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Guitar Center Legends Collection

Contact: Clyne Media, Inc.
Tel: (615) 662-1616
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— Eric Clapton’s “BLACKIE” Fender Stratocaster® and Gibson “335,” Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Lenny” Stratocaster and The Edge’s Gibson Les Paul Custom were displayed at the Northridge and San Bernardino Guitar Centers last month —

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, July 8, 2008 — As part of its ongoing efforts in celebrating music’s past, present and future, Guitar Center, the world’s largest musical instrument and professional audio retailer, displayed its iconic “Guitar Center Legends Collection” at its Northridge and San Bernardino, CA stores last month. Played by their legendary owners on classic recordings, on the concert stage and in music videos, the guitars drew an excited crowd eager to see the instruments. These events were free and open to the public.

The “Guitar Center Legends Collection” consists of four classic guitars made famous by music legends Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and U2’s The Edge. Guitar Center purchased Clapton’s “BLACKIE” Fender Stratocaster, his vintage Gibson “335” and Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Lenny” Stratocaster for over $2.4 million from the Clapton Crossroads Centre charity auction at Christie’s New York in 2004. They added The Edge’s Gibson Les Paul after purchasing it for $240,000 at the Music Rising Charity Auction last year. Since then, the collection has been exhibited in one-of-a-kind, newly created “Legends Collection” display cases, which provide high level protection and climate control as the instruments tour prestigious musical events and key Guitar Center locations.

Clapton personally built “BLACKIE” in 1973, and it became synonymous with him as he played it on stage and in the studio from 1974-1985, recording hits such as “Cocaine,” “I Shot the Sheriff,” “Wonderful Tonight,” “Further on up the Road,” “Lay Down Sally” and various live versions of “Layla.” It was also featured on several album covers and videos. “BLACKIE” was subsequently purchased by Guitar Center for $959,500. Clapton’s Cherry Red Gibson “335,” purchased for $847,500, was used to record Cream’s versions of “Badge” and “Crossroads,” as well as many other historical performances, during his 40 years of ownership. Steve Ray Vaughan’s “Lenny,” which was purchased for $623,500, was used to record his classic love songs including “Lenny” and “Riviera Paradise.” All of the proceeds from these three guitars purchased by Guitar Center were for the benefit of Clapton’s Crossroads Centre charity.

The cream colored 1975 Les Paul Custom (faded from its original white) found fame with The Edge as a go-to guitar for stage and studio on many of U2’s most famous recordings and performances. In 2005, The Edge partnered with producer Bob Ezrin, Gibson and the Guitar Center Music Foundation to establish Music Rising, a charity founded to benefit musicians whose lives were torn apart by Hurricane Katrina. In 2007, he donated this prized guitar to be auctioned for the cause. The winning bid was $240,000 from Guitar Center ($288,000 including Buyers Premium).

Aside from displaying the original instruments themselves, Guitar Center also commissioned Gibson and Fender to make exact replicas of Clapton’s “335” and “BLACKIE,” as well as Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Lenny” guitars. These limited edition re-creations are among the most esteemed and valuable guitars of their type ever offered.

“Guitar Center is delighted to make these iconic guitars available for everyone to enjoy,” stated Michael Doyle, Guitar Center’s Vice President of Product Marketing. “They are legends in their own right while symbolically representing the artists who are idolized by millions of fans and music lovers worldwide. Guitar Center is proud to share this rich and inspiring musical legacy with our customers.”

For more information about the Legends Collection, please visit http://www.guitarcenter.com/legends.

About Guitar Center
Guitar Center is the leading United States retailer of guitars, amplifiers, percussion instruments, keyboards and pro-audio and recording equipment. Our retail store subsidiary presently operates more than 200 Guitar Center stores across the U.S. In addition, our Music & Arts division operates more than 100 stores specializing in band instruments for sale and rental, serving teachers, band directors, college professors and students. We are also the largest direct response retailer of musical instruments in the United States 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, Clyne Media, Inc., at (615) 662-1616

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