The Guitar Repairers, Red Hill

The Guitar Repairers, Red Hill


Posted 2024-02-14 by Marina Marangos follow

The story of the kerbside guitar

We were driving back from a woodworking workshop and my young charge mentioned she was starting guitar lessons at school. See The Pyjama Foundation for those of you who might consider mentoring children.

All of a sudden, we spot a guitar on the kerbside.
I turn to her and say “shall we check it out?”
“Yes”, she said excited at this unplanned little adventure.

We parked the car and walked to the guitar. It was dusty and dirty and missing a couple of strings but otherwise seemed relatively intact. We took it home with us all in the spirit of something for nothing and good upcycling happening for our planet.

I knew of a little shop just up the road from my home which I had always admired from the bus but never had reason to visit. It has a display of guitars stuck to its roof. Today I walked in with the guitar tucked under my arm and presented it to two men working there. I said, “Hello, I am coming to inquire whether this one is destined for your roof or a strum”. More on them in a minute.

John looked at it carefully. He said it was a well-loved guitar and had been played a lot. He showed me the tell-tale sign. He also mentioned that it would cost some $150 to repair. While this is not exorbitant, he advised I was better off buying a new one for my charge as this one was way too big for her.

So that is how the story of the kerbside guitar started and ended. The guitar is back on a kerbside this time lying on a plush coral sofa waiting for it to be picked up and go to its forever place.

She, because I assume every guitar is female, brought me to this lovely haven of musicality inhabited by these two men, John and Andre. John has been involved in the business for some 30 years and has been in Red Hill for some 17.

He started in the business in the 80s but had no idea how he would make a living out of it. “I got my skills because I loved guitars, especially electric guitars and I would pull them apart to see how they worked. I teamed up with Luke who was a cabinet maker and between us, we were able to offer a school apprentice programme. That is where Andre came in - he was 15 and was also keen on guitars and he started as an apprentice and all these years later he is still here and now making bespoke guitars.”

Andre showed me one and laughingly said the people who buy them are often accountants and dentists, not musicians. He showed me one of his pieces which was exquisite and when he mentioned the price I had to sit down. $9,500 for this prized guitar. John said it was probably worth more and I can believe that.

They do mainly repairs and services but also have a quirky little collection on their wall which John was only too happy to show me. A banjo dating from 1885. A resonator Mandolin from 1934 and a Gibson Ukelele.

It is a unique little place and a bit of a treasure trove through the shabby chic doors.

Visit The Guitar Repairers
07 3368 1833
208 Musgrave Road, Red Hill.

As I was leaving I saw this - it’s all about the guitars today and the signs are everywhere.

277940 - 2024-02-13 06:31:36


Copyright 2024 OatLabs ABN 18113479226