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— Leading instrument retailer gives away rockin’ road trip and Gibson guitar —

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, December 22, 2005 — Guitar Center, Inc. (Nasdaq NMS: GTRC), the leading musical instrument and professional audio retailer for over 40 years, has announced an extraordinary December promotion. One lucky winner will receive an all-expenses paid trip for four to see neo-glam rock band The Darkness perform live in the city of their choice and a Gibson Les Paul Classic guitar signed by the entire band. Guitar Center has teamed up with Atlantic Records to give its customers the chance to recover from all of the holiday madness with a trip to rock out to one of the hottest acts today, according to Jack Sonni, vice president of marketing communication for Guitar Center.

“The Darkness embodies that great, back to basics rock ‘n roll spirit that really resonates with our customers. We felt this promotion would be the perfect way to recognize and celebrate that spirit, while also treating a fan to some great gear and an unforgettable live concert experience,” said Sonni.

The English band hit the scene in 2003 with its debut album, “Permission to Land.” Considered to be “Great Britain’s finest export since Oasis” by Rolling Stone, The Darkness became an American phenomenon over night. The band’s highly anticipated sophomore album, “One Way Ticket to Hell…and Back” dropped November 28, and is scheduled to tour throughout US starting in 2006.

“The Darkness’ partnership with Guitar Center is a great opportunity for us to create awareness for our release of ‘One Way Ticket To Hell...And Back,’ said Dane Venable, Vice President of Marketing for Atlantic Records. “Guitar Center caters to young and hip consumers, and this promotion and contest will direct that target consumer to Guitar Center and also coordinate with our marketing efforts for the new album.”

The month-long December promotion will culminate with the winner announcement in mid-January. Interested participants can submit entries at any Guitar Center location or online at www.guitarcenter.com.


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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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