Many of us guitar players love checking out our local Guitar Centers because we can actually plug in and play through the gear that’s on display. It’s like a safe-haven from all things not rock ‘n’ roll. Some of us, on the other hand, hate it, because Guitar Center also has a knack for being a safe haven from school for metal-head kids, and they seem to really love turning up those Line 6 Spider amps to 11 when they’re practicing their 80s Metallica riffs over and over and over…
But the Hollywood Guitar Center is a whole different place. Sort of.
It’s still full of the lads in leather on the main floor, mostly from Hollywood High School just a few blocks away or the dregs of Sunset Blvd, but GC Hollywood has a few things about it that make it more of a gear landmark for connoisseurs than the typical GC.
First, it’s got a few secret rooms tucked away for the real customers: a “platinum room” showcases the finest in new custom shop guitars and rare collectibles. Tons of Fender Relics are on display, and many rare signature pieces such as the Jeff Beck Esquire or the Stevie Ray Vaughn Lenny guitar will show up back there regularly.
Secondly, you’ve got the vintage room—one of the largest collections of vintage guitars and amps you’ll find in the world… and they’re sticklers for either authenticity, or just outstanding player vibe.
Lastly, you’ve got the Rockwalk. Just like your favorite actors have their own stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame a few blocks away, the Rockwalk showcases handprints from rock stars that have been inducted into the Sunset Blvd honor roll, 3D face sculptures of those who were posthumously inducted, and a museum that contains some actual memorabilia donations from local rockers.
Want to see Peter Criss’ first snare drum? A t-shirt Kurt Cobain may have drooled on? How about Bo Diddley’s custom Fender Strat with built in drum machine? Stuff Alice Cooper wore on stage?
Trust us—the smells have been removed from all rock star clothing.
Oh, and FYI George Martin has the most giant hands of any human being to ever walk the Earth. Next time you think your hands are too clunky to play guitar, think again—George has his own signature Martin acoustic guitar, and it’s an orchestra body. Go figure.