Plucking without pretense: The ethos of Orphan Guitars
Dwight Weeks wanted to open a guitar shop like the ones he grew up visiting.
You won’t find many big, legacy brands like Fender and Gibson at Orphan Guitars, a tiny storefront in Carroll Gardens. Instead, Weeks favors playable, affordable, oddball instruments. The proceeds from the sales go toward music lessons for local kids.
“You should not have to spend a fortune to get an awesome guitar,” Weeks said. “When I was a kid, you took your eighth-grade graduation money and you mowed lawns … and some smelly, old rock-and-roll guy helped you buy a cool used guitar. But that’s really hard now. I just wanted there to be a store like that.”
Big box stores like Guitar Center may have friendly attendants, but the sheer volume of instruments belies the relatively narrow selection of guitar makers. At the other end of the spectrum, vintage and boutique shops can be full of tension, intimidating attendants and high-priced niche items.