a most unusual store in a unusual place
by, 04-18-2012 at 07:03 AM (2741 Views)
I am on small mini vacation while on a trip to utah to visit my daughter in a town called Moab. Moab is the closest town to Arches national park, a point of interest for geologists and hikers. Not exactly for guitarists! I did do a mid morning hike for about 1.5 miles up to delicate arch which was mostly uphill on a petrified sand dune. This took about 2.5 hours round trip.
On the way back to my hotel in moab i stopped in the only music store i could find in this red rock cow town. I was looking for a "practice neck" so i could work on memorizing some more arpeggios. The store is called Tunnelvision music and is located at135 N Main street in a row of stores selling moab t shirts and key chains. They bill themselves as The Ultimate Guitar Effects store.
And that it is! The counters are filled with a rainbow of effects boxes with names such as Charlie Brown Compresser and a bananna yellow box and one called "phat phuck" boost The inventory reminds me of a jelly bean store due to the high quality paint jobs on these devices.
I spoke with the owner joe lema for about half an hour during which not a single customer called or walked in. Joe is a very positively minded chap in his early 40's who has been playing for 20 years. He explained that he opened a web site for effects in 2003 but after a few years decided that he needed a storefront to a) get out of his small live-in trailer b) get vendors to deal with him. Most of his sales are on the internet.
And then joe showed me his "pride and joy", a cabinet mounted effects rack that he uses himself. Joe explained that the rack is all digital and he showed me the footswitch which had at least 30 switches on it. He explained how he usually hides the rack when he performs due to the conflict of interest between his inventory (discrete units, each more colorful, both audably and visually, that the next) and his rackmounted effects simulator.
I explained how I play jazz in bebop ensemble class and would likely get expelled if i showed up with one of his grass green or sky blue effects boxes.
All in all, Tunnelvision music is one of the strangest (and cleanest) stores i have ever seen. This may be due to the strange weather of the high desert in south east utah. Or it may be due to a most unusual location for a most unusual store.