WEST Town — A store selling vintage guitars, amplifiers, synthesizers and other audio equipment opened in West City.
PTD Classic, 913 N. Ashland Ave., is the brick-and-mortar showroom of instrument reseller Johnny O’Brien, a community musician and actor who moved into the area previously this tumble.
O’Brien sells electric powered and acoustic guitars via his Reverb page, the place he also attributes keyboards, microphones and other devices.
As O’Brien’s selection grew in modern years, he started out holding an eye out for a easy spot to showcase his wares. He landed on the West City room, which was earlier occupied by classic furniture retail store Location! before it moved to Humboldt Park.
O’Brien largely refurbishes the instruments, section of a greater flipping system he said has grow to be “a little bit of an obsession.”
“Obviously, there is profit to be manufactured if you can flip anything and get a fantastic price on it. But I’d say there is a huge fulfillment in getting a thing that hasn’t been played in forever, something which is an complete wreck, and, you know, shining up that penny,” O’Brien explained.
O’Brien has very long played guitar, bass and other instruments. He played in numerous bands in Chicago in the mid- to late 2000s and casually started off reselling gear while enjoying and touring. He also commenced to land far more on-display performing work, and has appeared in commercials and nearby Tv set shows these as “Empire” and “Chicago Fire.”
But that function dried up in the course of the early times of the pandemic. O’Brien was driving throughout the United States when he stopped in Iowa and acquired a classic guitar, which he resold.
“I picked up this 12-string from the ’70s, turned it in excess of and I was like, ‘All suitable. Following a person,’” he claimed. “I considered about what skills do I have that I can just go up and get a model new work. And this is what it was finally.”
O’Brien’s assortment has developed, and he’s even started out importing reissued guitars from Japan, he explained. Discovering old, neglected guitars and other instruments has evolved into a lot more than a passion, he claimed.
“It’s a sickness. I cannot get around it,” O’Brien stated, laughing. “I could be the most famous motion picture star in the entire world, and if I’m driving by means of, like, Topeka, Kansas, and I see the indication that claims ‘estate sale,’ I have to go.”
The machines swiftly began taking up a ton of room in O’Brien’s living space, he mentioned. He moved into the West City location in Oct and has spent the past number of months painting and renovating. He also developed a phase in hopes of eventually web hosting reduced-critical exhibits and other situations.
The surrounding blocks in the West Town spot have grow to be household to a escalating range of vintage and antique suppliers in new a long time, which includes River Otter, Circa Modern, Converso, The Stoop and other people, quite a few of which are open on weekends or by appointment.
O’Brien reported he needs to create a equivalent vibe with PTD Vintage. The store is open noon-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, or through appointment via the store’s Instagram.
“This is a great put to get an attainable guitar that has age on it, that you don’t have to be important with, but that does not necessarily mean that it’s a junky instrument,” O’Brien explained. “It’s a great location to arrive if you want a excellent-emotion guitar. It is not just a secondhand instrument. It’s a do the job of artwork that just desires a new driver.”
Hear to “It’s All Excellent: A Block Club Chicago Podcast”: