We are Melbourne's leading independent guitar store. We started out as Musical Repair & Trading Co. on 8th Nov 1982, and initially did P.A and Sound Re-Inforcement as well as guitars and accessories.
Chris and Ross Nicol, now of Abbey Sound, Seaford, played in leading Melbourne covers band 'The Davey Brothers' in the 1982-3 period, and Ross was a partner in the business until 1985. After an amicable split, the seeds of the present store were planted. An expansion into the adjacent store occured in 1988 and in the early 90's Chris changed the name to Guitars Plus. The teaching room in the second shop was underused by the mid nineties and was changed into an inviting 'high-end' room. Here guitarists can try out the instrument of their choice away from the chatter of the main store area. A high quality valve amp is kept in this room generally warmed and ready to roll for electric buyers, whilst a plethora of modern and vintage classics adorn the walls behind you.
Chris can draw on 42 years of guitar retailing experience, many people think he should write a book about his experiences. He started in guitar retailing in 1974 working in a shop in London and it was sink or swim with clientele like Alexis Korner, Dave Gilmour, Mario Maccaferri, Mike Oldfield, Stefan Grossman, Rory Gallagher, Steve Howe, John Williams, Paco Pena and Joe Pass all passing through the store on a regular basis. He had to 'get with the programme'. These kinds of players assumed the guys in the store knew their stuff! Chris also played in various bands in and around South East London, including his first band 'Deuce' named after Rory Gallaghers second album.
After many years absence, Chris is again playing guitar on stage. 'Two Dogs' are a five piece rock and blues band that enjoy playing classic rock along the lines of; Free and Bad Company with a measure of ZZ Top, SRV, Dire Straits and Eric Clapton thrown into the mix. They are considering recording a CD soon,and can be booked via the shop if you want to hire them.
Chris is proud of the fact that he is rarely, if ever, stumped on a guitar related question and has credits on many top selling Aussie recordings, including Australian Crawl, British India, Crowded House, Skyhooks, Southern Sons, Joe Camilleri, Mojo Risin, Trial Kennedy, Malcura, Annialhist, Phil Para and Jimi "the Human" Hocking.
Most famous guitarist to visit ? Peter Frampton. Most famous guitarist to look in window? ( couldn't entice him in ) Miami Steve Van Zandt.
Recently the business has sold guitars to bands like Airbourne, Massive, Jet, the Black Keys, British India and the Gingers, not to mention a Uke to Peter Mitchell, the Channel 7 newsreader. The shop has credits on CDs by Triple J performers like Sonic Animation and British India.
These credits are generally earned by giving advice, support, repair work and occasionally, product to up and coming bands. Many famous identities have chosen to shop at the store, and regular visitors are amazed at who they spot in the shop! Actors&Film stars, V8 Supercar drivers, AFL players, NBL basketballers, newscasters and international rock stars have all been noticed at Guitars Plus.
All of the staff at the shop are well skilled at diagnosing problems with guitars and never charge for a quick tune-up or advice. This is well appreciated by the wealth of young people who have started guitar over the last few years. We currently have four guitar teachers and teach every day bar Sunday's. Whilst most guitar repairs are done in house we do call on the expertise of Craig O'Donnell for more complex work.