Musicians Need Help More Than Ever!
by John Huston
Austin is the live music capital of the world
It seems as if this phrase has been around since the dawn of time, but will it endure the test of time? It seems there’s not a single night in this great city where you can’t go more than a stone’s throw away and hear live music in the distance. It’s part of the history here in Austin. So many great musicians had their start in Austin:
Stevie Ray Vaughan
This is just skimming the surface. Before there was ever a Guitar Center there were little shops that these individuals could walk into and hold an instrument for the very first time and strike the first chord that led them down the path to fame. There seem to be fewer and fewer of these little “hole in the wall” type music shops. The option to walk into a store and play an instrument that is way out of your price range, and put it back on the shelf and leave motivated to save your money seems to be fading. The very likely dissolve of Guitar Centers around the country, just might be the end of this nostalgic dream.
It happened quicker than we expected
In 2007, Guitar Center was bought out by Bain Capital, now known as Ares Capital. You might remember hearing this company name because Mitt Romney used to be the C.E.O. before he ran for president in 2008. We all know that it’s a cut throat world in the game of capitalism, but there is a certain satisfaction to tangibly examine your items and in the case of musicians, to play them. However, more and more Americans are choosing to shop online. I’m just as guilty as the rest of you on this one, but I’m not prepared to see this happen to music retail. I just find it hard to believe that there is a reasonable future for music retail. It’s a sad state of affairs for the future of musicians in Austin, and the rest of the country.
Here’s my question for you all: