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Über Rumble Seat Musik

Rumble Seat Music has been one of the most trusted names in the vintage guitar community for more than thirty years. Specializing in premium, American-made vintage guitars and amplifiers, we offer some of the finest vintage instruments available anywhere.

Vintage guitars are big business. Everyone from your local antique store to the cast of Shark Tank is aware that some instruments can command huge price tags. This has only helped drive up demand for these guitars and further increase the price of premium vintage examples. That demand along with the innovation of E-commerce sites has greatly increased the number of people and businesses buying and selling vintage guitars. Unfortunately, many of them do not have the expertise or integrity to accurately represent the guitars that they sell. Now, more than ever, it important to make sure your instrument is purchased from a reputable seller to ensure that you get what you are paying for.

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From humble beginnings in upstate New York, to Music City, TN, owner Eliot Michael started with a van and a love of guitars from the “golden era” of American manufacturing and built one of the world’s premier music stores, selling to just about every musician you can think of. After years as a touring musician, Eliot had developed a love for guitars and a passion for buying, selling, and trading them. Soon this passion turned into a profession, and Eliot began traveling to guitar shows across the country and sett up a small showroom in his home. In 1992, Eliot moved his inventory into a small storefront in Ithaca, New York. Inspired by a love of hot rod cars and motorcycles, he christened it Rumble Seat Music. In just a few years, the business had outgrown the initial storefront, prompting the move to a larger and now iconic, location next to the State Theatre in Ithaca. 

In these early, pre-internet days, Rumble Seat relied on word of mouth to build its reputation. Through a constant presence at vintage guitar shows and ads placed in Vintage Guitar Magazine, Rumble Seat soon became a top destination for collectors and professional musicians. The State Theatre next door ensured a steady stream of artists passing through before gigs, which helped turn Rumble Seat into the preferred store of working musicians; a reputation that lasts to this day.

Eliot And His Dog Traveling To A Guitar Show

Eliot And His Dog Traveling To A Guitar Show

An Early Photo of Eliot Inside the First Ithaca Location

An Early Photo of Eliot Inside the First Ithaca Location

A Collection of Guitars in Eliot's Home C. 1990

A Collection of Guitars in Eliot's Home C. 1990

Second Ithaca Location Next To The State Theatre

Second Ithaca Location Next To The State Theatre

A Display Inside The Ithaca Store

A Display Inside The Ithaca Store

Inside The Ithaca Store

Inside The Ithaca Store

Inside The Ithaca Store

Inside The Ithaca Store

As the store grew and the demand for vintage guitars increased, Eliot expanded again; first to his hometown of Brooklyn, New York, and then to two additional locations in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico. These new locations brought with them the inspiration for the South Western Motif in Rumble Seat’s store decor which has become a defining characteristic of the brand’s image to this day. The Albuquerque store in particular, blended this new motif with Eliot’s love of vintage Americana by splitting the showroom into two sections. One side was dedicated to premium vintage guitars, while the other was populated with motorcycles, retro gas pumps, and old-school street signs.

In 2014, Rumble Seat expanded once more; this time, to Carmel By The Sea, California. Here, the store was received with a warm welcome from and a continuing friendship with former Carmel mayor Clint Eastwood. 

Rumble Seat Music Southwest Albuquerque, NM

Rumble Seat Music Southwest Albuquerque, NM

Johnny Depp At Rumble Seat Music Southwest

Johnny Depp At Rumble Seat Music Southwest

Motorcycles Displayed At The Albuquerque Location

Motorcycles Displayed At The Albuquerque Location

Clint Eastwood At The Carmel Store

Clint Eastwood At The Carmel Store

Rumble Seat Music Carmel By The Sea, CA

Rumble Seat Music Carmel By The Sea, CA

Rumble Seat Music Southwest Albuquerque, NM

Rumble Seat Music Southwest Albuquerque, NM

A Display Inside The Carmel Store

A Display Inside The Carmel Store

After years of running a vintage guitar Empire, Eliot decided that Rumble Seat ultimately should be where the musicians are. So, in 2016, the entire inventory of all five locations was combined and brought to Music City, USA! In Nashville, the store continued to attract professionals and collectors alike. Eliot’s time in the industry and as a touring musician had lead to established connections all over the world, ensuring a continuing supply of the most impressive vintage guitars in the world, all under one roof. As Nashville has continued to grow, Rumble Seat has become a must-see attraction to locals and tourists alike.

The move to Nashville also created close ties with Gibson guitars. Guitars from our inventory have often been used as references for vintage inspired re-issues by Gibson themselves. The blueprints for everything from the neck carve of a 1964 SG to the dimensions of a vintage Eipiphone Casino pick guard have been sourced by Gibson from guitars right here in our showroom. This close relationship also insures that we receive the top pick of guitars from the local Custom Shop division, offering a level of curation unparalleled by other dealers of new Gibson guitars.

Through it all, a few things about Rumble Seat have never changed. Our devotion to selling quality instruments to working musicians insures that everything in our store is something that we ourselves would be happy playing. From the most valuable vintage pieces to player-grade examples, every piece in our store has not only been thoroughly vetted and authenticated by our team of experienced experts, but has also met our strict criteria for functionality and playability. 

Few vintage dealers have more experience both in buying guitars and playing them night after night. The name Rumble Seat Music is known and respected throughout the world. Here, customers can feel confident that they are buying guitars from the same people trusted by legends like The Rolling Stones, Brian Setzer, Joe Bonamassa, and countless others throughout the years. Whether you’re looking for a guitar to end your search for great tone, an investment piece, or your very first guitar, Rumble Seat Music should be the first and last place you look!

News Chanel 5 Rumble Seat Music Opens Nashville Vintage Guitar Store 2016

Rumble Seat Music Nashville, TN

Rumble Seat Music Nashville, TN

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