The Independent Music Store

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PHOTO - Electro Music counter area, Copley Road, Doncaster.

The Story Of Electro Music

1982 - where it all began

Electro Music first came into being in 1982 and was originally a partnership between brothers John and Mike Wiltschinsky. Guitarist John had a history in music retail while Mike was a qualified electrician with a wealth of experience involving sound and lighting equipment. They were both competent musicians and had been around the Northern club scene for many years.

Our first premises were at 64 Copley Road, Doncaster. This was a tiny shop which was initially a service and repair business, hence the original name Electro Music Services.

It was so small and full of music equipment awaiting repair that you almost had to breathe in to enter the doorway!  It wasn’t too long before the retail side of the venture gathered pace and we quickly developed a loyal customer base, many of which we are proud to say we still have today.

Local musician Mark remembers these days fondly "Ah yes, I remember asking for a set of Rotosound Bass Strings and John had to order them in. He probably asked for a deposit as well!"

How times have changed since 1982!

PHOTO - The first Electro Music shop in 1982 featuring some interesting posters which we needed quickly to cover up some rather unattractive wooden boards. The kudos gained from Gang Of Four is rather wasted next to the Bay City Rollers. The Danse Society hailed from nearby Barnsley I believe.

1985 - moving up in the world

Within three years it became apparent that we had outgrown the tiny shop and we grasped the opportunity to move a few doors along to 60 Copley Road which offered more floor space.

We still retained the word Services in the name at this time though smarter people just used to call us simply Electro. They still do.

By this time we were well established and there was also a vibrant club scene. Sometimes artists needed last-minute equipment on a Saturday or even on the Sunday for their weekend bookings. We were usually open, even when the weather was bad!

PHOTO - Paul (drums) and Dave (bass), resembling a pair of 80s Radio DJs, arrive on a cold, winter morning at Electro Music. Our engineer Terry's van steals the show. He still has it now.

1986-1995 - tearing down the walls

Our growing reputation ensured that we continued to expand and over the next eight years we acquired the adjoining properties between 60 and 64 Copley Road. This gave us a cunning plan.

It enabled us to join one to another and gave the shop an ’Aladdin’s Cave‘ appeal with many small rooms filled with gear.

This was a real treat for our customers who liked to spend the odd hour browsing the store and trying stuff out without being hassled by over-enthusiastic staff.

PHOTO - one of the many corridors in the labyrinth that was 60-64 Copley Road. I think this one leads to the bass room.

Red Rooster

For a while there was an Electro Music house band that would go out and do the occasional gig. Many local musicians used to attend and a good time was had by all.

PHOTO - one from the archives. This is in-house blues band Red Rooster sometime in the 80s featuring from left to right - Pip, John, Pete, Frank and Nick. Strangely, all can still be found working at Electro Music today. Albeit with a little less hair and even more chins.

1996 - hmm, that's a nice big building on the corner isn't it?

In 1996 we moved once again to our present position at 82 Copley Road. Although the sales areas were larger we retained the appeal of  rooms with different departments.

We have tried to preserve many of the original features of the old building and over the years introduced interesting items of nostalgia and memorabilia.

Anybody visiting the store will be aware of the many vintage instruments and modes of amplification. We probably have enough gear to open our own museum!

We are painfully reminded of this every time we move.

PHOTO - the grand opening of Electro Music, 82 Copley Road. In the foreground our bass man and shop manager Dave and the legendary Jim Marshall from Marshall Amplification.

2003 - are you thinking what I'm thinking?

We continued to grow and in 2003 we looked out of the window and saw another empty property. Without further ado we split the shop, moving three departments across the road into what was originally an old Co-Op. We uncovered a beautiful building and spent time restoring the original features inside and out. If you visit, take time to go upstairs into our Keyboard and lighting rooms and look up to see the original ceilings and photos of the old Co-Op when trams were still in use.

Many of our team have been with us from the beginning and have helped us along this journey. Electro Music is not just a shop it’s a whole musical experience. We have moved with the times (are you sure? - Ed) and seen the industry change beyond recognition. Many live music venues have closed including the vast number of clubs which were synonymous with the working class area around Yorkshire and beyond, but we and our customers have adapted.

Electro Music today

John and Mike can frequently still be found delivering the same level of service in one of the stores. In addition, there are 26 staff - most of which have been with us for many years, some from that tiny little shop at the top of the page. Despite our size, we remain an independent family-run music store and we still believe in the values of good old-fashioned customer service. Do drop by and say hello if you happen to be in the area.

In the meantime, we hope that you enjoy the 2009 pics taken by our friend, producer and photographer Pat Grogan of Elvisfridge.

The guitar department on the ground floor at 82 Copley Road. Out of shot and to the right is our large Gibson guitar collection.

Bass Room #1 upstairs. Bass Room #2 is adjacent to it.

Next to the Bass Department you can find the Acoustic Guitars with two demonstration booths. Out of shot is Elvis Presley behind a bar. Very surreal!

Drum Department. Plenty of kits and even more cymbals. Out of shot and to the left we go downstairs to... well, no one really knows what goes on down there. It might be tuition. Or that might just be the offical line. For the papers.

Over the road and we're into the old Co-op building. We're not sure what to call this area. It could be Keyboards. It could be Recording. Those that have been here a while might refer to it as 'Hi-Tec'.

Our DJ & Karaoke area. People travel far and wide to come and see our red PC. The doorway on the right leads to the Repairs area where Mike or Nick can usually be found peeping over a stack of equipment with a furrowed brow.

Next to the DJ room is the Lighting room where we can showcase the lighting, smoke and effects. It's like watching a military operation in here once John gets going.

Our PA & Live Sound department is spread between three nearby areas. Sound systems are demonstrated in this part.

Between departments you may find weird and wonderful things like this...

...or vintage equipment from bygone days...

...or people that look strangely familiar.


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