Learned recently of the passing of someone who played a very significant role in my teen years, Stanley West.
I had a semi-regular, almost ritual circuit I would take on my bike as a kid through downtown Glendora (the little California town and smog bowl I grew up in):
As I got a little older, I would substitute a record shop for the bookshop visit but it was pretty consistent. Then, a couple things happened simultaneously in my teenage years: I got an electric guitar and Stan opened his guitar shop. Stan’s shop was a regular stop, even if I didn’t need anything (and usually couldn’t afford anything anyways) but it was good to just check in and see what was up and if there was anything new to drool over. I bought my first stompbox there (the all-plastic Arion Stereo Chorus) which of course started my lifetime struggle with Gear Acquisition Syndrome. He also sold me my first E-Bow, fanning the flames of my experimental quest for sounds I wasn’t used to hearing from a guitar. The shop lasted longer in Glendora than I did and I lost touch. Hearing of his passing was sad but did bring back a lot of happy memories. Thanks, Stan.