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Here's a brief hisotry of how Guitar Hospital developed.
Back in 1972, our first shop was called: The Guitar Shop. Its was located on Griffin Road & I-95 in Dania, Florida and took off like a jet. We were a retail sales shop and repair shop and the first small shop to carry the Ibanez guitars when Ibanez first came out strong with the perfect clones of the Gibson and Fender guitars. Those guitars today are known as the lawsuit guitars and they were unbelieveable and affordable.
Most of the shops in those days were mom/pop stores like M.A.E., Broward Music (now Schumacher's Music in Stuart, FL), and Modern Music in Ft. Laud. There were no big box retailers.
From 1972 through approximately 1980, I tenured with master luthier G.L. Stiles in Hialeah, FL and Gibson's warranty service station under Dell Staton in W. Hollywood, FL. During those years Dell Staton took me in as a student, apprentice, treated me like a son, and sent me to sabbatical at the original Gibson Kalamazoo Factory.
It was good times and noodle salad in those yesteryears. Lots was happening, for example, Ace music was the happening music store, Vince Bredice was the guru teacher, Joe Diorio and Sid Jacobs were locals as was Billy Burke, Bob Herzog, Jaco Pastorius, Stan Samole, Mike Gerber, Mike Gillis, Ira Sullivan, Pat Methany, and Joe Donato just to name a few of my acquaintances and school chums from Ft. Laud H.S. (The Flying L's) and Univ. of Miami School of music.
As I progressed in my aprrenticeship Dell Staton got me into BJC to get an A.A. in Music and then on to the Univ. of Miami School of Music summer program(s). My Guitar Shop partner took over the Guitar Shop while schooling and family illness took over my time.
Fast forward to 2003, the Guitar Shop (long gone) came back after many years as Delray Music located just off of I-95 and Linton Blvd. Again we split the store into half retail (limited) and a full repair service. We began servicing several local music stores regarding repairs. We would pickup and deliver guitars to the stores, but never had contact with owners.
In year 2004, we were contacted by Guitar Center and we traveled up to West Palm Beach at Okkeechobee Blvd., and entered an agreement to take a kiosk at the Guitar Center store exclusively. So we discontinued services to other music stores and closed our Delray location and went full-time with the Guitar Center.
Our contract ended with Guitar Center after 6 sucessful years as Guitar Center began eliminating qualified repair and shop services for over the counter services only.
Accordingly, we returned to Delray Beach, FL at a new location (see: MapQuest). We are excited in returning to a small intimate repair shop environment to accomodate the needs and desires of guitar owners, players, collectors, hobbyists, and professionals.
Our new shop is small, intimate, and will not be in the retail business so we can focus exclusively on repairs, restorations, and warranty services. We think this is the services a majority of people want as opposed to the retail music store environment that is limited and more focused on sales rather then services.
So that's a brief soundbyte of today(s) Guitar Hospital. We hope to see you all at our new location In Delray, FL in the Mark Plaza: 235 N.E. 6th Ave (same as U.S. 1 North) Unit G. Remember to check the MapQuest for directions.