guitar shop owner Randall Pearson tests out a Knaggs
WAUKESHA — A Waukesha man and
Texas native who was once known for selling snakes now sells an
entirely different type of “coil” after he opened Chondro guitar
shop in Waukesha.
While in guitar terms a coil refers to a component found in electric
guitars, business owner Randall Pearson says he named the shop
Chondro because it’s a nickname for his favorite type of snake, the
green tree python.
Chondro’s brick and mortar location opened in August, but the
business began in 2017 as a basement operation, Pearson said.
“It started off as a hobby and turned into me buying stuff off
Craigslist and selling it on Reverb,” Pearson said. “And then it
just kind of exploded.”
Chondro now offers a variety of guitar brands including Jackson, ESP
and Charvel. The guitar shop also carries guitar amp brands such as
Mezzabarba, ENGL, EVH and KSR.
Pearson purposefully chose not to carry the most common guitar
brands such as Gibson and Fender, he said. Instead, Chondro carries
a lot of brands representative of the 1970s and 80s.
“I think a lot of the hard rock heavy metal guys get overlooked and
they get looked down upon,” Pearson said. “They think we’re just
broke kids who’ve got no money, no musical talent and not one to
spend money on guitars.”
But what most guitar sellers don’t realize today is that those who
grew up in the 70s and 80s are in the “generation of nostalgia,”
“We’re not punks, which is what people perceived us to be in the
80s,” Pearson said. “We’re doctors, lawyers and business owners and
we want the guitars we saw our heroes play back in the 80s and the
Most of the equipment in Chondro is high-end, with guitars ranging
in price from $2,000 to more than $7,000, Pearson said. But despite
the price tag, Pearson said he wants any musician to feel
comfortable with walking in and trying out an instrument.
“I pretty much built my shop as a comfortable place for musicians to
come in, have a look around and just a hangout place even if you’re
not a buyer,” Pearson said.
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