BEST MUSIC STORE (LOCAL) - 2002
Willie's American Guitars
254 Cleveland Ave. S.
St. Paul, MN 55105
The used musical equipment trade is what keeps local indie stores viable competitors for the big chain stores. That, and having knowledgeable, if smug, scenesters for employees instead of the super-annoying dudes. By these standards, Twin Town in south Minneapolis tails at a very close second in this category, for its helpful staff and reasonable price tags. Still, the selection is limited, giving only the vigilant an opportunity to snag that pre-CBS, blackface Fender Twin Reverb. As a result, Willie's American Guitars--St. Paul's vintage equipment showroom deluxe--sneaks ahead as our grudging favorite. Sure, the prices are steep; and yes, the staff is a bit aloof. But there is no shortage of Fender amps here, nor Marshalls, nor Ampegs. Flying V guitars? Of course. Ukuleles? Sure, as well as a $2,500 classic Les Paul. There are also a few inexpensive gems to be had if you take the time to dig through all the gear or play Big Brother on Willie's Web site.