L.A. Folks: West LA Music going out of business

Shedboyxx

Silver Member
Got the following email today:

We are pleased to announce that West LA Music has been acquired by Guitar Center.

Our last day in business will be this Saturday, August 4th.

To thank you for you loyal patronage, we are offering our entire inventory at liquidation prices now through Saturday. Please stop in or call this week to take advantage of cost and below cost deals on guitars, amps, drums, keyboards, mics, music software, recording equipment, PA gear and accessories, plus hundreds of demos, used, discontinued and closeout items at huge savings.

All store fixtures will be sold.

We are truly honored to have served you for the past 46 years.

Our staff will be joining Guitar Center, and will continue serving you with Guitar Center’s vast inventory and convenient locations.

Sincerely,

The entire West L.A. Music staff

310-477-1945
Kind of a drag as another independent bites the dust. I sensed that something had been wrong there a while after drum manager Frank and one of my favorite sales guys split. That was a while after Glen Noyes left to work for Guitar Center as their drum buyer/manager (either nationally or regionally I'm not sure).

West LA Music had in the past been one of my 'go-to' drum stores until the above changes happened. I then started seeing a change in the advertising and the staff. Ads looked like they were targeted at the same demographic as GC and the (new) staff had that inexperienced vibe.

My first thought was: How can they compete in this arena when GC and Sam Ash have Herculean buying power and massive advertising and marketing?

Independents just don't win when try to do that.

Those that don't live in the area should know that at one time, Hollywood Pro Drum and West LA Music were the first choice of pros well known and not so well known. Lots of rock royalty especially went through West LA doors as well as celebs from TV and Film. Back in the day I enjoyed the type of things West LA stocked and the fact that they had quite a bit of it. It just felt robust.

So another drum landmark sails into the sunset. Sad to see but I guess it can be expected.

Jim
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
seems like Glenn Noyes knew something and got out at a good time

really it sucks to see another indie get eaten by the big horrible monster ....but that store was never that great to be honest

although Glenn was a very good dude...even though he works for one of the monsters now

we still have Pro Drum and I dont think Stan and Jerry are going anywhere
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
The inside info is:

WLA Music owner Don Griffin simply wanted to retire after 46 years of business.

Don approached GC and offered to sell the remaining inventory, but GC didn't buy the business, or approach Don to “run him out of town”.

WLA will close and the building has already been leased to several non-music related businesses.

Sad to see them go though, the drum department was very decent for a full-line store (obviously a dedicated drum shop is best.) And they had an actual cymbal "vault". The building with the drum dept. was formerly a bank, and they kept the vault intact! :)

Bermuda
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
seems like Glenn Noyes knew something and got out at a good time
It's doubtful that Glenn knew 4 or 5 years in advance that Don would close the business. He only left because Guitar Center wanted him so badly, and he's doing very well over there.

Bermuda
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
Doubtful Glenn knew 4 or 5 years in advance that Don would close the business. He only left because Guitar Center wanted him so badly, and he's doing very well over there.

Bermuda
I ofcourse was joking Jon

GC is lucky to have him
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I used to work at West LA Music with Glenn just over 10 years ago. I am still friends with Glenn to this day.

I am not surprised.

While there were at lot of great people running West LA, the owner himself was not a nice person. He actually didn't really like musicians, he treated his employees poorly, and he owned numerous other money making ventures. He just had the store because he liked having an "in" with famous music stars, but he didn't spent a lot of time in the office.

GC and others had long since hired away most of West LA's best people. The last remaining powerhouse in West LA's sales force recently passed away unexpectedly. Which means Don essentially had no one left to run things for him, outside of one manager, and no one to take over the business for him, since he alienated nearly everyone around him. I am sure he wants to "retire' but given he didn't run day to day operations anyway, he really had little to retire from.

And GC did indeed declare war on the store when they opened their West LA location, not far from the West LA store. Which might not be the main reason, but it contributed, particularly when they hired away key staff members.

The writing had been on the wall for West LA some time now.
 

Nickropolis

Senior Member
And they had an actual cymbal "vault". The building with the drum dept. was formerly a bank, and they kept the vault intact! :)

Bermuda
So the Sabian Vault series took on extra meaning. Pretty badass. I'm a cook, I worked at one place that used to be a bank and our walk in fridge was inside the vault.
 
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