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Stevie B's

I just got back from picking up some acoustic guitar strings from a place called Stevie B’s, which is downtown (sort of) here in Saint Petersburg. I kinda liked the place. It’s a small local shop, although they have another store in Clearwater. It reminded me a lot of the old Appletree Music in Shelby, NC, where I bought my first bass and where I’d often hang out and talk to the owner, Doug Benson. I’ve missed those kinds of places. There’s something to be said for going into a mega-store like Mars Music and being able to find just about anything you could possibly want. But there’s also something to be said about going into a small place like Stevie B’s and talking to actual people.
Except for my Rotosound bass strings, they didn’t stock any strings that I use. But they said they’d look into stocking Rotosound guitar strings for me. I won’t hold my breath, but the offer was appreciated. I think they’ve just found a new customer. I mean, they’re relatively close to the house, and it doesn’t look like the kind of place where you’ll have to contend with the masses. That’s good and bad, I guess. Good because they’ll retain their local flavor, and bad because “local flavor” tends to go out of business a lot. The other place Victoria took me to, Bringe Music Center, comes to mind (it’s dying a slow death).
Anyway, I’m kinda happy to find a place I can feel comfortable. I never liked the mega-stores. Somehow, after all the dark and skanky bars I’ve played in, walking into a brightly lit music mega-store just doesn’t feel right. It’s like going into a mall. Stevie B’s has just the right amount of attitude to make someone like me comfortable. Not that I made much of an impression on them, I don’t think. They probably took me for some fat old man who noodled around on his guitar and wanted to hang out with real musicians. I’ve gotten that a lot through the years, because I’ve never looked the part (nor have I ever tried to). But I’m sure I’ll re-visit Stevie B’s, and quite often. Sooner or later they’ll hear me play. After that, they’ll know who I am.
It’s good to have found a place. I didn’t know what to expect, and was sort of worried I was going to find another yuppie-filled, brightly lit abomination. What I found was some musicians. Given the option, those are the people I’d much rather give my money to.
Just for reference:
Stevie B’s
650 Central Ave
St Petersburg, FL 33701

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