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THE CREW

Pittsburgh Guitars is a music store that's staffed by musicians. We understand your love of music, especially guitars, and we're here to help, show, teach, or just talk about guitars and gear with you. We know guitars!

Pittsburgh Guitars Owner, John

 

John
John acquired his first REAL guitar at the age of 10. It was a Stella acoustic that his parents bought from a neighbor for $25. With money saved from his first job (working at a clothing store while in high school) he bought a `76 Gibson Les Paul at Pittsburgh Guitars in 1979, one of the first of many guitars to be purchased at the store. After being employed in robotics and industrial sales he decided it was time to work in a field he felt more passionate about, and started working at the store in 2002. When Carl decided to retire at the end of 2011, John became the new proprietor of Pittsburgh Guitars.
 
Current Band: The Elliotts
Name of First Band: The Metal Rainbow
First Live Gig:  Carrick High Talent Show--I played my `76 Les Paul through an Ampeg V4 full stack. Thought that it would be cool to turn the amp to 10. I was wrong....
Main Live Rig: Epiphone Casino through Vox AC15
Favorite Bands: Beatles, Zeppelin, Badfinger, Tom Petty, XTC, The Jam, Crowded House, The Church, The Kinks, Neil Young, Big Star
Musician would most like to Meet: Jimmy Page
First Concert: Aerosmith with Golden Earing
First Car: 1976 Pontiac Grand Prix. It was $900.
Humor Influences: Monty Python, King Of Queens, The Office, Austin Powers, Peter Sellers
Who Would Play Him in a Movie: John Cusack mainly because of High Fidelity
Play The Kevin Bacon Game: Nick Nolte shopped at Pittsburgh Guitars, Nick Nolte is in Cape Fear with Robert DeNiro, Robert DeNiro is in Sleepers with Kevin Bacon
Visit John on Facebook
Pittsburgh Guitars Staff, Scott

Scott
Scott got his first guitar (an Airline archtop) as a junior high school student in Ft. Worth, Texas. Influenced by The Beatles and the rest of the British Invasion as well as the Beach Boys, he sold his comic book collection to buy his first electric guitar. After moving to Pennsylvania, he switched to bass (a Hofner Beatle Bass). Not destined for the corporate world after graduating from college, Scott began repairing guitars to supplement his musician's pay. The rest, as they say, is history.

Name of Current Band: The Elliotts
Name of First Band: Raspberry Jam
Live Rig: GK 800RB & 410 cabinet/ Rickenbacker 4001
Favorite Bands: The Beatles, ZZ Top, the list is long
Or Musical Influences: I like good songs by anyone
Humor Influences: Monty Python
Musician I Would Most Like to Meet: Billy Gibbons- love the attitude
First Concert: Yardbirds w/ Jeff Beck
First Car: 1961 Chevy station wagon
Favorite Beer: There's so many--what day is it?
Favorite Food: Grilled meat

Visit Scott on Facebook

Pittsburgh Guitars Staff, Sam Sam
Although he doesn't remember it, Sam’s parents tell him he saw the Beatles play on the Sullivan Show at age 5. But Sam often refers to the Monkees, with their TV show being his first musical memories, as his “gateway drug to rock and roll.” While in 8th grade, Sam decided to learn guitar and “borrowed” his first instrument, a Harmony Stella acoustic, from his Junior High music department. Fascinated by instruments, Sam plays guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo, some drums and keyboards and records music in his spare time. Even though he’s a child of punk rock, Sam has studied guitar with the likes of Ernie Hawkins, John Renbourn, Woody Mann and John Cephus. Favorite quote: “It’s a guitar. There are no rules.”

Name of Current Band: The Sicks
Name of First Band: The Whereabouts
Live Rig: Gibson double cut Les Paul Special with P-90’s, Vox coiled cord, Marshall JCM800 50 watt 1x12
Favorite Bands: Too Many to count. Sonic Youth, Zeppelin, the Stones (Everything up to “Some Girls”), Sabbath (“The first 4 LPs are perfect”), Bowie (“everything up to “Scary Monsters”), Mott the Hoople, the Velvets, John Coltrane Quartet, Neil Young (on electric guitar), Sex Pistols, the Ramones, the Clash. Should I keep going?
Musicians I Would Most Like to Meet: Billy Gibbons, Lemmy, Keith Richards, Neil Young
First Concert: Humble Pie/REO Speedwagon, Civic Arena ‘74
First Car: $600 Mazda Hatchback with 160,000 miles on it.
Favorite Beer: East End Big Hop, but generally any beer that’s cold and free.
Favorite Food: Grilled flesh, sushi, but I never met a pizza I didn't like, either.
Humor Influences: Monty Python
Visit Sam on Facebook

Pittsburgh Guitars Staff, betsy

Betsy
Desperately wanting to be a Beatle, Betsy gave up trombone lessons and got her first guitar when she was 8 years old. It was plastic, and wouldn't stay in tune, so she cried until her mom took it back and brought home the yellow Stella. On the heels of buying her first Martin guitar from Carl at Pittsburgh Guitars in Bloomfield (many years later!), she took off for Los Angeles, where she worked on that Beatle thing while tending bar to support her guitar-buying habit. She was signed to Vanguard Records in 1989 with Andy Robinson and their folk-pop band, Different World. Their self-titled CD (she was sad that they didn't press an actual LP!) met with critical acclaim, but still The Beatles paid no notice. Back in Pittsburgh some years later, Pittsburgh Guitars was the place to be!

Current Musical Projects: Rising Moon
First Live Performance:  I sang Ragtime Cowboy Joe at a talent show when I was about 8. I didn't win, but I still remember all the words!
Main Live Gear: Martin D-18V, Lowden 0-25, Flatiron mandolin, Fishman Loudbox Artist
Some Favorite Bands & Musical Influences: The British Invasion bands and the US bands that answered them, the Southern California singer/songwriters, The Sophisticated Ladies, TJHS choir, and many others
First Car: A Ford Pinto . . . the exploding kind!
Humor Influences: The Smothers Brothers, Christopher Guest, Tina Fey, Robert Mondavi
Musician I Would Most Like to Meet: Lyle Lovett

Pittsburgh Guitars Staff, Sean

Sean
Sean learned the bass in high school to complement his guitar-playing brother. Since then he has learned the guitar and banjo as well. Now a student University of Pittsburgh, he primarily plays in basements with his band.

Current Musical Projects: Delena Mae and the Crying Shames
Name of First Band:  The Empty Wallets
First Live Gig:  My high school
Main Live Gear: Fender Jazz bass, Fender Rumble
Favorite Bands: Cake, G. Love and Special Sauce, Arctic Monkeys, but also anything funky
First Concert:  Deep Purple with my dad, 9 years old
First Car: 2003 Honda CRV
Favorite Beer: Guinness or whatever is cheapest
Favorite Food: Cheesesteak
Favorite TV Show: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Humor Influences: Bill Burr, Jon Stewart

Pittsburgh Guitars Staff, Bob Bob
Bob's aunt gave him his first guitar as a gift when he was 12. It was a Harmony all-mahogany acoustic, with really, really high action. He got his first electric guitar for his 13th birthday after begging his dad for it; it was a Hondo II Les Paul copy. That started his love of Les Pauls & was the first of many guitars bought at Pittsburgh Guitars. Later on, he owned a BC Rich Warlock - a guitar he say is almost comical now - a Jackson Rhoads, and many other metal guitars. His guitar preferences would evolve to a more conservative taste to include Strats, a double cut Hamer, and of course, a '69 LP Deluxe - his favorite. He nicked named that guitar "The Beautiful Ugly" because it sounds so awesome but looks so beat.

Name of First Band: Metaltech - we never made it out of my folks' basement.
First Gig:
With Savagery at South Vo-Tech in the hallway (no metal in the main auditorium). I played my BC Rich through a Crate amp. Thank God I moved to tube amps, ha, ha.
Live Rig: `69 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe and/or the Hamer Eclipse through a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier.
First Concert: Motley Crue and Whitesnake
Favorite Bands: Black Sabbath, Metallica, Slayer, Mastodon, Tom Waits, Alice in Chains, Thin Lizzy, Clutch, Storm King
Musician I'd Like to Meet: BLACK SABBATH - especially Tony Iommi!
Humor Influences: the patrons at the Slovak Club and other drunks around Pittsburgh. It's quite entertaining and provides a lot of material.
Favorite Shows: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and The Walking Dead


Our Instructors
Pittsburgh Guitars Instructor, Spencer

Spencer
Spencer's first musical instruments were the viola and clarinet, but as he discovered rock n' roll he began to develop his own musical taste, and started playing guitar around age 12.  His musical pursuits have led him to study Jazz Guitar at Duquesne University, where he received a Bachelor's degree in Jazz Guitar Performance. Spencer plays around town in various groups, playing primarily funk, jazz, and rock music, but enjoys all genres.  

Current Band: Duration Band, and a few different side projects
Name of First Band: Discontinued 
First Live Gig: I played the Hard Rock Cafe through a school of rock-type program.
Main Live Rig: Fender American Standard Stratocaster or an Eastman 810ce through a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
Favorite bands: Soulive, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Wes Montgomery, I always found it hard to say who my favorites are though...
Musician I Would Most Like to Meet: If I could bring him back to life, that'd be pretty cool to hang with Wes Montgomery
First Concert: Mickey Hart with Zakir Hussain and some other World percussionists 
Favorite Beer: Rogue Juniper Pale Ale
Favorite Food: Indian Ffood
Favorite TV Show: Breaking Bad!!!!
Humor Influences: Louis C.K., Aziz Ansari, and George Carlin   
Who Would Play Me in a Movie: Bruce Willis with a huge beard

Pittsburgh Guitars Instructor, Greg

Greg
Greg is the first musician in his family, and started playing the guitar at 13. In high school he became dedicated to learning about different styles of music, as well as theory, and decided to make a career of it. That decision led him to Duquesne University for a bachelor's and now a master's degree.

First Live Gig: High School Talent Show
Main Live Rig: Vox AC-15HW, 1989 Fender American Strat or Gibson ES-335
Favorite Bands: Led Zeppelin, Steely Dan, Miles Davis, Pat Martino
Musicians I Would Most Like to Meet: Jimmy Page, Grant Green
First Concert: Lynyrd Skynyrd
First Car: Ford Explorer
Favorite Beer: Oskar Blues Old Chub
Favorite Food: Meat
Favorite TV Shows: Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, Entourage
Humor Influences: Rodney Dangerfield, Chris Farley, Chevy Chase, Louis CK
Who Would Play Me in a Movie: Stallone

 
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Store Hours:
Monday - Thursday
11:00 am - 8:00 pm
Friday & Saturday
11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed Sunday
 
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*** We are closed on the following holidays: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, & Christmas Day.***
© 2018 Pittsburgh Guitars, 1305 East Carson Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203, 412-431-0700, E-mail
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