Music Store to open after careful planning
subhead: Aspiring guitarist sees the need
By Paul Andrew
Not long after learning Pip Euinton and Scott Young had a warehouse rented for rehearing and recording music, and to use as a home for their PS Productions, along comes Randy Phelan with Whistler Music, which he opened last weekend.
But unlike Euinton and Young, Phelan is strictly a dealer, with the strong possibility of providing guitar and keyboard instruction as a side service.
Phelan, who’s been "in and out" of Whistler for more than 10 years, comes into the music business as a neophyte, and openly admits to being a hack guitar player who sees a need for instrument sales right in Whistler Village.
"I’ve been planing this for eight months, talking to everybody I can," Phelan said this week. "Besides the musicians who are thinking of buying equipment, there’s the pros like Pete & Chad, Glen Mishaw, Karen Thirlwall... all these people have to go to the city for anything. As a dealer, if I don’t have it in my store I’ll be able to get it the next day, on most occasions."
Phelan is operating in a heavy foot-traffic location below the Holiday Inn off Blackcomb Way, just down from The Puppy Zone in the old Whistler Florist store location, and hopes to attract tourist traffic in addition to Whistler’s pro and amateur musicians. Sale items include music theory books, instruments and accessories, such as music pedals, strings, and whatever is requested.
"It’s tough to get going because the music instrument companies are wary of people calling and saying: ‘Hey, I’m starting a music store and I need this or I need that.’ So you need a location first," Phelan said. "Once they know you’re serious, the instruments start rolling in. I’ve got three Roland keyboards coming in the door right now. But you have to start small. Epiphone is a Gibson product, so you have to prove you can sell that before you can sell Gibson. That’s how it’ll go at first."
Phelan says he’s aware of Young and Euinton’s business in Function, and is hoping the two will eventually work together to finally supply Whistler with services which should have been in place years ago.
"It makes sense for me to send them people who are looking for rehearsal space," Phelan said. "And now that I have the product lines, I’m the only distributor for Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton for the products I’ll have in my store. Stuff like Yamaha, Ibanez, Boss. But I won’t necessarily sell a lot of high-end electric guitars at first. I’m focusing on a line of acoustic guitars called Norman. They are the makers of Segal guitars. I mean, I’d love to get the Larivée guitars but you have to start somewhere. And I’ll be selling a lot of hand percussion instruments right away."