Like most Americans, I flirted with playing guitar.
I took a lot of lessons. Practiced my scales. Pretended I was Tom Petty at 2 a.m. in my living room. Standing there in socks, playing "Free Fallin," following right along with Tom on my iPod. Transported to a dream state: on stage, 20,000 in attendance, supermodels in the front row, The Heartbreakers behind me in awe of my enormous talent...and my dog just sort of staring and wondering.
This goes through my mind as I'm touring Bend's giant Two Old Hippies guitar (and mandolin) production facility. It's where the company's expert craftsmen build Breedlove, Bedell and Weber instruments from scratch. Using "legally- and sustainably-sourced wood" of course, as Sami Mulhern, with TOH Marketing & Artist Relations points out. Rosewood, redwood, maple, cedar, spruce, walnut and more. Each one with distinct colors, patterns and tone.
It's all hands, heart and passion here. Out of this hard work comes gorgeous instruments. Most are so pretty you could just hang them on your wall. "Functional art," Mulhern adds.
Now, after more than two decades in Bend, the company has a shiny new retail showroom across the street. Here, you can see, play and get one for yourself. "We're about being friends and we want to invite the public into our space," says showroom manager J.C. Trayser. To that end, TOH plans to utilize both its showroom parking lot and adjacent green areas to host events, including a grand opening party next month. This will include food trucks, live music (of course) and discounts on guitars and other merchandise.
No more excuses about delaying your music career—but some lessons wouldn't hurt either.
Two Old Hippies Showroom
61572 American Loop
541-385-8339 Ext. 306
Tuesday – Saturday, noon- 6pm
(Official) Grand Opening Party April 21