We went to the Peabody, Mass. store in search of gear in 1993 and they hooked us up with monitors, 2 massive PA speakers and a mixing board. They let us take all this stuff on a monthly payment plan and, when we broke up and needed to unload the stuff, they took it back. They probably saw us as we were: Young pups who had no idea what we were doing. But they still made us feel important and I’ll never forget that. I was living in Lynnfield, Mass. at the time and we rehearsed in a nuclear bomb shelter build under the garage.
Hanging out in that room for a year with all that equipment, making music, writing and hiding from the world, was a blissful time sandwiched in between all the turmoil. Daddy’s Junky Music helped make it happen, and I’m forever grateful.
Here’s the story on its closing from New Hampshire’s Union Leader:
New Hampshire Union Leader, Published Oct 27, 2011 at 3:00 am (Updated Oct 26, 2011)
Daddy’s Junky Music, the 39-year-old company that flourished thanks to the New Hampshire Advantage, folded on Wednesday, a victim of the struggling economy and shifts to Internet sales, founder Fred Bramante said.
Bramante said Wednesday was one of the worst days of his life.
“I had to tell people who had been working with me for decades they were losing their jobs, and it was heartbreaking,” said Bramante, a member of the state Board of Education.
He said the four New Hampshire stores employed 52 full-time workers and 14 part-time workers. The company also has stores in Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Bramante made his first guitar deal in 1972, when the lead guitarist of his basement rock band said his friend needed to sell a red Hagstrom 2 guitar to raise bail money.
Bramante knew the guitar was worth more than $600. He bought it, resold it and entered the world of music retail.
His business grew on the New Hampshire Advantage, as wannabe rocks stars flocked to New Hampshire from surrounding states to purchase instruments and amplifiers.
Financially healthy, Daddy’s branched out into all New England states and New York. Recognition followed: New Hampshire retailer of the year, national retailer of the year and best service of any company in America.
Bramante’s stature grew too. He ran for governor a couple of times in the 1990s, and he was an early advocate of a state education focused property tax.
But for the last three years, the company has struggled because of the sour economy, he said. And another tax-free entity started eating into its sales.
“The New Hampshire Advantage is real, it worked, but the Internet advantage is really similar to the New Hampshire Advantage,” he said. His stores in sales-tax states lost sales to the Internet.