Pete Webster

Photo: Trouser Press

My good friend Pete Webster, owner of Guitar-O-Rama in Oakland, CA, is gone. He was hit by a car while riding his bicycle last Saturday night. Pete was a great musician and a pretty darn good guitar repairman when he applied himself. He was a walking encyclopedia of detailed historical information about guitars and amps and practically anything with strings. He was familiar to many musicians in and from the SF Bay Area, several of whom I met as I hung out at Pete’s shop. Like my wife, Pete loved to read books on history and politics, and he also enjoyed collecting maps. But most of all Pete was an incredibly nice and generous guy who loved music, enjoyed his friends and treated his dogs Jack and Pumpkin like they were his dearest children.

I spent entire days talking to Pete in his shop while he would work on people’s instruments, watching how he would adjust and modify and repair gear while talking about almost anything. We chatted practically every day. I learned a lot about guitars and music from Pete, and about a lot of other things as well. We’d go on outings together, visiting other music stores and suppliers, browsing through book stores, and checking out new places to eat. And we went to many concerts together. Pete knew good music and knew the difference between the real players and the stylist wannabes.

All of which is to say that I’m going to miss Pete. I won’t be able to look at a guitar again without thinking of him.

Trouser Press

Location of crash

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