September 22, 2011 |
It's taken 65 years, but guitar-loving kids are finally being allowed into the candy store. In a move designed to amplify the emotional connection between music fans and iconic instruments created at the Fender guitar factory in Corona, Calif., the company's new chief executive, Larry Thomas, has opened the factory for tours along with a new visitor center he hopes will turn the facility into a major tourist destination. "I'm a musician and a guitar player … so I can relate from the heart and the gut level what Fender is all about," Thomas, the former chairman of the Guitar Center retail chain, said last week during a preview of the new 8,600-square-foot facility where guitar heroes, including Rancid's Tim Armstrong, Guns N' Roses/Loaded guitarist Duff McKagan, Velvet Revolver's Dave Kushner and Rob Zombie associate John 5, poked around various displays.
January 8, 2009 |
It was like Christmas, Easter and the Fourth of July rolled into one drum kit. As soon as Thomas Pridgen saw those glorious, gleaming drums, he knew they were meant for him. Preternaturally self-confident at only 9 years old, Pridgen entered the Guitar Center Drum-Off, and round after round he blew away drummers who were two and three times his age. "I told everybody I knew that I was going to win," Pridgen says. "They asked me, 'What if you don't win?'
January 7, 2008 |
The scene: Guitar Center partied loud for the last round of its nationwide Drum-Off contest at Hollywood's Music Box @ Fonda on Saturday night. Notable thwackers including Joey Castillo (Queens of the Stone Age) and Ray Luzier (Korn) judged the four semipro finalists' solos. Angels & Airwaves, Go Get a Late Pass!!! (featuring the Roots' ?uestlove) and Street Drum Corps rocked full-length performances. A head-scarfed and hyped-up Stephen Perkins, skinsman for Jane's Addiction, emceed.
November 15, 2007
Nipper was barely toddling when I learned that kiddie thrills don't come at expensive theme parks. Looking to buy a hummingbird feeder at Lowe's, we emerged from a long aisle and Nipper's head dropped back in awe. He pointed and shrieked at the dozens of shiny new ceiling fans spinning wa-a-a-a-ay above us. When he stayed enthralled for a full 15 minutes, I knew I was onto something.
August 8, 2007 |
Guitar Center Inc. said second-quarter net income fell 29% as sales missed expectations and the company took acquisition-related charges. Quarterly profit fell to $9.6 million, or 32 cents a share, from $13.4 million, or 47 cents, a year earlier. Revenue rose 13% to $518.9 million. Results include 6 cents a share in costs related to the company's takeover. Westlake Village-based Guitar Center is being acquired by Bain Capital Partners in a deal expected to close in the fourth quarter.
June 28, 2007 |
Guitar Center Inc., which opened its first store in Hollywood almost half a century ago and expanded to become the largest purveyor of musical instruments in the U.S., is being acquired for $2.1 billion. Bain Capital Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm that holds major stakes in a range of companies including Warner Music Group Corp., Toys R Us Inc. and Burger King Holdings Inc., is expected to take Guitar Center private if the acquisition goes through as planned by the end of the year.