West Music

2007 - Music Store

Founded in 1941 by Pearl West, West Music began as a service and repair center for educational musicians. During World War II, there was a great shortage of instruments as valuable metals had other more critical uses. But soon after the war, the music industry rebounded and West Music expanded into a new downtown Iowa City location. It was there that the company, it’s current president Steve West, and an entire generation grew up on Rock n’ Roll.

From the early 50’s to the early 60’s, West Music was a favorite record shop in Iowa City. Local junior high and high school students would stop by after school to spin the latest 45’s from Bill Haley, Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly.

Soon, the company was too big for its downtown location and moved again to accommodate another expansion. The record department was sold and a bigger emphasis was put on guitars, drums, and repair to service the many new Rock n’ Roll bands popping up in Eastern Iowa garages.

From the 60’s through the 70’s, West Music was the source for Martin, Gibson, Fender, Vox, Farfisa, Standel, Ludwig and Rodgers guitars, amps and drums. During this time, West Music outfitted many of Eastern Iowa’s notable bands like Al and the Untouchables, This Side Up, Fire and Ice, and new inductees Pat Hazell and the Mother Blues to name just a few. Over the years, West Music has continued to evolve to serve area blues and Rock n’ Roll players. A number of working musicians continue to use their talents working their day "gig" at West Music.

Generations of Rock n’ Rollers have gotten their start with the help of West Music. Many musicians have kept rockin’ since the day they picked up an axe, but some people grudgingly gave it up. In 2000, West Music formed the first Weekend Warriors band so that these former rockers could rediscover the joy of playing in a band. Weekend Warrior junior bands have also been formed to give young players their first chance to find bandmates.

The birth of Rock n’ Roll changed the world, and certainly West Music is no exception. Eastern Iowa’s love of the guitar helped West Music expand from one small repair shop to multiple retail stores and dozens of lesson studios. There are now store locations in six Iowa communities and one in Moline, Ill.

West Music’s mission is to "enrich peoples’ lives through participation in music," which of course includes Rock n’ Roll. West Music is proud to be a part of Rock n’ Roll’s storied past and thrilled to help people of all ages get involved in music in the future.

The Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association Hall of Fame & Museum exists to preserve the legacy of rock and roll music in Iowa by honoring achievements, educating youth and inspiring artists. Established in 1997, we are a501(c)(3) non-profit statewide organization with many areas of service.

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