Gary's Guitars   800 Islington St    Portsmouth, NH   03801    (603) 427-6133 

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 I grew up in a musical household.  My dad loved big band jazz and filled the house with the music of Duke, the Count, Woody, Miles and others.  I, of course, was more interested in the Stones, Jimi and the Mothers of Invention so, the clarinet got traded for a guitar when I was 12.  The next 30 years saw me play guitar, and later bass, in groups of just about every musical style except jazz!  In 1981 a bandmate was working as the guitar repairman at the Guitar Warehouse on Pleasant St. in Portsmouth and when he told me there was an opening I ran right down and got my first music store job.

While there I learned the retail thing and a LOT about the world of guitars.  When business was slow I took advantage of my friends' patience and skills to learn the basics of guitar repair.  When I opened Gary's Guitars in 1989, with the late great luthier Chris Pearne, I continued to pursue something else I learned from my father....the love of fixing things.  Chris was also patient and generous as he coached me thru whatever job walked in the door.  Soon my moto was "Every Guitar Gets Some Respect" at Gary's Guitars.    

Over the next few years I found and hired the greatest employees imaginable.  Marc, Paul and Woody are not only the friendly, caring guys that you have come to know but also loyal trustworthy employees.

So, what do I like about my job?  I get to sell a fellow music lover their first guitar.  I am able to help customers find just the right guitar, or part for their project.  I spend a good part of each day making every guitar that comes thru the door as good as it can be.  I get to talk about guitars and music.  I never leave the house in the morning thinking, darn, I have to go to work!   GARY 


Marc was born a third generation musician.   Literally born into music, his birth certificate mentions Fleedwood Recording Studios.  One grandfather was a concert violinist, the other would entertain at fisherman's parties in rural Newfoundland.   His father was a jazz trumpet player who ran away from home at the age of 15 to travel with a big band.    Marc began playing music in high school and in the course of several years he learned to play guitar, bass, drums, and piano.    He began working at Gary's in 1996, mostly because Gary got tired of him hanging around the store doing nothing.    Since 1996 he's also lived in Seattle, and Moscow (in Russia) but has always returned to the seacoast, and Gary has taken him back every time.

He is the owner, operator of the Electric Cave Recording Studio in Portsmouth as well as importer of AEG and Oktava microphones for North America. He still enjoys working a few days at Gary's to stay connected to the community and see the best deals first.

In the year 2000 he founded the local rock band Elroy and has also played with a majority of local bands at one time or another either in the studio or live.   He also owns most of the vintage gear you wish you had.   His favorite guitar is an Archtop Kay with a D'Armond pick up, neck reset by Jim Tierney, re-freted and set up by Chris Pearne.    Of all of his vintage amplifiers, his favorite is still the Citation by Excelsior (Sano) he bought from Gary in 1990.



Paul got his start fixing everything from toasters to camcorders with Montgomery Ward.  After 10 years or so he decided to move on and find a more rewarding job working on tube amps.  He started here in the late 1990s and opened his own business, Seacoast Audio and Video.  Paul is normally here Tuesdays and Thursdays to fix your amps, pedals and other electronic stuff......especially vintage audio gear. 


Woody promised to write something.

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