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Arts and Music

Underground Music

All Music in Plainview has maintained its subterranean location for close to 30 years — a feat worth noting as the music industry tends to change faster than a thrash metal chord progression.

Multiple musical genres have come and gone since the store in the Plainview Shopping Centre first opened in 1984; New Wave gave that 80s sound to everything, hip-hop moved from the street to the studio, hair metal gave music a glossy shine, grunge cleaned up at ticket booths and the intrusion of auto-tune into the mainstream insulted the sensibilities of music lovers everywhere.

But Guy Brogna’s store — with its vast collection of instruments, amplifiers and more — remains and continues to support local melody makers through sales, rentals, lessons and repairs.

“It all boils down to service, No one on the floor works on commission, so every customer gets the same service whether they are buying a $5 piece of sheet music or a $5,000 guitar,” said Brogna, a former Hicksville resident who frequented All Music’s first incarnation, Straub Music, back when it served as a hang out complete with pinball machines.

Brogna took over All Music from original owner Irwin Natman about two years ago after first joining as a co-partner in 2001. At that time, his metal band Scatterbrain called it quits after touring extensively around the world during the 1990s. The store began with a modest inventory but now boasts a stockpile of tens of thousands of instruments on display and in storage, along with many other musical accoutrements.

The store takes great pride in its arsenal of guitars. All Music has all the top name axes, including Gibson, Les Paul and Fender, as well as rare, hard-to-find ones.

“From what people say to me and others, we have some of the coolest stuff that no one else has. And I take pride in that,” said Brogna, adding that the store is one of the few Gibson five-star dealers in the world and boasts rare guitar models like Cole Clark from Australia and Larrivee guitars.

In an effort to offer more to their fretboard aficionado customers, Brogna said All Music recently opened a brand new climate controlled Acoustic Guitar Lounge; giving beginner and accomplished acoustic guitar strummers a relaxed, inviting environment to exercise their talents and test the store’s musical tools.

“Each guitar sounds different, feels different, has its own characteristics that can’t be fully realized if you are purely shopping them online,” he said.

It is all a part of the positive service experience that Brogna wants to offer his customers, and that service does not stop once a purchase is made.     

“We want to be there to help for as long as you have the instrument,” he said. “That is something we offer that the bigger stores do not. We are in this for the music and the musicians.”

And in an effort to create new musicians, All Music’s second location in Hauppauge boasts Rock N Roll University; which provides music students of all ages with private instruction and band performance rehearsals eventually leading to live concert events. Rock N Roll University goes far beyond repetitive lessons featuring banal numbers like “Mary Had A Little Lamb.” Students learn simple rock songs by bands like The Ramones, and jam as a real band before performing in the school’s own version of a recital.

While record stores have disappeared for the most part and new bands are not clamoring for radio station exposure as they once did, Brogna’s store will continue to provide a musical release below street level.

“The industry has changed, but there will always be music,” he said.

For more information on All Music, visit www.allmusicinc.com and to check out Rock N Roll University, check out www.rnruniversity.com