Storied Vintage Guitar Shop Moving Out of Boston - NECN


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Storied Vintage Guitar Shop Moving Out of Boston



    Bay State Vintage Guitars to Close

    An iconic Boston guitar store, whose customers have included some of the biggest names in rock and roll history, is closing after decades of business.

    (Published Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017)

    The store is hard to find, but if you knew what treasures were waiting, you'd be sure to get to Bay State Vintage Guitars in Boston before it closes.

    Inside the cramped guitar-pack shop on Huntington Avenue is a musician's gold mine. But it will be gone by the start of December.

    "64 Fender Stratocaster," said Craig Jones, owner of the shop as he pulled out instrument after instrument.

    "Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin has a guitar like that," said Jones as he handled another.

    The greats have shopped here. The list includes Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and Joe Bonamassa.

    For 35 years, Suite 304 at 295 Huntington Ave. has been Jones' guitar heaven home. His work bench is full of tools and parts. You have to shuffle sideways in some parts to get through the store.

    "I was hoping to stay through the spring, maybe," Jones said. "It's a lot easier moving in the spring with winter coming. More notice would have been nice, but I understand."

    Last year, Jones was told his lease wasn't going to be renewed. Last week, he got a letter saying he had to be out by Dec. 1.

    "I knew it was coming, but I didn't know when," said Jones.

    The building's owner wants to turn the space into something else, so Jones has to go.

    His son, AJ, started helping out when he was 13. To him, the store is more than just square feet to be sold.

    Across the street is the New England Conservatory. AJ said he has helped student after student.

    "I can't tell you how many times I've had them come in and they'll ask, 'My guitar needs work and I have a recording session in the afternoon. Can you help me out?'" he said.

    Over the last 35 years, thousands of customers have come and gone. Thousands of instruments have been repaired and replaced, but every song has to end.

    "It was my pleasure to be of help," said AJ Jones.

    Right now, the father and son duo are looking to relocate their shop to a property in Westwood.

    During the move, their instruments, amplifiers and parts will still be available online to purchase.

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