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Photo Caption: Drum Off 2004 Winner Royce Shorter Jr.

Photo Caption: Drum Off 2004 Winner Royce Shorter Jr.


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— Seattle’s Royce Shorter, Jr. Jams His Way to a New Scion XB and
$2,500 Guitar Center Shopping Spree —

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA February 15, 2005 — Passion and sound merged Saturday night January 22nd at Los Angeles’ Wiltern LG Theater during Guitar Center’s legendary Drum Off competition finals. As talent seeped from vibrating speakers, Royce Shorter, Jr. showed enough speed, style and skill to take home the title of nation’s best undiscovered drummer.

Now in its 16th year, the world’s largest drum competition has continued to cradle creativity and lure enthusiasts together under one shaking roof. This year, the six finalists shared the stage with Australia’s Virgil Donati; last year’s winner Eric Moore; The Vandals; and Puddle of Mudd.

“The driving force behind Drum Off is to create a showcase for the amazing depth of raw talent found in our customer base,” said Jack Sonni, vice president of marketing communications for Guitar Center. “Guitar Center is proud to offer undiscovered musicians a platform for launching their professional careers and fulfilling their dreams in this industry.”

Hailing from Seattle, 21-year-old Shorter has been drumming since he could lift sticks and first exhibited his talent when he entered the competition eight years ago. After reaching the finals in 2001, the Emerald City prodigy put forth his “A” game this year by merging a variety of musical genres into a unique pop-themed set that fired up the crowd en route to capturing the 2004 crown.

“My biggest musical influence has been the sound of the ‘60s that revolved around love, and I feel a lot of love from everyone today,” said Shorter. “With this recognition, Guitar Center has provided the perfect platform for me to achieve my goals. I feel more inspired now to produce music and learn more about the business, and view this day as the first stepping stone to what I hope will be a long career in music.”

“He has a funky groove with a hard edge,” attests judge and Blue Man Group member Jeff Tortora. “He also has perfect odd meter, a great feel for tempo changes, and is very quick handed and footed.”

Shorter was selected from more than 3,000 undiscovered drummers nationwide who participated in the four-tiered competition that began in October 2004. In the eyes of judges Slim Jim Phantom from the Stray Cats, Josh Freese of The Vandals, Greg Errico of Sly & The Family Stone, and Eric Moore II, last year’s Drum Off winner who will be touring with Sly & The Family Stone, Shorter excelled in the categories of skill, style, showmanship, originality, technique, overall performance, and stage presence.

Thanks to the many sponsors, which included XM Satellite Radio, SABIAN, REMO, Gretsch, Zildjian, Tama and Pro-Mark, Shorter will drive away in his much deserved 2005 Scion xB, have $2,500 to spend at any Guitar Center location, and continue to slap skins with the industry’s best drummers as Guitar Center’s 2004 Drum Off winner.

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Photo Caption: Drum Off 2004 Winner Royce Shorter Jr.

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Photo Caption: Drum Off 2004 Winner Royce Shorter Jr.

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About Guitar Center
Guitar Center is the nation's leading retailer of guitars, amplifiers, percussion instruments, keyboards and pro-audio and recording equipment. We presently operate 138 Guitar Center stores, with 114 stores in 46 major markets and 24 stores in secondary markets across the U.S. In addition, the American Music division operates 19 family music stores specializing in band instruments for sale and rental, serving thousands of teachers, band directors, college professors and students. Guitar Center is also the largest direct response retailer of musical instruments in the U.S. through our wholly owned subsidiary, Musician's Friend, Inc., and its catalog and web site, www.musiciansfriend.com. More information on Guitar Center can be found by visiting the Company's web site at www.guitarcenter.com.

For further information on Guitar Center, contact Tina Montano at (818) 735-8800 ext. 2285,
or log onto www.guitarcenter.com.



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