Before Redbone Guitar Boutique officially opened its doors in September 2008, Owner Richard Turner had envisioned a very specific purpose for the space he’d created at 4343 McCullough Ave. in San Antonio TX—and it had nothing to do with selling guitars.
“Originally, it wasn’t even going to be a store,” Turner said. A veteran producer, his plan was to build a production facility and music school. “The cost of doing a full recording studio would have been astronomical,” Turner recalled. “And when we got in there, I saw the potential for a cool, quirky retail space.”
Turner’s love for the music of The Beatles guided his vision for Redbone Guitar Boutique. His radio show, called “Best of The Beatles,” has been a staple of KSYM 90.1’s Sunday morning programming for more than 25 years. “My friends encouraged me to bring that into the store,” Turner said, “and I had tons of Beatles memorabilia.”
The result is one part instrument retailer and one part Beatles museum. Assistant Manager Neal Walker, one of two veteran retailers who’ve helped Turner run the store since it opened, called it “a destination.” The business is away from the usual shopping areas, he said, so it doesn’t get a lot of casual traffic. “You come here because you’ve heard about it, and want to check it out,” he declared.
Turner’s showroom design concept included an alcove constructed to recall the interior of the famous Cavern Club in Liverpool, England, where The Beatles played regularly. “We did the archway, with a small stage at the back, like a miniature of the actual venue,” Turner said. The mock “Cavern Club” helps establish the visual theme for customers.
The next step was to stock the right instruments. Turner established relationships with Guild, Rickenbacker, Hofner and VOX, among others. The store carries newer models, but Turner wanted to create a motif that represented popular instruments of The Beatles’ heyday, including reissues of George Harrison’s 1962