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WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. (April 12, 2006) – Guitar Center today announced that legendary blues guitarist B.B. King will be headlining the grand finals of its 2006 guitar competition, Guitarmageddon: King of the Blues. GRAMMY® award winning artist John Mayer is also scheduled to appear as a special guest during B.B.’s set. The Guitarmageddon: King of the Blues grand finals will take place Thursday, June 8 at 7 p.m. at the world famous House of Blues Chicago.

“Who better to represent the roots of guitar playing at our grand finals competition than the king of the blues himself, B.B. King,” said Jack Sonni, vice president of marketing communication for Guitar Center. “These six guitarists have the opportunity to share the stage with legendary, groundbreaking artists like B.B. King, John Mayer and Pete Anderson. Guitarmageddon King of the Blues truly gets our customers one step closer to living out their career dreams.”

For the opening act, Guitar Center has assembled a group of L.A.-based hip-hop musicians to perform a special, one-time set featuring classic blues samples orchestrated by DJ J ROCC. In addition, the King of the Blues grand finals will showcase the top six undiscovered blues guitarists in the country as they battle for the crown and a prize package worth more than $40,000. As a special element, each of this year’s finalists will perform on stage with a full band led by GRAMMY® winning producer and guitarist Pete Anderson.

Guitar Center has partnered with some of the nation’s leading brands for this year’s competition, including Toyota Scion, SoBe Adrenaline Rush, Levi’s, Napster, Gibson, Guitar World, Practice Tracks, Little Dog Records, and The Guitar Center Credit Card.

Tickets for Guitar Center’s Guitarmageddon: King of the Blues grand finals go on sale April 15 at all ticketmaster outlets and can be purchased by phone at (312) 559-1212 or via the web at www.ticketmaster.com.

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 171 Guitar Center stores across the U.S., including 128 major market stores, 41 secondary market stores and 2 tertiary market stores. In addition, the Music & Arts division operates 87 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.

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