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Haight Ashbury Music Center Closing

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Robert H., Sep 12, 2019.

  1. Robert H.

    Robert H. Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    A sad sign of our digital times, the venerable music store is about to shut its doors after 47 years (opened in 1972). Countless famous and not-so-famous musicians have wondered the isles and shopped for all things guitar and other instruments. For those nearby, there are some great deals on the remaining stock of instruments, amps, and other gear ( like a new Blues Cube Stage amp for about $575 ).
    Going to miss this musical instrument institution.
     
  2. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I'm surprised that they still exist. Wow. A sad day for a survivor indeed.
     
  3. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    yeah, sad ain't it?
     
  4. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    Does that mean that Gelb Music in Redwood City is closing too, because I was told that Kevin Jarvis, the longtime owner, sold it to the owner of Haight Ashbury Music when he retired. I got my first electric guitar there, a Daphne Blue Mustang, along with a BF Vibro Champ, for Christmas in 1965, and I bought literally dozens of guitars, amps, and effects from Kevin after he bought the place from Mr. Gelb.
    We used to ride our bikes down to Gelb and drool over all the Jaguars, Jazzmasters, Strats, Teles, and BF amps, and also to Mickey Hart's (yes, that Mickey Hart) Drum City in San Carlos, 'cause he had Gretsch, Rickenbacker, and Standell amps, as well as other cool stuff. Those places were as cool to us kids as the Chevy dealer with Stingrays, or the Jaguar dealer with XKEs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  5. jannodude

    jannodude Tele-Afflicted

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    Interesting.. I wonder why.

    Edit: Found this article
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.sf...t-Ashbury-music-store-is-closing-14284993.php


    "The demographic of San Francisco has changed a lot," Badakhshan explained. "A lot of our customers have moved out because the tech people have moved in and they can't afford it here anymore. Tech people don't seem to support local businesses — they like buying everything online."
     
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  6. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    After reading the google article that jannodude posted, I see that Gelb is staying open. I'm glad, because it's the coolest music store on the Peninsula IMO. At least it was when Kevin owned it. He was a real pioneer, and Gelb was the first store I ever encountered that sold at less than list price. And he was one of the first PRS and Tom Anderson dealers, as well as many other now well known brands.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
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  7. Toast

    Toast Tele-Afflicted

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    I moved out because I couldn't afford it, but it was the right time to move out. The hordes of tech employees, myself included in the early days, changed the character of the city. It became less and less interesting to live there as time went by. Now I find SF more of a hassle than anything else. Ocean Beach still pumps when the right swell rolls through though.
     
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  8. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    We have small stores scattered over our small country , but not many
    Our population is not quite 6 million people , and I doubt there is more than 50 small independent stores left.
    The biggest national chain , just cut back to one store , Copenhagen only now.
    I just looked for some stuff online.
    As usual , I went to the Thomann ( German ) site.
    We have a small store in town.
    I never buy anything there, everything is dusty , and the prices are up to triple compared to online.
     
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  9. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    BEST Music in Oakland closed after 80(?!) years in 2013. Whenever I would get off BART i'd make a point to stop in & buy something or take a look around. I worked for Leo's for a short while too, also gone. I can think back to all the great music oriented jobs I had in the East Bay & everything is closed. Last I was up there Telegraph Ave was a ghost town. Just sad.
     
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  10. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

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    Air B&B is another that is killing the City. they can't get approval to do an actual hotel so they buy up the affordable housing (such as it is), evict the tenants, and rent as Air B&B... a defacto hotel
     
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  11. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    Here's how to make a bunch of money in musical instruments today. Go to your venture capital guy, you went to school with his son at Stanford. Pitch him your idea of "Uber, but with musical instruments!". Bring in millions in cash to burn through (ie, spend it buying your patents from yourself). Hire some cheap offshore contractors to put together a website. Go out of business. Rinse. Repeat.
     
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  12. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Wow, that's the store where I bought my first quality guitar. 1991. 70s Les Paul Custom, black, gold hardware. $600 for that gorgeous rock and roll beast.
    That's really sad but I'm actually more surprised it's still around. Does the Haight still have that feeling of the land that time forgot, where it's still 1968 for about 6 city blocks? I would imagine it's all gone fancy hipster - $12 organic popsicles, steam bath yoga studios.
     
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  13. Smoky Booroo

    Smoky Booroo Tele-Meister

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    At the risk of sounding like a cliche, San Francisco isn't what it used to be. When I lived there 20 years ago (even then it had all the dotcom troubles), there were still a lot of artists and just cool people doing their thing. There were interesting and unique small businesses. It's interesting when I go in with my kids now; there aren't that many families in the neighborhoods. It really does feel like a different place. Young and professional. I could see how a business like that just wouldn't make it.
     
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  14. Toast

    Toast Tele-Afflicted

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    A city of expensive dormitories.
     
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  15. L.A. Mike

    L.A. Mike Tele-Afflicted

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    Haight Ashbury has been gone for 49 years in my opinion. It is just a museum of sorts now, some kind of oddity for tourists to visit and photograph.
    I volunteered at the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic back in 68/69 and I helped The Diggers collect food to serve at the communal kitchens, which was just a trendy name for a soup kitchen. That was hard. Lots of kids came in who'd ran away from home, gone to S.F. to "wear flowers in their hair" and join the Hippy movement and experience Peace and Love..
    Instead, they found themselves sleeping in crash pads, being hungry all the time, catching a venereal disease, maybe od'ing, getting pregnant, all kinds of neat stuff!
    I do miss Prune Music. That's where the 60s SF band members hung out. Lots of great jams.
     
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  16. P Thought

    P Thought Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I haven't been to San Francisco in a very long time. It used to be a favorite trip for me. It sounds like the city's lost its "cool". I'm sorry to hear that.
     
  17. Snfoilhat

    Snfoilhat Tele-Afflicted

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    If all the tech companies immediately offshored and the Haight was filled with TDPRIers beamed in from the heartland, a brick-and-mortar retail music instrument shop in one of the most expensive cities in the world would still struggle.

    Still, I'm proposing we try the experiment

    Also, it's so easy to blame the customers, it fits into these narratives everyone everyone carries around about how things have changed, and people aren't what they used to be...

    It's the landlords.
     
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  18. monkeybanana

    monkeybanana Tele-Holic

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    mmhmm
    I just realized my mom bought my first guitar for me there 19 years ago.

    Too bad there are fewer and fewer specific shops of anything these days. I still have one newstand on my street. Better enjoy the good things while we can.
     
  19. raysachs

    raysachs Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I'm obviously not as close to it as you are/were, but it seems to me Haight Ashbury was only the Haight, as we commonly think of it, through 1967. Once the Summer of Love happened, and maybe more importantly, was widely publicized, all sorts of temporary and permanent tourists moved in and a lot of the people responsible for it being what it was saw the insanity and booked out of there. That's when the Dead moved out of 610 and all found places up north of the city. I agree with you, but my clock I'd say it's 51 years rather than 49. But I wasn't there, maybe it held onto some vestiges of itself for another couple of years? I was never there until '76, and by then it was already a museum, probably even more of one than it is now. When I was last in the Bay Area about 5-6 years ago, it seemed kind of like a real neighborhood again, although a completely different one than it was back in the mid-60s, obviously. And, yeah, there are stupid signs on a billboard still trying to harken back, but they're just bad cartoons.

    But still sad to see this place close. I was watching a snipped of a movie on YouTube recently about Julian Lage when he was an 8 year old prodigy and he was talking about how after he finished his day at "the conservatory", his Dad would take him over to Haight Ashbury Music and he would check out all of the instruments and the sheet music. And, I don't know, did they sell records and stuff too? He was an adorable kid and, good GOD what a talent!?!? So, if this place helped spawn THAT, it did it's job...
     
  20. L.A. Mike

    L.A. Mike Tele-Afflicted

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    That's why I said "in my opinion" in the post. Lots of people see it different ways. For me, '69 was when the whole area became a disaster scene and turned ugly. After that, I tried to avoid that area. There was no reason for me to go there (other than the volunteer work I did) unless I wanted to score dope, pickup a teenager turned addict/prostitute, or get mugged. None of which I was interested in. There were lots of other places in the city that I spent time in.
    I first went up to SF (grew up in Los Angeles) without my parents in '67. My best friend's uncle live in Sausalito so we'd stay there.
    Lots of people say '67 was the best year for SF. I don't know about that. I do know it was never Nirvana or a utopia. The Haight area was interesting then because it was transitioning from hipsters and beatniks to Hippys. I don't know or care who started adding the Ashbury part to the area, maybe it was just to identify the corner when giving directions.
    My friend and I were up there a lot (when not in school) to enjoy the live music and play when we could. We were fortunate to have a great place to stay. I am still amazed at the number of local and touring acts I saw there. Sure, there were lots of things going on in L.A. at the time, but nothing like SF.
     
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