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— Celebrating art and music, Guitar Center joins GuitarMania® charity event,
creating a one-of-a-kind 10-foot Fender® Stratocaster® —

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, August 30, 2005 — Guitar Center, Inc. (Nasdaq NMS: GTRC), working closely with celebrity artist Jim Koch, has created a stunning, one-of-a-kind, 10-foot tall Fender® Stratocaster® as part of the Phoenix, Arizona GuitarMania® public art project. As America’s leading musical instrument and professional audio retailer for over 40 years, Guitar Center jumped on the opportunity to participate in GuitarMania, creating their own unique “Strat®” which will be one of 125 instruments on display in the Greater Phoenix area for a five month period beginning in September 2005.

The GuitarMania charity event is presented by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona along with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and Fender Musical Instruments.

To create the look they were going for, Guitar Center commissioned renowned artist Jim Koch (pronounced “Cook”). A favorite among rock legends including Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Slayer, and Ratt lead singer Stephen Pearcy, Koch’s work embodies the bold, original vibe Guitar Center represents. “Rock & roll, hot rods and girls” is how Koch describes his approach. “I did a sample for the guys at GC and they loved it! They’re awesome to work with.”

“The GuitarMania project is perfect for Guitar Center because it reflects our passion for creativity, music, community involvement, and of course, guitars,” stated Jay Wanamaker, Guitar Center Executive Vice President and General Merchandise Manager. “It’s great when you can combine all the things you love for a worthy cause.”

Brian Hassett, President of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona, stated, “Guitar Center’s early embrace of GuitarMania contributed greatly to getting the ball rolling quickly. As a result, we’ve been able to cover a hundred percent of the costs of the event — over $400,000 — meaning that the proceeds of the auction will go completely to charity.”

In February 2006 Guitar Center’s Strat will join the other instruments that will be auctioned off at a live event with proceeds benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s Education Fund.

Photo Files: GuitarMania_1.jpg, GuitarMania_2.jpg
Photo Caption: Pictured is Guitar Center’s striking contribution to the Phoenix, Arizona GuitarMania® public art project, a 10-foot tall Fender® Stratocaster® designed by celebrity artist Jim Koch.

…ends 335 words

About Guitar Center
Guitar Center is the nation’s leading retailer of guitars, amplifiers, percussion instruments, keyboards, live-sound/DJ and recording equipment. We presently operate 151 Guitar Center stores, with 121 stores in 48 major markets and 30 stores in secondary markets across the U.S. In addition, the Music & Arts division operates 77 retail locations 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.

The Guitar Center logo is a registered trademark of Guitar Center, Inc. Other brand or product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.

MEDIA CONTACT: Robert Clyne, Neilson/Clyne at (615) 662-1616


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