History Of Ed Roman Guitars

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Would You Buy A Guitar From This Man ??
 Picture From 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 above was from the inside cover of our 1979 Pro Audio Catalog. Before being "The Original King Of Guitars," We were definitely the undisputed 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 proportions.

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 

I 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 yearly.

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 guitar sales.

Over the past 15 years we have spawned numerous brands of boutique guitars. Abstract,  Baker, Centurion,

J Frog,  JET  Quicksilver,  LSR, Lowrider,  PearlcasterScorpion,  Schon,  Mosrite, & More.

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 Me,
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 Describe"

Ed Roman  2/27/1997

 Ed Roman History

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 original charter member in the 60's.

Ed played in numerous bands, Hot Ice, Red-Beard & The Pirates, and most notably Taboo. Taboo was 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 else carried.

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 $500.000.00 !!!

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 & Reagan.

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 dealer.

 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 parts source for original real Steinberger owners worldwide.

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 of 2004.

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 musicians worldwide.

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 admission fee. 

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 guitar models available at Ed Roman guitars that cannot be bought elsewhere.
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 brothels.

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 experience.

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 Historical Page
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






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 Concerts
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)

The South Wall Middle Section

Ted Nugent Playing His Quicksilver Guitar 2009







ZZ Top Guitars


In The Studio With Richie Scarlet