“It’s easy to see the benefits of a good Web site,” states Jeanne Oster of Guitar Stop in Cambridge, Mass. “I was paying $85 a month for three lines in the Yellow Pages. Now for just a few dollars I have 500 pages available online 24/7, and I can change things any time I want.”
In our last issue (July), MMR explored the opportunities presented – for both retailers and consumers – by replacement guitar cabinet speakers. It was noted that the tonal variations and potential for “customizing” that speakers offer are today being recognized in much the same manner which lead aftermarket pickups to first become a hot commodity back in the ‘70s. With that in mind, we decided to take the pulse of the pickup market in 2010 – what’s new, what’s popular, what’s the appeal for both MI storeowners and end-users?
“I used to think the whole ‘Mom and Pop’ set up was a bad thing,” says Gary Forkum. “But I don’t any more.” Fork’s Drum Closet is nestled in funky downtown neighborhood of Music City U.S.A. (that’s Nashville to you). On the one hand, it is made up of what has made the MI industry great: Mom and dad, bro and sis, working in (mostly) harmony. On the other hand, an early embrace of the Internet, including selling on it, coupled with an aggressive marketing and promotion and a willingness to try new things sets it apart from the cliché.
“Ever since I can remember I was surrounded with some sort of music,” Grayson Zeagler recalls. “My grandmother and then my mother were piano teachers.” His mother tells him that as a youngster he frequently “marched” around the back yard with the old marching snare drum … for hours.
Founded in 1970 by John Connolly, Jr. (originally as “Connolly & Co., Inc.”), Connolly Music Company is now celebrating its 40th Anniversary. Best known for distributing such brands as Thomastik-Infeld and König & Meyer, the company remains a family owned enterprise, with John’s son Jake now at the helm.