Santa Monica is famous for many things but there are three popular landmarks that you’ve just got to visit when you’re there: the pier, the beach, and Truetone Music. Run by musicians, for musicians, Truetone is top of the pile for all things guitar and attracts locals and touring musicians alike. Its history spans three decades, and it’s a true destination location for not only the greater Los Angeles area but worldwide too.
Joining us today are the co-owners of this legendary guitar store, Paul Flynn and Sunir Patel, to discuss how Truetone Music got its start, why guitar isn’t dead, and what sets Truetone apart from big-box retailers. Tuning in, you’ll also gain some insight into the inner workings of the business and find out how Truetone has created a welcoming community that treats regular customers like celebrities and celebrities like regular people. That being said, they have had their fair share of musical titans in the shop, including Prince, Andy Summers, Reverend Billy Gibbons, Tenacious D, Tom Petty, and Steely Dan, to name but a few!
As you’ll discover in today’s conversation, Paul and Sunir both have a deep love and respect for music and believe that it’s the people, not the gear, that makes Truetone Music what it is. Be sure to tune in today to get turned on to your next inspiration.
Key Points From This Episode:
The smell of plectrums and the death of John Lennon: what got Sunir and Paul into music.
Paul’s part in starting Truetone Music with Ken Daniels in 1999.
Why it’s the people, not the guitars, that make Truetone what it is.
Challenges that come with starting a music shop, from finding a space to financing.
A look at how the guitar business has changed and evolved over the years.
The complementary relationship between online and in-store purchases at Truetone.
Care, expertise, and reputation; why customers choose Truetone over big-box retailers.
Reasons that Truetone’s repair shop is known for being one of the best in the business.
Differences between pushy and helpful salespeople (and how Truetone’s are the latter).
How Paul and Sunir manage and decide on the wide variety of stock they keep in store.
Ways that COVID impacted the store and how they navigated broader supply chain issues.
Sunir’s responsibilities at Truetone and how he keeps their inventory organized.
Insight into the organic nature of small companies started by creative people.
How Truetone’s lesson program has contributed to growing the shop’s community.