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History - 80's
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A New Wave Of Guitar Center's
With the onset of the new decade, Guitar Center was opening a new store with each passing year. 1980 witnessed the opening of the second Chicago store. This North Chicago location had previously been a grocery store, and its conversion to a Guitar Center heralded the onset of a musical instrument "Superstore." With its high ceilings and open floor space, it possessed the ability to support massive merchandising. In 1982, Guitar Center, Sherman Oaks opened on Ventura Boulevard, and thus became the eighth Guitar Center. In 1983, Guitar Center lost its founder Wayne Mitchell, who left a skilled Management Team behind to tackle the challenges that lay ahead. The company's position in the Bay Area was further solidified with the opening of the Oakland, CA location. Just one year later, in 1985, the Guitar Center chain witnessed the Grand Opening of two additional locations- Lawndale and Covina. That year also marked another significant event in the Guitar Center timeline, with the Grand Opening of a new Hollywood store on Sunset Boulevard. The huge 18,000 square foot facility was a testimony to the original flagship, and on November 13, 1985 - amidst gala festivities - was dedicated to Guitar Center founder, Wayne Mitchell.

The opening of this Hollywood Music Complex also gave birth to RockWalk. RockWalk is a sidewalk gallery dedicated to honoring those who have made significant contributions to the music industry, by immortalizing their handprints in cement. Today, any customer who enters the Hollywood Store can share in recognizing the accomplishments of such notable artists as Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Chuck Berry, James Brown, The Doobie Brothers, BB King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Smoky Robinson, Roy Orbison, Eddie Van Halen, Stevie Wonder and many more.




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