Green Day’s Bille Joe Armstrong to Open Guitar Store in Oakland
Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong and his Pinhead Gunpowder bandmate Bill Schneider have announced they will open Broken Guitars, a guitar store that will call 423 40th Street in Oakland home. It will open its doors to customers on April 3.
The storefront used to house 1-2-3-4 Go! Records, an indie record store and label that bears close ties to Armstrong and Schneider. When it moved to a new location three years ago, the two business partners helped owner Steve Stevenson build a venue for concerts in the store’s back room. Both Armstrong and his son Joey (with his band Emily’s Army) have performed at 1-2-3-4 Go!.
Now, the space will boast approximately 75 guitars from both Armstrong and Schneider’s own collections, along with amplifiers and repair services for both instruments and amps. Schneider says the guitars will range between $400-$800.
“We want to be a shop for musicians,” Schneider told East Bay Express. “The focus is used American guitars: Gretsch, Fender and not necessarily just vintage ones.”
While the store’s name may instill incredulity in the faint of heart, Schneider says he and Armstrong were inspired by the tradition of breaking guitars onstage – specifically a poster featuring the Who's Pete Townshend on the precipice of smashing his guitar with the message, “This guitar has seconds to live.”
Schneider said he hopes Broken Guitars will help in the continued growth of the area.
“I lived around here for years in the ‘80s and ‘90s,” he said. “Back then, there wasn’t a single store in any of these spots. Some folks were living in the buildings, but all of the window swere papered up. 1-2-3-4 Go! Records, Manifesto and Subrosa really led the way for the street’s revitalization.”