The exact source of the name "Bananas At Large" is shrouded in mystery. The original Bananas at Large retail store was started in San Francisco, on Monterey Avenue, by three guitar players: Fred Waxler, Glen Quan and Billy Stapleton. It was 1972, and their specialty was combing the countryside and big city pawn shops for used guitars which they then brought back to their store and sold to visiting rock stars and the emerging collector market. One story from those times said that the name derived from the fact that all three guitarists were fairly wacky, and they roamed 'at large' looking for special buys. More recently we've been told that a number of the founders were sitting around late at night, perhaps in a state of altered consciousness, watching a 'B' movie called "Gorillas At Large". The name suddenly popped out in conversation, and the rest (perhaps) is history. If you don't like or believe either of these two stories, we suggest that you create your own, since this could lead to hours of hilarity and fun.|
The first Bananas lasted about a year, after which the founders went their separate ways. Fred returned to playing in bands; Glen Quan designed the Badass™ bass bridge and went into manufacturing; and Billy Stapleton went to work for other music stores.
Fred got sick of the (low-paying) band scene in the beginning of 1974, and persuaded one of his bandmates, J.D. Sharp, to get involved in running a new music store in Marin. Bananas opened at 802 Fourth St. in San Rafael in May of 1974, with a handful of used and consigned instruments in stock, and a total capitalization of $10,000. By 1976 the market for recording gear heated up, and Bananas became one of the leading Tascam and Otari dealers. The store expanded from its original 1,000 square feet to double the size. Growth was steady throughout the 1970's, but things got out of control in the early 1980's. J.D. ended up taking over the business from Fred in 1984 (Fred still works and lives in Marin in an unrelated field.) The store moved to its current location in 1989, and in 2000 added another facility across the street to house used and consignment equipment as well as our warehouse. Bananas now occupies a total of 14,000 square feet. We currently sell several million dollars worth of equipment each year, and are staffed by a diverse and highly knowledgeable group of sales associates and management.
More Information on Bananas at Large:
> Bananas Musical Instrument Store
> About Bananas at Large
> Bananas Sales and Return Policies
> Bananas Price Matching Policy
> Bananas at Large History
> Bananas at Large Location and Hours
> Bananas at Large Client List
> Contact Bananas at Large