Healdsburg guitars

The Art & Healing of Lutherie

About us

“Music has soaked our lives and has influenced them as much as nature, literature, art, sport, religion, philosophy and television. It’s the great unifier, the favorite drug of teens around the world. It provides comfort, wisdom, hope and warmth; it has been doing it thousands of years. It’s medicine for the soul.”

James Rhodes

The Art and Healing of Lutherie

My dear friend Rush passed away in 2011. He struggled with mental health issues for 35 years, hearing voices (schizophrenia), deep depression and a constant painful tinnitus in his ears. Medications prescribed by the doctor were only pills, he needed something more to make his life whole, and so, he devised his own routine that would help him through each day. It was simple routine that consisted of painting each morning then walking in Golden Gate Park and afterwards, go to the thrift store to seek out books and albums. The medications were necessary to keep Rush sane, but following his daily routine of art and music gave his life purpose and meaning.

 

In all that time I knew Rush I was never once invited to his apartment. After he passed, I was the one responsible for taking inventory of his apartment for the estate. When I first opened the door I just stood and gazed at a small rectangular 9′ x 16′ room, in front of me was his entire world and life, it was a mirror of a cluttered and tortured mind. A small path led my eyes to the far wall of the room was that was floor to ceiling shelves which contained over 10,000 albums. Another narrow path to my right worked around to more floor to ceiling shelves that were filled with books on art, architecture, film and WWII Photo histories. In the center were boxes and boxes that were filled with more books, magazines, pieces of art and Star Wars toys and collectables.

 

The next room was his bedroom, an identical 9’ x 16’ space. Boxes were piled along all the walls filled with clothes and more albums. When I examined the bed I noticed bed frame consisted of cardboard boxes that were filled with more albums, he needed to be with his music at all times, especially when sleeping. On top of this was a 4″ piece of foam that was used as a mattress. A turntable and headphones were on a shelf where a headboard normally is so he could listen to his music. His bed was the only place in the entire apartment where you could sit or lay down and listen to music. In the corner of his room were two guitars. A 1971 Gibson EB-3 and 1967 Gibson SJ. I wasn’t aware at the time, but this experience and those guitars have forever changed my perception of guitars, art, music and how they help people heal.

 

Being aware of the story behind the founding of a business is essential to tap into its energy and purpose. Walking into Rush’s apartment and taking inventory of his life has forever changed mine, and I believe in a good way. That experience showed me that there was a connection between art and music and healing oneself and somehow guitars were intrinsically important, they may be in a corner somewhere but they reach everyone everywhere. Going back and remembering is extremely emotional for me to this day.  Hopefully this will help you understand my motivation and focus on joining together guitars, art and healing. This is the path we are forging. It is what separates Healdsburg Guitars from all the other dealers and sellers because each guitar we present in our gallery has a story to tell and a life it has led and we are the story teller, the historian, the curator of the artist struggles and passion and we are honored to represent their works of art.

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New Arrivals

Some of these instruments are new to us and some are new to the world. Check them out. 

The Healing of Art and Lutherie

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“I enjoyed working with healdsburg guitars. their service was unparalleled andquis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

Jang bodi

“I enjoyed working with healdsburg guitars. their service was unparalleled andquis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

Ray

“I enjoyed working with healdsburg guitars. their service was unparalleled andquis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

sam

Call Us

707-276-6206

Email Us

Guitar Inquiries - [email protected]

Our Shop 

“You never change things by

Fighting the existing reality.

To change something, build a

New model that makes the

Existing model obsolete.”

 Buckminster Fuller

Our shop begins right now in the virtual world. The Covid 19 virus has gripped the world with fear and made a physical shop impossible. But, in this pandemic lies an opportunity for change for perhaps the physical shop may be unnecessary. And here is how our shop works:

  • Each guitar will have its story told as complete as possible. If a new guitar is added and the story is incomplete one of our archivists will attempt to fill in the gaps as much as possible.
  • Each guitar will have an email connected to the Luthier who built the instrument. So when you have a question, the Luthier will be aware of the question and can fact check our response and if they desire respond directly to you
  • We don’t charge any commission for sales in order to give the Luthier as much return as possible. What we do instead is ask the Luthier to make a donation to one of our 501 (3)(c) non-profit organizations (more about them later). In this approach the Luthier is in charge the amount of their donation and it can be written off on their taxes. In return the donation helps the non-profit fund their cause.
  • We treat each guitar as a work of art and the Luthier as an artist. When we sell a guitar it is at an artists price instead of a manufactures price. If the guitar comes in to be passed on, the price will not be reduced nor the guitar be listed as used car would be listed. A work of art has provenance and that is what we will provide, its story and provenance.
  • A lending library will be apart of our shop. We will have guitars that will be lent to talented musicians who might not otherwise be able to afford a custom guitar. In return for this guitar we will ask them to hold a benefit concert(s) that will raise money for our non-profit organizations.
  • Healdsburg Guitars will be run as a benefit corporation. There are a lot of rules to officially become one and that will take time. But, operating as one keep us on the right path and remove the profit motivation from all of our operations.

Many consider this to be the beginning of the golden age of guitar builders because, worldwide, there are so many talented and gifted Luthiers that are producing some of the finest and incredibly beautiful guitars that have ever been seen and heard. These guitars are built with passion and intention and each has a life and story that needs to be told. It is unfortunate that the business model that the guitar sector has embraced and modeled itself after is the car industry. New, used, vintage, dents, dings and pristine condition are the price point and the buy/sell factors that are hosted by dealers.

Healdsburg Guitars has a different perception and our business model business model is based on art and the Japanese practice of Kintsugi – The Art of Precious Scars or Golden Repair. Broken objects are not something to hide but should be displayed with pride, those scars are its history. We embrace the flawed and imperfect because that is what each of us is.

We choose to rise above being just a dealer that buys and sells, rather we are curators, historians, archivists and tuners who match the guitar with the perfect musician/collector/someone who needs to heal.

We curate guitars and promote and tell their stories. Our guitars aren’t used and their dents and dings and scratched finishes have a story to tell about the life they lived and the music they played. They have made people laugh, they have helped people heal themselves and helped heal others. They have boned with musicians and have been an important part of their life and shared the ups and downs everyone experiences

If you are a builder and want to know more, please reach out. Healdsburg guitars is a place for Luthiers to rise above the din of commercialism, it is place where your work should not only hold its value, but it should appreciate with age instead of being slapped with a used label. This is a place for healing, acknowledgment and connections to life.

 

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