Dealers' Choice Awards - VOTING NOW OPEN! CLICK HERE TO VOTE!
[responsive_menu]

Wrong Direction? Sorry, Chief – No Direction Yet

Christian Wissmuller •
  • Last Word
• December 31, 2013

Last January, MMR’s longtime publisher Sid Davis wrote in his editorial column about the floppy-haired moppets in One Direction, the Simon Cowell-created boy band phenomenon. “I hold no ill will towards the five young guys from across the pond, widely heralded as the ‘new British Invasion’,” he commented. However, when compared to the “fab four” of a time long gone by (very long. Yikes!), Sid noted the following: “The Beatles – aside from their legendary ability as tunesmiths and players – made a generation conscious of their instruments: George Harrison’s Rickenbacker; Ringo’s Premier and Ludwig kits; Lennon’s Epiphone; and McCartney’s Hofner and Martin, to name just a few. Add Gretsch, Gibson, Fender, and Vox to the [Beatles’] mix and you had a cornucopia of product silently, but effectively, endorsed by the skills of their masters.”

Read More...

NAMM Prep: The Experts’ Guide to Anaheim Dining and Entertainment

Christian Wissmuller •
  • Veteran Voices
• December 31, 2013

The annual industry gathering in Anaheim has plenty to recommend it: groundbreaking, game-changing instruments get introduced (we hope); plenty of orders are placed, or at least considered for when folks return home (we really hope); and it’s an opportunity for old friends and colleagues to reconnect in ways that just can’t be achieved as meaningfully via email or texts. While the very nature of the Winter NAMM Show ensures that most attendees will have very little in the way of “free time,” many do find themselves with at least one afternoon, or a spare hour here and there, that isn’t spoken for.

With all due respect to the Hilton, Marriott, and the fine folks at the Anaheim Convention Center, there’s something to be said for expanding one’s scope beyond the block-and-a-half radius around W. Convention Way when looking for food or entertainment while in California this January. With that in mind, MMR reached out to some of our good friends in MI retail and supply to get the inside scoop on where to go and why. While some chose to play it cagey (Mike Matthews, I’m looking at you!), most were willing to share some hard-earned insights into the restaurants, bars, and hotspots in the area that might make your visit to the O.C. a little more enjoyable in 2014. Read on and start planning…

Read More...

Internet Sales Tax: Leveling the Playing Field

Kevin Mitchell •
  • Editorial
• December 31, 2013

In December 3rd, the Supreme Court let stand a lower court’s ruling that states can tax online retailers even if they don’t have a physical presence in that state.

This is the beginning of the end for a needless unfair advantage that has hurt the retailers that are the backbone of this country’s economy. This is also a win for all communities themselves that have been hurt by the loss of revenue that is needed to build roads and schools, pay the salaries of teachers and first responders, and all the other services that we all depend on.

Now what’s required is the passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013. The Senate has passed it, but the House has yet to act on it. It has some bipartisan support, though some view it as a tax increase, something Howard Gleckman of Forbes magazine points out isn’t true: “Buyers owe tax already on their online purchases. Even if sellers don’t collect it, consumers must pay what’s called a use tax, though few do… it is tough to argue that making people pay a tax they already owe is a tax increase,” he wrote.

Read More...

Why Retailers Should Be Planning for Retirement, Now

Kevin Mitchell •
  • Small Business Matters
• December 31, 2013

At this year’s RPMDA convention, I ran into a familiar face in an unfamiliar setting: Doing a double take, there was indeed Jeff Ponte. Ponte spent 14 years in the MI industry, largely at Mel Bay here in my hometown of St. Louis, so seeing him all suited up in a booth was something of a surprise. I learned that he had moved over to the financial sector, and today is an advisor at the Edward Jones investment firm.

Our conversation quickly turned to how some independent retailers could benefit from some help in making the best plans for the future. “A lot of people in this industry, especially the smaller shops, know they should be planning for retirement, but don’t realize that it’s easier and more attainable than they might realize,” Ponte said.

Read More...

Indispensible Tips for Interior Retail Display

hoff •
  • Small Business Matters
• December 31, 2013

Special guest column by Shane Kinney (Drum Center of Portsmouth):

Perhaps you are a new store, or a generations-old operation looking to enhance your look with minimal investment. The five tips I’m about to share are ones that worked for me to help combine the Big-Box Template with a Broken-Box Budget in order to create an Outside-the-Box Experience.

FIXED UP

This is my favorite topic. Being a frugal New Englander, I have sourced 90 percent of my fixtures from Craigslist. There is a dearth of re-sellers buying up displays from closed stores, (these people hoard more inventory than MI store owners!) and with the times being what they are, there is no shortage of shelving units, stands, and slat wall in excellent condition. The more you buy from these sellers, the more they wheel and deal. Many of them will deliver  the product directly to you –  (who doesn’t love free freight?).

Read More...
Zack and Kenny Stanton of Ken Stanton's Music.

Ken Stanton Music Celebrates 65th Anniversary

Kevin Mitchell •
  • Spotlight
• December 31, 2013

In the mid 1990s, the MARS superstores were opening at a fast and frantic pace, causing some independent dealers to close up or seriously change their business plan. Not Kenny Stanton. His reaction when a MARS opened up right next to his store?

He went toe-to-toe with the big box by immediately buying two more locations. And today, it’s his operation that is celebrating its 65th Anniversary.

“When it’s your livelihood, your family business, you have to fight for it,” he says. “What else can you do? You have to fight for what you love to do. It was a tough five years [competing against MARS], and we had to adapt.”

Read More...

Neil Grover on Grover Pro’s Sale of SilverFox

hoff •
  • Features
• December 31, 2013

In November of 2013, Neil Grover, owner of Grover Pro Percussion, sold the SilverFox Drumsticks division to Greg Scarselletti of Kingfield Wood Products. Grover owned and manufactured SilverFox sticks for 14 years. MMR spoke with Grover shortly after the transaction was completed about the factors behind the deal and what it will mean for both SilverFox and Grover Pro going forward.

 

MMR: When did you first begin thinking of selling SilverFox Drumsticks?

Neil Grover: I had been thinking about it for some time now. I own two different companies _ SilverFox drumstick division and Grover Pro Percussion, the original company. Both companies were growing, and we had seen some very strong growth in Grover, particularly over the last 18 months. In order to focus our bandwidth and resources on fueling that growth, I made the decision to think about selling – or partnering with somebody – on the SilverFox Drumsticks side of the business.

Read More...

PASIC 2013 In Review

hoff •
  • Show Report
• December 31, 2013

In November of 2013, more than 5,000 drummers and percussionists converged on Indianapolis for over 120 clinics and performances during the 2013 Percussive Arts Society’s International Convention. The exhibit hall was as noisy as ever, and there was plenty of established star power among clinicians, featuring heavy hitters like Chad Smith, Peter Erskine, and Dave Weckl. Perhaps more so than in previous years, the 2013 edition of PASIC also heavily showcased younger, up-and-coming artists, particularly in the symphonic world, and notably during the event’s opening concert, which, at times, seemed to drift into the unfamiliar terrain of theatrical performance art as much as standard rhythmic percussion playing.

Read More...

Trade Regrets: Nan Tanker

Christian Wissmuller •
  • Trade Regrets
• December 30, 2013

Nan Tanker, a senior customer service associate for Yamaha Corporation of America’s Band & Orchestral division, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, December 28th.  During her 10 years of service with Yamaha, Nan served as a customer service associate and was promoted to senior customer service associate in 2004. During her tenure, Nan worked with many of the division’s largest dealers, developing strong relationships along the way.  She was an instrumental part of the inaugural customer service team that helped bridge the gap during the B&O division’s transition from Grand Rapids, Mich. to Buena Park, Calif. in 2003. 

Read More...

PASIC 2013 Video Wrap-Up

hoff •
  • Upfront
• December 30, 2013
Just ahead of our full report on this year's PASIC show (coming soon in MMR's January issue), we present the final installment of our 2013 PASIC video series, featuring new product talk with Peterson Strobe Tuners, Pearl/Adams, Don Vaughn, Tycoon Percussion, and Meredith Music. {youtube}TJ6SZYJjSBw{/youtube} Read More...

Da Vinci-Designed Instrument Makes (Much-Delayed) Debut

Christian Wissmuller •
  • Upfront
• December 30, 2013

Leonardo da Vinci designed the Viola Organista more than 500 years ago, but never got round to actually building the thing. Cut to the present day: Polish concert pianist Slawomir Zubrzycki has completed da Vinci’s task for him, having spent three years and 5,000 hours creating the instrument.

Read More...

Learning Music Makes You Smarter… Usually

Christian Wissmuller •
  • Upfront
• December 30, 2013

In mid-December, Oklahoma resident Zackary Aders is believed to have set off on a 26-mile walk through the snow and frost “to see a woman,” but got lost on the way and fell through the ice into a pond.

Read More...

Check Out Some Past MMR Magazine Issues