Canadian Crushes Cantonese Guitar Eating World Record!!!
"Work Ethic and Good Karma Pay Off" or "Nice Guys Don't Always Finish Last" would probably be more accurate (as headlines go), but then I wouldn't have grabbed half as many of you on a great small-town Canadian success story. So, brew yourself a coffee, put your feet up for a well-deserved break, and enjoy a little "re-tale" achievement.
A profile on an owner/operated retail music store is really a profile on the owner as much as their business. Music stores really are one of the last frontiers to be swallowed up by the big box stores; apparently there may be slightly more to retailing musical instruments than glitzy merchandizing and low margin pricing. There is a love of craft, and a pride found in passing along a gift to one's clientele that just can't be easily replaced. Arbutus Music, owned and managed by guitar tech extraordinaire, Richard Leighton, is a relatively small retail store (as far as one-stop shopping goes) packed to the rafters in the north end of Nanaimo, BC. A well-designed little retail outlet, Arbutus, is a prime example of just about everything a big box retailer can never be. A profile on a "Big Box" store can be encapsulated with numbers and graphs, a profile on a small store that bases its livelihood on pride, has to start with the man that built it.
I have known, or more accurately—known of—Richard Leighton as a premier session guitar tech for many years; however, it wasn't until having the opportunity to sit down over lunch for this interview that I learned the story of how a successful Vancouver studio session tech with credits including the likes of INXS, Metallica, Bryan Adams, kd lang, Aerosmith ... ends up running a successful little music store in Nanaimo.
Credit goes to: Alec Watson, Canadian Music Trade