Guitar Center Ghost Town

K.O.

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Being laid off for the time being (as are many others thanks to covid 19) I happened to venture to the nearest metro area. The point of this trip was to pick up a drum throne that a guitar player I vaguely know (he used to manage the now defunct local Music Go Round) was throwing out but offered to me. Most of it is, in fact, garbage but the actual seat is a 70's Ludwig so of course that warranted the 80 mile round trip to snag it.

Since I was in proximity to the local GC I decided to stop in. It's been a long time since I've bought anything there but you just never know, since the demise of the aforementioned MGR it is the only place in town where something used and cool is likely to turn up (although it never seems to).

The parking lot was completely empty, to the point where I suspected they must have had to close due to a Covid infection, but no, they were in fact open. So I masked up and went inside. I was the only customer in the place. Not totally unexpected in a music store at 11:30 am on a Tuesday morning. But here's the thing...I was the only customer in the place and not one of the working staff so much as made eye contact with me, let alone ask me if I needed any assistance. From the young lady near the front whose job, I assume, is to greet each customer and make sure they have a mask on, but who couldn't tear her eyes off her phone long enough to do either, to the salespeople having a bit of a chat over in the corner. Honestly this was preferable to me. I prefer to just look around on my own and then only engage with the (typically) nitwit staff if I see something I wish to buy or have a question about....but is this any way to run a business? Do I actually look as destitute as I currently am? I even had a Gretsch baseball cap on, surely indicative of someone with money to spend.

Anyway, I didn't see anything that grabbed my fancy and strolled back out the door, totally unimpeded (time was when you had to almost endure a pat down to get out of a GC, especially if you didn't have a purchase for them to inspect) still with no interaction whatsoever during the 15 or so minutes I snooped around. I doubt I'll venture back anytime soon.

If they ever actually do go bankrupt and belly up I doubt I'll miss them much. They did manage to kill off most of the other local music stores though.
 

JDA

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and btw.. a 70s Atlas Ludwig seat is all I "need" for Gigs .

Did you get it? Was it just the top? or the whole Atlas..
 

K.O.

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and btw.. a 70s Atlas Ludwig seat is all I "need" for Gigs .

Did you get it? Was it just the top? or the whole Atlas..
It's the top of a 70s Porta throne. Oval shaped with Ludwig logo embossed into the vinyl. The metal base is some percussion plus garbage in falling apart condition but I needed that seat top :)


In light of the current situation I never expected them to run up and give me a kiss but not even a "need any help" shouted from across the room, or any acknowledgement that I was even in the store. Maybe I'm the ghost ??? Or invisible....woooooo scary stuff.
 

K.O.

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that's rare!! neat!...
I had (and still have) the round version (Timpani throne) that used the regular tripod style legs which I bought new in 1976. This would have been the other option. I do have the metal portion with a seat in poor condition so this works out well.

Here was the picture he sent me on face book with the message "yours if you want it" and of course I did.

127527799_696682941022145_7953436601259906729_n.jpg
 

JDA

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man That' Looks comfy... for a few hours !
Like 3..
Bigger than I thought too from
the old catalog pics..
 

JDA

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if you (could) squish that together it'd probably be the round tops diameter? yes / no..

we'll call that one the 'hip-hugger'..
 

K.O.

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if you (could) squish that together it'd probably be the round tops diameter? yes / no..

we'll call that one the 'hip-hugger'..
I'm not currently ambitious enough to photograph them side by side...but maybe tomorrow. ;)
 
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JDA

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I truly went to a 70s Atlas for gigs..there's wasn't any reason for anything more.
I know a lot could disagree with that..but for the 3 or 4 hours of a gig/job, plus the ease of portability (weight)
I'll take all chances.

Now sitting at home behind a computer and drumset I have a heavy plush beast. But for random gigs the lightweight Atlas goes
 

felis

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Maybe it's a local thing here.
I'm surprised though because you're in IL.
I'm in the snow belt and people want to get out - not 'outside out', but out of the house.

I stopped at GC last Friday and there was a lot of activity.
Stopped at the local MGR yesterday and the lot was full.
I guess most places though, people are staying inside and doing stuff online.
 
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multijd

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I truly went to a 70s Atlas for gigs..there's wasn't any reason for anything more.
I know a lot could disagree with that..but for the 3 or 4 hours of a gig/job, plus the ease of portability (weight)
I'll take all chances.

Now sitting at home behind a computer and drumset I have a heavy plush beast. But for random gigs the lightweight Atlas goes
Its always that balance of “what will work?“/“what do I want to carry?”
 

patrickwitherow

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I had the same thing happen to me once at a very well-known drum shop. Walked in with my wife - saw one, maybe two, people behind the counter looking at their phones or the computer. Not a word from anybody working there. The store is pretty small and we could be seen the whole time easily - so it's not like we went around a corner and they forgot about us. I handled a few snares that I haven't seen in-person and checked out a few of the high dollar kits. Not one person even said 'welcome' or 'hello' or 'can I help you?' This was pre-covid about 2 years ago. I was pretty surprised especially on how they have a presence on YouTube. I'm a huge believer in customer service and that experience really made me not want to go back.
 

Redbeard77

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I mentioned in another thread that I went in to my local (tiny) GC last week and counted at least 5 employees. 3 of them asked me if they could help as I was just browsing. I very rarely go in this store so I was pleasantly surprised after hearing so many stories like that above.
 

Deafmoon

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Alto Music in Middletown, NY...they moved the quick drum accessories, sticks, heads, etc. up front and ask immediately to help you to get you out of the store as fast as possible. I spent only $40 bucks but seriously was looking to spend more in the full drum shop, which they used to have pre-Covid. But, hey it’s just another change to adapt to.
 

Vistalite Black

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Being laid off for the time being (as are many others thanks to covid 19) I happened to venture to the nearest metro area. The point of this trip was to pick up a drum throne that a guitar player I vaguely know (he used to manage the now defunct local Music Go Round) was throwing out but offered to me. Most of it is, in fact, garbage but the actual seat is a 70's Ludwig so of course that warranted the 80 mile round trip to snag it.

Since I was in proximity to the local GC I decided to stop in. It's been a long time since I've bought anything there but you just never know, since the demise of the aforementioned MGR it is the only place in town where something used and cool is likely to turn up (although it never seems to).

The parking lot was completely empty, to the point where I suspected they must have had to close due to a Covid infection, but no, they were in fact open. So I masked up and went inside. I was the only customer in the place. Not totally unexpected in a music store at 11:30 am on a Tuesday morning. But here's the thing...I was the only customer in the place and not one of the working staff so much as made eye contact with me, let alone ask me if I needed any assistance. From the young lady near the front whose job, I assume, is to greet each customer and make sure they have a mask on, but who couldn't tear her eyes off her phone long enough to do either, to the salespeople having a bit of a chat over in the corner. Honestly this was preferable to me. I prefer to just look around on my own and then only engage with the (typically) nitwit staff if I see something I wish to buy or have a question about....but is this any way to run a business? Do I actually look as destitute as I currently am? I even had a Gretsch baseball cap on, surely indicative of someone with money to spend.

Anyway, I didn't see anything that grabbed my fancy and strolled back out the door, totally unimpeded (time was when you had to almost endure a pat down to get out of a GC, especially if you didn't have a purchase for them to inspect) still with no interaction whatsoever during the 15 or so minutes I snooped around. I doubt I'll venture back anytime soon.

If they ever actually do go bankrupt and belly up I doubt I'll miss them much. They did manage to kill off most of the other local music stores though.
You prefer to be left alone and you were is my takeaway.
 

LRod1707

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I was amazed to see a Guitar center commercial on prime time TV yesterday. They are in bankruptcy and still spending big media bucks.
 


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