Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Local News

April 29, 2014

Sultan of strings

Shop focuses on rare and classic guitars

BROWNSBURG — At Brownsburg Guitar, owner Mike Morris’ collection of instruments is anything but ordinary.

Hanging on the walls of the house-turned-guitar shop is an eclectic mix of stringed instruments. Some are made by legendary guitar producers like Fender and Gibson, others are made by people Morris has run into over the years. Examples of the aforementioned homemade six strings, is a 60-year-old guitar with a wooden box for a body and others with bodies made from cigar boxes. Morris admits the wooden box guitar is so unique he won’t part with it.

Morris, who lives in Lebanon, but considers Brownsburg home, said he opened the store at 521 E. Main St, Brownsburg, in February 2010, after working factory jobs. However, for Morris, guitars have been a lifelong hobby.

“I played guitar since I was a kid and worked factory jobs for 25 years,” Morris said. “I had been downsized. I had been planning (to open a shop) for about two years, buying inventory slowly so right about the time the factory I was in downsized … I was ready to jump. The writing was kind of on the wall — that was my time.”

Morris strives for his shop to be different than most, which is evident by his collection.

“Our specialty is used and vintage, as far as inventory goes,” he said. “We don’t sell anything new, other than at Christmas time we sell some beginner guitars that are new. Outside of that, vintage and used is our market. We’re also real big with repairs and lessons. We buy vintage instruments, that’s something that we’re really passionate about and trying to ramp up more is to be a good buyer of vintage instruments.”

Morris said he’s always looking for rare instruments.

“I love oddball stuff,” he said. “I have ‘50s Martins, ‘60s Guilds and Fenders and I just sold a Gretsch from the ‘50s. I delivered a pre-CBS Fender to Illinois this week on Monday, which is my day off. (I sold) a really good ‘60s Jag out of state and I hand delivered that one. It was expensive enough I didn’t want to put it in the mail. We also sell like ‘70s Japan guitars, which are just becoming collectable, but not real big money.”

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