On 8th March 2020, Luke Holwerda, Jon Underhill and I visited Guitar Center’s Hollywood store on 7425 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles during our short road trip after Luke’s inaugural USA Red Special meetup in his home city of Phoenix, AZ. The value of the opportunity we took was only fully realised around a month later when the Covid-19 global pandemic adversely affected international travel and tourism.
Along with Norman’s Rare Guitars on Ventura Boulevard, Tarzana, Guitar Center in Hollywood should be on every guitar player’s pilgrimage route but we only had time in our limited schedule to visit one of these stores and get an evening meal. We started our visit by checking out the handprints of various famous guitar players set into the sidewalk outside the main entrance. As you can see from the pictures, my guitarist chromosomes consist of three quarters blues and one quarter Queen. I think there’s a few rogue DNA strands of progressive rock in there too.
“Founded in 1985, Guitar Center’s RockWalk is an industry-recognized music landmark and pedestrian path located at the entrance of our flagship store on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard. RockWalk is dedicated to honoring musicians and musical pioneers who have made a significant and lasting creative contribution to the growth and evolution of music through their exceptional level of talent, outstanding innovation or creative ingenuity with their chosen instrument(s).“
Guitar Center’s Hollywood store also has a display of memorabilia such as the late Eddie van Halen’s homemade red Kramer guitar, Stevie Ray Vaughan’s denim jacket, Keith Moon’s drum kit, and platform boots from KISS. A guitar store wouldn’t be a guitar store without a bunch of talented kids occupying the aisles shredding away testing their preferred gear. They have a wall of effects which is only slightly larger than Luke’s own pedalboard but the highlight was the core of the premises which contains rare and high end guitars and amplifiers.