“At any level, you are welcomed”: Gibson’s Cesar Gueikian hopes Gibson Garage London becomes a welcoming “hangout” spot

“You want to play a Greeny replica? Here it is. Go at it. And everything is set up. You can play at your own pace.”

Gibson Garage London

Credit: Gibson

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Gibson opened the doors of its first-ever flagship store outside of the US over the weekend, and the brand’s CEO Cesar Gueikian hopes it will be a welcoming and comfortable environment for players of all levels.

At the Garage, you can plug in and play more than 300 electric and acoustic guitars across varying Gibson brands. The store hosted a special event last week where Gibson also announced a new partnership with Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page – starting with a Custom Shop recreation of his 1971 Gibson EDS-1275 double neck.

Although the space feels very grand, as the saying goes, we all start somewhere – and many of us will remember (or will still experience) that uncomfortable feeling of navigating a guitar store when you only know a few riffs to be able to give a guitar a test drive.

But Gueikian hopes the Gibson Garage can become a “hangout spot” for musicians of all backgrounds, abilities and styles. He tells MusicRadar, “For us, as guitarists, we have had that experience growing up where it was intimidating. You didn’t know necessarily how to play well enough in the standards of the shop. You would feel intimidated. And they would look down on you.

“I think that’s changed quite a bit. We are most definitely focused on providing the best experience any guitar player can have walking in, being welcomed, being able to play absolutely anything.

“You want to play a Greeny replica? Here it is. Go at it. And everything is set up. You can play at your own pace. You can put headphones on and play it with a Mesa/Boogie with the CabClone to the headphones so that you are in your own space,” he explains.

Gueikian describes the Garage team as friendly and welcoming, and hopes they will make you want to come back again. “We see in Nashville, what we have had is people come on a very regular basis, and it is just to try new things and talk to our guitar pros, and see who’s performing live. You never know who you are going to run into, who is going to be visiting the Garage. It is all part of creating that community, a music community that is welcoming at any level.”

He later adds, “I think there is a lot of great examples of guitar shops and dealers that are doing it. I see it. Go to Peach Guitars. Go to Andertons. GuitarGuitar. I think they are doing a great job. These are welcoming places. I know that they think about it, and they train their people, and they hire accordingly to make sure that you are welcomed. At any level, you are welcomed.”

Find out more about the Gibson Garage London.

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