Growing up, I always envied the players who got to be on the road and discover cool pieces of gear in rural pawnshops and independent music stores. The internet has pretty much killed the needle-in-a-haystack gear discovery, but advances in technology have also made it easier for rural stores to sell worldwide and become stronger and more connected to great gear.
Since I have been on the road for the last 6 years doing in-store clinics, I feel like I’ve been in just about every cool music store in the country and have gathered a short list of favorites. Some are favorites because of the layout, others because of the gear inventory, and some are favorites just for the people there.
One of the coolest stores in the country is Two Old Hippies (2OH) in Nashville, Tennessee. (They have a second location in Aspen, CO but I haven’t visited that one yet.) OK, imagine a store that is a mixture of one-of-a-kind acoustic guitars, bitchin rock and roll memorabilia, lifestyle products like music-themed clothes and jewelry, and an amazingly intimate performance venue right there in the store.
The store is the brainchild of Tom and Molly Bedell, who describe the store with these words from their site:
…Now, with our kids grown and “real world” careers behind us, Two Old Hippies is the connection to our roots. Serendipity brought us to the setting. The Great Divide, a funky little Bluegrass guitar and music shop in the heart of Aspen, Colorado, was up for sale. We scooped it up, brought it back to life and filled it with everything we love.
Our love of music is expressed in a collection of premium acoustic guitars, Great Divide Vintage Guitars and the next generation of custom Bedell Guitars. 2OH delivers hippie chic clothing (inspired by Molly’s Peace Love and Rock n’ Roll penchant for comfort and color), textiles and products sourced globally, along with thoughtful gifts to share.
Rock N’ Roll Memorabilia brings us right back to ‘the day.’ Discoveries from our travels, including fine textiles, artwork and crafts from indigenous cultures, speaks to our One World way of life. Portions of our earnings will be directed back to global communities, and individual artists.
But, beyond material things, Two Old Hippies is an outlet for the values and beliefs that two “born” hippies acquired long ago. Seek peace and harmony for all living things. Inspire community. “Be True” to ourselves. And share in the spirit of Peace, Love & Rock N’ Roll.
Like them, I don’t just love guitars- I love the whole music universe. That includes guitars of course, but also the lifestyle, the look, the experience, and the passion that surrounds all of us weirdo musicians who would rather do music than almost anything else. Having Molly give us the tour around 2OH was torture- for the sole reason that my paycheck was nowhere near the size of my purchasing appetite! haha
Ladies and Gentlemen, put this store on your bucket list. It’s a destination and a true work of art in our cookie-cutter, big box, homogenized retail world. These people know inventory, branding, environment and personal interaction.