Music & Sound Retailer June 2021, Vol 38 No 6

Page 36

M I SPY

LOOKING FOR FIRST-CLASS I’m back! Your MI Spy is proud to announce I’m fully vaccinated and ready to go. Since we’ve now entered the brave new world of hybrid work, I may still take a break from the road here and there to conduct virtual visits, but this month, I was excited to get out and visit some stores in person. The Chief was in a good mood and let me pick my assignment for this month, as long as it was somewhere on the east coast. I wanted to choose someplace I haven’t been in a while, so I decided on Delaware, land of beautiful beaches and no sales tax. The First State is also the home of rock ‘n roll guitarist George Thorogood, trumpeter Clifford Brown, jazz pianist Matthew Shipp and, of course, current president Joe Biden. (Even with my MI Spy skills, I couldn’t find any intel about whether President Biden plays an instrument. But rest assured, MI Spy fans: I emailed the White House to ask them before I left for my trip). Delaware is small in size and population, and it doesn’t have a lot of music shops. There are a few high-quality stores that are doing a yeoman’s job of supplying the goods and nurturing the state’s homegrown music scene. However, your MI Spy did encounter a few disappointments during this excursion: I had the addresses for two stores I wanted to visit, and for the love of Pete, they were not there when I drove over! Another store had published an address for itself that turned out to be a UPS drop-off site. And then there was the store whose phone number was out of service. These are not problems your MI Spy was expecting do deal with, especially after guzzling multiple coffees. 36

Guitar Center 5141 Brandywine Parkway Wilmington, DE 19803 302.478.3831

Guitar Center (GC) stores are not all the same. And while GC stores share many similarities (logos, red guitar picks, a variety of instruments at a variety of prices), I have definitely noticed that each individual store has its quirks and its shtick. One humorous gimmick of the Wilmington GC store is its display of broken instruments. The perhaps not-quite-museum-worthy exhibition was hanging up on a wall and consisted of four drum cymbals in various states of wretchedness surrounded by a broken snare drum. (One wonders if Keith Moon committed these offenses years ago.) Non-drummer that I am, I didn’t realize that such horrid things could be done to Zildjian cymbals! But far from being just an eyecatching bit of store decor, this display is actually meant to advertise a Pro Coverage policy that protects one’s investment in drums and gear. Another item that caught my eye was a tantalizing blue Charvel electric guitar, encased behind glass, for sale at the intriguing price of $4,761. Overall, this Guitar Center, like most others, sells a wide variety of electric guitars, new and used, ranging from around $100 to a few thousand. This GC location also had one of the more impressive acoustic guitar and stringed instruments rooms that I’ve come across. It smelled sooooo good and woodsy, even through my mask. Besides guitars, they stocked ukes, mandolins, banjos and dobros. Martin Guitar and Taylor Guitar fans will be especially pleased by the selection here. As for customer service, this GC was solid. As soon as I walked into the store, a young sales rep asked me cheerfully “Can I help JUNE 2021