When a new music store called Broken Guitars opens on April 3rd at 423 40th Street in Oakland, you might not realize that its owner is kind of a big deal. He would be one Billie Joe Armstrong, East Bay music dude and front man for famed band Green Day. Yes, the pop-punk outfit that's mind-bogglingly made such disparate albums as Dookie and American Idiot. Anyway, it's probably any major musician's dream to settle down and run an inconspicuous guitar shop near where you grew up, and it's exciting news for the block and for Armstrong.
The East Bay Express has word that Armstrong and longtime business partner Bill Schneider will open the business with about 75 guitars on the wall selected from his and Armstrong's collections. They also have amps and will take care of repairs. Prices will be in the mid-range for good instruments, costing about $400 to $800.
In the past, Schneider and Armstrong have helped out and played at the nearby independent record store and label 1-2-3-4 Go! Records. Relatedly, that spot has just announced a second location in San Francisco.
"I lived around here for years in the 80s and 90s," Schneider told the EBX, "Back then, there wasn't a single store in any of these spots. Some folks were living in the buildings, but all of the windows were papered up... 1-2-3-4 Go! Records, Manifesto, and Subrosa really led the way for the street's revitalization."
Incidentally, NBC Bay Area reminds us that Armstrong isn't the only Green Day bandmate to open a business in the East Bay, as bassist Mike Dirnt is a partner in Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe (with locations in Emeryville and Oakland).