Many questions surround the upcoming closure of Manny's, the musical instrument institution on W. 48th Street's Music Row. When is the closing date? Is there a closing date? Will Manny's life be extended? Who controls whether the lease is extended or not—Sam Ash or Rockefeller Center? What's to become of the walls of photos of famous musicians?
The question that weighs most on my mind, however, is, what will become of "Old Yellow." Old Yellow is the nickname of a gnarled, tortured Danolectro guitar. For many years, it was Manny's tester guitar. It has been held and played by every great guitar players you can mention from Clapton to Hendrix. Both George Harrison and John Lennon wanted to buy it. Someone accurately described it as the Blarney Stone of the Music Industry.
The headstock broke off some time ago, and now the guitar sits on display in a Plexiglass case. Surely, this must be donated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It is doubtless the most valuable artifact in the store, and one of the most valuable in New York music history.