I learned guitar repair out of necessity. Living in a small town in the 60’s meant you pretty much had to fix your own gear. There was a repair column in the back of Guitar Player magazine but other than that you were on your own. It was not a bad way to learn and the guitars I owned were very forgiving – Tiesco, Harmony, Eko, Kent, Silvertone.
Years later in university, I had the good fortune to apprentice under an experienced luthier, Bruce Roper. He ran the classic college town, cool acoustic guitar shop. It was a scene, a great place to hang out and pick.
This training served me well through my corporate years as I collected a nice group of early 60’s Fenders and Gibsons and was able to tweak them out to play like a dream. As my corporate career ended and I vowed never to work for “the man” again, it was time to start repairing guitars in earnest.
Bob’s Guitar Service was founded in Chicago in 1990. My first repairs were done out of the trunk of my car in a music store parking lot on the south side. The store manager was impressed and eventually asked me to work inside. This began a long-standing relationship with the chain of Guitar Center stores in Chicago.
Soon I was working in all three Guitar Center locations and it was insane. I was bringing 50 guitars a week back to my small apartment. I was repairing guitars ten hours a day, six days a week, stepping over guitar cases everywhere. After a year of this it was time to hire and expand.
I found a boarded-up corner store in a sketchy neighbor and converted it to a huge repair shop. I found employees who shared the vision of Bob’s and we worked like dogs to make it successful – averaging 100 guitar repairs per week. I got to work on my hero’s guitars – Bonnie Raitt, Albert King, Pop’s Staples.
In 1997 I sold Bob’s Guitar Service to one of the employees, Chris Eudy, in order to go on the road with a band. Since then Chris, with several of the original employees, has quadrupled the business. I’ve seen the world from a tour bus and had a great ride.
Along the way I spent a couple of years in Oxford, MS repairing at D’Jango’s. This was a scene where locals like Bobby Whitlock (Derek and the Dominoes) and T-model Ford (Fat Possum artist) would hang out and play for hours. Moving to Toronto in 1990 I set up the repair department for Capsule Music, the vintage guitar emporium.
In 2011 I was inspired to return to guitar repair and opened Bob’s Guitar Service in my town of Kitchener, ON.
Bob's Guitar Service, 342 Victoria St. North, Kitchener, Ontario N2H 5E2 519.208.4663