By Ellen Eldridge
Guitar Center offers all musicians an opportunity to personalized service tailored to the individualized needs of the musician with its Platinum Room. In the Atlanta Guitar Center, at 1485 Northeast Expressway, Brad Seelig acts as Platinum Room manager. According to him, Guitar Center offers Platinum Rooms in 30 stores nationwide including, of course, one in Hollywood where Slash visits regularly. He even shared a story passed down from the Hollywood store Platinum Room manager about a boy playing “Sweet Child O’ Mine” when Slash walked by and just wagged his finger at the young musician. But, you don’t have to be Slash or have thousands of dollars at your disposal to make a private appointment to try out the high-end custom and vintage models.
The room’s ambiance includes a large cedar wall with track lighting. Humidifiers and a 21-point inspection come standard in all Platinum Rooms where the staff re-string and set up the guitars on a regular basis. Seelig has trained with some of the top guitar builders in the world including Paul Reed Smith, with whom he shares a close relationship today, Gibson USA and Gibson Custom Shop, and he has trained with top luthiers including vintage guitar guru and Burst Brother, Drew Berlin, who has shared the stage with rock ‘n’ roll icons such as Little Richard, The Grateful Dead, Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart, B.B King, and many more. Seelig offers his clients, “a different perspective of quality on the guitars and what goes into making a $500 guitar versus making a $5000 guitar,” which is something all musicians can learn whether they are looking for a starter guitar or a professional model for touring.
The one-on-one experience alleviates clients of pressure because the room’s purpose isn’t to coerce a sale with high-pressure tactics, but to really provide an educational atmosphere where the musician can test different models and find what is right for him – whether he decides to buy sooner or later. Seelig says, “I encourage kids to come in and get the opportunity to play something because, at the end of the day, these kids grow up to become the professional musicians.”
Those curious as to the specific models available in the Platinum Room may enjoy knowing about a pre-CRS model hanging on the wall. It’s a pre-owned model from the ‘60s, of course, and these guitars regularly sell in the $30,000 range. The picture shows Russell Eldridge playing one of his dream guitars: the Music Man Family Reserve.
Interested musicians should contact Brad Seelig for a personal shopping experience through Guitar Center.