The firm’s products are sold in more than 6,000 music musicman ernie ball stores in the US and about 80 countries worldwide. Founder Roland S. “Ernie” Ball (who died in 2004 at age 74) challenged conventional wisdom in 1958 by opening the first music store in the US devoted solely to guitar sales (he sold it in 1967). He also was the first in the industry to offer guitar strings in various gauges, an innovation that has improved playability.
Today accessories are one of the most important ernie ball van halen segment of any retailers business but back then ignored. The first thing he learned is that he was a dealer in the LA area and no store would consider buying a string with a competing stores name on the package. The second thing is that NOBODY cared. I went on sales calls with him as a kid and I sat on the curb and waited while he was rejected 9 out of ten times…. He wanted to surf at lunch and learn to fly an airplane. He did both but this semi-retirement was a failure as the magazine and the British Invasion messed up that concept as the business took off……..