20 February 2009

Manny's to Close in May; Entire Music Row of W. 48th Street Endangered


Manny's Musical Instruments, a Midtown landmark since 1935, will close its doors forever at the end of May, and the remainder of the Music Row—as the block of W. 48th Street between Seventh and Sixth Avenues is affectionately known—may soon fall like a row of dominoes.

Following up on a reader's tip, I paid a call on Manny's today and was told by a staff member that the store would shutter at the end of the May. Manny's was bought out in 1999 by Sam Ash, the musical 300-pound gorilla of Music Row and the most visible merchant on the street. A man from Sam Ash called a meeting at Manny's last Saturday and dropped the bomb that, after 74 years, Manny's would be put out of business. Some Manny's employees may be taken on by other Sam Ash stores here and in Jersey.


According to the clerk, however, that may only be the beginning of it. The folks from Rockefeller Center have apparently been buying up parts of the block, included a mammoth parking garage that lies across the street, and aim to level the entire street so that the Center can expand across Sixth Avenue. Put simply, Music Row, one of the last real vestiges of Old Times Square, will cease to exist.

Comments made by Paul Ash, president of Sam Ash Music, to The Real Deal in 2008, do not encourage one to think that Ash will put up a fight. "It's inevitable that Music Row is going to end," said Paul Ash, "One day, both of these corners will be built up like [they are] on the other end of the block, and we're just waiting for the shoe to drop."

Manny's sits on property owned by its founding family. In the same Real Deal article, Ian Goldrich, Manny's grandson, said "I get at least a call a day from someone who wants to buy the building."

Over the years, Manny's has serviced such clients as Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker, Buddy Holly, the Beatles to Jimi Hendrix, U2, Eric Clapton and Nirvana. This almost hurts even more than the recent news that Tin Pan Alley might be torn down, because Music Row still exists. It's alive and functioning.

85 comments:

Ken Mac said...

if the public knew all the legendary musicians who visited Manny's like it was a holy grail. The walls are covered with pics of everyone from Clapton to James Brown. The place is living history personified. It's also one of the few places in town that carries my book, Classic Rock Drummers! Thanks for the report.

Anonymous said...

I have been buying synthesizers at Manny's since 1981 and magic moments have been waiting for keyboard specialist Rick Stevenson to finish taking care of Brian Eno or Pat Metheny. It was always the class act on the block and will be sorely missed.
Carter B. Horsley

Anonymous said...

You forgest that GNR's Paradise City video was filmed here in 1988.

Miss Ya Manny's!

breadchick said...

When I worked for a manufacturer of speakers used on tours, I called on Manny's. I remember walking up the long stairway to the office floor and looking at the signed pictures to the folks at Manny's. Best of all was the personal tokens of appreciation up in the offices from the musicians (famous and not so famous). How sad...

Signed D.C. said...

The world might as well put a knife in my heart right now. I can't take much more of this desecration.

Chris kleckner said...

Another landmark gone. The whole block is being gobbled up and will be unrecognizable.

Peter said...

Thats why I buy at sweetwater!

Anonymous said...

They should build a Manny's wing at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They can display all the photos and memorabilia there. What a historic place. Sad sign of the times.

Todd Wolfe said...

Bought my first guitar, Fender Mustang, at Manny's back in 1970! Sorry to see it go and the rest of the block ... it's been done too many times and takes away a part of history and charm of the city ... is this progress?

Todd Wolfe said...

Actually, one more comment on this ... Ken Mac inspired this ... through the years, met Peter Frampton (before "... comes alive"), Chris Squire, Bo Diddley, Pete Townshend, Leslie West and more, at Manny's back in the 70's ... a thrill for a kid aspiring to play guitar! Very sad indeed!

Spaz of "The Nerds" said...

This place mattered to a lot of people that mattered to a lot more people. Sad to see it go, but just open up a new Manny's a few blocks away. I'll bet Clapten will help move a few boxes!

Ira M.Marlowe said...

Very sad indeed. As a kid I worked for Buddah /Kama Sutra records just a few blocks away at 1650 Broadway at that time. I would go there with the Kelly Isley of the Isley Brothers. It was as much as a meeting place as it was the store to purchase an instrument. Mannys has seen almost every famous and not so famous musicians walk into their doors, but it would be fair to say everyone loved Mannys. The spirit of those musicians still live there. Mannys grandson Ian and Paul Ash should think long and hard before deep sixing this piece of New York history. In fact Mannys should be designated as a landmark and off limits.

Rnsoul said...

To the blogger who wrote "that's why I shop at Sweetwater" I say, that's why Manny's is closing. You have yo play a guitar before you buy it. You can't feel a neck online. Support your local retailer.

Anonymous said...

Tin Pan Alley will also be no more !
It's a different world man... it's VERY sad.
Former mouse-cateers & contest winners are ruling the charts, along side repetitious washing machine like "beats" that are void of anything melodic, while high school /drum line cheerleaders turned auctioneers turned carnival barkers spew out dumbed down, regurgitated
machismo, manifestos of narcissistic, quasi-poetry saturated with social distortion, and marinated in mono toned, white noise flooded violence ... the end.

PS - if I sound bitter,
it's only because I am

Anonymous said...

Those of us who had the chance to experience the real NYC pre 2000 will only have the memories. I work up the block from Manny's and it will be a sad day when it does not exist any more. I am ready to get the hell out of this overpriced, gentrified by bumphuck dwellers, city.

NYCRnR

Rob Heinink said...

I grew up in Hackensack, NJ . We used to play hooky and take the bus to NYC and spend the better part of the day at Manny's. I can still visualize Henry walking around the store and calling out to one of the employees to bring down a guitar from upstairs. How about that beat up yellow Danelectro (?) solid body guitar that everyone would play when trying out different amps. I bought alot of equipment there in the 60's, my first wah wah pedal (Vox), a Maestro fuzz tone, after hearing Satisfaction on the radio. I remember buying a used 63' Gretsch Country Gentleman from Henry for $325 in 1967. The store is a musical landmark for sure. I met Elliot Randall and Gene Cornish there. One time I remember seeing a new set of drums up against a side wall with Ringo Starr's name stenciled across each case. I think we waited at least two hours hoping he might pick them up himself. I'm sorry to see it go. Hey, the Stones live in the city, maybe they could buy the building and preserve it as piece of musical history.

Lot's of great memories.

Gerald Thomas said...

Shame! One more down. I wonder what will be next! TRUMP himself? The Holland Tunnel and ALL of the population of NJ?
Wow!
Gerald

Alphonso said...

I can remember my first visit to Manny's feeling like I had discovered a magical castle. I was so in awe of the musical instruments and the really cheap prices that my plan was to go back to Philly and save as much money as I could. I made my monthly visits to buy equipment but spent most of my time imagining that I could stay all day and not have to go back outside to the real world. Thanks for the incredible memories !!

Ed said...

Ed Pomerant was at Manny's the day the Beatles Crew came in to pickup the Ludwig Drums and A Zilgan Cymbals for the Ed Sullivan show the next day. I decided to get the identical set of Gray Pearl but they only had the Blue Pearl left. Manny himself waited on me. This brought back memories as I watched a Beatle Mania show live last night at the Hard Rock Hotel here in Hollywood, Florida.My email address is cptcrom@bellsouth.net.

Anonymous said...

…I remember buying my first synth at Manny’s back in 1981 and to the salesman’s question if I needed one for stage or for a studio, I naively said "studio", and wound up with a Juno-6 instead of venerable "Juno-60". Years later I was pissed at my quick choice...
I will sorely miss this wonderful and very ‘romantic’ music store, where I used to lose myself, wondering for hours, trying new and unknown things, talking to expert sales staff and playing anything and everything in sight…

Feels reminiscent to Coney Island closing its doors last year – it’s like an end of an era… What are they going to do? Put another “luxurious” condo complex in its place amidst this economic chaos?
May be someone should indeed inquire with the City government’ Dept. of Landmark Preservations about giving it the said status, banning it from ever being closed?
Or wait for some Japanese conglomerate to buy it out and preserve it?

Another stab at artistic & creative “fabric” of music industry as whole, once again, unable to protect itself from financial take-overs…

With all those yearly highly publicized music award ceremonies with all of their homage and tributes paid to living and deceased musicians of the gone by era, no one can start a fund so we can’t raise enough money to avoid the disaster?
We protect rare animals. This one is one of the last standing Mohegans… Can somebody do something? Bet those very musicians who’s signed autographs are all over the walls, could perhaps save the very place that helped even more propel them to even greater stardom. Time to pay old debts back…

Mike said...

Funny how we are supposed to be heading into more difficult times. yet corporate America is still trouncing on, gobbling up everything.
More than likely, with our tax money.
Shame.

Jonitals said...

As these posts suggest the Manny's we knew and loved hasn't existed for a long time. The store used to be filled with enthusiastic sales people who would go out of their way to get you the right guitar, or amp.
For years now, the sales staff has been made up of the same disaffected Goths that slump around Guitar Center. The store carries the same crap as GC or Sam Ash, and as such any individuality the store had was lost. On top of that the Keyboard and Computer people were completely unversed in the newer technologies. I've lost count the number of times I've asked questions about a piece of gear and ended up walking out after listening to a stream of embarrassing waffle. Manny's could neither stay the same or change, and went the way of all dinosaurs.

Mike Armstrong said...

I was playing at the Lone Star Cafe in 1981...forgot a bag of guitar cables & stompboxes at our previous gig in Baltimore. One call to Manny's, and they set me right up, then wouldn't take back the gear afterwords...said it was their contribution to our band!!! Let's see a music store do something like that today!!! What a bummer!!!

Big Beat said...

First Tower Records, then CBGB, now Manny's... The city is losing all of its musical landmarks.

Anonymous said...

Another truly authentic establishment going, going, gone.

I hope that whatever business takes over that location, it isn't owned by private equity or traded on a stock exchange.

UncleDano said...

Worked at Manny's from '91-93. This is very sad information, indeed. The demise of Music Row was unavoidable it seems. Just to be part of the history of the place is an honor. The only thing that hurt more is when Ash bought the place. That stung. We had battled it out for years.

Eric Hilton said...

In 1972, my fiancĂ©e took me to Manny’s to buy me an engagement present, where this cool little Jazz Guitar playing dude sold me a Baldwin Ode Banjo. 18 years later I went there to find something special, and the same Jazz Guitar playing dude sold me a white Gibson J-200 guitar that I have never seen any other place.

Manny’s is like a giant “Guitar candy store” where you can actually find and play some of the sweetest instruments in NY…………….What a shame!

BIG Cal said...

why dont you NY Bloke's get off your apethetic backsides and fight for this historic landmark.in australia we have a thing called heritage listing,once a building is listed it cannot be touched or modified forever,so come on NY you have already lost the world trade center, whats next the statue of Liberty,if i remember correctly if it was'nt for NY's French citizens funding the statue,it wouldnt of existed in its presentglorious form,i think Mannys comes under that Category come on NY Fight for It.........

Mel said...

I remember buying "combo orchs" for my band at Manny's back in the day. I also used to try accorions upstairs when Alex was the saleman-repairman.

Glenn 'G-Man' Govier said...

This is rough news, but I can't say it's unexpected. With the purchase of Manny's by Sam Ash several years back, maintaining a 'second brand' in this economic climate is an expensive endeavor. It was just a matter of time.

Sad though, yet another piece of NYC history from me ill-spent youth going the way of all things. Back as an early teen, my late brother and I would hop on the A- Train from the Heights and 'go aching' (a semi-rhyming slang thing for 'forty EIGHTH') meaning we were going down to 48th to 'ache' for the gear we couldn't actually afford in the windows of Manny's and the other music shops on the street. Topped off with an Orange Julius, it made for a fun afternoon.

The thing about Manny's was back then you couldn't actually touch the guitars. You'd come in the store, point to a guitar you wanted to see and say 'let me try that one'. Billy, the old jazz cat who worked the counter back then, would reply 'You gonna buy it today'? Of course you weren't, so that would be that. The policy got more relaxed in later years (or maybe we just got older and looked like we had some coin).

The old yellow Danelectro 'tester' guitar (which is now in pieces behind plexiglas in the store) should be donated to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Everyboy who is anybody in the business has touched that guitar; it's like the Blarney Stone of the music industry.

Sad news, sad news indeed... but time marches on.

baseimpulse said...

OH MY GOD!!!!! My heart has completely become depressed! My music college career started from MANNY's MY DJ career started at MANNY's. Many a great musicians have passed through the coveted doors of MANNY's God isn't there anything that we can do to save that precious block? That is HISTORY... what has NYC become!!!! First legendary venues like ROXY and CBGB's GONE.... NOW MANNY's?? oh the heartache!!!!

Timm Kerwin said...

When will people stop tearing down history for the sake of greed and crap???? Some things in life can not be replaced and this happening makes going to Time Square a lot less appealing. There is a whole desert in Arizona where they could expand their !@#$%?&ing buildings. Leave history alone to be enjoyed by more generations.

Timm
Romm & Board Studio
Montreal

Anonymous said...

This whole country is going down the toilet.For a while now our heritage and traditions have been sold out to the highest bidder with no concern about what originally made this the greatest nation the world had ever seen.I have never been to Manny's but know of its rich history and importance.Guitar center and sam ash are boardroom run walmarts of music with no independent identity or service.This is just the latest example of our heritage being thrown out with the garbage. In Detroit, its the auto industry going out of business because of corporate mismanagement and indifference, now independent institutions like Manny's are being handed over to fat cat assholes who put this whole country in this economic shitstorm.
When will congress enact legislation that rewards small independent businesses that have historic value to surrounding communities? When the public finally has had enough of wall street and corporations actually dictating what goes on in Washington, we might be able to salvage what is left of our once great country.Let us not forget the lessons history has taught us.EVERY GREAT EMPIRE IN WORLD HISTORY HAS RUN ITS COURSE AND EVENTUALLY FALLEN.

Matthew said...

I still have my '71 Ludwigs that I bought there and I still have my memories - you can't take that away!

Scholaire said...

Worked on 48th Street from 1979 to 1984. Manny's was the big boy then. End of an era. Time keeps on slippin into the future.

autoproteach said...

I remember cutting school and taking the train from Spring Valley with friends to visit Manny's and dream of buying something. I remember buying a Fuzz Face and some microphones there.
We always thought we might see Clapton or Hendrix there or maybe even a Beatle! This never happened but it was still great to be there.
Took my teenage son several years ago and he was captured by the magic of the place. He will return with some friends before the May closing. I also will make the trip one more time to see this sacred place.
What a heartbreaker!!

barchdan said...

WTF? Blame the corporate world? The family that owned Manny's sold the place to Sam Ash ten years ago. What was Manny's dribbled away as it was integrated into the other company. Either it was too much hassle to run, or the family didn't want to do it, or it didn't make economic/tax sense to continue.

Some things are lost in service but the values are much better. A big stage Fender amp used to cost as much as a decent used car.

Ramon said...

Hey, if Yankee Stadium can be knocked down, then nothing surprises me anymore....

Brendan said...

In 1978, I met BB King at Manny's. I had seen him the night before at the Bottom Line. I was in the market for a guitar and was trying out the Gibson model that BB played (ES 355), when he walked in to buy a case. I got to say hello, shake his hand, tell him I much I loved the show. (Then I went down the block and bought a '63 ES 175 from Alex.)

That's the kind of place it was -- where you could see a show the night before, one that changed your life, and then run into the star buying a case. At Manny's.

I will miss Manny's and the rest of those shops more than I can tell you. I've been going down there since I was a high school kid getting thrown out of Manny's and other stores in the mid-1970s. I could always go back and measure how much I'd grown against the street.

So sad. There are still great guitar stores in New York -- 30th Street Guitars & Dan's Chelsea Guitars, for instance. But that strip, which probably grew out of the needs of musicians playing on Broadway and on 52nd street, is a completely different thing.

ken said...

What a loss!
I guess the days of the small music store are over.
I remember going to Manny's in the 70's because they had the best deals on microphones.

Michael said...

fell the need to say something. I'm from the Catskills (Monticello) and my Dad took us to Manny's in 1967 to buy my first pro drum set. Ludwig black diamond finish top of the line with cymbals for 380 bucks. Manny's was unbelievable back then. Bass drums lining the upper shelves. Manny, Danny, Henry, the drum department, rolling sticks on the counter....it was the best. drooling over the new amps and pa gear. I've gone every opportunity I could over the last 42 years, less now that I live in Spain. Bought Gretsch drums there in the 70's, cymbals in the late 60's that I still have, saw Paul Simon there, George Harrison, and so many others. Hate to see things like this happen even though I guess that's just how it is.

Howie Lindeman said...

It's getting really bad as the other post states, CBGB'S , Roxy and on to the Studios. I started at The Record Plant on 44th in NYC then The Hit Factory on 48th st. As the trees fall now the last hold out goes away, MANNYS MUSIC its freaking bad. I bought my first Gibson ES-335 at Manny's in the early 70's.
From the places to purchase to the places we made music in to the places to we had fun in.
IT'S ALL GOING AWAY..SAD TIMES WE HAVE.
What next US?
As Frank Zappa said "here come the Brain Police"
Howie Lindeman - Audio Engineer

rev elroy p. jones III said...

I AM SHOCKED!! What more can be said about that store's iconic status??
I TOO< used to play hookey from school, ride the A train to make that holy musical pilgrimage. Yes, I TOO, remembaer that battered yellow 'dan-o'. So sad.. I'll bet Jimi Hendrix is crying for the loss somewhere up in the skies..
IT JUST AINT 'RIGHT'.... farewell, old friend....

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Jason Ferguson said...

I was the guitar tech at Manny's Music for several years and I must say that the news of its closure saddens me, but was not altogether unexpected. When it comes down to it, Sam Ash never cared for or respected that store the way they should have. Some will say the store's death was inevitable but it didn't have to be. The rivalry between Sam Ash and Manny's Music was legendary on 48th Street and it didn't go away when they purchased it in 1999 no matter what Paul Ash would have people believe. I think the Ash family is quietly glad to be rid of Manny's. The rich history of Manny's Music will not be soon forgotten. By me, or the countless others who have walked through those doors; average and exceptional, famous and infamous alike. I'm glad to have the memories I have and I feel privileged to have been a part of such a meaningful and truly legendary place.

DaveL said...

As a native New Yorker growing up on the upper west side, I made many a trip to Manny's. As a teenager, the best thing about Manny's was they would let you play, touch and experience the gear. Sam Ash was less favored because they copped an attitude with their younger shoppers. Young people grow up and form inpressions...
I bought my first Les Paul Custom, some amps and countless gear at Manny's, all of which I still have today. Manny's will be fondly remembered by so many of us and deeply missed. To this day, I never shop at Sam Ash. Too sad...
:(

dcr said...

Although I purchased all my stuff there for decades, I have to realize "these times they are-a-changin".
With places "online" now, the brick and mortar places just can't compete.
So much of NYC is changed. I was born and raised there...it's time to adapt and move on.

Molly said...

Save me a shirt I'm on my way....

Dave Martin said...

An amazing shop and a landmark that will be missed in New York, the place is amazing and has so much history. i've visited the place about five times( on my travels to the USA ) and have purchased things from them by phone here in the UK . The staff have always been helpful and great and they where the only place that could get the expandora pedal for me back in the 90's .......it will be sadly missed !

Mike Smith said...

My buds and I used to go there almost every Saturday in the summers of the late 70's. We'd stare and drool over all of the cool guitars we couldn't afford. It was never "Let's go to 48th street.'. It was always "Let's go to Manny's!" Over the years I bought a Fuzz Face, Pedalflanger, Mu-Tron Bi-Phaser, Tube Screamer, and god knows how many strings and picks. (And I also played the yellow Danelectro numerous times....and I'm a nobody!) Very sad to see it go. So many nice memories of days long gone.

Anonymous said...

I bought my first good guitar at Manny's, and many more. Me and my friend Chris used to stop by everyday after school to drool over the guitars and harass Henry. We were only 15 yrs old back then. Just stopped by last week to pay my respects.

garie waltzer said...

My father, Irving Waltzer, had a music store around the corner from Manny's- Banner Music, a 2nd floor musician's hangout- lots of musicians from the Philharmonic hung out there, studying with Leon Russianoff, my dad's partner and famous clarinet teacher. Does anyone remember Banner Music, which closed its doors in the early 60's? They sold, repaired and rented instruments and gave lessons there. It was at 1595 Broadway, between 48th and 49th- the building was replaced years ago. I am looking for photos of the original street scene at that location. Please contact me if you have any info.

jesse said...

I remember vividly as a kid, aspiring to be a guitar god myself, leafing through the myriad magazines related to the music industry and guitar playing that I would collect each month, and seeing the ads for legendary shops like Manny’s. This is where all the pros shop, I would tell myself. Just think of how many of my personal heroes have walked through that door, picked a guitar off one of those walls, and maybe even left a signed token of their appreciation. And I hoped that if I ever got to New York, Manny’s would be top of my list to visit. Sadly, I never made it there (to Manny’s, anyway). Now another great piece of history will be lost to the destructive cloud that is Capitalistic Greed. Times change, and time changes everything, and you either go with the flow or get left behind. Still, I can’t help but feel we’re cheapening ourselves and our (lack of) heritage and culture by not preserving such gems as Manny’s.
Play on.

Blueheart2 said...

I, too, have been stunned by Manny's closing! I went there often in the late 60's and beyond. I got my first good guitar there - a beautiful Guild parlor guitar. Also a big bass amp & cabinet (Hartke) and a fine new hi-hat pedal.
They always treated me well, with respect, and not as just some silly girl. I really loved that place... I haven't been anywhere nearly as great as Manny's.

There's been a terrible degrading in music stores.

Dennis said...

just walked by today and was shocked to see the sign at Manny's: Closed Forever. i guess the fact that many of us have commented that we used to go to the shop to play guitars we "couldn't afford" says a lot about why a place like Manny's couldn't make it in midtown manhattan! just last week i bought hundreds of dollars worth of sheet music for pennies at the closing of Patelson's behind carnegie hall. if NYC didn't have its tall buildings and crowded streets it would be as boring and generic as anywhere else in the country where bank branches and chain stores rule.

dcr said...

I bought plenty of drum stuff here for years and years. Used to go and just hang out during the day to see if I could meet any "greats". It really should have been a landmark. I'm all for "moving on", but some things don't need to. This was one.

Elizabeth said...

This makes me sad, too. But if all those celebrities and famous musicians really loved Manny's, couldn't they have saved it? I'm assuming it was just a matter of money. Or maybe they didn't know it was in trouble in time.

Maybe you could start blogging about places that we might lose, or places that shouldn't be lost. There are many places I read about on here that I would have made a special effort to patronize and tell my friends about if I'd known they were in trouble, but usually by the time I find out it's too late. Do what the Grey Lady won't.

Dave Klein said...

I used to go to Manny's as a 16-year old kid in 1969. Bought my Vox/Clyde McCoy Wah-Wah there among other things. One day I stopped in just to buy some picks and was wandering around the store when the whitest guy I ever saw started playing a Flying V - with a thumb pick. It was Johnny Winter and I was dumbstruck. As his fingers flew all over the fretboard, all I could say was "how can you play like that with just a thumb pick?" He stopped for a moment, looked at me and said "That's just how I learned, man", and went back to burning up the V! Manny's will be missed

Chosun Taekwondo Academy said...

I worked at Manny's for 25 years, first as a salesman, then eventually working my way up to Vice President. As Henry Goldrich, owner and son of Manny said, this waqs the hub of the music business in NYC. We dealt with EVERYONE from Mick Jagger and John Lennon to the beginner buying that first guitar or drum set. These were exciting times. Then came the time of efficency experts and it all spiraled down from there. Still, the old staff, while difficult to deal with at times, was the best. We knew our stuff and were proud of it. I miss those days. Thank you Henry, Stu, Judi, Helen, Laura, Danny, Ian, Judd and Holly for the good times. The real Manny's will be missed.

Herb DeCordova said...

I'm sick over this. I shopped at the ORIGINAL MANNY'S down the block (closer to 6th Ave) when I was 10 years old (1962). In 1964 I bought my first (Super Clasic) Ludwig drumset. About 15 years later I walked into the "new" store and told Henry (Manny's son) and Danny (Manny's son-in-law) that I wanted to work there. I was hired on the spot and worked behind the drum counter for about 3years. I was in heaven. If I write every good memory it would be a book: Picking out cymbals WITH Buddy Rich. Playing handmade percussion instruments with Carl Palmer. Getting to know Mitch Mitchell (Hendrix), Terry Bozzio, Sonny Payne, Simon Phillips, Alan White, Irv Kotler (Sinatra). Preparing tour equipment for YES, THE WHO, ELP, Deep Purple (I remember Richie Blackmore bought a lot of guitars)etc etc etc. Hearing Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) "test" a black flute on the 2nd level. Seeing John Entwhistle (RIP) sitting and talking with Henry. Speaking with John Paul Jones while he tested a synthesizer. Picking out a drumset with Bill Kreutzmann (Grateful Dead) and carrying them to his rented car. And, of course there was the non-stop parade of the NY Rock'n'Rollers: RAMONES, BLONDIE, Twisted Sister. And those Saturday mornings when the international musicians from the cruise ships would flood the store. And....we had the GREATEST SALESTAFF! Billy "I'm WISE" in the guitar dept with Doug Cook and Benny. Charlie Roth and Steve Arnold in the drum dept. And...The whole Manny's Family: King Henry and Judi, Danny and Helen, Stuart and Laura, Ian, Judd and Holly. We were all "In The Family". It was awesome. I loved every minute. I'd love to hear from anyone I mentioned to keep the chain alive.

jstoddard said...

A lot of nostalgia, but where was everyone when the family running the joint sold out to Sam Ash ? Actually, for guitar players there are a lot friendlier bricks-mortar stores in NYC... Manny's was like so much of NYC... everything put up.. pushy obnoxious salespeople...difficult to get service... We congregated there like lemmings, sharing the misery. Definitely agree about the yellow Danelectro though... that should be in the hall of fame.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately WE are the reason a place like Manny's is gone. Can you really blame a musician for shopping for the lowest price when most don't have two nickles to rub together? The reality is that you need to pay for service...you want single digit mark-up? Then do your own homework and go to GC or SA. If you want the opinion of someone that has sold the stuff..lived and breathed the stuff than you need to pay a bit more for it!

Anonymous said...

I saw Ringo's Ludwig drums on the sidewalk waiting to be loaded for the Ed Sullivan show. I knew Manny and Henry and Ritchie, and always got a great deal on banjos and guitars, as I matured as a musician. My band's photo was on the wall. I still use my Manny's Fuzz. Nothing is as sure as change in this life.

r said...

Thats so sad to see them go...I remember seeing Jon Anderson down there around 1977 or 78

Anonymous said...

I got my 12 string epiphone acoustic there in '65.In '67 I waited 3 months for my Hofner bass.I lived a subway ride away in Queens and going to Manny's was an adventure with a pot of gold at the end.I'm beyond shocked and disappointed it's gone.Please preserve all those great 8X10 photos and other memorabilia.Thanks to Manny's for all the great years satisfying professional and aspiring musicians.....Bob from NH

Anonymous said...

i pray like a lot of other people that at the minimum all those wonderfull photos get preserved by the rock and roll hall of fame.

they will be missed by every one they touched
chas g

Stephen said...

What a loss!! Every trip I make to NYC, I always go to 48th St. As a guitarist its like a pilgrimage. Pretty soon we'll all be buying guitars and music supplies at K Mart!!...UGH!!

Lil' Stevie

r.j.romano said...

i bought guitars at the first mannys,the old blue front building,on 48th .that time there was many music stores.but mannys was my favorite.i purchased from manny himself henrys father,and two sisters and of course henry.they put up with me paying on time for a mosrite burgundy over heavy gold flake.i knew that semie mosely wanted to show that guitar it was in the front window.i then purchased a special order joe maphis double neck guitar.they put up with me again.my fondest memories and my heart is at mannys music.when the new store was done i was a regular i played all over the city and went in early just to go to shopping at mannys.it was and is new york history.the players i met was amazing ..everybody was there at any given time.the names too many to list.all famous.i consider myself lucky to have met many great guitar players there.i hope it is there for many more years.god bless henry and all the family.mannys forever.bobby romano

Anonymous said...

The city should designate this building as an historic landmark and preserve the history - we do not need another high rise at this site - give the poor Rockefeller Group a tax break if they need the money that bad. I've been buying stuff at Manny's since 1970 but have switched to Sweetwater because their customer service has no equal. Man, do I miss going to Manny's - Sam Ash is like a corporation that has no family vibe - like Guitar Center. They are not personable ... just clerks out to sell you something. Sweetwater from now on.

Anonymous said...

that's what happens when u treat your dedicated hard worker's like crap!!!
over worked, under paid and unappreciated.

Roberto Puras said...

I bought my first Amp and Bass at Manny's back in 1968. In those days the store crawled with music legends up to this day! W 48st was Manny's

Anonymous said...

I'm just a hack guitarist from Australia but I have fond memories of visiting Manny's on numerous trips over the years. I first read about this fantastic store in Guitar Player mag in the early 70's and it never dissapointed me with the friendly staff and great gear. A terrible loss but they cant take away those wonderful memories.

po said...

The cool thing about Manny's was the lack of frills, brute professionalism, rock bottom pricing and inventory ... If you wanted e.g. a guitar, you could say "I want to buy an X model of such and such a make ... I'd like to see three to choose from." They quickly appeared from an old rickety elevator and you could try them on the floor ... They were a great old business model ruined by the internet. Now people simply shop for price to save a very few bucks vs. knowing that all instruments ... Well, you understand. I guess Sam Ash got hip to the web first. Somebody should write a book ...

Anonymous said...

Hello
I came from France to bought an Ovation Collector 2007 so the shop was realy great. History of the music and history of this steet is over, i'm sad

Klavierunterricht Online said...

The main parts of the harp are the body the long curved neck carved out of the root of a tree and a string bar running down the center of the top of the body.

Anonymous said...

if it was 1962,3,4 and I didn't want school that day I'd get on the R and get off on 57 walk back to stand in front of the Mtrl pole to see nd hr Gene Kruper walk on to manny's dream awhile then go home yes I wanted to be a drummer. one day I did go in to find the people in there were absoultly nice buying a pair of sticks Igot some good advice from Gene Krupa about dreams and reality ,well I became fairly famous in the motorcycle world. where else in the world can a young boy be able to do these things nothings like it used to be! thanks

Rafael from Barcelona said...

I bought my sax in Manny´s when I visited New York in 1998. I didn´t know a word of music in that time but Roy King encouraged me to get the instrument with love and patience. Thanks again Roy, you were very important to me.

zeeman said...

I have been to Manny's many times over the years to try the great collection of saxophones they used to carry. It was a grand place to visit and buy a horn.I've played in and visited Europe many times and I always marvel at the way the Italians and many other cultures there revere their past and do not tear down the old with no regard for the rich history of the buildings and neighborhoods. New York City is the cultural center of this country. It is the music center for the world. The modern piano evolved here. Jazz grew up here. Folk music, protest music, rock music,blues you name it, they all evolved and grew here. The neighborhoods and businesses that nurtured the movements in culture grew and developed organically to make a great birthplace for art. Tearing it all down is what societies do just before the fall.The tear down inevitably has greed as a root cause.

Steve G. said...

I am not a professional musician, just somone who walked into Manny's one day in the early 90's wanting to buy my wife an acoustic guitar. The salesman who was helping me spent so much time with me asnswering all of my questions. I knew this was the palce to be to make this purchase. It felt so right. Then all of a sudden, the salesman got a panicked look on his face and got in my face and quickly said like a madman, "I have to go, I have to leave you now, Tony Bennett just walked in and I have to help him." In a flash, the salesman was gone and out of public sight with Mr. Bennett. In any other store, I would have been insulted that the salesman just dumped me, but not at Manny's. I was more impressed that I was purchasing a guitar in the same store that Mr. Bennett was in. I never got a chance to thank the salesman who was helping me that one day long ago, so thank you Mr. Manny's Salesman, no offense taken when you left me standing there holding three guitars in my hands, you did a great job selling me a Yamaha acoustic guitar.

Steve G.
Long Island, NY

John S. Kalivoda said...

In the early 70's I took my extra pay for directing the Marching Band in Sayre, Pa to Manny's and bought my Selmer Mark Tenor; spent a day on the second floor with about four of them to pick from WOW. That horn is probably still running around the city somewhere because it was stolen from my Salvation Army quarters in Sunset Park, Brooklyn in 1980. What a FABULOUS PLACE Yes - how sad!!

Jim Horn said...

Jim Horn said,
I started buying instruments in 1959 from Manny Senior.The Legendary King Curtis told me to go buy my next saxophone at Manny's. I was playing the Allen Freed Easter Week shows at The Brooklyn Fox Theater with Duane Eddy. I needed to by a King Tenor. Manny had a gold plated silver bell horn that just arrived. It was beautiful. After that I bought a Haynes Flute, Holton Bass Sax, 2 Selmer low A baritone saxes and 1 more King tenor. Not to mention all the accessories that I bought over the years. I still have those horns and am still using them in the studios. It's a shame they can't leave the store building standing and build around it!!! Great memories there. The legacy is lost for the next generations. Jim Horn.

Will Boggs said...

Wow, Manny's was one of my favorites for years. 1970s I bought some of my favorite instruments here. Sad to see that part of NYC go away.

Daryl J said...

It's sad that such a great place of music is now just gone. It will definitely not be forgotten especially for those of us who grew up here in it's hey day of the late 70s, early 80s. We will miss the great music and vibe.

Phil Washington said...

The 1980s were definitely the highlights of my youth and my love affair with the W. 48th St. From "Paradise City" to the great graffiti artists and boomboxes of the era, it will be something that we will never see again. We miss you Manny's !

Frank said...

Times change and so do the cities that we love. The important thing is that the change that happens is for the better. In cases like Manny's you can't really see the better, but with so much competition in fields like musical instruments, it's hard to offer the best price and still make a profit.