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November 3, 2007


Guitar Center knows how to throw an opening party, as evidenced by its boffo bash November 1st, 2007 at its new store on the corner of Pico and Westwood Blvds. Hundreds lined Westwood Boulevard waiting for entry into the store. All got in, since the event was run in a refreshingly organized manner. Plus, everyone in the multi-age crowd got cool Guitar Center opening-day commemorative T-shirts.

Then there were the fun contests, raffles and bands (including the headliners, a band called The Graduate). Five lucky attendees (number 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500 in line) got to compete for the chance to win prizes worth up to, get this, 100 grand! Yes, that is not a typo; it was possible for one of the lucky five onstage to walk away with $100,000 in a gameshow-style competition. Like Deal or No Deal, it was a luck-based contest, no trivia skill required - just pull envelopes off a gameboard and open, see if you win a giftcertificate for the store OR the chance to keep playing and win even more. Eventually, one man remained onstage, who pulled three envelopes from a final group of 12; if all three had the special Guitar Center symbol, he would win $100,000! Alas, he didn't, but the hundreds in gift certificates he won was a nice consolation prize.

On top of all this, many in the audience won prizes during two fun raffles (an amazing assortment of prizes that included iPods, Playstations, DVDs, Led Zeppelin and Dylan boxsets, home theatre systems, Cambridge Soundworks and Bose Wave radios, TVs and more), as well as random awarding of killer gear to various attendees. All in all, there were winners galore, and lots of Rockstar energy drinks for happy music lovers and musicians.

Now for the stuff in store for you in the store. Opening weekend deals include $99 blowout prices on three great products (Ibanez electric guitar, Yamaha acoustic guitar, Peavey trans-tube amplifier), $49 for a portable electric keyboard with built-in speakers, $9.99 for a keyboard stand, and $49 for THREE (yes, I said three) microphones. There are many more deals too numerous to list here, just head down to Pico and Westwood, across from the Westside Pavilion, and you will not be disappointed.

Among those in attendance on opening night were reps from Guitar Center, LA Weekly, Wahoo Tacos (serving tasty food to the hundreds on line to get in the store), Rockstar energy drinks (serving, among other flavors, its delicious JUICED drinks, a favorite of The LA Report), and KROQ. We also chatted with KCRW DJ (and head music guru of the KCRW music library) Erik J. Lawrence, host of KCRW's "Dragnet" show (midnight to 3am Monday nights / Tuesday mornings, 89.9 FM). EJL, who was attending not spinning, told us that the digitization of the incredible music library of the Santa Monica College station is proceeding nicely, thanks in part to some nifty robotic equipment.

Kudos to Guitar Center for a most memorable night featuring a healthy dose of fun and generosity. As store launches go, it was top of the line. Get yourself down to the new store and save some serious dough all this weekend. Saturday afternoon would be an especially good time, as you can meet KLOS FM host Cynthia Fox while you shop.


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