Would You Buy A Guitar From This Man ??
1972 Before The Disco Craze Hit !!
Saturday Night Fever Came Out In 1977.
"Every Girl's Crazy 'Bout A Sharp Dressed Man"
Check Out the Hookah in my tacky paneled living room..
Just look at that retarded looking hat !!!
Ted Nugent Wants His Shirt Back !!!!
1982 With Brad Gillis
Hey Ed "Ted Nugent Wants All His Shirts Back"
This Historical Picture
from the inside cover of our 1979 Pro Audio Catalog. Before
being "The Original King Of Guitars," We were definitely the
kings of signal processing, PA & recording gear. Just like
our guitar customers today, sound & recording engineers &
producers would fly in from all over the world to visit our mail
order studio gear warehouse. We were located 60 miles from New
York just over the state line and our prices were 20% lower than
the New York Pro Audio Dealers. Plus we gave them another big
price advantage by saving them the New York sales tax.
Today here in Nevada we do that for our California customers
whose sales tax is the highest in the USA. (We sell very little
in Nevada). Most of the time we ship our customers their
merchandise instead of them having to take it back on the plane.
Most Pro Audio dealers back then were not musically inclined.
They came from the school of Radio Broadcasting, & ceiling
mounted speaker systems in airports to movie houses. Most music
stores still carried Accordions' & Violins. Sam Ash, Guitar
Center etc were just big music stores that barely even
understood the electronic keyboard market. We were one of the
first dealers to have 100 different keyboards on display.
Our big advantage was, We were rock n' roll musician's, we spoke
the language that the people in the musical side of the pro
audio world understood. So the company grew very quickly to immense
Eddie Kramer, Phil Spector, John Lennon, Alan Parsons, Willie
Nelson, Ed Germano, Tony Bonjiovi, Phil Ramone, were just some
of the celebrities who came to us for pro audio gear back in the
70's and early 80's
went to the Parnelli Awards in 2008 and ran into people from
Showco, National Sound, See Factor who all used to call us for
Crown amps to Eventide Harmonizers. We used to manufacture the
Goliath line of speaker cabinets and we supplied hundreds of
sound companies and night clubs their PA systems. (many still
working and on he road)
We dealt with every studio from Electric Ladyland to Sigma
Sound, To The Hit Factory, We supplied 2" tape for hundreds of
80's & 90's producers that were recording mega hits. In fact
we were the largest dealer in the world for Ampex 2" tape. We
actually sold the tape for $4.00 a reel below our landed cost.
We worked on a 12% yearly volume rebate. We know we had the
highest volume because no other dealer ever got above an 8%
volume rebate. This got us in the door in almost every major
studio on the East Coast. We sold boatloads of signal processing
to these studios.
In 1995 Joanne & myself decided that we were going to slow
down and just do guitars. We were used to selling Real Pro
Gear!!! Asian companies like Casio, Korg, & Roland were coming in with
unbelievably nice keyboards for 10% of what the original classic
keyboards cost. Tascam & Fostex were making complete recording
studios for under $1,000.00. Home recording was very cool but it
killed the real pro audio business. When digital software based
recording took over there was no way I was going to stay in that
nickel dime business.
Being used to dealing with professionals it's sometimes hard
to try and support customers who spend less than $600.00 and
require more help than studio owners who would drop $150.000.00
Well because of the internet being so prevalent and the fact
that we started the guitar thing in 1995 things never really
slowed down. After a 15 year roller coaster ride in the guitar
business Ed Roman guitars has gone back to strictly mail order
We aspire to build a large guitar museum complex in Las Vegas.
We believe it would be very successful. At this writing, we are
actively seeking out interested investors to partner up with.
"This Business Is A Tough Business, Believe
Ya' Gotta Be A Little Crazy To Be In It.
One Of The Biggest Perks For Me, Is Rubbing Shoulders With Rockstars,
Meeting Most Of These People Is Too Cool.
Seeing Them Up On Stage, With One Of My Guitars In Their Hands,
Is A Feeling I Can't
Ed Roman 2/27/1997
Ed is shown here playing an
original USA made 1966 Epiphone Riviera. Through one
of the first Marshall amps ever imported in the
USA. (Turned up to 11 of course.)
Wearing blue & yellow paisley bellbottoms & a pink,
blue, & orange shirt. (It was so bright, you
couldn't look directly at him.) His boots we are
told were bright shiny silver patent leather. (He
Still Has Them).
Ed Roman "Hot
Ice" Danbury Elks Hall Circa 1966 BC
Chiefly remembered for streaking
naked on his Harley down Main St. Danbury CT. during
the winter snowstorm of 1967.
Ed may have started the whole streaking craze !!!!
Streaking happened in the early 70's !!!
This picture is in black & white because color
cameras hadn't been invented yet.
Hell color hadn't
been invented yet !!!!
How is Ed playing an electric
guitar? (Electricity hadn't
been invented yet.)
Ed Custom built Harley Davidson Choppers during the
late 60's & made the initial money that propelled
him to the music business in 1975. His small chain
of 5 motorcycle chopper shops throughout Connecticut
& Massachusetts, were among the first Custom Chopper
shops on the planet. Ed was building bikes years
before Arlen Ness, Dave Perowitz, & all of the
famous builders like OCC today.
Ed's stores were called different
names, There was Chickenlips Choppers, in
Bridgeport, Custom Cycle Shop, in West Springfield
Mass The Other Horse in New Haven, Cycledelic
Choppers in Greenwich and of course the Original SMC
Choppers in Norwalk. Today going on 40 years later,
two of these locations are still open. They are both
very large Harley Davidson Dealers.
Ed's main manufacturing plant
SMC/Acu-weld, located in Palmer Mass. grew to an
enormous 70.000 square feet. In 1972 Ed (age 22) employed
over 100 people who manufactured a complete line of
high quality chrome plated motorcycle accessories.
Ed built bikes for Hollywood
movies, famous rockstars of the era and many hard
core riders. Some of Ed's fabulous bikes were
featured in magazines like Life & the Saturday
Evening Post. Today his business still lives on in
Newburgh, New York under the name "V Twin Cycles"
Owner Ted Doering has built the business into a
gargantuan operation. Ed
Roman still holds the record for
the longest bike ever registered in the State of
Connecticut. (39 years !!!)
SMC was named after the "Savages
Motorcycle Club" from Connecticut of which Ed was an
charter member in the 60's.
Ed played in numerous bands, Hot
Ice, Red-Beard & The Pirates, and most notably Taboo.
a tri state area band that played colleges, army
bases, nightclubs to medium sized venues &
stinking little bars all over the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut
area. Ed actually played guitar in a band called the
"Brown Sound" 10 years before Van Halen came along
popularized the phrase.
He started the music & guitar
business as a hobby, because the band needed 12
microphones. Ed made up a letterhead & wrote to
Shure telling them he was a dealer. He was able to
convince them into thinking he had a music store.
The band ended up getting the 12 SM 57 mic's for
approximately $50.00 each.
In 1975 a local music dealer buddy
of Ed's needed a loan, Ed loaned him approximately
$15.000.00, The dealer gave Ed about 50 old Gibson &
Fender guitars as collateral for the money. Ed held
the guitars for almost 2 years, finally when the
dealer could not pay back the money, Ed began
selling off the guitars. The rest is history.
(Ed wishes he had never sold
that inventory. Today the value would have exceeded
a Million Dollars)
Ed was the first mailorder pro audio & guitar
business in the USA, He was also one of the first
music dealers to carry, Light shows, pyrotechnic
supplies, rack mount studio gear, PA systems and one
of the first Otari, Tascam & Fostex dealers in the
USA. Within one year of opening Ed's store was
known up and down the East Coast. There were no
other stores in the same league.
Ed built his business by going to
great amounts of trouble to stock all kinds of off
the wall different & strange products that no one
Customers came from everywhere to
see all the cool guitars that were not available any
where else. It was not uncommon for bands to take
week long road trips to go to Ed's shop for the
latest & coolest gear. Stores like Sam Ash & Guitar
Center carried, marching band equipment & sheet
music none of them even attended the AES shows where
all the pro audio gear was sold.
Ed was one of the first ever dealers
if not the very first to address the DJ & Karaoke
markets. Ed installed huge custom made sound systems
& light shows in 70's style discos & churches up and
down the East Coast and many in the Bahamas & Virgin
Islands. Some of systems sold in excess of
During the 80's Ed had a sound company called
Goliath Productions, Ed did sound for Beatlemania,
38 Special, Michael Bolton, Jethro Tull, Frank
Sinatra, Johnny Winter, Rick Derringer, Orleans,
Herman's Hermits, Buddy Miles & Countless other
medium sized acts, Ed's sound system was used at over 6
Nuclear Submarine launchings. Ed did sound for
various politicians including Presidents Carter &
Richie Scarlet 1980
Marcel Mazerat, Jimi
Tattoo & Billy Lomax R.I.P.
Music & Lyrics Ed Roman & Richie Scarlet.
On Keyboards, Ed was the first Sequential Circuits
dealer, The first Emulator & Synergy dealer, Ed had
all the cool analog keyboards ARP, Moog, Oberheim,
(Casio, Korg, Roland & Yamaha weren't even available yet)
Ed was one of the very first BC
Rich, Dean, Hamer, Alembic, Veillette Citron, SD
Curlee dealers. He was the second ever Mesa Boogie
Ed opened the first ever music
superstore, Eastcoast Music Mall opened in 1982 over
a full year before Guitar Center opened their
Hollywood flagship store. The East Coast Music Mall
was the first ever music store to have a full
performance stage complete with full lighting
trusses, computerized light show spotlights,
Overkill sound system, pyro-technics. and complete
dressing room facilities "Blue Oyster Cult" played
there on opening night in 1982. Today 26 years
later Ed is still working closely with BOC.
Bands like Blue Oyster Cult, Leslie West's Mountain,
Ratrace Choir & George Lynch, Tony McAlpine, Vinnie
Moore & others all played on the in store stage for
the week long grand opening party.
Ed & his crew ran the store from 9.00AM to midnight
7 days in a row for the spectacular grand opening!!!
Remember this was the 80's people didn't sleep much
in the 80's ha ha.
Ed's then famous Eastcoast Music
Mall was also a factory outlet for the nearby
Steinberger factory. Ed handled much of the artist
relations, dealer distribution & produced many
prototypes and custom guitars for Steinberger in the
early 90's. Eventually Ed acquired all the
contents of the Steinberger factory and to this day
is the only real
source for original real Steinberger owners
In the early 90's Ed took a 2 year
vacation to finish building an experimental home &
recording studio. Before coming back full time to
Eastcoast Music Mall, Ed worked for Gibson as
Artist Relations, & sales training for the
Steinberger division. This was before Gibson got
deeply involved with Steinberger. This was when
Steinberger was a high quality totally USA made
guitar, It wasn't till years later that Gibson
decided to do imported products.
In the early 90's Ed purchased The
ailing BC Rich company. Ed produced USA made Neck Through Body BC Rich guitars for a period of 5 years
under his own name. Then Bernie Rico Sr. offered Ed
the entire company but the catch was Ed would have
had to import low cost Chinese models. Ed made a
poor financial business decision by refusing
Bernie's offer. Ed always a bit hardheaded,
wanted to maintain the integrity of the company by
avoiding imported, low cost, crappy guitars. Ed wanted no part of bringing in
cheap Bronze Series and Platinum Series BC Rich
knockoffs. Years later the company that is now doing
this is experiencing great financial success with
their low cost imported products. As of 2007 there
are no more USA BC Rich guitars being made. The
$7,000.00 models are actually made in Mexico.
In 1999 Ed still had hundreds of
original USA made BC Rich neck through body blanks
many of which were original California product. Ed
continued on until 2007 producing hand built custom
made BC Rich guitars for many loyal customers.
There were many people who objected to him building
these and it created quite a controversy. Most of
the dissenters had no idea what actually transpired,
They simply saw it as an interloper trying to cash
in on another brand name. Today that company is
known as Abstract Guitars)
FYI Ed still has inventory on original USA made body
blanks and all the original templates for all of the
original classic BC Rich shapes.
Ed also acquired the entire contents
of the Steinberger factory in Newburgh NY. Today Ed
is the only game in town if you need parts for an
old Steinberger. Ed started building
LSR Guitars which evolved from
the original Steinberger concept. As usual Ed took
it to the extreme and offers 30 different models as
In 2001 Ed went to Las Vegas with
the crazy idea to build the World's Largest Guitar
Store. It took him just 2 years to accomplish his
goal and he had set up a 44,000 square foot building
housing more than 7700 guitars on display.
(See pictures below) Ed
represented over 200 guitar companies. The store
became a destination location for thousands of
There was one major downfall the
store also became a destination store for thousands
of curiosity seekers, tire kickers and no money
looky loo's & be backers. The sheer amount of
salespeople and staff required to service these
people started to cut into the margins very
heavily. Ed even toyed with the idea of charging an
In 2006 Ed brought in some partners
who were going to help to raise the bar even higher,
they were supposed to set up a museum and open up
several more large stores in LA, New York, Dallas &
Chicago. The Las Vegas location was slated to also
be a museum with an admission charge for non
customers & curiosity seekers.
These new partners initially threw a
bunch of money at Ed to buy the controlling interest
and then promptly dropped the ball and the company
teetered on extinction.
They made every classic mistake that
a business can make, They brought in incompetent
management, hired new purchasing people who
immediately bought too many of all the wrong things.
They fired most of the experienced help and tried to
replace them with underpaid snot nosed kids. (These
Idiots Wanted To Be Guitar Center)
When they started to slow pay the
vendors of course they got shut off almost
immediately. Customer service was at all time
tragedy proportions. They effectively destroyed the
company within 4 TO 5 months. Many of Ed's loyal
customers did not understand that there were new
owner's and different ideas about how customers
wanted to be treated.
When they instituted the commission
policies Ed left for good to start another
operation. Ed never believed in commissions, Ed
feels that the salesman will have his own agenda, He
feels that the customer will be hurt financially by
paying commissions. Salesmen come and go but
the store lives on.. If customers are treated badly
they simply wont come back.
The new owners tried to compete
with Guitar Center. Something Ed had never even
tried or wanted to do.
Ed moved quickly to buy back his
shares, websites, brand names, designs and
intellectual property. Between the great cost of
buying everything back, The economic conditions and
several other mitigating factors Ed decided to
downsize the operation and gave up the concept of
being the biggest guitar store in the world.
Ed opened a smaller and more manageable operation
that carried 99% of what the big store carried and
over 10 private brands comprising more than 500
models which are manufactured right in Ed's Las
Vegas Custom Shop. It was no longer the biggest
store in the world but it's selection was still the
most impressive anywhere.
There are more than 600
available at Ed Roman guitars that cannot be bought
Ed takes great pride in
the fact that customers coming to his business will
be surprised and unprepared to see guitars that they
could only see in books,
The Las Vegas custom shop is located
in the mountains outside of Las Vegas several miles
from where Ed resides. Here in an relatively
tranquil atmosphere the guitars are all hand made &
assembled. The paint & finishing shop is located in
nearby Pahrump which is well known for it's
Serious buyers & collectors are able
to visit the Custom Shop, They can pick the wood and
body style they like and the guitar will usually be
fully constructed within 3 to 6 months.
In 2009, Ed decided to downsize the
store even more, even though the store was doing OK,
it just wasn't any fun anymore, Ed had no patience
for the tire-kickers, timewasters & looky loos.
Ed decided to close the store and
become an even more aggressive discounter.
With the lowered overhead Ed could effectively
compete with any one and easily undersell the
corporate megastores that threaten to take over the
entire music business.
In mid 2008,
Denny Laine The
founder of the Moody
Blues, & 11 year member of
Paul McCartney's Wings asked Ed to play
on his new project. So together
with Louie Patruzi & Denny
Laine, Ed went back to his first
love, playing in a band!!!
The band is strictly all Denny's
original music! Denny himself
is the musical director. The
bass lines that Denny requires
are complicated to say the least
and Ed had a tough time cutting
it. Luckily Denny has the
patience of a saint & helped Ed
through the difficult learning
curve. Ed said "it's a real
experience, not having to handle
the vocals and having absolutely
no say in the arrangements".
Most of Ed's previous bands were
actively run by Ed himself who
usually handled the booking,
transportation, PA System and
dealt with all the aggravation
that we all know bands can be.
Ed commented that except for the
difficult music this was the
easiest gig he ever had,
definitely a true learning
Over a 25 year period Ed recorded
more than a hundred songs with many of his childhood
heroes guesting on the recordings. Producers Richie
Scarlet, Mark Hitt & Paul Crook helped Ed bringing
out his vocal talent & guitar & Bass playing.
Playing with Eric Burdon's Animals backing him up
was a real thrill for Ed as they were probably his
favorite band from his youth.
Ed recorded a number of his favorite cover tunes
adding his own spin and modernizing the sound. There
were some of Ed's original compositions recorded
also. These can be heard & purchased on
I-tunes or downloaded for free right on this site.
The Saga Continues........
More To Come ~
Ed currently wants to open a guitar
museum in Las Vegas, He wants to put a small radio
station playing nothing but guitar music & featuring
guitar driven bands. The Ventures, Jeff Beck,
Joe Satriani, Joe Pass, Chet Atkins, Steve Vai, Eric
Clapton, Lindsey Buckingham, Eddie Van Halen &
hundreds of other guitar bands. He wants the station
to be commercial free... Ed expects that every
guitarist in Las Vegas will be tuned in. Naturally
Ed would stream the station on the internet.
There will be interviews with museum guests and the
proposed board of advisors looks like a who's who of
famous guitar players. If the building is large
enough Ed wants to promote live music a small
venue is proposed in the business plan also.
Museum guests could see guitars they have never seen
anywhere, They could also see guitars being built
right in front of them. Ed feels this would
probably be his culminating project so he wants to
involve a partner in the operation.
If you have a spare two million dollars kicking
around contact Ed directly and arrange a meeting to
discuss your possible involvement in the project.
We No Longer Have Big Showrooms
This Is Just A
Internet Sales Only
Serious Customers By Appointment Only
One Of The Showrooms In New Fairfield CT 1996
44,000 Square Feet Of Guitars 2006
Far Wall West Wall
Van Halen Shrine 2005
BANNERS OVER THE YEARS
Lower Part Of The North Wall Of The Store
Upper North Wall Of The Store On The Left
This Store Was So Big We Could Not Get A Good Picture Of It
East Wall Of The Store On The Upper Right With The Bodies Displayed
All The Floor Displays Were On Wheels So They Could Be Rolled Away During
Grand Opening Head count Over 1000 People In The Store At Once
1/4 of the South Wall Of The Store 2005
The South Wall Of The Store Upper Left (Gibson Sign)