LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Many businesses have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, but a few have thrived. Music stores are experiencing a crescendo of sales and repair orders in the Next Normal.
Some are looking to invest in a musical hobby, and have been choosing Mundt Music in Longview. There, Salesman and Guitar Repair Technician Michael Boring is surprisingly busy, and extremely cautious since the sour note of COVID-19.
“What we would do at first is we would check the guitars and let them sit for a couple days. First you have to think, man, a guitar is; the strings are like a sponge. Literally the strings actually absorb all of the gunk that is on your fingertips and whatnot. So it’s kinda nasty,” Boring said.
He says he’s always been in tune with that, but now even more so since he says it’s:
“Kind of like, I guess touching somebody’s toothbrush or something, I don’t know how you would put that,” Boring said.
“Yeah, I stopped doing that,” I said.
“Good, good,” Boring laughed.
And touching or playing anything in the store without assistance falls flat with the staff, as signs reflect. Repairs have piled up because of:
“Our day to day business. We’ve been busy. Like busy, busy. It’s kind of like Christmas in the summertime, since May,” Boring said.
But it’s not just instrument sales.
“We can’t keep home recording stuff in stock. People are building home studios,” Boring said.
And it’s not just experienced musicians coming in. They’re getting:
“A lot of first time guitar players,” Boring said.
And that’s because they kept ordering inventory through the pandemic.
“There was the fear of what’s going to happen, and the boss decided to keep going with it,” Boring said.
But they can’t order enough every part they may need, as church bassist Mike Middleton discovered. He has had to face the music as far as a repair.
“All I can do is wait. Nothing else I can do. I mean I’m not going to run all over God’s creation. I’ll do something. I’ll make it work for now,” Middleton said.
For now Middleton’s bass is still Baroque, but employees try to stay in tune with demands like repairs.
“It might be a day or two. But if I can’t do it I’ve got a buddy out in Hawkins who I send stuff to all the time to because they’re really good too. That’s who I learned from,” Boring said as the phone rang.
“Somebody’s calling about a repair now,” I said.
“Probably so,” Boring laughed.
So as far as picking up an instrument or getting a repair in the Next Normal: if you’re patient, it shouldn’t be too much treble.
Boring says they of course do a lot of cleaning and advocate wearing masks. He also says purchasing instruments online has become a bit of a waiting game since the onset of COVID-19.