stuff

WE GOT MORE new Fender guitars in Friday at Second String Music. It's always fun to open boxes and pull out amazing guitars. The newest members of our family, and I hope they find new homes soon, include a gorgeous blue Telecaster and an American Elite bass. Plus we have a killer deal on a new Tim Armstrong Hellcat acoustic you have to see and play to believe.

We also had a dad who ordered a Classic Series 50s Stratocaster for his son for his birthday. The kid had no idea what was going on when he came in to check guitars out. We suggested he play a couple of guitars for fun, and after he played the 50s Strat he started swooning. I was back in lessons when the father finally broke the news and told his son the guitar was his for his birthday, and Sheryl says it was quite the scene.

Earlier we had a woman come in and buy an acoustic guitar for her granddaughter. Again, it's not how expensive the guitar is, but it's the gift that counts, and the gift of music is a powerful thing indeed.

You can always be good to yourself, too! We can make it happen at Fifth and Maine, and as always, it's an honor and a lot of fun to help give the gift of music.

Sale this month - all bass electric, bass acoustic, bass strings and bass amplifiers are 10% off. That saves you the sales tax and 2% which makes them CHEAPER than the internet! Sale is good through August 31st and applies to in-stock items only.