SAYING GOODBYE TO THE CAVEMAN

When did you first come to Downtown and what brought you here?

We opened our shop in Chinatown on July 11th, 2011.   I’ve always loved the area because of it’s proximity to to all the freeways and surrounding neighborhoods that happen to be the home of numerous well known musicians and artists.   We saw back in 2011 that Chinatown was sort of a neighborhood that we could grow into at our own pace.  It was in no way gentrified at that time, which is something I liked.

How did you get into what you are doing?

I started playing guitar in 6th or 7th grade.  It’s something that I have never stopped doing and loving. I also have always had a real passion for instruments and music of the 1950’s and 1960’s.   In 1996 I opened my first vintage music store location in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  After doing that for a number of years on my own, I was offered a position in the vintage department of Guitar Center in Hollywood, so I made the move out to sunny California and have not regretted a single day since.   After working for that company for a few years, I started to feel the need to have my own shop again.  And so, Caveman Vintage Music was born.

Why did you name the store CAVEMAN?

We wanted a name that really said primitive and old.  Another thing, I always wanted was a logo that had some kind of mascot and I’m really happy with what we came up with.   Drop by the new shop and check out our beautiful hand painted sign done in gold leaf by legendary sign painter Ronn Overby.

What do you sell ?

We sell vintage (pre 1980’s guitars, basses, amps, keyboards, drums, effects pedals, hi-fi stereo gear, and records.

What is your biggest seller?

Our biggest seller (records wise) is still the Beatles.   As for musical gear goes, I think vintage guitars are still our best selling item in the store.

What is your dearest possession at the store?

People might find this strange, but some of my dearest possessions, in the shop for me, are my collection of vintage music store advertising items, such as a Fender guitar clock from 1963 and a 1967 Vox Guitar-Amplifier’s light up sign.  It has spinning color wheel in it that lights up and spins around giving a sort of psychedelic light show.   

Who are your customers?

Our customers range from people picking up a guitar for the first time, to Grammy award winning musicians, to just folks that are true lovers of music.  People come from all over the world to visit our shop and take something special home with them.  It makes me really proud when we have customers come in from somewhere very far away, like say Australia and they tell me that they have been hearing great things about Caveman Vintage Music over there.  It really blows my mind.   I guess we can thank the power of the internet for that.  We try to make sure we are constantly posting to our Instagram, Facebook, and our website.

Why are you moving?

We were in serious need of more space and we definitely are getting it with our new location in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood.   I did attempt to find something in Chinatown that could fit our needs, but a lot of the spaces we looked at were either to small, or the landlords were asking unrealistic prices.

Where are you moving to?

Our new location is in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood at 3233 N. Main Street, which is very close to the corner of Main and Mission.   Only two miles from our old location in Chinatown.

What is your fondest memory of Downtown?

I think the old Clifton’s Cafeteria before it was renovated by the current owner.   That place was always such a treat to visit in so many ways.

What will you miss about Downtown?

I will definitely miss the amazing selection of great restaurants.   Places like the Little Jewel of New Orleans, or the Spring Street Smoke House, just can’t be beat.

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KerFree100

Yup, you guessed it. It's me Keri Freeman, publisher and concept designer for Downtown Weekly. As an African American Indian and middle aged female who lives, works and plays in Downtown Los Angeles for the better of 25 years, it gives me great pleasure to be able to tell our story in such a unique way and offer support for literary artists and educated journalists who inspire me every day to keep writing although I think I suck at it. Also, it would seem I'm the only woman of color to publish a newspaper here in over 100 years, so hopefully that inspires some future generations as well....Just remember if its fun...it can't be work....Thank you, people of Gaia, for your continued support and thank you for reading!

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