OCEANSIDE — Dusty’s Guitar celebrated being in business 30 years on July 10. The shop that houses more than 300 guitars is a familiar landmark along Coast Highway 101, with its bold storefront advertising and guitar-shaped neon sign.
The celebration included live music by the California Rangers, Mo’ Wasabi and Greg Douglass, raffle drawings and many free giveaways.
Dozens of regular customers stopped in to celebrate with owner Richard Wheeler and his staff. “They have a very nice selection,” Susie Ryan of San Marcos said. “My husband is in the business and we shop here. They’re very pleasant and very user-friendly.”
Dusty’s Guitar began as a business in Leucadia in 1979 and relocated four times until it found its final home in South Oceanside in 1995, said Chris Walter, shop employee.
The full-service shop specializes in selling vintage guitars and amps, but also carries ukuleles, violins, banjos and dulcimers. Customers range from those who are just learning how to play an instrument to accomplished musicians looking for a vintage Les Paul guitar, Walter said.
Music lessons are taught at the shop by guitar greats Greg Douglass, who played with the Steve Miller Band and Van Morrison, and John Khula, who plays with The Wonders featured in the film “That Thing You Do.”
“I’ve been teaching here for 15 years,” Douglass said. “My average load is 40 people a week. I’m here to have fun and provide people a quality music experience.”
Douglass believes everyone can be a musician. “Music is programmed in our DNA,” Douglass said.
Douglass encourages guitar hopefuls to keep at it. “I had to fight hard to become proficient,” Douglass said. “I was not a natural. I think that’s why I’m a good teacher.”