On Saturday, Nov. 3, world-renowned percussionist Sheila E. was inducted into Guitar Center Hollywood’s (GCH) Rock Walk. This was in recognition of her lifelong contributions to the field and also served to cap off a week-long celebration of GCH’s recent multimillion-dollar, 30,000-square-foot redesign. Sunset Boulevard was closed in front of the store for the evening’s festivities punctuated with a stage worthy of Woodstock.
In addition to Don Lombardi and John Good of Drum Workshop, who have also helped to advance percussion, Sheila sunk her mitts into fresh cement for her handprints to be enshrined in front of the store just as many others before her such as Eddie Van Halen, Stevie Wonder and Blondie have. The event was marked with a free performance from Anderson.Paak & The Free Nationals, which was hosted by Kiwi producer and radio personality Zane Lowe. Anderson’s performance was preceded by a nostalgia-infused set by Canadian DJ A-Trak.
Sheila was as surprised as anyone that her drumstick-holders would be immortalized in GCH’s Rock Walk. Indeed, while she was aware that she was to be honored at the event, she only learned of the Rock Walk recognition the previous evening. “I had no idea!” she says with a light laugh. “I’m not kidding – I only heard about it last night. When I first moved to LA, I lived around the corner. I used to visit Guitar Center and be amazed. To come here now and be inducted [alongside] so many of my friends, it’s pretty awesome. It’s kind of like a [Hollywood Walk of Fame] star. I screamed on the way here.”
The GCH redesign was more than simply an expansion. It was also a sleek modernization. Monitors can now be auditioned at the touch of a computer screen; any of 182 foot pedals can be sampled with the push of a few buttons. From the massive Jimi Hendrix mural outside to a collage of cymbals compliments of Sabian inside, GCH now looks and feels like an upscale studio. There’s also a second floor where a range of music lessons are offered.GCH remains in the swankly position to continue its dominance of sales of musical instruments in style.
Featured Image - Pictured (l-r): Sheila E. and MC writer Rob Putnam