Music Business Honored at NAMM Show
By Dean Lee
Photo by Dean Lee
Long time music store owners Tom Seymour and
his son and Rich Seymour were honored at this year’s National
Association of Music Merchants show for 50 years of being in the
retail music business. The two own and run the legendary Fret House
music store in downtown Covina.
Tom Seymour said 1969, the year he opened,
was a good year for music, “There was a big expansion in the mid to
late '60s and there has been some retrenchment in the last 10
He said they started the store in 1969 with
six acoustic guitars, “four of them came from my home living room.”
He said before that he was teaching guitar
while in college.
Both Tom and Rich Seymour said about NAMM
“We are looking for innovations in the lines that we carry and new
products that are introduced and things that are new to the
They said this year C.F. Martin let them
choose the wood for their guitars “We went with high altitude Swiss
spruce top and Guatemalan rosewood for sides and back.”
Tom Seymour also said the new Fender
American Acoustasonic Series, a hybrid acoustic/electric guitar was
interesting but they are not sure yet if they will put them in the
store. He said at $1,999 they are a bit pricy.
“Fender is going to have another less
expensive model of it out later this year, we might wait for that,”
Longtime friends of Tom and Rich, Mica
Thomas and Ron Wickersham of Alembic instruments were also given
awards for 50 years in business for manufacturing.
Ron Wickersham started as the Grateful
Dead's sound system engineer and Alembic, the company he started,
was the guitar builder for Jerry Garcia.
The NAMM Show, January 24 through January 27
welcomed over 2,000 exhibiting member companies, representing 7,000
brands. NAMM started in 1902 in Baltimore and is the oldest music
trade show in the country. The next show will be January 16 to 19,