...or I went to guitar Nirvana and all I got was a Tee Shirt!
Living on the far side of the middle of now where... Every once in a while we hitch up the buck board and go to TOWN. This time it was to the Ontario Mall for Mom and Daughter to do a little shopping. So after walking around the mall toting bags, I get the green light to go stuff the bags in the truck and the wife says ” we’ll be a couple of hours more why don’t you go to a guitar shop?” You don’t have to tell me twice! I hot footed back to the truck and picked up the phone to call Wild West... I’d see the website and Doug Diamond’s posts from time to time, I wanted to see the “shop”!
I had no idea...
It was late Saturday afternoon, I wasn’t sure if they were even open. My impression of them now is they are a "hybrid" – online shop /brick and mortar guitar concierge / Private Venue.
Doug answered the phone when I called and explained they were not really open but invited me down anyway... I get there and he lets me in....
As soon as you step in you know this is different! Fine art prints on the wall, separate rooms for each family of guitars. We walked down the hall and he took me in the PRS Private Stock room. WOW something like 15 fantastic PS’s just hanging out and a couple of PRS amps to try them. There was a Charcoal and whip cream single cut that I would have loved to have taken on the spot...but I like being married! Even the Bird inlays on it were breathtaking! Paula birds? What ever they were, they were just fantastic against the dark chocolate of the Braz Fret board. It was the first time I had touched a Rosewood neck, now I understand the attraction, the feel is fantastic!
The rest of the time is sort of blur – complete sensory over load. I told Doug “ In know how my Pointer feels when there are birds EVERYWHERE!”. Then he steps across the hall and opens a door to another room - it’s racks of cases - NOT EMPTY cases mind you – another room of PS guitars in cases! He pulls one or two to show me. I’ve been on the hunt for an FBJ DGT or Paul’s guitar. He pulls a PS case and says “We just got this and it’s not up on the web yet”. OMG – Private Stock Faded Blue Jean flame top! Completely out of my price range but a beauty none the less. Then we checked out some “Regular” PRSi too, in their own room of course.
Then we walk to the back of the building. Doug pauses at the next door – “they maybe filming” – I nod - “I’ll be quiet”. As I think to myself “Stop saying WOW and giggling”...He opens the door and there is a fantastic STAGE and huge room – all decorated and set up like a bar bands dream venue. WOW!!! (doh!!! Shushhhh) The stage is elevated about 4 feet, big enough for the Stones to run around on, big lighting Trusses – TOTAL PRO setup. Several Bars, a loft -”The Voodoo Lounge” INDEED!!
We chatted for a while and figured out we’d met before at his previous day gig and had some acquaintances in common. It was more like hanging out with a friend with a really cool guitars for sale than going to a shop. Very cool experience. Always nice to put a real face with somebody you’ve only “met” online.
The time flew past and I knew I needed to get back to the family. I didn’t find a guitar to go home, THIS TIME, but I did get a T-shirt!
This is not a “guitar shop” -> this is a whole ‘nother level. And a great destination for any guitar player, lover of guitars or guitars as art!