To say that Richard Friedman was born with a vintage guitar in his hand is certainly not far from the truth. His family’s rich History in the music business stretches back to 1922, when his grandfather opened what might well have been the country’s first-ever “vintage” guitar store. The legacy continued when Richie’s family established several music stores in mid-Manhattan, one of them the original We Buy Guitars on the city’s famed “Music Row.”
Richie began working weekends in that store when he was 10 years old, and it was there that he discovered his fascination with guitars. Although he had been a drummer since the age of four, at We Buy Guitars Richie turned his attention to the virtually forensic study of vintage guitars by taking his father’s stock apart and examining the instruments one by one and piece by piece.
Later in his career, Richie’s expertise in vintage guitars brought him to the attention of some of the world’s leading auction houses. He was Christie’s consultant for several significant auctions, including the sale of Eric Clapton’s collection. He has also consulted for Sotheby’s, Lelands, and It’s Only Rock ’N’ Roll. Richie has advised the Jimi Hendrix family, Velvert Turner, and Steven Seagal, and has been invited to become a member of the prestigious Rock and Roll Trust.
In the mid-1990’s, Richie joined forces with David Davidson to build a multimillion-dollar vintage guitar department for the Sam Ash Music chain and Manny’s Music. During that time, Richie also served as pricing consultant for Orion’s Blue Book and Vintage Guitar Magazine’s Official Price Guide. Given the skyrocketing success of the vintage-guitar marketplace, Richie and David decided to put their nearly 70 years of combined expertise to work and earlier this year “We Buy Guitars, The Original N.Y.C. Legend” was reborn.