Mark Agnesi Interview Transcript: HIS FAVORITE PART OF WORKING AT GIBSON

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Craig Garber (00:00.727)
Hey everybody, this is Craig Garber. Welcome to Everyone Loves Guitar. Got an awesome guest with us today. I got the one and only Mark Agnesi. I’m assuming most people watching this are familiar with Mark or I’ve seen him on one of the thousands of videos he’s been on in the internet. So he’s probably not a stranger, but let me give you a quick thumbnail sketch of Mark. Right now he’s currently the director of brand experience for Gibson guitars. He’s also the man behind the successful Gibson TV YouTube channel where he produces 13 – not one or two – 13 original series and has won 40 tele awards over the last three years. He’s also in charge of designing all the Gibson open door projects like the various Gibson garages and the Gibson certified vintage project where Gibson authenticates and sells their own vintage guitars. He lives in Nashville along with his wife and their two sons. And again, most people listening to this are probably familiar with Mark from also one of the 734 episodes of Guitar of the Day when he was general manager for for our guitars. So he’s a busy guy. So thank you for your time. I appreciate you coming on the show, Mark.

Mark Agnesi (01:03.939)
Yeah, man. Thanks for having me.

Craig Garber (01:05.631)
Yeah. So let’s start at the beginning. You’re originally from Wadsworth, Ohio, which I looked that up and it’s a small suburb, 15 miles southwest of Akron. But what I found interesting coming from New York City is that the 2020 census of Wadsworth showed the population there to be around 24,000. All right. So you were born in the 80s, which means that was a really small town back then.

Mark Agnesi (01:33.534)
quarter of that. Yeah, probably a quarter of that.

Craig Garber (01:37.084)
That’s like less people than lived in my apartment building in the Bronx. What was it like growing up there? What was your childhood like?

Mark Agnesi (01:45.138)
It was cool, man. It was, you know, you don’t know any different when you’re a kid. And we had like a McDonald’s and a Wendy’s and, and like, you know, it’s like, we’re a big city, man. But if you went like a half a mile in any direction outside of the main little drag there, it was farmland, you know, it was, it’s very rural. Um, I’m not a farm guy, uh, but, uh, you know, growing up was great. No, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t want to grow up anywhere else. But, uh, you know, I had to.

Craig Garber (02:08.175)

Mark Agnesi (02:15.798)
I had to get out of there as soon as I could, you know, go find other stuff.

Craig Garber (02:18.027)
Yeah, that was my next one. She knew from an early age we were gonna leave.

Mark Agnesi (02:23.366)
Oh yeah, no, I wanted to be in a city and doing city related things, not 4-H related things.

Craig Garber (02:31.463)
4-H. They have that here at the local fair in Tampa, because Tampa is a city, but it’s still sort of country hokey. They have that there. So your dad, this was cool. Your dad was a radio DJ who worked his way up through the ranks to the point where he was a part owner of several radio stations in the Midwest. So I’m assuming you grew up with like a constant flow of music in your house and in the car as a result of this?

Mark Agnesi (02:57.694)
Oh, totally. Yeah. So, uh, my dad actually just retired, uh, 58 years in radio. He just, uh, he just hung it up right at the end of, uh, 23. Um, very proud of him for that run, but yeah, no, he, uh, he was on air for years and years, uh, he’s in the broadcasters hall of fame, got into ownership, uh, his company, the rubber city radio group, one of the last kind of indie radio owner. Uh,

Craig Garber (03:05.316)

Mark Agnesi (03:27.49)
I think they had 10 or 12 stations throughout the Midwest. But yeah, no, he got probably 10 or 15 albums a day sent to him. And whatever was cool, he’d always bring home for me and my brother. So back when vinyl was still the thing in the 80s, you know, we used to have just those milk crate things just full of every release from every artist because, you know, he had a rock station. He had a pop station. They had, you know, so.

We’re getting everything. So yeah, no, there was, there was always music and concert tickets. Concert tickets are one of those things I’ve still never really had the privilege of paying for my entire life. It’s the, which is great, which is great. And I still get that kind of perk now in my gig. Uh, you know, a lot of free concerts.

Craig Garber (04:17.851)
That’s awesome, man. Your dad must have had a hell of a work ethic because you don’t hear of too many stories where a DJ works his way up to ownership.

Mark Agnesi (04:25.33)
Oh, no. Yeah. He was he was constantly, you know, when he started doing his own thing, he was on the road all the time. You know, he traveled a lot and built his thing, you know, from the ground up. And no, I think I think a lot of that rubbed off. I hope some of that rubbed off on me, you know, no, he was a hard worker and that’s not an easy industry. And it’s getting harder and harder by the year here. So I think he was he was ready to ride off into the sunset after 58 years of it, you know.

Craig Garber (04:54.991)
Is he still in Wadsworth?

Mark Agnesi (04:57.778)
Yeah, my family is still in Wadsworth. You know, that’s where their life is. That’s where their friends are. That’s where their people are. So, they’re staying.

Craig Garber (05:00.246)
Wow, that’s wild. What’s he gonna

Craig Garber (05:07.735)
Yeah, I guess that makes sense then. Okay, so you started playing guitar when you were nine, which is pretty young. I mean, I’ve had like close to a thousand guests on here. Nine is on the younger side. How did that happen? And like, were you self-taught or did you start with lessons? What was the genesis?

Mark Agnesi (05:24.362)
Yeah, well, I mean, obviously with that upbringing that I had, I was into it really young. And that’s all I wanted was to be in a band and play guitar. So there was this music store called Akron Music, which is now no longer there. That was in this little strip mall next to a TJ Maxx. And my mom would always go to TJ Maxx and I would sneak out and go to the guitar store at like,

seven or eight years old, walk in by myself, which after working in guitar stores, these guys must’ve loved it. And just stare at stuff, man. Look at stuff on the wall, just shut up and sit in the corner and listen to the guys at the store talk. I love the banter between the guys working at the store. Like they liked each other, but they all kind of hated each other too. And it was just like a cool.

Craig Garber (06:16.987)

Mark Agnesi (06:19.03)
It’s like any guitar store, you know? And it was like, I love that from a very young age and I just wouldn’t shut up about it. So my dad finally took me in there one day and bought me my first guitar. And yeah, which was a PV Impact II.

Craig Garber (06:31.3)
which was…

Craig Garber (06:35.951)
What is that?

Mark Agnesi (06:38.206)
You know, it’s not a popular model, but it was made in America. That’s the one thing about Peavey’s was they were made in America. My dad liked that and the price was in a range that he could afford. And he bought me that guitar and they had a lessons program in the back. And I started, started taking guitar lessons and did that for a few years. Wasn’t really a lessons kid. Um, I learned enough. I learned enough from the lessons to have a bass. And then I kind of just.

Craig Garber (06:44.084)

Craig Garber (07:01.915)
What do you mean?

Mark Agnesi (07:07.934)
I discovered tab, you know, in the late eighties, um, and we’d go to the mall. And then back when there was record stores and like Sam Goody and Camelot music and all these things, and they’d always have a small sheet music. Section in some of those stores. And I would just go and beg my mom to buy me the Metallica, you know, kill them all tab book. And then I’d spend all the summer vacation, like learning every single riff and every single guitar solo from that.

Craig Garber (07:10.265)

Craig Garber (07:21.083)
Camera, wow.

Mark Agnesi (07:36.898)
beggar to buy me the you know, the master of puppets and Van Allen one and like all this stuff that I was listening to and I would just read tabs and figure it out from there. That was kind of how I how I started to get good. The lessons kind of taught me chords and scales and, and a bunch of stuff that I wasn’t interested in and didn’t want to pay attention to or practice and kind of figured it out on my own pre internet. No old

Craig Garber (08:01.715)
So yeah, pre-internet. This is where it gets interesting. You started your first band called Apocalypse when you were 11, which that’s just kind of funny if you think about now, like you got kids, you imagine your kids starting a band at 11. No, right, right. That’s pretty cool, pretty advanced. And you released a full length album when you were 13. So that is…

Mark Agnesi (08:16.739)
metal band.

Mark Agnesi (08:27.223)

Craig Garber (08:28.047)
got to be an exciting experience, especially at that age. How did that all come about?

Mark Agnesi (08:33.302)
Actually, hang on one second. I’ll be right.

Craig Garber (08:34.987)
Yeah, man. You got the apocalypse album.

Mark Agnesi (08:38.798)
I don’t have the album, but I got the 8 by 10.

Craig Garber (08:42.62)
That’s awesome. You guys are doing photo shoots. That’s hilarious. Do your kids do your kids see pictures of you with hair? And they’re like, I didn’t know. We show them, they’ll freak out.

Mark Agnesi (08:44.255)
But yeah, it’s hair. It’s hair. Yeah, no.

No, I’ve ever seen a picture of me there. No, I probably have. Yeah. Yeah, no, it’s like, I just, you know, it didn’t help get girls. Being in a thrash metal band at 12 was not helping in the girl department. So it wasn’t like the, you know, had I been smarter than I was, I would have started a pop band or something, but all I cared about was,

Craig Garber (08:59.184)
Ha ha.

Craig Garber (09:10.181)

Mark Agnesi (09:21.846)
heavy metal and playing as fast as I possibly could. And that’s what we did. And we wrote 10 tunes and we went in and made a record on tape and pressed it on CDs. And like, I recommend everyone do it at least once. You know, you need to know the process. You need to, if you’re really into music, I think everybody should try and start a band. Whether you’re playing, just find a way to get into a band just so you understand what that whole experience of being in a band is like. Because it’s…

Craig Garber (09:36.309)
Why is that? Oh, just another process.

Mark Agnesi (09:53.554)
It’s an experience and the experience of making a record and writing with other people and putting it all together and seeing it come together and playing it live and then going into a studio and recording it and the whole process of it all, it’s fascinating. And I think it would make a lot more people understand the music that they love so much if everyone was required to do it once.

Craig Garber (10:18.587)
What’s the best, or the most important lesson you learned out of that at that younger than age?

Mark Agnesi (10:24.891)
Oh man.

You gotta be prepared for anything, you know? And you’re kids, you don’t know all the stuff yet. And you get there and you start trying to do harmony guitar solos and everything’s out of tune. And it’s like, oh, like our guitars aren’t intonated the same and then you start in the studio on the moment, like half tuning like your high E string down a little bit just so.

It sounds right. You know, there’s all these little things like those preparation things. You just don’t know until it happens to you that you have to be prepared for that kind of stuff, uh, in the future, you know, but it was so much fun, dude. We were, you know, it’s like, watch all those documentaries and stuff as a kid to actually be a kid in the studio. Making a record was a lot of fun, man. I like, I look back on that with, with great, uh, great memories.

Craig Garber (11:21.215)
Yeah, I would imagine. Did you do that in Wadsworth?

Mark Agnesi (11:24.234)
I mean, in the Akron Cleveland area, there was actually studios and stuff. So, um, yeah, full on recording studio to tape. I actually, our first demos we did were to eight or two, not eight, uh, we’re two or the big ones that look like, uh, like video cassette tapes. Was that eight ads?

Craig Garber (11:46.979)
I know what you’re talking about. I’ve never been in a studio. I never recorded in a studio, so I don’t know. But I’ve heard guys, I think it was ADATS. I think, yeah.

Mark Agnesi (11:52.286)
I think this was my first demo. It was ADAT, it was my first four track demo that we cut before the album. It was on like video cassette tapes. And we’re like, this is the most cutting edge thing I’ve ever seen. And then we ended up tuning the record to tape, which was another really cool experience. Cause even at that point, digital, I mean, this was pre pro tools, but digital was already starting to, the paradigm shift was already starting to happen.

Craig Garber (12:04.374)
Which it was.

Mark Agnesi (12:19.158)
It wasn’t on computers yet, but it was, you know, digital recording. So to be able to do one on tape, your first one on tape, was pretty cool.

Craig Garber (12:28.807)
That is cool. It’s amazing at that age. So this was interesting. You, after being a thrash metal, met a metal speed guy, you became obsessed with blues in your teens. You started a band and then you wind up gigging all over Northwest Ohio. So first of all, did that bring in girls?

Mark Agnesi (12:48.034)
No, also once again, zero girls interested in blue. You can see where my poor choices come into play. No, it’s always about the guitar player for me. So it was Eddie and it was Slash and it was Kirk Hammett and it was all these guys growing up. And then I discovered Stevie Ray Vaughan and I was like, oh, okay. All of the fire and all of the…

Craig Garber (12:49.839)
Thanks for watching.

Craig Garber (13:02.678)

Mark Agnesi (13:17.282)
anger and passion and all of those same things I’m seeing this guy do in a completely different genre. And I was just blown away by the fact that the guitar was carrying the whole thing, you know, and just became obsessed with that. And then you find Albert King, then you find Freddie King, then you find all of the other great blues players. And I just got fully immersed in

Craig Garber (13:32.602)

Mark Agnesi (13:47.318)
guitar playing. And yeah, I did that for the next four or five years with a little more success than the metal stuff. There’s a few more venues that’ll play and it pays a little bit better. So I was able to, you know, play my way through the end of high school and most of college, you know, during the summer and stuff, which was great. But yeah, still no girls.

Craig Garber (14:14.095)
How did you, I had a guy on one time, I don’t know if you know him, you know Toby Ford from the band The Bronx?

Mark Agnesi (14:21.004)
I know the name. I don’t know him personally.

Craig Garber (14:22.955)
He was telling me, he said, you know, they play like their punk band, and then he starts like a surf band, and his manager says to him, can you start some genre of music that makes money? It reminds me what you’re saying, you picked the wrong genre for girls. So years later today, who’s your favorite, who’d you say your favorite blues artist would be?

Mark Agnesi (14:37.157)

Mark Agnesi (14:49.982)
Oh, probably Freddie King. He’s my favorite of the three Kings. But man, and like the pompadour Freddie. I like wide, wide lapel Freddie too from the seventies, but I’m more like the pompadour, the beat, ever seen the beat. All of those, like I have every single one of those episodes saved. And like all of those Freddie King instrumental things that’s…

Craig Garber (14:53.657)
That’s mine.


Craig Garber (15:08.227)
Gibson period. Yes, yes.

Mark Agnesi (15:19.734)
That’s still my favorite of all.

Craig Garber (15:21.675)
Yeah, he’s my favorite as well. I like the next era where the 335 Freddie, but just so much fire in him, man. Such a beautiful player. So you went to Belmont, Nashville, graduated from there, and then you moved straight out to some straight out to LA. And, you know, honestly, that took a lot of balls just to split like that. So what prompted that move and what kind of culture shock or adjustments did you have to make after living in Wadsworth and then Nashville? You come to LA.

Mark Agnesi (15:28.438)

Mark Agnesi (15:50.558)
You know, I, I always want, I, growing up an eighties rock kid, I wanted to live in Hollywood and I wanted to hang out on the sunset strip. Like I didn’t know any better that I want to go to the rainbow and drink Jack Daniel’s with Lemmy and play at the Roxy and play at the Viper room. And, and that was, you know, that was what I always wanted to do. So when I went to Belmont here in Nashville, they have a really great music business.

Craig Garber (16:06.275)

Mark Agnesi (16:21.122)
program. There’s only four or five, there might be more now, but back then there was only four or five colleges that offered a music business degree. And one of the things that I liked about Belmont was Belmont had a satellite campus called Belmont West where you could go do one semester in LA. So my best friend Josh and I both decided that we wanted to do that and we were going to do it our last semester of senior year. So our second semester of senior year

Craig Garber (16:39.416)
Oh, okay, I didn’t know that.

Mark Agnesi (16:50.998)
We moved to LA in the Oakwoods apartment. Anyone who’s ever moved to LA or lived briefly in LA have probably lived at the Oakwoods. They’re like fully furnished apartments right next to like the Warner Brothers lot. We’re like all the child actors and their stage moms live during pilot season, which is right when we got there. So it was all these bratty kids walking around talking to their agent on their cell phone and stuff. And we flew back and graduated.

Craig Garber (17:04.013)

Mark Agnesi (17:21.138)
And we’re like, yeah, let’s go. So we just both moved to Los Angeles. I think I had $1,500, a pickup truck and my guitars. We didn’t really know anybody. We didn’t have jobs yet lined up, but we just, we knew we wanted to be there and we moved there and started to figure it out after that.

Craig Garber (17:45.539)
And you’re, I’m assuming your folks are both supportive of this whole thing, your music career. Yeah. Yeah, that’s great.

Mark Agnesi (17:48.962)
Oh yeah, they’ve always been supportive of everything. And, uh, you know, I had never actually been to California before. I moved there to do Belmont West and we flew into Burbank airport. And my first impression of California was getting off the plane bag. The baggage claim area at Burbank airport is outside cause it’s that nice all the time. And like, I’m going to get my bags off the baggage claim thing and there’s palm trees and their stuff. And it’s like, Oh my God.

How did my parents settle on Wadsworth, Ohio? They could have bought a house here at the same time for like $25,000. It’s like, why did they choose Wadsworth? What the hell is wrong with them? And I was just immediately, it was like, no, this is it. This is my home. Yeah, it was exactly where I was supposed to be my whole life.

Craig Garber (18:22.117)
Ha ha

Craig Garber (18:29.071)

Craig Garber (18:36.747)
You’re like smitten getting off the airport after off the plane. Yeah

Craig Garber (18:43.863)
So tell me about your music career once you got out there, because in your bio, you sort of minimized that, but I saw a video of you while I was prepping for this and you were talking about your number one guitar, I think it was your Les Paul Gold Top, and you said, oh, this guitar’s been all over the world with me. But I’m like, you didn’t mention any of that stuff in your, you know, like, tell me about that.

Mark Agnesi (19:05.742)
It’s, uh, you know, it’s not nothing much to talk about, to be perfectly honest. So I, when I, I finally moved to LA, I started working at a music store called West LA music. I started working in the guitar department there, um, eventually ended up managing West LA music and my, which go to college, get a degree, get a job in the guitar store, you know, that was, uh, but it’s, it’s

Craig Garber (19:28.513)

Mark Agnesi (19:34.602)
I didn’t, I was interning at Lions Gate in the music supervision department. And I was interning with another music supervisor. And it’s like, I hated going into an office and I hated that schedule. And it’s like, I’m here to play guitar. I know I just got this degree. I’ve always wanted to play guitar. I’m gonna go where the guitar players are. I’m a new kid in town. And I figured the best way to start getting plugged in.

was start working at a guitar store and meeting and talking to other guitar players. So that’s what I did. Um, and it worked and I started meeting people and then eventually started getting some gigs. Um, I was playing with like three or four artists at the same time. And, uh, it finally got to a point where I had enough work and I had some tours booked that it was like, I’m going to quit the job and I’m going to go pro, you know,

And during that time, that was kind of when the war in Iraq and Afghanistan was happening. I kind of fell into that. Some of the artists I was playing with kind of fell into that USO circuit. So, I mean, I went to Iraq, I think three different times. I went to Afghanistan twice. I went all through the Balkans and Germany and Italy and wherever there was troops stationed or families of troops stationed and stuff, we would fly in and

Craig Garber (20:49.071)

Mark Agnesi (20:59.666)
And do shows and, you know, be gone for two and a half, three weeks and, and go play 15 shows and fly home kind of thing. And I, I kept booking those and those paid pretty well. And it was a cool thing to go do. And then I would play, you know, shows around town. But the problem is once you start booking tours, you start missing the shows around town, they start finding replacements. And then when you get off the tour, you get back and you’re back at square one again. So, um,

Craig Garber (21:21.24)

Mark Agnesi (21:28.522)
It was just a matter of time before I was going to have to reenter the workforce.

Craig Garber (21:35.647)
How did you do that? Because that’s not an easy thing to do. You’ve been on a solo flyer, and then you sort of have to humble yourself a little bit to do that, I give you credit. It’s not an easy thing to do.

Mark Agnesi (21:49.526)
Well, I told my wife I would never work retail again. And so I started looking for like real jobs and just kept getting dicked around and all these different things. And, and, you know, money was not coming in and things were not good. And every day I would just go and check new job postings, new job thing. And one day I’m on freaking Craigslist and it says vintage guitar expert needed. I’m not a vintage guitar expert, but

Craig Garber (21:53.56)

Mark Agnesi (22:18.862)
I know a lot about guitars. Follow up. And I get an email right back, and it’s Norman’s Rare Guitars. Right down the street from me. World famous place. Sarah Marshall had just come out. My wife had already gone in there to buy me the Norman’s Rare Guitars t-shirt that Jason Segal was wearing and forgetting Sarah Marshall. It’s like, ah. I walked in and started talking to Norm. And 30 minutes later, I was the new general manager of a

of Norman’s rare guitars and that was the next 10 years of my life.

Craig Garber (22:52.367)
Did you feel when you did that, did you feel that peace with that decision initially, or it was just like, well, let me give it a shot.

Mark Agnesi (22:59.262)
It was comfortable because it was retail again, even though I promised my wife, I wouldn’t do it, but I was like, babe, this is different. This is not, I could, I could see the potential there. And like, he had basically just lost his entire staff. So we were rebuilding that whole team. And, um, no, I felt pretty, yeah, no, I felt pretty at home. I felt pretty at home right away. I did feel like an imposter though, you know, cause I didn’t know vintage guitars.

Craig Garber (23:18.927)
Which you’re a project guy, so that probably appealed to you. Yeah.

Mark Agnesi (23:28.342)
I knew a lot about guitars, but the nuance of that stuff, I would start learning as I went. And by the end of it, I felt pretty well versed in the vintage guitar world as I am now, you know?

Craig Garber (23:44.579)
Yeah, that’s cool. So, hang on, let me catch up with myself here. In general, it seems like a lot of the work you did at Norms and now at Gibson is marketing related. And as you know, most musicians are like, from my perspective, I’d call it, they’re almost allergic to marketing and sometimes to business in general, but marketing in particular, even though with rare exception,

you know, the reality of life is nothing gets bought unless it gets sold first, right? So how did you get that knowledge and comfort with marketing?

Mark Agnesi (24:25.386)
Well, I mean, my dad was in marketing my degree. I was in music business with an emphasis in marketing, but you know, some of it was boredom. Some of it was, you know, the whole guitar of the day thing really stemmed out of

Well, back up, we were trying, this was also when I first started at Norm’s in the first couple of years, that would have been, uh, 2007, eight, nine. That’s when like the reality TV boom was really happening. All the reality TV shows and everyone who would walk, you know, we had a lot of people come into that store other than rock stars, you know, a lot of agents and managers and TV producers and movie producers and

Craig Garber (25:00.527)

Mark Agnesi (25:10.966)
Everybody loves guitars, no pun intended. And we’re in LA, so we were the store to go to and everyone’s like, dude, this should be a reality show. You guys, this should be a reality show. Well, we started filming pilots for what would have been a Norman’s Rare Guitars reality show. And they kept pitching it and it…

Craig Garber (25:13.964)

Craig Garber (25:23.867)

Mark Agnesi (25:36.526)
we’d almost get a bite and it wouldn’t work. And then we’d refilm a new pilot with a different production company and they’d go shopping. We’d get a bite and it almost would work. And, and then finally, one of our customers came in and said, uh, why don’t you guys just do it yourself and just put it on YouTube. I mean, this was still YouTube was still a fair new technology. It’s not like it is now. And so started filming YouTube videos with whoever would come in.

Craig Garber (25:55.651)
Pretty, yeah.

Mark Agnesi (26:08.911)
And I saw an opportunity for myself. That was also kind of around the time when Instagram was starting to become a big thing. And I was like, I’ve got all of these incredible vintage guitars at my disposal. I should be the guy that everyone knows. And if I, I’ve got all these guitars that I could, so the early, early days of my Instagram was just me

the picture of me holding some really cool guitar.

Craig Garber (26:40.15)

Mark Agnesi (26:41.598)
Because I was like, they couldn’t put video on Instagram yet. It was just photos. So like every day it was me posed with some really cool guitar and I started to build a little bit of a following and That kind of ran its course and started getting old and it was like I Need to find a way that when anytime somebody searches for a cool old guitar There I am So

Craig Garber (27:07.279)

Mark Agnesi (27:10.034)
Instagram then started to allow video. So then I started making some videos of stuff. Um, and then eventually guitar of the day became an idea, which is not like what it is guitar of the day was originally supposed to be called 60 seconds sales pitch. Where I talk about a guitar for 30 seconds. I play it for 30 seconds. We do it once a day. And if you watch some of the really early, early episodes of guitar of the day, they’re 90 seconds, two minutes long.

And then you start reading comments and everyone’s like, oh, I wish you would have talked about it more or I wish you would have played it more. And then eventually it kind of snowballed into this 10 minute daily show where I talk about it for five minutes and then I play it for five minutes. And then just show up and do it every day. You know, the first hundred episodes were rough and there was this, we had like a massive incident at the store.

in that shopping center with some pipes that burst. And we had to shut the store down and we had to tear up the floor in the store so they could get to this pipe. We had to remodel the entire store. So we did this whole store remodel. That’s when I bought the couch, the famous brown couch. And episode 101 of Guitar of the Day was when we’re now in the newly remodeled store and I’m on the couch. And that’s when the format started where I started playing three songs per day.

Craig Garber (28:21.548)

Mark Agnesi (28:37.066)
So from episode 101 to 734, that’s when the real format that people know of Guitar of the Day started, and that’s when it started to take off.

Craig Garber (28:48.407)
Yeah. It’s interesting whenever you do projects like this, you know, I’ve done so many myself and you go in there and you learn it doesn’t really matter what you’re doing day one because it’s going to change and evolve. You know, you don’t know what you don’t know at the time, you know, and then things take on a life of their own.

Mark Agnesi (29:05.87)
I think it stops a lot of people from starting because they’re waiting to get this certain piece of gear to make it right. Or they’re waiting to finish this project so then they can include it. And it’s like, you just gotta get started and go, no one’s going to watch the first episodes anyway. So no one’s going to give a shit. Uh, you need to just start getting comfortable on camera, you know, and just start developing that, uh, on camera persona, you know, and.

Craig Garber (29:18.951)
Right, you just have to not give a shit. Yes.

Craig Garber (29:27.765)

Craig Garber (29:33.452)
Yeah, totally.

Mark Agnesi (29:34.838)
By 100 episodes in, we finally found the format. Took the first 100, you know? Yeah. So, you know, it was, yeah, five days a week for like three and a half years.

Craig Garber (29:41.047)
Yeah, but that’s fine. So what? You get 734. That’s pretty damn good, man.

Craig Garber (29:52.727)
What was the most challenging aspect of doing that?

Mark Agnesi (29:58.238)
Oh, just the guitars themselves. Having the guitars in stock, having something cool to show you tomorrow. Because we sold a lot of stuff. We bought a lot of stuff too. Not everything was worthy in my eyes of having an episode. But at five o’clock I’d start filming it. We’d do the episode and we’d go and edit it. And I’d walk out and go, it’s just shit, what am I gonna do tomorrow?

Craig Garber (30:04.653)

Mark Agnesi (30:25.646)
and I have to pick out what tomorrow’s guitar is gonna be so I can go home and prep what songs I’m gonna play on that guitar for the next episode. So it was really the hardest part was always having something cool to do the next day. Norm would go to the guitar show and buy 75 guitars, which was great. 40 of them might be worthy of doing an episode on. We’d sell 10 of them within the first hour of them coming off the truck, so I wouldn’t even, so now I’m down to 30, so now I’ve got six weeks.

Craig Garber (30:38.618)

Craig Garber (30:42.137)

Craig Garber (30:46.956)

Mark Agnesi (30:55.462)
of content that I can do before I have to worry about guitars again. And then stuff starts to sell and stuff starts to dwindle. And it’s like, Oh, I need, I need to find some guitars because I didn’t want to do. Pedestrian stuff. I wanted it to be cool vintage guitars that I could teach somebody about and tell a story about and, and really get into. So I really didn’t want to do anything past, you know, 1985 or six, if I didn’t have to, but there was times that.

Craig Garber (31:10.308)

Mark Agnesi (31:23.786)
We just were out of shit and I had to film an episode. So, you know, that was the hardest.

Craig Garber (31:29.999)
It’s interesting. People don’t understand how much work something takes. So here you are, five o’clock at night filming, but that it doesn’t end. You walk out of there, you got to figure out the guitar for the next day. What songs are you going to play? I’m sure you’re also thinking about what kind of stories can you tell about a particular fender or who played it or something like that. I mean, it’s a lot of work to do these things. People don’t realize that they see you on there for X amount of minutes and like, oh, that’s such a cool

what the fuck is behind all this shit. It doesn’t look like it doesn’t just happen. You know, it’s really interesting to hear that.

Mark Agnesi (32:01.142)

Mark Agnesi (32:05.326)
And all those are one take or two. The back is one take and then we would cut and I’d move to the couch and it was one take. So mistakes are in there. Sometimes I misspoke about stuff, but you know, you just, there was zero production value. It was Jen with the camera, the microphone on the front of the camera. And that was the show and people loved it. It was like so, it was like, it was so easy and cheap.

Craig Garber (32:21.964)

Mark Agnesi (32:34.174)
It costs no money to produce, you know?

Craig Garber (32:36.023)
Yeah. Well, I think the spontaneity of that is what people like, you know, rather than, you know, you’re not putting on a concert, you know, you didn’t have to go to sound check to do this shit. And I think people could feel that and the energy of that was higher because of that, you know.

Mark Agnesi (32:50.942)
Yeah, I mean, I had a lot of people from other industries tell me that like, you know, people in like the jewelry industry, come up to me and say, Hey, we watch your show all the time. It’s great. We’re trying to figure out a way that we can do this in the jewelry industry. It’s like, really? People from out, you know, but then as we got on, you know, the episode would go up at six o’clock, I’d be eating dinner with my family at 645. And my phone would ding and it’s people texting me like how much was today’s guitar? I’m gonna do it in like

Craig Garber (33:05.677)

Mark Agnesi (33:21.186)
Three or four days out of the week, by the time I walked in the door the next day, I already had that day’s guitar. It was gone. Well, I mean, it worked. You know, it’s not like now where it’s a model that’s in production. There is one guitar. I find one guy who wants to buy it. And if we got 30,000 people watching the show every day, there’s a good chance that one of these guys is looking for.

Craig Garber (33:27.419)
guitar was sold. Yeah, that’s awesome.

Craig Garber (33:37.976)

Craig Garber (33:47.971)

Mark Agnesi (33:49.598)
yada and he’s going to call me and buy it and they did and it was it became a huge marketing free actually not even free income generating marketing you know

Craig Garber (33:52.218)

Craig Garber (34:02.063)
Right, yeah, you’re having self liquidating lead generation, which is like everybody’s dream in business, you know?

Mark Agnesi (34:07.734)
And then the videos are making money on YouTube on the back end. You know, it was, it’s a totally different shift in how, you know, the old days, Norm would get an ad and vintage guitar magazine and put the 40 guitars in there. And by the time it would go to print, like half of them would already be sold. And now, you know, you’re marketing in real time every day to an engaged audience who wants to buy the stuff that you’re selling, you know.

Craig Garber (34:11.173)

Craig Garber (34:22.371)

Craig Garber (34:31.671)
That’s awesome. Yeah, what a smart idea. Hey, tell me some of the funniest behind the scenes moments you had while making those

Mark Agnesi (34:40.326)
Oh, dude, people, people used to mess with me all the time and just stand off camera because it’s just me talking to the camera. And then like, right, you know, and then, you know, pseudo celebrities and, you know, the Frank Stallone’s of the world and shit would come and mess with me and there was always, there’s always something funny happening at that store. There was all

Craig Garber (34:41.731)

Craig Garber (35:06.285)

Mark Agnesi (35:07.274)
some inebriation of some kind going around through the staff. And there is always, you know, there’s always some.

Craig Garber (35:13.531)
Do you ever get some like fans out of that? And were they kind of like weird fans, like fascinated with you?

Mark Agnesi (35:18.342)
But people would show up to watch it live. They knew we would film at five and people would just show up. So when I’m on the couch playing, there’d be seven or eight people who came in just to watch you film it, which is weird.

Craig Garber (35:20.986)

Craig Garber (35:35.309)
Did you ever have any incidents?

Mark Agnesi (35:36.442)
I was no nothing like that at the time it wasn’t scary. It was all cool and exciting, but like thinking back on it now is like, man, I’m like really accessible for, you know, everyone who wanted to find me. They knew exactly where I, they could find me five days a week, the hours of 11 and six, like they could come find me, you know? And it’s like, Oh, that’s kind of scary. But

Craig Garber (35:48.887)
Yeah, for the amount of visibility you had, yes.

Mark Agnesi (36:05.546)
It was fun and exciting at the time.

Craig Garber (36:08.911)
Very cool, man. So after 10 years, you felt like you needed a change, you decided to leave norms, and you wound up connecting with Gibson. Again, pat on the back to you because leaving a, you know, I think leaving a gig like that, it’s, you don’t do that the first day you think about it. You know, you do it when the, or anything like that. It’s like going to the dentist when the pain of not doing it is finally greater than the pain of doing it, that’s when you’re like, fuck, I gotta pull the trigger on this thing. So kudos to that.

So you connect with Gibson and since joining Gibson, you started, as I mentioned, Gibson TV. And again, with that same work ethic, you’re producing 13th original series, two of which you host. So working in an international company with a major brand is obviously a lot different than working at Norms. So I have some questions about that. What were the differences in how you went about approaching these projects, you know, Gibson TV, et cetera, versus how you went and approached things at Norms?

Mark Agnesi (37:09.462)
It has to be top notch. So Todd Harapia, he’s my partner, he’s in LA, I’m in Nashville, we run, we started Gibson TV together, we do everything together, these are all our babies. Todd’s a production guy. And it’s like, no, we need to make…

Craig Garber (37:25.999)

Mark Agnesi (37:30.882)
television quality, Netflix quality, HBO quality, cinematic content. This is not the one camera run and gun with the microphone on top of the thing. We had aspirations and visions of this stuff. Being on YouTube at the start and then moving off of YouTube and moving on to bigger platforms. That was kind of where our head has always been and it’s…

starting to happen now, which is great. But yeah, we wanted to make world-class content for a world-class brand.

Craig Garber (38:09.164)
Can you talk about, you mentioned it’s starting to happen now. Is this anything you could talk about?

Mark Agnesi (38:13.374)
Well, I mean, we’ve had one show already got picked up on cable, The Scene, which is one of the shows I host. We did a whole season of that on cable. We’re in the midst right now of working out some deals for some other shows that might start ending up in some other places outside of YouTube, which is cool. And now our next our next big thing that we’re working on is Gibson Films, which we’re incredibly excited about really bringing full length feature films.

Craig Garber (38:32.368)

Mark Agnesi (38:43.406)
to life. It’s this whole idea that we’ve been doing with, you know, we started Gibson TV and then came Gibson Records and we released Slash’s record and then came Gibson Publishing and you know, we took my show The Collection and we kind of turned that into a coffee table book under Gibson Publishing. So now there’s TV, records, publishing, films.

is next on the list and then podcast is going to have to happen at some point too. But really building out this entire media vertical that never existed, that adds a significant amount of value to the company because it’s outside of our typical manufacturing of musical instruments, you know? So that’s kind of what we’ve been building over the last three or four years now. So films is next. Podcasts will be coming at some point this year too. I’m sure.

Craig Garber (39:19.322)

Craig Garber (39:29.755)

Craig Garber (39:34.159)
That’s awesome, man.

Craig Garber (39:39.567)
That’s awesome, man. Congrats. Really cool. The goal of all these video series and everything you’re doing is obviously to raise brand awareness and ultimately generate sales. What strategies or approaches seem to work best for you guys outside of and outside of the number of likes that a particular video has again, to whatever extent you can talk about this, what kind of metrics do you use to gauge if something is working or

Mark Agnesi (40:09.038)
I mean…

Mark Agnesi (40:12.386)
Sales of product was never on our top five list of things that we wanted to do. These aren’t demo videos. There’s certain series we produce have absolutely nothing to do with guitar at all. We wanted to make a show about horror movies and heavy metal. So we made Metal and Monsters, which is like Todd and I’s…

like favorite thing that we’ve ever done. It’s the most expensive show that we film, has absolutely nothing to do whatsoever with playing, buying, or selling a Gibson guitar in any way, shape, or form. And we love that, but what we’re doing is connecting people who might not found our brand.

Craig Garber (40:54.148)

Craig Garber (41:02.171)
Absolutely. It’s brand, it’s huge brand awareness.

Mark Agnesi (41:03.166)
And people and people comment, you know, it’s like this, this is amazing. Why did it take a guitar company to make this happen? To, you know, to bring horror movies and heavy metal together. You know, the scene has nothing to do with I mean, we go to guitar stores and stuff and there’s guitars on the wall, but like, we’re not trying to sell anybody a product icons. We’re just sitting down listening to an interview with the huge artist telling you his life story.

Yeah, they might play Gibson, but we’re like, none of this has anything to do with trying to promote a product. You know, that’s not what we were intending to do. The idea was to cast this huge net of music lovers and how many music lovers can we get in? And as long as those music lovers associate Gibson with great stuff, whether they play or not, that becomes the perception of the brand that we do all of these really, really cool.

Craig Garber (41:59.256)

Mark Agnesi (42:01.902)
things for the music community. That was kind of why we went down that road.

Craig Garber (42:11.131)
Gotcha. So you were given the responsibility also of designing and opening the Gibson Experience centers. You got the Gibson Garage, Gibson Garage Mobile, London Gibson Garage, which is opening soon, Tokyo and the Gibson Suite at the Bridgestone Arena over there in Nashville. Did your experience with norms help you figure out how to sort of create like a welcoming space for people to come into these?


Mark Agnesi (42:43.094)
Maybe a little bit, but I wanted to do the opposite of that, of the typical guitar store, you know? So anytime…

You know, you’re not designing a guitar store because you only have one brand. Well, I mean, there’s Gibson and Epiphone and they’re all kind of separated, but it’s all my brand. So how do I want my brands to look in retail? That was what I had to set out with. What is the look and feel of Gibson? What is the look and feel of Gibson custom? What does Epiphone look and feel like? What does Kramer look and feel like?

Um, and really create brand identities inside of retail. Cause you go to a typical guitar store, you got.

stuff everywhere, you know, and, and no matter how much we want to try and push it in a certain direction, business is business and you hooks gotta be filled and stuff goes up. So it’s like, we’re not going to do that. We’re in control. These are our brands. How do we want, what, what do we think retail should look like? And that’s what I got to design. Um, which was so much fun. And, uh, something that I never saw myself being a

Craig Garber (44:02.828)
Yeah, it sounds like a ton of fun.

Mark Agnesi (44:07.03)
designer and an interior decorator. But, uh, it’s become really my favorite part of the job. And it’s something I didn’t, wasn’t even sure I was signing up for. Um, but I get to keep doing it. They keep, they keep letting me, uh, design more stuff. And that’s, yeah, it’s really become my favorite thing to do is, is it’s a lot like making an album. You know, you have to create the song and then you have to go. Make it all fit inside of.

these four walls that you’ve been given and you got to make a lot of choices and how the mix is going to sound. And at the end, you’re proud of it. Like, you know, you, like you made a record. It’s, it’s really similar process. So getting to do that first Gibson garage was, uh, was huge and a big confidence builder seeing it come to life. And now we’re off to the races, you know,

Craig Garber (44:57.775)
Did you have support for that or did you like have any like, how did you access the information to get in your head to say, well, these are my options or cause this was brand new.

Mark Agnesi (45:07.502)
Well, I mean, we hired a, we hired this agency company that kind of has a bunch. They have designed people and they have marketing and merchandising people and all this stuff. And we would sit in these big meetings, um, and talk about stuff. And I was just like, ah, and there was this one guy that worked for one of them. This guy, Paul Hemsworth that I would always look at me like, yeah, he gets it. And after a couple of weeks, it’s like, he, he gets it.

this, that’s the guy I want to wear. And then finally, it just got rid of everybody. And him and I sat down and he knows, you know, how to do CAD and all that stuff. Like I can, I can tell him my ideas and we can sit there and go back and forth and I can look at a visual of it and then we can tweak it and all that kind of stuff. And it’s been Paul and myself, the two of us have designed everything since. So, you know, he doesn’t work for Gibson.

Craig Garber (45:59.779)
That’s really cool.

Mark Agnesi (46:03.638)
But he’s, I talk to him more than I talk to most people who do work at Gibson because we’re always working on something, you know, together. And it’s been a really cool collaboration. I’ve got Todd in LA who I collaborate with and trust wholeheartedly on all content things. And I have this guy, Paul, that I trust wholeheartedly on all things design really. And we’ve done it enough now that we know what the other person is thinking and I can trust him to finish something or.

or you know those kinds of things but yeah never expected to come to Gibson after playing guitar my whole life and be the interior decorator that was not my bingo card.

Craig Garber (46:41.988)
What’s the mo-

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned from doing this like that creates results or just in general, besides learning that you can do all this shit.

Mark Agnesi (46:55.686)
attention to detail. You know, the devil is in the details and I’m, I’m super OCD about details, small details, shit that people probably won’t notice shit that if you pointed out to them, they go and still not notice it. But then once they notice it, they go, Oh, wow. That’s like a really cool thing. Like it’s those little details that make everything

That’s where your storytelling is. That’s where, you know, all of this stuff is storytelling, you know? So even in a retail space, you’re telling stories, uh, how it’s set up, the materials that you use, tell stories, um, the accessories and furniture and everything, everything comes together to tell a brand story. Um, so it’s, yeah, it’s really the details. That’s what I’m struggling most with on doing the London garage. This is freaking on the other side of the ocean.

Like when we did Nashville, I spent like three hours a day walking around a construction site every single day until it was done, looking and scrutinizing all this stuff. Like this is like a big loss of control for me. I’m there once a month and then for the next month, I have to hope that everybody’s doing what I hope they’re doing. So, you know, but that’s how it’s going to be. You know, there, we built the one in Nashville, all any other ones that we build are going to be like that. So I’m, I’m learning a whole new process of trust right now.

Craig Garber (48:05.271)
I see you’re freaking out. Ha ha.

Craig Garber (48:11.631)

Craig Garber (48:20.667)

Mark Agnesi (48:21.25)
really finding the people who you trust and then trusting them to do what they’re supposed to, you know?

Craig Garber (48:27.479)
Yeah, I think it’s the little subtleties and everything that sort of take you from good to great, no matter what you’re doing, you know, you can get a 90 out of 100. But you know, to get higher than that, you really need to put those little lectures in. Give me an example of what? Yeah, I agree.

Mark Agnesi (48:39.818)
Yeah, work is easy. Good is easy, man. Anyone can do it. Great takes a higher level of attention to detail. To get it.

Craig Garber (48:47.739)
Commitment attention. Yeah, for sure man intensity. Give me an example of like some of those details that you’re talking about

Mark Agnesi (48:55.254)
Um, we had these like big rolling fixtures that have like five guitars on either side that are kind of in the middle of the space. And we had to come up with a way where you could kind of see both sides. So you knew, so we needed to do it mesh, but instead of doing mesh, we had custom mesh made with the little split diamonds from like a Les Paul custom headstock and then like the crown from an SG or a three 35 stamped.

create this custom mesh that from two feet away, you can’t see it. But when you get up close to it, there’s all these little Gibson icons carved out into the mesh of this thing. Uh, yeah, just like little touches like that and stuff that when you, when you do see it and finally appreciate it, you can tell how thought out and custom all that stuff was. It just makes it come to life a little bit more.

Craig Garber (49:42.083)
Yeah, it’s impressive. Yeah. Very cool. Tell me about you launched Gibson Certified Vintage where you guys authenticate and sell your own guitars. Tell me about that program, because I was interested.

Mark Agnesi (49:57.474)
I mean, that’s something that came up.

I mean, since I started, we had been, you know, we get probably 25 calls a day at customer service. Somebody going, Hey, I got this guitar. Uh, what can you tell me about it? And there was really no official.

There’s no official thing. I mean, we’re still working on that portion of it because it takes a lot of people that are incredibly knowledgeable to be able to handle that much. Incoming traffic, but it’s like, everyone wants us to authenticate their guitar for them, why shouldn’t we get into the vintage guitar business, authenticating our own guitars? No one can authenticate our guitars. No one can say it’s Gibson certified. Other than.

Craig Garber (50:44.507)

Mark Agnesi (50:45.738)
Gibson. No one has the ability to put a new lifetime warranty on a 1959 Les Paul, other than Gibson. There’s like some of these really fine details that have never been available before in the vintage guitar business that only we can do because we are Gibson. So that was kind of the thought behind it. I kind of curate the collections. We always do them in drops of five guitars.

And I say curate because you can’t just do all several hundred thousand dollar blue chip, 1959, this or that. So, you know, over the course of five guitars, I like to have one what we call entry level vintage guitar, which would be in that kind of $10,000 and below range. I’d like to have one fuck you vintage, you know, blue chip collectible thing.

Craig Garber (51:35.408)

Craig Garber (51:45.611)
Yeah. You got to sell some stock to get that one.

Mark Agnesi (51:46.282)
You have three that yeah, you know, and then three that kind of float in between so that there’s, there’s something at all, all tiers for all different interested buyers to, to look at, you know? Uh, so I, I do all of those, uh, drops and, and write all those spec sheets, authenticate all the guitars. Um, and then they kind of go through the marketing department and they, all the cool stuff you see online is all done by.

by them, but I do all of our buying, I do all of the authenticating and all that kind of stuff.

Craig Garber (52:20.802)
So you’ll buy these from customers who know about your program now and they’ll come to you first.

Mark Agnesi (52:25.334)
Stuff comes to us sometimes. Some of the stuff we had, a lot of this stuff has just been sitting in storage, untouched new old stock guitars from the seventies and eighties with the plastic still on the pit guard and just unsold things. So there again, when are you going to find a new old stock, whatever from 1982 with a new lifetime warranty from the manufacturer because you’re buying it from the manufacturer. So it’s a cool.

Craig Garber (52:33.335)
Wow. Holy shit.

Craig Garber (52:45.755)

Craig Garber (52:52.219)

Mark Agnesi (52:53.59)
You know, it’s not like we’re not taking over the vintage business, five guitars at a time, but it’s something cool to talk about. We’ve sold some really amazing guitars already. Two bursts, Les Paul customs, gold tops, 335s, some really cool prototypes that I found in the archives. You know, just cool stuff. Give something else for people to look at on the website and, and occasionally.

Craig Garber (52:57.595)

Mark Agnesi (53:23.136)
somebody steps up on some of the big ones, which has been pretty cool.

Craig Garber (53:26.191)
That’s awesome. We had a great idea, honestly. Was there any resistance points that you had to overcome with either management or customers as far as the guitars?

Mark Agnesi (53:39.015)
In the vintage program?

Craig Garber (53:40.78)
Yeah, the vintage program.

Mark Agnesi (53:42.866)
Um, not really. I think there’s, you know, anytime we do anything, there’s always some, whoa, hang on Gibson doing it again. But I, you know, we’re doing it in such small quantity, small batch kind of, you know, every six weeks, there’s five new guitars. It’s not in competition with anybody else’s, uh, business at anything like that. And customers have been great. I mean, most of the times by the end of the first day,

Craig Garber (54:06.179)

Mark Agnesi (54:12.342)
or three, sometimes all of them are gone. They go quick.

Craig Garber (54:16.791)
Yeah, I would imagine people would be thrilled to get their hands on something like that.

Mark Agnesi (54:20.718)
I, to be able to get it from the source, authenticated from the source with a warranty that’s backed up by the source is a pretty unique, is a pretty unique selling proposition that nobody else can really offer.

Craig Garber (54:23.552)

Craig Garber (54:28.467)
The warranty, yeah.

Craig Garber (54:34.387)
Nobody. Absolutely. Yeah, that’s cool, man. So tell me the top three musical experiences you’ve had and what made them so much fun or so memorable. It could be either related to your career as a musician or experiences you had connecting with players at Norms or here while at Gibson, whatever you’d like.

Mark Agnesi (54:52.447)

Mark Agnesi (54:55.602)
One of those trips to Iraq, we were in Baghdad and we were on stage as a sandstorm was coming in. Now it was probably 20 miles away, but I don’t know if you’ve ever seen like that movie, The Mummy, where it’s just like a wall. That’s what it was, it’s exactly what it looks like. And we could see it off in the distance as we were playing and we finished the song.

Craig Garber (55:05.731)
Holy crap.

Craig Garber (55:14.38)

Craig Garber (55:18.168)
Holy shit.

Mark Agnesi (55:25.518)
And they’re like, and we tore down the entire stage, all the gear and got everything out in about three minutes. And sure enough, that whole wall of sand just came in and would have destroyed everything. That was a unique musical experience for me. Um, God, I got 8 million stories and the mind goes blank. I will tell you.

Craig Garber (55:51.095)
Yeah, man, it’s always that way. What’d you have for dinner last night?

Mark Agnesi (55:54.294)
The coolest experience I’ve had so far at Gibson, um, happened about six months ago. I walked downstairs into the garage. I’m hanging out. There’s some commotion going on down in the acoustic room. What’s going on. I looked down. So I walk in there and there’s a guy kind of flailing around a little bit, playing an acoustic guitar. Like, what the hell is this? I walk in and it’s Michael J Fox.

playing Johnny B. Good on a hummingbird in the acoustic room at the garage. Now, Michael J. Fox is the reason I started playing guitar. He was my very first guitar hero. I see the red 335 behind you with the Bigsby movie and that scene cemented me having to be a guitar player. So I walk in and there’s Michael J. Fox. And it was like,

Craig Garber (56:24.205)

Craig Garber (56:30.117)

Craig Garber (56:40.967)

Mark Agnesi (56:53.214)
unbelievable. I start talking with him and his assistant and stuff. And I like get them out of there, bring them around, take them into the back. We go into the vault. Now I’m in the vault with Michael J Fox and we’re hanging out. And I finally get to talk to him a little bit and tell him what an inspiration he was to me and all these other stories. That was, uh, that was really cool and heartbreaking too. Uh, it’s not, it’s not good. It’s, you know, it’s rough, but when you talk to him,

Craig Garber (57:09.199)
That’s so cool.

Craig Garber (57:16.012)
Yeah, oh my god.

Craig Garber (57:20.847)

Mark Agnesi (57:22.57)
He’s all there. He’s so there and he’s funny and it’s just his body doesn’t do it. It’s really sad, but it was also like inspiring at the same time. He’s an incredible human being.

Craig Garber (57:35.971)
That’s really nice, man. Thank you. That’s a great story to share. Thanks. Tell me something that you thought would be, uh, difficult to do, but in reality turned out much easier.

Mark Agnesi (57:50.626)
It all seems difficult when you’re in it, man.

Craig Garber (57:53.697)
Ain’t that the truth?

Mark Agnesi (57:56.434)
Yeah, I don’t know. I’m gonna think about that for a second.

Mark Agnesi (58:03.402)
Yeah, I don’t know. It all seems pretty difficult when you’re doing it. I’ve yet to have anything be like, oh, this is way easier than I thought. This is exactly as hard as I thought it was gonna be.

Craig Garber (58:05.787)
How about the f-

Craig Garber (58:13.871)
How about the flip side, something you thought… Do you have anything on the other side? Something you thought would be really easy and it was like, shit, this is really difficult.

Mark Agnesi (58:27.726)
building, you know, building a new platform like Gibson TV, we thought it was going to take off faster than it did. Coming from norms where every day the video would get 35,000 40,000 views to like doing this really incredible new content that nobody knows about yet. And it’s sitting there at 2500 views for the you know, like we already talked about, it takes time to find an audience. And you know, we thought that

Craig Garber (58:32.131)

Mark Agnesi (58:55.222)
that stuff was going to blow up a lot faster than it did. And now it has now. We’ve gotten to that point now where we release an episode of Icons. It gets 3 million views. We release a new episode collection. It gets a couple hundred thousand views in the first week and stuff like that. But, you know, we thought being a big brand, like, Oh, this is going to be way. And it’s like, no, it’s exactly, it is exactly the same as anybody else. Trying to find an audience. You got to go one, go find them one by one and hope the content that

Craig Garber (59:04.175)

Mark Agnesi (59:24.982)
you’re creating is hitting with the right people and, and that they’re telling other people about it. And you know, it takes, it takes a good year to a year and a half for it to really blossom into what you thought it was going to be on day one. And you just got the patience, man, the patience it takes to not get frustrated, to not give up. And especially in this case, we get to keep throwing money at it. You know, it normally is like we had the camera and it didn’t cost anything. Now it’s like, you know,

Craig Garber (59:39.395)

Craig Garber (59:47.629)

Craig Garber (59:52.643)

Mark Agnesi (59:53.998)
tens of thousands of dollars, sometimes six figures per episode of some of these shows, once you factor in music licensing and photos that need to get licensed and any other, this stuff is expensive. It’s expensive, it looks expensive and it is, it is expensive. To have them, to keep spending the money and not getting the results you want, that’s, it’s tough but.

Craig Garber (01:00:12.143)

Mark Agnesi (01:00:20.482)
Just like anything else, if you hang in and keep doing it and keep doing quality work, you will find an audience eventually. The audience will find it, you know.

Craig Garber (01:00:30.499)
Yeah, thank you. That’s a good story. Uh, low points, some of the low points or dark periods you’ve had to deal with in life and how’d you get through them?

Mark Agnesi (01:00:41.459)
Oh. Well.

Craig Garber (01:00:45.943)
I don’t know.

Mark Agnesi (01:00:46.37)
Drugs and alcohol help for a little while. That’s how I would used to get through stuff. You know, when I moved to Nashville, right after I started for Gibson, there was the whole play authentic video fiasco thing that happened, which the move from LA was rough because that was like, there was no trucks. They like moved us out of the house and then unloaded the truck into storage.

Craig Garber (01:01:03.149)

Mark Agnesi (01:01:16.35)
And then like four weeks later, they reloaded everything onto a truck and then drove it across. So I had my wife and my kids were living with my parents in Wadsworth. I was flying back and forth every week between Nashville and LA and we’ve closed on the house and the moving truck finally comes and I fly my wife down and we start unloading stuff. And then my parents drove my kids down. And the day that everyone got to the house.

for the first time, that was the day that the Play Authentic video came out. And about three days after that is when it officially had turned into the shit storm that it turned into. That was Father’s Day. Um, so that was.

Craig Garber (01:01:49.199)

Craig Garber (01:01:59.995)
So you’re like, I love my new job. Ha ha ha.

Mark Agnesi (01:02:02.922)
Yeah, I do, but it’s like now I just finally created this, like what it took to get my family out here and we’re finally here and everyone’s back together and we’re in the house and then that was the mood. That was a really tough six months, you know, after that. Because we hadn’t launched Gibson TV yet. We were working on it. We were trying to build a catalog and it’s like, I’m done.

Craig Garber (01:02:20.496)

Mark Agnesi (01:02:30.014)
No one’s going to watch any, no one’s going to watch me on this stuff anymore. I’d say it’s over. Um, so there was a lot of, a lot of different feelings and emotions, uh, around all of that personal and, and professionally. Um, that was, that was a dark, that was a dark time. I remember Joe Bonamassa, we went to Joe’s house for 4th of July. He has a killer apartment downtown. Great view of the fireworks. Nashville does killer fireworks. So he had.

He had us over and he pulled me aside at one point. He’s like, how you doing? I’m like, this is like crazy. He’s like, give it a year. People will, it’s gonna take a year, but like just you’re in it for the long run, give it a year. And yeah, it took about, I mean, it will be anything that I’m in for the rest of my life, there’s always gonna be somebody making that comment in there. It really struck some people, you know?

Craig Garber (01:03:15.78)

Mark Agnesi (01:03:26.914)
But I feel better about it now. I feel like I needed that. I needed to get humbled, I think, because I was on such a run there at Norton. I think the ego was starting to get out of control. And I think it was good for me to be humbled. It was good to feel like the underdog again and have to go out and re-earn it. But yeah, no, that’ll never.

That’ll never go away. It’ll be on my grave, you know?

Craig Garber (01:03:59.851)
Yeah, but to your credit, what you just said is pretty, you know, pretty compelling that, you know, I needed to be humbled. So it’s good that you found a way to turn, you know, uh, lemons into lemons into lemonade, of course, but you get the experience and then you learn the lesson. You know,

Mark Agnesi (01:04:10.934)
I didn’t want to be. Believe me, I didn’t want to be. Now looking back in hindsight, I think it was a right thing to do. Yeah, I think feeling like an underdog again was good. Having to have something to prove again was a good thing for me. I think creatively, it was a very explosive… I mean, that was when, you know, we have 13 original series. That was when it started create.

all of those ideas took some time for some of them to come to life. But that was a, it was a good creative period for me. But yeah, it was a, it was a definitely difficult, just moved my family across country transition for that to also be happening at the same time.

Craig Garber (01:04:57.947)
Sure, sure. Well, thanks, man. Thank you for sharing that. And, you know, I have this saying, you can’t connect the dots moving forward, you know, so when shit goes down, you just don’t know why. And then it’s good to look back and try to find a purpose for it, which it seems like you did.

Mark Agnesi (01:05:12.734)
Yeah, no, it was a good thing in the long run.

Craig Garber (01:05:15.931)
Good. Tell me which of your personality traits you think have contributed to your success.

Mark Agnesi (01:05:23.141)

Mark Agnesi (01:05:26.602)
I think just the work ethic, just showing up and doing it, I think, you know, I think that’s the biggest thing. The successful people are the ones who are always there doing it, you know? So not giving up and putting in the work every day through guitar of the day, through all the stuff I’m doing now. I think that’s, that’s probably the biggest, the biggest thing. You know, I ain’t the smartest guy in any room.

So that ain’t it. And I think it’s just showing up and doing the work.

Craig Garber (01:06:02.167)
Yeah, I’ll take the guy who works harder than anybody else over the smarter guy any day, personally. Has there been, I’m sure you came across tons of guitars when you were working with Norm and now at Gibson that have blown you away. Has there ever been one guitar in particular that like, if money wasn’t an obstacle, you’d have immediately snatched it up?

Mark Agnesi (01:06:23.538)
I mean, there’s, there’s a couple different angles here. There’s the collectability thing where it’s like, Oh my God, this like, like we have big ed, the 58 Explorer, which is in the vault that we were able to, to pick up. Um, I just bought Mary Ford’s SG, uh, that was on stars or whatever. And 20, I bought the original Trini Lopez prototype, um, the only factory black Lloyd lore L five, um, you know,

Craig Garber (01:06:41.16)
I saw that somewhere.

Craig Garber (01:06:47.464)
Oh, that’s awesome.

Mark Agnesi (01:06:52.97)
So there’s these collectability and then there’s guitars where you play them and you just go, Oh my God. There was one, uh, at norms that I did on guitar of the day. Um, it was a 1944 banner, Southern jumbo that when you just strummed a G chord on this thing, it just sounded like the freaking heavens split wide open. You know? Um, I, which I know where it is. I sold it.

Craig Garber (01:06:57.539)
That’s what I’m talking about.

Mark Agnesi (01:07:20.378)
to a friend of mine named Scott who is a really good customer of mine. He has that guitar so I can, it’s good, I can keep an eye on stuff. There’s guitars dude that I have sold like four times.

Craig Garber (01:07:34.296)
Holy shit.

Mark Agnesi (01:07:35.618)
There’s one, there was a double pickguard dove. Incredible. I love a double pickguard, it was like a 63 dove that we got, that Norm got from a show that I sold 30 seconds after it came off the truck to one customer, that I ended up buying back from him, did an episode of Guitar of the Day with it, sold it in like five minutes after the episode came out to this other guy. And then that guy contacted me now that I was at Gibson.

Hey, I think I’m gonna get rid of this, you know, anybody who wanted it. Because there’s like 12 people that called me that day for that guitar. So I tried to connect them with a couple other people to help them out and it wasn’t working and it was like, Oh, you know what? Cesar probably wants this. And I show pictures. Oh yeah. So I bought it back from this guy and gave it to Cesar. I mean like that guitar I’ve touched now three different times for three different owners. Um, some of the stuff that I have in the vault were guitars that I sold when I was at Norm’s, I know who has the stuff.

Craig Garber (01:08:28.858)
That’s hilarious, man.

Craig Garber (01:08:33.852)

Mark Agnesi (01:08:35.242)
You know, I know who I sold the really, really great stuff to. And it was normally always to my friends got special first dibs on the really, really special stuff. So when I’m looking for really, really special stuff, there’s, I know where a lot of it is, whether or not they’re in a position to want to sell it at any given time or whatever, but like I’ve touched a lot of guitars. My memory is pretty good. Still. I remember who has the stuff and what I sold the tomb for and, and what, you know, like

that kind of stuff. So it works out occasionally that I get to see some stuff two or three times, which is always fun.

Craig Garber (01:09:09.563)
That’s awesome. This banner Southern Jumbo, that’s an acoustic.

Mark Agnesi (01:09:13.602)
Gibson Acoustic from the Banner era, the only Gibson is good enough Banner area during World War II. Uh, made all by women, the Kalamazoo gals, great book if you haven’t read it. Um, and, uh, yeah, that thing was, uh, was a special one. I don’t play a lot of acoustic guitar, but that would be the only one that, uh, that I would need.

Craig Garber (01:09:25.232)
I haven’t.

Craig Garber (01:09:37.339)
I like what you said, you strum a G chord that Heavens opened up. That was… Ha ha

Mark Agnesi (01:09:40.01)
like, whee, and I was like, oh, that’s what a guitar is supposed to sound like. There’s so many great guitars, dude. You want them all. When you’re playing them, you want them all. And you settle on the ones that do it for whatever your current situation is, you know? I have a lot cooler stuff now than I had four years ago, but I have a different situation now than I had years ago.

Craig Garber (01:09:58.147)
Yeah, of course.

Craig Garber (01:10:04.239)
Sure, sure. Hey, give me your top three Desert Island discs. No particular order and just for this moment because that obviously changes all the time.

Mark Agnesi (01:10:14.178)
Van Halen won, for sure. Oh.

Mark Agnesi (01:10:22.978)
Damn the Torpedoes, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. And Exile on Main Street, Rolling Stones. Eddie, Keith, Tom and Mike. Between the four of those guys, that would keep me entertained.

Craig Garber (01:10:30.051)
That’s a great one, man.

Craig Garber (01:10:34.584)
Here you go.

Craig Garber (01:10:41.271)
Hey, tell me one event, personal, not musical, that took place in your life that if this event hadn’t happened, you wouldn’t be who you are today.

Mark Agnesi (01:10:52.642)
Oh, back to back to Eddie Van Halen. I got to see, you know, my dad’s radio station was promoting the Van Halen tour and got tickets to the show. And my dad got his backstage passes. I got to meet Ed. I’m trying to think I was probably 11 years old at the time.

Craig Garber (01:11:10.433)

Mark Agnesi (01:11:21.33)
I have that picture somewhere around here too. Trying to think where that ended up. I’d show you that picture really quick. But…

getting to meet like my hero and then getting to go out and watch him play and do all the stuff. And the solo he played that night was just like, changed my life. That was when it got serious for me. Cause at that point it was still like half ass at lessons and stuff. And it was like, I got home that night and woke up the next day and was like, oh shit, I had to get real about this if I want to be like that. And I got, and then I started guitar was the only thing I did.

Craig Garber (01:11:45.572)

Mark Agnesi (01:12:00.682)
got home from school, playing guitar, go have dinner, finish dinner, start playing guitar again. You know, that’s when the four or five hours of guitar playing a day started. And that’s kind of, uh, line that all the way back up to where I, where I am today. That was probably the biggest event in my life that kind of set me on, on the path, you know, and I’m still, still on it. Thanks to, uh,

Craig Garber (01:12:00.964)

Craig Garber (01:12:27.241)

Mark Agnesi (01:12:30.327)
Thanks to Ed.

Craig Garber (01:12:32.699)
Tell me what do you like most about yourself?

Mark Agnesi (01:12:37.997)

Craig Garber (01:12:39.057)
Tough question.

Mark Agnesi (01:12:41.462)
The people I surround myself with, the people I get to surround myself with. No, I mean, I don’t know how I did it, but I found an incredible woman who is beautiful and loves me in spite of, of who I am. Uh, and I have two amazing sons that I get to be around all the time. I love the people I work with. Um, that’s always kind of the bullshit. We’re a family. It’s a family. And everyone’s like, no, it’s like, it feels like family, at least among

Craig Garber (01:12:43.893)
No, that’s not…

Mark Agnesi (01:13:11.982)
There’s 20 or 30 of us that it feels like I’m genuinely excited to come to work every day and hang around with these people and have conversations and figure out what the future is going to be and what the future is going to look like. I mean, I think the greatest thing about me is the people I’ve been fortunate enough to surround myself with.

Craig Garber (01:13:37.679)
What do you like most about you?

Mark Agnesi (01:13:41.102)

Mark Agnesi (01:13:45.454)
I have probably my imagination. Cause somebody’s gotta dream this shit up, you know? And that’s the one thing I’ve always been good at was dreaming big. And sometimes that blows up in my face, but you know, somebody’s gotta have big dreams, you know? And yeah, I think that that’s probably my, the thing I like the best about myself is my ability to dream and then see it.

Craig Garber (01:14:03.703)
Dude, that’s a blessing. Yeah, for sure.

Mark Agnesi (01:14:14.402)
come true kind of thing. I’m on a streak of that.

Craig Garber (01:14:16.207)
That’s awesome.

Craig Garber (01:14:20.345)
happiest moment or time in your life.

Mark Agnesi (01:14:26.944)

Mark Agnesi (01:14:30.626)
Tough, man. Lot of happy moments. Anytime.

I mean, there’s the family stuff, and then there’s the professional stuff. You know, I’m most happy sitting around the dinner table on Sunday with my family. That’s when I feel the most happy. But there’s, you know, anytime I get to meet…

one of my heroes, which I’ve got to meet most of them. I’ve got to become friends with most of them, which is even crazier. But anytime, anytime I get to, not meet, but actually spend quality time with one of my heroes and really get to know them and they get to know me and stuff, like that’s a, those are pretty magical, you know, pinch yourself moments. Yeah, I think everybody.

Craig Garber (01:15:24.219)
Yeah, for sure.

Mark Agnesi (01:15:26.226)
everybody dreams of meeting their heroes. That’s why a lot of people work at guitar stores. That was part of it for me. I’m in LA. I’m working at a guitar store. One of these days, one of my heroes is going to walk in here. Sure as hell, there they are. There’s one of your heroes. And then two months later, they walk in again and they remember you. Months later, they come in again and you exchange cell phone numbers. And a month later, you get a text from them. And then, you know,

Craig Garber (01:15:40.505)

Craig Garber (01:15:48.463)

Mark Agnesi (01:15:56.466)
A year later, you’re having dinner together. And then, you know, five years later, your families are spending a holiday together. It’s like, you know, now he’s texting me at midnight asking, now I can’t get rid of him. You know, and that’s happened so many times with so many people that I had posters of on my, on my wall that, you know, it’s really crazy.

Craig Garber (01:16:06.287)
How did that happen? Yeah, I know.

Craig Garber (01:16:12.509)

Mark Agnesi (01:16:24.882)
incredibly blessed and fortunate to get, like I said, the people I get to surround myself with. It’s crazy.

Craig Garber (01:16:32.763)
That’s awesome. Hey, I just got a few more questions. Hobbies or interests outside of music, do you have any?

Mark Agnesi (01:16:39.15)
Um, I love to cook. That’s, um, one of my, yeah, no, I love, I cook every day. Um, I get home from work. I usually make dinner, make the kids breakfast every morning. I love, I love to cook. I love to cook for big parties. I like to entertain and I like to have 10, 12 people over the house and totally. That’s, uh, that’s my thing. Um, so I love that. I love, uh,

Craig Garber (01:16:42.542)
That’s a number one musician’s hobby.

Craig Garber (01:16:58.031)
Do you do big Sunday Italian dinners? Yeah, you do, yeah. All right.

Mark Agnesi (01:17:07.886)
I love football, love watching, I love all sports. I love watching soccer, I love watching football, tennis, basketball, hockey, it doesn’t matter. I like watching sports, played sports my whole life, haven’t played sports in 20 years now, now I just watch them, but I love the game, the games, you know, that’s probably my two, those are my two, and then just buying guitars, you know, that is my hobby.

Craig Garber (01:17:26.639)

Craig Garber (01:17:36.923)
It’s so funny everybody says that. Most important lesson life has taught you.

Mark Agnesi (01:17:44.598)

Mark Agnesi (01:17:52.99)

Mark Agnesi (01:17:58.754)
Just be nice. I think people are so taken back by that still, when they meet you and you’re just nice and friendly and welcoming. I think that is something that’s really, really important, not being a dick. And I see people will write in comments sometimes, like, oh, I went into Norm’s. I met Mark. He was a dick. It’s like,

Craig Garber (01:18:19.427)
No, it’s totally, I agree with you.

Mark Agnesi (01:18:28.406)
Oh shit, I met a lot of people on a lot of days. I wonder what that situation was where this guy thought I was a dick because I always try and come to the table as friendly and welcoming. But yeah, I think that’s the, you know, be kind to people and they will be kind back. Do favors for people and when you least expect it, you’ll get a favor back. I think that’s probably the biggest.

Craig Garber (01:18:48.932)

Mark Agnesi (01:18:57.59)
the biggest thing, just be cool. Don’t be a Dick.

Craig Garber (01:19:02.103)
It’s interesting you said that because I’m sort of like putting these, I don’t know, life lessons I want to leave for my kids. And like as far as things to do, the first thing I put down is just to be nice because your life is so much fucking easier if you’re just nice, you know?

Mark Agnesi (01:19:18.582)
Yeah, there’s no need to be a dick. Just be cool, man. Be cool with anybody and everybody, and you will get it back. It will come back to you.

Craig Garber (01:19:21.56)

Craig Garber (01:19:28.663)
Last question, and I forgot, so first of all, I wanna thank you so much for all your time and thanks for being so cool and answering me great. And I wanna thank, I was so, I couldn’t believe it, I forgot to thank Keith Nelson for hooking us up, founder of Buckcherry, awesome producer, and just incredible human being, Keith Nelson. Thank you very much, and he’s like such a good supporter of my show and I can’t thank you enough for that. So thanks, Keith, it means a lot to me. Wonderful human being.

Mark Agnesi (01:19:33.438)
Oh yeah man, this has been great.

Mark Agnesi (01:19:50.027)
Love Keith.

Craig Garber (01:19:53.791)
Last question, biggest change in your personality, Mark, over the last 10 years, and has that change been intentional or just a natural part of aging?

Mark Agnesi (01:20:04.331)

Mark Agnesi (01:20:09.167)
Yeah, that’s a.

Mark Agnesi (01:20:13.61)
I don’t know if it’s a change, but it’s just the difference of personalities. Like being on camera a lot, you have to, you want to be yourself as close to yourself, but you also can’t be yourself. You kind of have to have a persona. You know, you’re on, you know, guys on the radio, Hey, we’re talking about this. That’s not how they talk when they’re at the dinner table. You’re on mic voice, you know.

Craig Garber (01:20:39.177)
Hey, honey, how about that coke? Yeah

Mark Agnesi (01:20:43.338)
You have your on-camera persona and then you have who you are as a person. And, um,

Craig Garber (01:20:46.523)
All right.

Mark Agnesi (01:20:52.942)
I was talking about ego and stuff. I think the on-camera persona that I created started to leak into my, uh, into my, the real person. And that was, wasn’t good for me. Works great on camera, but when the camera goes off, I got to go back to not being. That guy, uh, not that guy wasn’t me. I mean, that guy is a very specific part of me. That’s a very.

Craig Garber (01:21:03.563)

Craig Garber (01:21:13.347)
Yeah, very interesting.

Mark Agnesi (01:21:21.03)
cynical quick-witted Sarcastic, you know son of a bitch, but and that’s in there. That’s definitely part of me But you definitely I play that up a little bit more on camera than I am in real life. So I think Knowing knowing how to separate the two is something that I’ve gotten better at When I’m when I’m just sitting here talking to you and when I’m when I’m trying to be entertaining and funny on camera That’s the those are two different

And that’s the person people always see. So that’s the person that people think that’s what they think you are, you know? But, and it’s not who you are, it is who you are. It’s part of who you are, but that’s not necessarily who you are all the time.

Craig Garber (01:21:53.76)

Craig Garber (01:21:59.247)
So is it weird to speak?

Craig Garber (01:22:07.951)
So do you ever hear something like when people meet you say, oh, I thought you would be different.

Mark Agnesi (01:22:12.577)

Yeah, you know, I don’t hear that very often. I don’t think, maybe think that I’d be better looking in person, but I’m.

Craig Garber (01:22:24.883)
People always think I’m taller.

Mark Agnesi (01:22:28.579)
What I’m working with? No, everybody I meet is always, everybody’s always excited to meet me, which is shocking still. It’s like, wow, people really do watch this stuff. That’s kind of cool. It’s cool to know that the work that you’re doing that you’re very passionate about is connecting with people. You know, that’s gratifying.

Craig Garber (01:22:31.105)
I hear you.

Craig Garber (01:22:46.572)

Yeah, man, for sure. Hey, I want to talk about a couple of things you got going on, but I just want to again, thank you so much for your time and for being so open and honest and kind. So thank you very much for everything. I wish you nothing but continued success over there, which I’m sure is in your destiny. Okay, you have, I’m sure man, show up, do the work. That’s what you said. I agree. Gibson Garage in London opening the end of February. Any comments on that?

Mark Agnesi (01:22:57.236)
Absolutely, man.

Mark Agnesi (01:23:16.802)
excited for number two. It’s going to be very, very cool. It’s going to feel like the garage in Nashville, but it’s going to have some regional, regional flair about it. And just so excited to get a second chance to do another one. And hopefully, once we put this to bed, I can…

Craig Garber (01:23:18.87)

Craig Garber (01:23:35.983)
That’s so cool.

Mark Agnesi (01:23:40.106)
start figuring out where the next one’s gonna be because it’s my favorite thing to do now is design these spaces and bring them to life. So yeah, February 22nd will be, well, that’ll be the grand opening to the press grand, the 24th, Saturday, February 24th, stores open to the public and is officially underway. So that’s gonna be very gratifying experience.

Craig Garber (01:23:47.768)
It’s awesome.

Craig Garber (01:24:06.935)
And where in London is it located? Cause I got a lot of listeners over there.

Mark Agnesi (01:24:08.554)
In central London, it’s like Oxford Street is kind of the main drag. It is like one block off of Oxford Street. So, close to the mayhem, but not in the midst of the mayhem. So it should be a cool location.

Craig Garber (01:24:21.891)
Very cool.

I wish you a lot of luck with that. And also you’ve got some Mark Agnesi guitars coming out February 1st. Talk about that.

Mark Agnesi (01:24:31.194)
Oh, yeah, that’s fun. So they came to me to ask me if there’s anything I wanted to make. I was like, obviously, yeah, duh. Let’s put together a collection of guitars specced by you. So I think they’re calling it my Gibson spec. I will be the first person to do it. So I have eight guitars coming.

Craig Garber (01:24:43.09)

Mark Agnesi (01:24:57.61)
I’m sure Cesar will get a collection that he specs out. I’m sure Matt Kahler, our head of product development, will get a collection that he, you know, but I get to go first, which means I get to take all the really good ideas off the bat. And yeah, February 1st, I’ve got eight different guitars coming that I have, that I have spec’d out and they’ll only be available on and at the Gibson Garage Nashville and Gibson Garage London. They’re kind of exclusives.

for the garage and the website, but very excited. There’s some cool stuff that people have never seen Gibson do, which is pretty cool. I mean, I can. So I love any time we use a weird part that’s specific to one, like I’m looking right there. You’ve got the custom-made plaque on your 335. Weird part, love that. So I’ve got Murphy Lab aged.

Craig Garber (01:25:34.715)
Can you talk about any of them?

Mark Agnesi (01:25:54.938)
64 335s with custom-made plaque and Bigsby, Chariots, those are coming. Um, in 1962, we did Ebony Block covers around short maestro vibrolas on SGs. The Ebony Block, uh, we’ve never reissued before. Brian Ray did it on his signature model, which was like a junior, and it wasn’t really a historic spec thing, but because of that, we now have

Craig Garber (01:25:59.146)

Mark Agnesi (01:26:21.442)
how to make those again. And we have all the engineering and all that stuff. So I’m like, I want to do an Ebony block 62 SG standard and an Ebony block 62 SG custom Murphy lab age, which there was a video at Norm’s we used to watch all the time that was in Tom Petty’s the running down a dream documentary box that had a live show from Florida. It was like a homecoming show in Gainesville and like.

Craig Garber (01:26:32.719)
Very cool.

Mark Agnesi (01:26:48.162)
40% of the night, Tom is playing this Ebony Block SG Custom. And I was just like, that is the coolest guitar. We only made like 20 of them total. So we’re gonna almost double the amount of Ebony Block SG that are coming out. Then I got to do a Carina Flying V and Explorer set. That’s really, really cool. Like we keep doing Carina guitars and all these custom colors, like all these like Pelham Blue and Frost Blue and Kerry Green.

Craig Garber (01:27:01.878)
Ha ha!

Craig Garber (01:27:09.325)
Oh, that’s cool.

Mark Agnesi (01:27:17.602)
and all these sixties custom colors. So I’m thinking about the story in my head, like, well, it’s 1958. In 1958, none of those colors existed. Like what would have been a custom color in 1958? And you just go, well, cherry or black. And cherry, we kind of already done with the Lonnie Mack flying V, which is basically a Carina V and cherry with the Bigsby on there. And I was like, well, black, black would have been the color people ordered.

Like a tuxedo black, you know, black with white pick guard, white poker chip and the gold parts. I’ve never seen that before. That would have probably been what somebody would have ordered. So I got them to do a run of factory black tuxedo appointment, Carina flying V and explorers. And it’s the first time that they’ve allowed Murphy lab aging on Carina’s since we did the initial collector’s edition.

run which there’s 19 of those explorers and there’s 81 flying V’s and they have not allowed Murphy Lab aging on any Corina guitars since. So these will be the first Murphy Lab aged guitars which I’m super stoked about. They look amazing. I just approved the prototypes and then the last two are some more juniors because I love Les Paul juniors. A double cut TV jr that’s heavy aged and a single cut Sunburst jr that’s heavy aged. Both are not on the price list and I just feel

Craig Garber (01:28:43.995)
That’s cool.

Mark Agnesi (01:28:44.094)
Uh, and they look incredible. I’ll be buying that double cut TV junior. I’ll probably be buying that Ebony block SG custom as well. I’m out of stuff to buy on the list. Everything now has to be one offs. Like, you know, I had to go off menu with the stuff that I want now. So it’s like, this was a nice opportunity to like, get a couple of the ones I’m looking for already in production and I can pick through four or five of them and really grab one that I like. Uh, it’s a personal.

Craig Garber (01:28:51.803)
That’s it.

Craig Garber (01:28:58.619)

Mark Agnesi (01:29:13.642)
personal thing, you know.

Craig Garber (01:29:15.047)
Awesome. How many guitars do you have? How big is your guitar collection? Yeah, because I saw, when you showed it in your house, it looked very reasonable.

Mark Agnesi (01:29:17.278)
Not huge.

Mark Agnesi (01:29:22.698)
That video that you watch there, I, that gold top is the only guitar that I still own from that video. All of those guitars are gone. Um, when we, uh, launched the Murphy lab, I fell in love with those guitars and I one by one have just sold off everything and replaced it with the exact same guitar, but Murphy lab aged. So

Craig Garber (01:29:30.233)


Craig Garber (01:29:49.947)
So what is, I’m sorry, when you’re finished, what is Murphy Lab age specifically?

Mark Agnesi (01:29:54.862)
So that’s Tom Murphy’s new aging techniques and new lacquer formula that he used, that he kind of rediscovered. And they are the best feeling guitars. After playing vintage guitars every day for 10 years, when I pick up a new Murphy Lab guitars, it feels like an old guitar. Whether you like aged guitars or not, that has nothing to do with it. The neck feel thing.

Craig Garber (01:30:21.285)
That’s a separate issue, yeah.

Mark Agnesi (01:30:23.938)
that when that binding gets that extra roll and everything, and there’s no sharp corners anywhere, everything is radius and everything, you know, it feels like a guitar you’ve been playing your whole life. So I have 14 Gibson’s in my collection right now. 11 of those are Murphy Lab guitars. So I just kind of would drill it. And then I just, the way I collect guitars, I do it in verticals, and I try and max out every vertical.

Craig Garber (01:30:41.445)
Oh, okay, you-

Mark Agnesi (01:30:53.534)
OCDness. So I just maxed out, I just maxed out my 59 Les Paul vertical. I’ve officially peaked there. I’ve had five or six of them. Um, I just got like one of the new Murphy lab aged Brazilian Rosewood, 59 Les Pauls. And now until I can afford to buy an original one, which is not in the distant future that I see. I have

Craig Garber (01:30:54.023)
Right. It’s your OCD stuff again. It’s like smoking it.

Craig Garber (01:31:01.183)
Right. Okay.

Craig Garber (01:31:13.785)

Mark Agnesi (01:31:22.538)
I have maxed out that vertical, you know? Carina guitars, I have collector’s edition Carinas that we did at Flying Bean Explorer, maxed out that vertical. My 335, you know, I have a blonde, ultra heavy aged blonde 59 dot neck. I had a Memphis blonde 59 dot neck that I sold and bought an ultralight aged Murphy lab 59 blonde dot neck that I sold and bought the heavy, ultra heavy aged blonde. And I’ve had three blonde.

59 dot working my way up the vertical and every, and every single guitar category. That’s kind of how I, how I do. Yeah.

Craig Garber (01:31:58.843)
That’s how you collect. That’s interesting. It’s like smoking a good cigar. Once you smoke a good cigar, you’re not going to go back to like a tiparillo or something.

Mark Agnesi (01:32:06.154)
Well, it’s great as it always gets to, you always get to be looking, what, what do I need to upgrade next in, you know, the clay, it’s there’s always four or five different things you can be working on, which is great. And they get really good deals now. So it’s actually sound financial investing for once.

Craig Garber (01:32:09.156)

Craig Garber (01:32:18.519)
Right on, man.

Craig Garber (01:32:24.299)

Hey man, any final words of wisdom?

Mark Agnesi (01:32:31.054)
Oh man. Now, any wisdom that you got out of me is probably as much as I have to offer, but go up and do the work. Go up and do the work.

Craig Garber (01:32:41.815)
Do the work. Well, man, hang on a second. Let me just wrap this up and we can chat. Uh, thank you so much for your time. Thanks for everything, man. It was really a pleasure talking to you. Everybody. Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed this, share it on your socials with your friends. Thanks very much to Mark Agnesi for coming on this show and for being such a cool guy. And, uh, most important, remember that happiness is a choice. So choose wisely. Be nice, go play a guitar and have fun. Till next time. Peace and love everybody. I am out.

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