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October 16, 2012

Founded by Manny Goldrich in the early 30s, it was the most renowned music store in the world. Manny’s reached its peak some 30 years later, when the likes of the Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, et al, would drop by regularly. All of which is not to mention the perennial parade of wannabes like me, who would haunt the aisles, sneaking a quick pick-and-a-strum or a trill on a keyboard. Nowadays, a large nationwide chain called Sam Ash Music (also an eponymously-named operation) occupies the space and boasts an admirable collection of guitars, basses and keyboards, with drums and orchestral instruments in another shop across 48th Street. The salespeople are amiable and well-trained, and I spent a pleasant hour or so perusing the inventory. But somehow the experience was not quite the same, especially for a guy who bought his first pair of drumsticks from Mr. Goldrich himself, admonishing me on the way out, “Practice, young man, practice. That’s how you get good.” Truer words, sir, truer words.

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