Guitar Center, Inc. has announced that a new Guitar Center store is set to open this fall, right in the heart of Boston’s Back Bay music education community. Guitar Center has leased the former Daddy’s Junkie Music storefront at 165 Massachusetts Avenue (between Haviland St & S. Germain St), Boston, MA 02115, right across the street from the prestigious Berklee College of Music. This 6,300-square-foot retail environment will be designed to cater to the challenging academic needs of today’s music student, while providing new services to the Boston music community. It will carry a wide assortment of musical accessories and specialized instruments that will enable students and consumers to quickly purchase those “high demand” items at a friendly price point.
“We are excited to move into the heart of the Berklee College of Music campus and near other fine institutions such as New England Conservatory and Boston Conservatory. We look forward to serving such a world class music community,” says Gene Joly, Executive VP of Guitar Center stores. “As a Berklee College of Music alum and former member of the Board of Trustees, I have a feel for the specialized needs of modern music students and faculty. We are committed to tailoring our product and service offerings at our Mass. Ave. location to the needs of this community.”
Guitar Center Massachusetts Avenue will be the ultimate accessories store, with saxophone reeds to upright bass rosin, boutique guitar pedals to hand hammered cymbals, while offering instruments never before carried at neighborhood Guitar Center locations. This storefront will not only have a full time guitar technician as part of GC Garage – Guitar Center’s on-site guitar/stringed instrument repair facility – to better serve stringed clients, but it will also house a full-line rental department, catering to the various rental needs of local musicians, live music venues, houses of worship, hotels and the theater district. Since the new store will only be five blocks away from the already successful Guitar Center location on Boylston Street, the new store is meant to complement and augment the existing Guitar Center, providing a richer and more complete shopping experience.
To spearhead this large endeavor, Guitar Center is also proud to announce Berklee College of Music alum Hirsh Gardner as the project manager. Hirsh is charged with developing this new Guitar Center concept, and, ultimately, to be its store manager. This is a homecoming for Hirsh, as he was the Daddy’s Junky Music store General Manager of this same location for the last ten years of his successful thirty-year plus career in the music instrument industry. Perhaps no one is better suited for this task than Hirsh, who spent many years developing caring and proven relationships with the Berklee College of Music faculty and staff. “I have always felt that being an educator is the key to being successful in our hi-tech music retail environment,” says Gardner. “We served the community on Mass Ave. by educating musicians, students and pros alike, in our fields of expertise. This allowed them to make choices in their purchases that helped further their careers – simply put, we helped people make music. I am thrilled to be here with the great folks at Guitar Center and look forward to contributing again to the musical needs of the Boston music community.”
Berklee College of Music students will also be able to enjoy Guitar Center’s new multi-channel “endless aisle,” which includes multiple combinations of product options to conveniently choose from. Not only does the “endless aisle” include Boston inventory, but it also provides easy access to $400 million in new and used inventory located in hundreds of stores and warehouses across the nation. Customers have the ability to combine a variety of in-store, online and phone options to purchase music equipment from anywhere they may be, allowing for a personalized and convenient shopping experience.
In addition to special programs at the new store, Guitar Center offers nationwide programs designed to highlight the nation’s most promising undiscovered talent, support the global music community and provide musicians with opportunities to get their music heard. Guitar Center’s commitment to unsigned artists runs deep with a full calendar year of diverse programs aimed to enable musicians by providing the opportunity and exposure they need to be successful. Berklee College of Music residents will now be able to participate in these ongoing national events from their hometown:
• Guitar Center On-Stage is an annual competition that provides unsigned artists the chance to open for established artists such as Motley Crue, KISS and Jane’s Addiction.
• Guitar Center Singer-Songwriter is an artist discovery program which aims to find the nation’s best unsigned singer-songwriter. The winner receives a career-altering prize package including recording 3 songs with accomplished GRAMMY® Award-winning Producer John Shanks, recording time at Converse Rubber Tracks studio and $10,000 cash.
• Guitar Center’s Battle of the Blues is a nationwide amateur guitar skills competition with the goal of finding the next great undiscovered blues guitar player. This year’s winner, Jonathon “Boogie” Long, performed alongside GRAMMY-winning guitarist Warren Haynes at the Grand Finals in LA, and won an incredible prize package valued at over $50,000.
• Guitar Center’s Drum-Off, entering its 24th year, is the nationwide search for the next great undiscovered drummer. Drummers from across the nation compete in the world’s largest drum competition, vying for thousands of dollars in prizes and the coveted title of Guitar Center’s Drum-Off Champion. The grand prize package is valued at nearly $50,000.
For more information, visit www.guitarcenter.com.