International Vintage Guitars
I've always wondered what it would be like to be a rockstar. Not the Mark "Marky Mark" Wahlberg type, but one that truly knew how to wield an axe, guitar that is. Back in the day, when I had more hair on my head and less on my face, I convinced my dad to buy me a Fender Stratocaster-like electric guitar, black leather strap, and a Mini-Peavy amp to play like Stevie Ray.
At the time, "In Step" from Stevie Ray Vaughan was the one cassette tape that never seemed to get ejected from my Realistic Boom Box. I loved the way Stevie ripped through each track in such bombastic fashion that instead of pain he showed delight with each bend of the strings. I so wanted to be that dude. After 3 long months of one on one classes and blister ridden fingers, I put an end to the dream, and gave up the strings for the computer keys.
Fast forward over a decade or so to this week's latest feature: International Vintage Guitars (229 PELICAN AVE. 70114 Algiers Point / 504.524.4557). Founded over 18 years ago by Steve Staples, IVG, sells, repairs and restores vintage guitars. They also sell and service new guitars from all of the highest end manufacturers in the world. Here's what they have to say about themselves :
"Located in the heart of the New Orleans Business and Warehouse district just a stones throw from the world famous French Quarter and two blocks from the Convention Center. International Vintage Guitars offers vintage, used and new guitars, amps, effects and accessories. We are authorized dealers for Fender Guitars & Fender Parts and Accessories, Martin Guitars, Gretsch Guitars, Guild Guitars, National Resophonic Guitars, Jerry Jones Guitars, and Rickenbacker Guitars and Accessories . We will beat any mail order house prices on any guitar brands for which we are a dealer!"
What I really love about the shop is that it is truly vintage. This was no CBGB's turned into an everything in it's place type boutique. Each piece placed around the store surely has a history. If the crew from CSI Miami ever visited they would surely be able to swab for some real rock n' roller sweat.
I spent several hours there chit chatting with Steve and learning all about what drives folks to vintage guitars. To paraphrase, it's just like anything else that's considered vintage, people are trying to find that little piece of history that brings them back to the look, feel, and sounds of the past. One of these days I'll get back to the axe, and hopefully the '59 Strat hanging on IVG's wall will still be there.