BY REBECCA DIRKS
Legendary Manny’s Music Closing
An era that spanned nearly 75 years will
come to an end this spring when Manny’s
Music closes its doors for the last time. The
legendary guitar store that served everyone
from Hendrix and the Beatles to Clapton and
U2 is set to close on May.
was an institution that should be maintained.
Manny’s grandson, Ian Goldrich, continued to
run the store after Sam Ash’s purchase.
At press time, neither Ash nor Goldrich
could be reached for comment. For a look
inside the legendary Manny’s Music, head to
premierguitar.com for our video tour of the
store from June 2008.
Photo ©Nicolas Debacker
short of being perfectly authentic. This is why
we were particularly interested in the concept
known as the Chameleon Guitar. It sticks to
the basics of using different tonewoods to
achieve a variety of tones, but employs technology to make it happen.
Located on New York City’s Music Row, West
48th Street, Manny’s opened in 1935 and has
seen countless stars. The store’s walls are a
testament to its history—they’re covered in
framed, autographed glossies of the patrons
who have passed through the doors.
Other stores on Music Row are feeling the
squeeze as well, and some worry that it’s only a
matter of time until the entire neighborhood is
gone. In a March 2008 article in The Real Deal,
a New York real estate magazine, Sam Ash
President Paul Ash and Manny’s grandson Ian
Goldrich both commented on the Rockefeller
Group’s push to purchase the surrounding
property. The Goldrich family still owns the
building Manny’s is located in. “I get at least a
call a day from someone who wants to buy the
building,” Goldrich told The Real Deal.
Guitar of the Future?
It seems like every few months, an instrument
heralded as “the next great technological
advancement in guitars” is unveiled. From
the Moog Guitar and Gibson’s Dark Fire to
more obscure concepts, like 3D printing for
tonal variety, there are a substantial number
of builders looking to advance the boundaries of the guitar. In many cases, this is
accomplished through digital technology and
modeling, which many players feel still falls
As you might imagine from the name, the
Chameleon Guitar has the ability to be ever-changing and adapting. Created by MIT
Media Lab master’s student Amit Zoran, the
Chameleon is an electric guitar with an interchangeable central soundboard. Zoran’s idea
was to be able to “plug in” the acoustic qualities that are unique to each piece of wood
without changing the feel of the guitar.
Each interchangeable soundboard provides a
unique tonal base due to its composition and
structure. From there, the signal is processed
The store was purchased by Sam Ash in 1999.
Ash told Premier Guitar in June 2008 that
the company purchased the store because
it was having troubles, and they believed it