We Buy Guitars has been synonymous with the buying and selling of vintage guitars and basses since 1968, but its roots actually extend as far back as 1922. That was the year the Friedman family launched its’ first retail operation in historic downtown New York City, on land once farmed by Peter Stuyvesant. Harry Friedman named his shop Stuyvesant Loan and Music. There, he bought and sold everything, from jewelry and gold coins to used tools and—you guessed it—previously owned musical instruments, creating what may well have been the nation’s very first vintage guitar store.

Hold the presses…after going through the family archives; we have determined that the Friedman family’s history in musical instrument sales goes back even further. We have unearthed a photo of the Friedman Brothers’ Curiosity Shop which is dated around 1914 and was located in NYC’s famous Park Row. Check out the guitar, banjos, mandolin, and the baseball mits…now that’s Vintage.
After the Friedman Bros. Curiosity Shop, it looks like Harry Friedman went off on his own to open the Stuyvesant Loan Office. This was the first of the Stuyvesant shops. We don’t think the 1926 photo (above) is the same place as the photo on the left. Unfortunately, there’s no one to ask now.

In 1966, Harry’s son Larry parlayed his own love of music-making into a new incarnation of the family business, opening Stuyvesant Music in midtown Manhattan and specializing in the new-and-used instrument trade.

Two years later, Larry and his wife, Emmy, made another shift. They moved the shop a couple of blocks east to 48th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, right in the heart of the city’s renowned “Music Row,” and renamed it We Buy Guitars.At one time, the Friedman family owned three stores on 48th Street, all catering to the needs of some of the most famous names in the music and entertainment industry. Click on Some of our friends for more on this elite clientele.

Then in 1995, the Friedmans retired and We Buy Guitars closed its doors. Richard Friedman, the youngest of Larry and Emmy’s three sons, subsequently went to work for Sam Ash Music where he met David Davidson in a stroke of serendipity. Together, Richie and David established the chain’s multimillion-dollar vintage guitar department. For the next decade, this dynamic pair continued to be the exclusive buyers for Sam Ash’s 45 stores throughout the country, as well as for Manny’s Music. Richie’s growing reputation as a vintage guitar expert led him to become a pricing consultant for several notable publications. Likewise, David’s knowledgeable opinions about guitar collecting and investing made him widely sought after by the media.

In 2005, with the vintage guitar marketplace getting ever hotter, the two decided the time was right to venture out on their own. Assisted by fellow music maestro Tom Dubas, David and Richie agreed there was only one real option and...“We Buy Guitars, The Original N.Y.C. Legend” was reborn!

Site Dedication

We Buy Guitars would like to take this opportunity to dedicate our website to three people without whom none of this would have been possible.

Larry Friedman
Emmy Friedman
Bill “ Lucky” Nimmo
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

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