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Thread: Gryphon is 50

  1. #1

    Default Gryphon is 50

    Can you imagine any business being around for 50 years? Went to the 50th birthday party at Gryphon yesterday. Live music all afternoon, capped off by a solo set by Molly Tuttle , daughter of long time Gryohon teacher Jack. Boy that girl can pick some.

    I played the Collings birdseye maple mandolin, again, and the owner's comment it was too pretty is valid. I got distracted by the neck wood while playing the thing. Just beautiful. Someone please buy it. NFI except the preservation of my bank account.

    Everyone should be within driving distance of a shop like this.
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  3. #2

    Default Re: Gryphon is 50

    Good to hear such a cool place is doing well at the half century mark.

    Molly Tuttle is an incredible guitarist,singer,songwriter.

    I'm sure there was plenty of good music and instruments to go around.

    Wish I coulda been there. Haven't played a Collings,yet.

    Was Frank Ford there?

  4. #3
    Registered User CWRoyds's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gryphon is 50

    Gryphon is a very cool store.
    They always have a nice selection of mandolins.
    I always go down when I see they have something I really need to try out, like an Ellis, or a new Northfield model.
    Great stuff.

    If you ever get the urge for a drive north, Schoenberg in Tiburon is a great store to visit.
    They always have lots of vintage axes.
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  5. #4

    Default Re: Gryphon is 50

    Good to hear such a cool place is doing well at the half century mark.

    Molly Tuttle is an incredible guitarist,singer,songwriter.

    I'm sure there was plenty of good music and instruments to go around.

    Wish I coulda been there. Haven't played a Collings,yet.

    Was Frank Ford there? Think I still have some of his old repair videos. Masterful.

    That birdseye blonde Collings is a real looker. Probably sounds and plays ok too. I know I would spend time and money
    at such a well-stocked place like Gryphon.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Gryphon is 50

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    Can you imagine any business being around for 50 years? .......
    Martin, Gibson, Oscar Meyer, Coke come to mind. Macy’s and Filson too.

    Oh yeah, Ford and GM.
    Play it like you mean it.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Gryphon is 50

    Quote Originally Posted by V70416 View Post
    Good to hear such a cool place is doing well at the half century mark.

    Molly Tuttle is an incredible guitarist,singer,songwriter.

    I'm sure there was plenty of good music and instruments to go around.

    Wish I coulda been there. Haven't played a Collings,yet.

    Was Frank Ford there? Think I still have some of his old repair videos. Masterful.

    That birdseye blonde Collings is a real looker. Probably sounds and plays ok too. I know I would spend time and money
    at such a well-stocked place like Gryphon.
    Yes, Frank Ford is almost always there. He filed a banjo bridge for me a week or so ago and sent me on my way. The instruments he and Richard built in the early days were nice to see, and so was the bass banjo Frank built recently. They built at least a two point mandolin and had that on display too. They have quite a few banjos too. Been paying more attention to them recently. Nice one from the late 1890s.

    I guess I meant a Mom and Pop store lasting 50 years.

    Over the last 10 years or so, I've stood in front of Schoenberg on a Sunday wishing they were open. But I fear that is a store too rich for my blood.
    Silverangel A
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  9. #7
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    Default Re: Gryphon is 50

    Quote Originally Posted by V70416 View Post
    . . I know I would spend time and money at such a well-stocked place like Gryphon.
    Been there. Done that.

    For good reason, of course.

    A while ago, Frank told me that the darkest days of this great Pop-and-Pop store were during the disco/techno era, when demand for acoustic guitars plummeted until Clapton Unplugged and Tracy Chapman came along. Maybe mandolin sales kept them afloat.
    still trying to turn dreams into memories

  10. #8
    Registered User Joey Anchors's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gryphon is 50

    Gryphon is on my list to visit. One day I’ll get there..
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    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gryphon is 50

    One of the guitar, etc., shops around here had their 50th celebration a week ago. The first owner died about 10 years ago and a longtime employee bought the business. It seems like music stores haven't all succumbed to the big business and internet model—lots of mom-and-pops stores still around.

  12. #10

    Default Re: Gryphon is 50

    Louise,what shop was that in New Mexico?

    I used to hang out at Encore Music(Louie) in Albuquerque years ago. But I see they are closed now.

    Love the old music stores. Never know who you might get to meet.

  13. #11

    Default Re: Gryphon is 50

    When looking at just mandolins for sale, it is somewhat of a glass half full scenario, but one has to stock what one can sell, and Gryphon does an admirable job of always having a mandola or two, an octave, and not uncommonly,larger members of the family. Their Eastman line is always fairly complete, and they had a National hanging on the wall. They try to have an F5s and an oval from Northfield and usually a Big Mon. Their Collings inventory is rather amazing, ten at least and half F styles. So you can certainly walk in and buy a good mandolin, and there are a ton of you out there a day away from even an Eastman. That doesn't stop me from wanting to see an Elderly inventory. Once again in perspective, I can drive thirty minutes the other direction to Sylvan and play Pava, Girouard, and Weber. All in all a world of wonderful choices, and Schoenberg is not out of the question either. But Gryphon is my store.
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  14. #12
    Registered User Rich Benson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gryphon is 50

    I was able to visit Gryphon last spring, and had a wonderful time. Frank even gave me a shop tour and woodworking machine history lesson.
    Great place!!!
    Rich
    2016 Blonde Pava Pro #197

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    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gryphon is 50

    I love those guys but I have yet to visit the store. Great people in general - especially Steve. He's been a great source of knowledge whenever I've talked with him.

    They've been long time clients of mine for my day job (payments technology and point of sale systems). I honestly didn't know of them until I started working with them on that side Small world!
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  16. #14

    Default Re: Gryphon is 50

    Happy Birthday Gryphon!

    I used to live on Oberlin. I seem to remember having a coffee at Printer’s Inc on California Avenue in Palo Alto some time in the late eighties. I heard someone talking about the place so I cycled over.
    What do you know, it was their birthday then too!

    Another time I bought a 5 string resonator banjo there, and a nice Sigma guitar. That’s right, a great guitar shop.
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  17. #15
    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gryphon is 50

    V70416, Candyman in Santa Fe. Originally guitars, records, then added stereo equipment. Stereos and LPs went the way of the brontosaurus, but they still have guitars, ukuleles, the odd banjo or mandolin, some band instruments, and all the accoutrements plus lessons.

  18. #16
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gryphon is 50

    All my best regards to Frank and Richard for keeping the flame alive. You all are among the finest business folks around. I visit each time I'm nearby starting in about 1970.
    Billy Packard
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  19. #17

    Default Re: Gryphon is 50

    Thank you,Louise NM. Candyman was a fairly new store when I bought my very first mandolin there(1913 A-1 pumpkin)
    sometime in the late 80's. Everything is more expensive in Fanta Se.(I met country star,Roger Miller there once.)

    Happy Anniversary Frank,Richard &Co.!! And thanks for sharing so much repair info on FRETS online.

  20. #18

    Default Re: Gryphon is 50

    Some of my memories: seeing the first Collings guitar with a $3k price tag. Outrageous! Seeing two German dealers buy every old tenor banjo in the store. Apparently they have a big trad jazz scene. Five or six at least got shipped to Europe. Walking in and seeing Laurence Juber playing. Mentioning to former staff member Stevie Coyle I'd like to find a Martin M36 that didn't need a neck reset. He said his did too. He was selling his main gig instrument of 20+ years, but was the original owner. Gryphon reset and refretted it on original warranty and we worked out a deal with Gryphon to compensate for the private sale done in their store. I still have that guitar. And the biggest regret, a very busted up and repaired thirties 00 18 that still needed a neck reset. I could have bought the guitar but not the repair. Sigh.....
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    Default Re: Gryphon is 50

    I've been going there a long time as well. Frank, Richard and team are amazing people. They work very hard keeping the shop humming.

    One story: I pulled up one time, saw a large Mercedes parked right in front, wrong direction. I thought. . . sheesh.

    Went inside, saw someone that looked familiar, realized it was Steve Jobs. He and his wife were looking for a guitar for their daughter. . . his wife seemed to be doing most of the looking.

    I can only imagine the stories Richard and Frank have. I hope Richard finishes the book that I hope he's writing, and he's a great writer.

  22. #20

    Default Re: Gryphon is 50

    Oh, and taking my build in to get a professional nut made and the bridge set properly cause I didn't want to screw it up. Frank sent me packing with a nut blank saying it wasn't all that critical. He wanted me to finish it myself.
    Silverangel A
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  23. #21
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    Default Re: Gryphon is 50

    I have been a customer over 30 years.

    Though I have since moved to Oregon I visited Gryphon 2 weeks ago. Excellent inventory, good folks. Had a chat with Michael Simmons about a newly inventoried Washburn mandolin. Had a great conversation with a staff member who was about to go on vacation. He was extremely helpful. Name may have been Eric, but I am deficient on remembering names upon one meeting. A shout out of thanks to him.

    Saw a couple items of interest in Martin guitars and was surprised by the new Kalamazoo mandolin. Played well, sounded great and was much louder than I imagined.

    Happy 50th and congrats on your existence and high standards.

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