New GC Opens at Former Daddy’s Location Opposite Berklee
This Saturday (December 1), Guitar Center will celebrate the Grand Opening of its newest location, at 165 Massachusetts Avenue in Boston.
Situated at the former longtime address of one of Daddy’s Junky Music’s busiest retail outlets, the new store is in close proximity to Berklee College of Music, as well as both the New England and Boston Conservatories. The closing of the entire Daddy’s chain last year, as well as the departure of other longstanding MI storefronts in the area in previous years (EU Wurlitzer, Cambridge Music Center, Jack’s Drum Shop, LaSalle Music) had left the neighborhood – home to thousands of music students, performers, and educators – which had once been teeming with music shops, relatively barren.
On Thursday, MMR visited the almost-ready-to-open store to speak with the staff and get a preview of what this new location will be all about.
“This store is very specifically, uniquely tailored to the musicians in this area,” notes Hirsh Gardner, former manager of Daddy’s at 165 Mass. Ave. and current general manager of the new GC (and a Berklee alum, himself). “You’ll find things here that you won’t find at a ‘typical’ Guitar Center, because we need to serve the folks at Berklee and the Conservatory – not to mention the performers at the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Pops just down the street.”
A gleaming display case full of a wide range of mouthpieces, the numerous mid- to high-end archtop guitars on the wall, and the exhaustive array of microphones (including some very specialized – and expensive – models) back up Gardner’s assertion.
“You wouldn’t find a lot of these microphones in most stores,” says Director of Store Openings for Guitar Center Michael Carrillo. Of course, most MI operations aren’t directly across the street from Berklee’s acclaimed Music Production & Engineering Department.
But the differences that set apart this new Guitar Center don’t stop and start with inventory, alone. “This is one of only two Guitar Centers in the country that houses a full line rental department,” Carrillo continues. Rentals will cater to the needs of the area’s students, of course, but also local musicians, hotels, venues, and Boston’s vibrant Theatre District. GC Garage – an expansive on-site repair facility – is yet another offering that makes the new location distinct.
“We’re aiming to provide the most complete customer service to musicians in this area,” Garnder says. “Back in the ’70s and ’80s, that’s how all the great music stores in this neighborhood operated and we’re hoping to continue that tradition.”
“We’re here to help people make music in any way we can,” Carrillo adds. “It’s really as simple as that.”
The new location is now the second Boston store for GC, with the other (larger) outlet in the nearby Fenway neighborhood of the city.