BRIDGEPORT — Dozens of vintage guitars have made their way out of a local musician’s apartment and into a brand new music store.
“For lack of a better term, I’m a gear whore. I’ve collected as much vintage equipment as I could,” said Bob Dain, owner of 312 Vintage Guitars. “My apartment was busting at the seams.”
The store at 754 W. 35th St. offers a wide range of older model guitars, amplifiers and effects pedals. Dain also repairs instruments and gives lessons.
Dain's infatuation with vintage gear began during his college years while gigging with different bands and experimenting with different equipment to hone his tone.
Now, he obsesses over classified ads and travels to estate sales in search of that perfect piece of gear for his store, which is a brick-and-mortar extension of his eBay marketplace.
An accomplished musician, Dain is the vocalist and guitarist in the indie-pop group The Sweeps. He’s also an armchair historian, quick to offer lightning-fast lessons about equipment on the store shelves, from 1930s Parlor acoustic guitars to the old theChicago-made Kluson tuners.
Only open about a week, 312 Vintage is already attracting attention from local musicians who’d otherwise have to travel to the North Side or suburbs to buy their gear.
That’s what brought Paul Brodlo —aka Paulie the Pig—into the store twice already.
The gravel-voiced Brodlo, a drummer for Bridgeport-based hard rockers Pipe, zeroed in on the store’s drum equipment, some of it still in boxes as Dain continues to unpack inventory.
Already, he's bought sticks and accessories and recommended the place to other local musicians.
“I’m probably one of the first customers,” said Brodlo, who's from a family of musicians. "I’m sure we’ll be shopping here.”