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Jack Elliott

The ballad of a classic guitar shop

The ballad of a classic guitar shop

Most Southland music fans know McCabe's Guitar Shop for the innumerable folk, country, blues, jazz and world-music concerts presented over the decades in the tiny back stockroom that can hold about 150 folding chairs when all the instrument cases are shoved out of the way. But in 1958, Gerald McCabe opened the doors on Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica intending to focus on furniture design and restoration. His timing coincided with a booming interest in folk music that spurred millions of Americans to buy acoustic guitars, banjos, mandolins and other non-amplified musical instruments. Someone brought in a damaged guitar one day and asked if McCabe could fix it -- it was made of wood,...

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