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Hobby grows into local business

Owner of Mugzey Muzic of Canyon Country sells old and new instruments

Posted: October 17, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 17, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Gina and Louie Concotilli at Mugzey Muzic in Canyon Country. Louie Concotilli collected guitars for more than 20 years before opening the store.

 

After collecting musical instruments — some now vintage pieces — for the last 20 years, Louie Concotilli launched Mugzey Muzic in Canyon Country after his wife, Gina, encouraged him to translate his fondness for collecting into a business.

Named after their beloved Pomeranian dog Mugzey, who passed away a couple years ago, Concotilli first began selling instruments online but opened a storefront in Canyon Country in March 2012. Since then, Concotilli has been building his business based on trust, he said.

Mugzey Muzic, with a large selection of new and used guitars, amplifiers and more, not only sells musical instruments, but also buys used equipment for cash, makes repairs, gives free appraisals and offers guitar, base, drum and keyboard music lessons, as well.

And the store sells its wares for a very fair price, Concotilli said. The standard prices for a used Fender Mexican Strata go for around $350, he said. Mugzey Muzic prices the guitars at $250. The retailer also carries some vintage Marshall amps which are back in demand with musicians, he said.

With his own passion for music, Concotilli, who has played guitar in bands, said he grew up as the kid of a father who worked for Warner Bros. Records. His dad would bring home records from artists like Jimi Hendrix and ask his opinion.

“It’s in my blood,” Concotilli said. “This is what I want to do.”

After working at chain music stores for 20 years, he decided to “do his own thing,” he said.

“I want to bring the fun back into the business,” he said. “People go into a chain store and feel like they get pressured.”

Concotilli also prides himself on his repair skills, saying he is now fixing an average of five amplifiers a week. He credits the rapid buildup of repair business to being a “straight shooter.”

“A guy came in the other day with an amp that the manufacturer wanted to charge $200 just to look at it,” he said. “I checked it for free and found it had blown an internal fuse which only cost $3. I could have charged him $150 and made him think he was getting a deal. But I fixed it and only charged him $40. Now I’m like his best friend.”

Concotilli also knows his instruments and their value, he said.

“A kid came in the other day with a custom-made electric guitar 1977 he wanted me to restring,” he said. “Looking at it, it reminded me of the same guitars made for Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead — it looked like the same wood and had some of the same unique features.”

The young man with the guitar asked him what he could make by selling the guitar, which Concotilli estimated could be worth at least a $1,000.

“I told him not to sell it, that it was super rare and super custom,” Concotilli said. “I could have been a snake and told him it’s worth $100 and bought it from him, but instead I told him it was unique and very valuable. I told him to keep it.”

And that knowledge, Concotilli said, is what differentiates Mugzey Muzik from a chain store that hires retail sales clerks who may know very little about the instruments they are selling.

“I can tell you the difference between a fake and the real instrument,” he said.

Today Mugzey Muzic is attracting a lot of blues guys and is doing a lot of repairs on their equipment, Concotilli said. The retailer has also done a lot of rentals and has a good following of local club owners, selling them public address systems.

“The store has a funky vibe that is welcoming to musicians,” he said. “I don’t mind someone hanging around for half-hour and talk about touring with Def Leppard.”

Mugzey Muzic is located at 18346 Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country. More information can be found by calling 661-299-1133 or going online at www.mugzeymuzic.com.

jadkins@the-signal.com

661-287-5599

 

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