The gods of rock

There are some businesses who have stamped their presence so strongly on a  neighbourhood that their influence lingers long after they have departed. Their
memory becomes an inescapable part of the area’s history, its pervasiveness proved  by the continuing references to it in the present day. Here’s what I mean. Creative  businesses are buzzing uptown at The Emporium, located in the gracious old  building on the corner of the Hunter Street Mall, but to generations of Novocastrians  that space will never be The Emporium, it’ll always be the home of retail giant David  Jones.

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The wonderful West End has an abundance of these kinds of places. The junction of  Railway and Hunter Streets will forever be Dairy Farmers Corner, decades after the  last milk, cream and cheese was delivered from the site. Ditto Bank Corner; despite  it being years since the corner of Bellevue and Hunter Streets was a local financial hub, it will forever be defined as the location of the (former) Bank of NSW’s stylish  Art Deco building . And let’s face it – ‘corner’ of any kind is a much more evocative  address than just a set of cross streets and a building number.

In 1967 a legendary West End business opened its doors, one which would also go  on to define its part of Hunter Street, eventually re-branding it and adding a new  word to the local parlance – Musos Corner. A quick scene-setting moment: this was  the year The Beatles released ‘Penny Lane’, The Small Faces ‘Itchycoo Park’, The  Rolling Stones ‘Ruby Tuesday’ and Jimi Hendrix ‘The Wind Cried Mary’. You get the  picture, rock and roll had Arrived.

Right from the get-go Musos Corner was the place for all your musical needs. In1980  the business moved to 707 Hunter Street gaining a reputation as the musicians’  music store. Fourteen years later, declaring itself the Hunter Valley’s premier music  store, it moved to 1 National Park Street, seeing the ‘no. 1’ street address as well  deserved. Later they added the tag ‘The People’s Music Store’ and declared war:  they were the defenders of rock against an incursion they passionately described as ‘the evil tyranny of miming guitar-free pop’.

While anyone who’s been to a concert knows that rock and roll can burn the house  down, it nearly literally did so in July 2005. In the process of renovating the store a  fire broke out which caused major damage and forced the business back to Hunter  Street for almost a year while they salvaged what they could.

Proving that you can’t hold down a rock and roll beast they re-opened back at 1  National Park Street in early 2006, this time bigger than ever with 500sq metres of  dedicated floor space. As well as their formidable shop presence Musos Corner now  claim to be Australia’s number one online music store as well, but my favourite part  of their website is the video tour of the shop which comes with a driving guitar  soundtrack.

For over forty years Musos Corner has had another string to its bow, providing  musical instruments to schools. Now it has skilled teachers onboard and programs  which can be customised to help you on your rock and roll journey whichever way  you may be heading. They teach the ins and outs of music theory and provide tuition for electric, acoustic and bass guitar, ukulele, banjo, piano, keyboard and drums.

Who doesn’t want to be a rock god or goddess? Or maybe you just aspire to musical  greatness. Whatever your ambition first you have to master your music and perfect  your craft, so go play with the grown up rock kids at Musos Corner. You can’t play?  No-one will know, just hanging out there will get you channeling your inner rock chick – or even your inner rock rooster.

Musos Corner, 1 National Park St Newcastle West, phone: 4929 2829. Web:  www.musoscorner.com.au. General enquiries: sales@musoscorner.com.au. Enquiries about music tuition to Ross Hadley: ross@musoscorner.com.au.Opening  hours: Monday-Wednesday and Friday 9.00am-5:30pm, Thursday 9.00am – 9.00pm,  Saturday 9.00am-4.00pm, Sunday 11.00am-4.00pm.

Kimberly O’Sullivan

Have you chosen the West End as your home or as the perfect place to run your  business? Do you have a West End tale which deserves a wider audience? What  inspires and infuriates you about the West End? If you have a story to tell I would love to talk to you! Here’s how to find me: kimberly@netspace.net.au; 0413 250 155.

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