Musical Adventures and Guitar Shopping In ... London!

Discussion in 'Musicians' started by Willybomb, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. Willybomb

    Willybomb Member

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    Gudday all. I threatened this thread earlier, but have generally not been bothered to post it yet.

    I found myself with Wilba and the kids in London. We did all the touristy things (jumped on the big bus tour - very good - stonehenge, tower of London, ect) and we went on the Beatles walk. During the process I asked our guide where to find the music shops in London and he just laughed at me.

    Anyway, the walk covered all sorts of things:
    The Apple building where the Beatles played together for the last time in public:
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    Paul McCartney's headquarters/office/flat. Notice that the lights upstairs are on, you can sorta see the gold records through the 2nd floor windows if you squint enough, and Sir Paul played in Hyde park the day before - so he might have been home (although, it may have been his cleaner. Who knows:
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    Jimmy Page held auditions for Led Zep in the basement of this building:
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    Trident studios. How many classic songs can one place record?
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    Ronnie Scott's - where Hendrix played the night he died:
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    Denmark St, London. It has the highest concentration of music shops in London. The Sex Pistols lived in Denmark Place, a little lane parallel to this street.

    It does seem though that after talking one of the staff in one of the shops, that most of the shops are owned by one group/company, which is a bit of a shame. But, it's still a cool street with shops specifically dedicated to sheet music, acoustics, bass, brass, guitars and drums.

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    We didn't have time to actually check out the shops properly that day, so the day we were to leave we dropped by in the morning and checked out the shops. The only problem was we got there at 9.30am, just to find that nothing in England opens before 10-11am.

    Here's some random guitar pics from inside the shops:
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    Thinline Tele
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    Holo Tele!
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    Too many Voxes
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    Random Spooty style thing
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    Boooteeeq pedals. I eventually brought a Blackstar HT-Dual from this place for 129pounds, about AU$221. They wouldn't do a discount for cash though. Runs great with a UK->AU adapter.
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    I have other pics that didn't turn out well due to the light in the room/camera settings/shakey hands, but the highlights are:

    - A lefty (!?) Brian May Red Special
    - A vintage Yamaha Pacifica (in metallic silver) before the line was neutered into a beginners budget guitar. That is to say, it has HSH dimarzio pickups, 24frets, AANJ in the yamaha style (not the Ibanez version), and a floyd.
    - Rooms full of SGs, LPs, PRSs and other guitars I would have to sell a kidney for.

    One last pic to finish it. THE crossing at Abbey Road.
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    Willy.
     
  2. BigandY

    BigandY Member

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    thread title says "shopping", i demand pics of purchases
     
  3. Roj X Mugwump

    Roj X Mugwump Member

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    I was there a few years ago - did / found most of the same places... the one glaring omission of yours is seeing where hendrix lived (23 Brook Street)

    The missus still thinks that I planned "finding" denmark st... honest i didn't!
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Willybomb

    Willybomb Member

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    Fairly unexciting purchases. I found that the UK prices were much lower after conversion to AU (AU$8 new release paperbacks anyone? AU$10 screen printed t-shirts) for pretty much everything except food - that was about 2x.

    But here are some of the things I grabbed from Denmark st. Basically, some reference books I can use for work so I can claim bits/some/all of the trip as a business expense. One of the beginner kids books isn't there because I was using it today. The little black books were 10 pounds each (AU$17). They retail at ~AU$25 here.

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    The big thing was the Blackstar HT-Dual. I got this for 129pounds, roughly AU$221, so I saved a bit over the $349 they retail for here even accounting for the UK->AU adapter.

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    Sounds great. I like the emulated 4x12 output straight into the computer through the yorkville monitors a lot, possibly more than I like it running through the valvestate 2x12.

    Willy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
  5. MonoJoker

    MonoJoker Member

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    Sadly despite spending a lot of time in London including living there I wasn't a guitar player at that time. Therefore I never got to visit any guitar shops :(

    However we did do the Abbey Rd "thing" - I guess everybody does and visited Buck Pal on the weekend after George died. As a result the Queen's guard band played George's Beatles' songs instead of the normal ensemble - was pretty moving stuff.

    Sounds like you had a good time Willy, great pics :thumbup: The Holo-Tele reminds me of your attention whore :)
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Willybomb

    Willybomb Member

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    Abbey road, what a funny place to go. Every man and his dog was trying to recreate the cover but the thing is, while there's a pedestrian crossing there, it's actually a REALLY busy st... some irate driver is likely to get out and brain you for holding it all up.
     
  7. MonoJoker

    MonoJoker Member

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    LOL not sure why but when we went it was very quiet traffic-wise. Again it was the same weekend George had died and they had a single candle in the window and there was hardly anyone around with (as I say) bugger all cars. Just lucky I guess - bearing in mind it was 2001...

    Cheers
    LT.
     
  8. splbound

    splbound Member

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    Denmark St is great for browsing... I head there to browse one in a while, always some interesting guitars to see there.

    I have been inside Ronnie's one night to see some live acts. The venue is awsome. That place does have a bit history to it!

    Looking at the area through your eyes... sure makes me feel like I take the place for granted!
     
  9. DJ Fusion

    DJ Fusion Member

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    That's a bloody lovely bit of kit! :thumbup:
     
  10. OP
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    Willybomb

    Willybomb Member

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    Yeah, I have to agree there. It's built like a tank, and sounds shit hot. Artificial harmonics are as easy as with it. What I do like about it though, is that even with the gain up full, it doesn't sound over the top in any way - everything is still clear and defined.
     

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