GUITARS, GUITARS, AND MORE GUITARS: AN INTERVIEW
WITH WBJB'S ANDREA KOENIG
by Mike Doktorski
On Sunday, February 17, Brookdale Public Radio WBJB-FM
its 5th Annual Guitar Show at the campus of Brookdale Community
College. The event has grown over the past half decade to encompass
clinics, live music, and of course vendors and afficianados of
guitars in all sizes and shapes.
Andrea Koenig, development director at WBJB and coordinator of
the Guitar Show, recently took a few minutes to give NBU the down-lo
on this year's event.
NBU: What's the background of the Guitar Show, i.e. how did the
idea come about?
Andrea: The show started with Joe Civitano, owner of Raritan Bay
Guitar Repair (www.repairguitar.com).
In 1993 he held a networking party to thank his clients for his
first year of business. It was so successful that the next year
vendors were invited to display some of their merchandise. That
year Joe approached Brookdale Public Radio, WBJB-FM, to co-sponsor
the event and use it as a fundraiser. From there we moved the
venue to Brookdale and it's grown bigger every year, last year
we had 2,500 in attendance.
NBU: How many shows have you done so far?
Andrea: This year marks our 5th annual show (they're held every
year on the Sunday of President's weekend).
NBU: What can musicians hope to get out of it?
Andrea: This area is really brimming with fantastic talent, musicians
can get a lot of out the annual guitar show. Not only can they
get a look at all types of equipment and accessories but they
can network with each other as well as industry professionals
and check out live music. I think the biggest thing the show has
to offer though is free clinics (with the price of admission)
on all different styles of music plus tons of useful information
to help anyone from the accomplished musician looking to brush
up to the newcomer looking to make it big.
NBU: Can people bring guitars that they want to sell? Will
guitar players find special deals on instruments they want to
Andrea: We really encourage people to bring guitars. We're offering
half price admission ($5) to anyone who brings a guitar to sell
or trade, or
really any instrument. Last year people brought everything from
mandolins to guitar skeletons to accordions. Most of the vendors
are negotiable in their pricing especially on a trade. Guitar
players can check out custom made guitars, basses, amps, and my
favorite is the guy that brings just tubes --he's got every kind
you can imagine, great for whatever sound you're looking for.
If you have a bunch of guitars, musical equipment, CDís etc that
you're looking to sell or know someone who does, considering getting
a table, they're only $125 each (before February 8th) thatís not
too bad if you split it with someone. This year with Music Makers
of Wall on board as another sponsor we're expecting about 3,000
NBU: What if someone is not a musician? Would they still find
it to be a fun thing to do?
Andrea: Not only musical instruments will be sold there. We're
expanding to include a variety of items, including jewelry and
crafts. We'll have a number of non-profit organizations like Clearwater
there too plus all kinds of Brookdale information, from Sports
Camps to Communiversity. Not to mention live music going on all
NBU: What's the connection between WBJB and the Guitar Show?
Andrea: 90.5 the NIGHT (WBJB) partnered early on with Joe Civitano
of Raritan Bay Guitar Repair to promote and grow the show. We're
the sponsor and promoter, all proceeds benefit the station and
they go right back into programming and special events. It's one
of my favorite events because I got to see the show go from initial
meetings to the very successful events they are today, and it
grows every year. Because there are no other guitar shows on the
Jersey shore we're thrilled to be able to bring this kind of event
to the area. People often write us and call us "the music lover's
station", and they couldn't be any more right! We love music and
we love to support local musicians. In addition to promoting and
coordinating local music events like Jazz in the Park and our
own Songwriter's Showcase, we maintain a mailing list of over
700 area musicians. They're sent regular information that might
interest them, like festival contacts, so they can be involved
in some of the local events. If you'd like to be on the list send
your e-mail address, your snail mail address, and the kind of
music you play to firstname.lastname@example.org
(make sure to mention that you'd like to be included on the musicians'
NBU: I know you're running some clinics. Describe them.
Andrea: We're really expanding on the clinics this year. They
were so popular that we're doubling up on the clinic rooms. We're
going to be doing them upstairs as well as downstairs. (Make sure
to pick up a program when you arrive so you don't miss a thing!).
So far the clinics we've added are: Bass guitar with Jon Rogers,
former bassist of Blue Oyster Cult, live "Guitar School" w/ favorite
Box of Blues host Dave Mac (Sundays from 9pm to Midnight), Jazz
Guitar, Basic Guitar Repair and Maintenance (including tone wood
selections), Blues Guitar, Women in Music with Sisters, Panel
1: a discussion with local radio stations and media discussing
how to get your music on the air and more plus we're looking into
adding panels with A & R scouts, entertainment lawyers, local
club owners, promoters and more. As soon as we've finalized the
schedule, you can check it out on www.90.5thenight.org/show.
We'll be putting the music schedule on there too.
NBU: Do you play guitar? If so, what kind of guitar do you
Andrea: Yes, and believe it or not I was really inspired to get
one because of the guitar show. I've always wanted to learn but
I finally purchased one last year. It's a Danelectro 56-U2 in
beautiful aqua burst. I love the way it looks almost as much as
how it sounds. My fiance found an amp on the side of the road
waiting for garbage pickup and thank goodness he did. It has THE
perfect crusty sound I was looking for. I have to admit I'm not
too good yet but you don't have to be when you're playing crusty
For complete up-to-the-minute info on this year's Guitar Show,
click on over to www.wbjb.org/show,
or contact Andrea Koenig (email@example.com, 732-224-2492).
interview was originally published on NBUnderground.com in January