Andy’s Guitar Workshop started in March 1978, in the basement of 27 Denmark Street which was underneath a general store.
Initially Andy worked on his own, but was quickly joined, first by budding guitar maker Chris Cross, and then by four other repairers
When the fruit and veg man in the store above the workshop left, Andy’s took over first the ground floor in around 1980, and then one by one the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors- the last of which was occupied by ‘Thunderclap Jones ‘ the pianist until around 1985.
In the early days, punk was very much in fashion, and so were reggae bands. Aswad had all their early guitars made at Andy’s, and Chrissie Hine from the Pretenders was a regular customer, along with many other name bands like The Kinks and who brought their guitars in for repair.
Another branch, ‘Chris & Andy’s’ Guitar Workshop Newcastle on Tyne, was opened started in 1979, and ran in conjunction with the London shop until 1982. It later became featured in the TV series ‘Spenders’ .
Andys also went into guitar manufacturing in the late 1970’s with the Overwater Guitar Company, run by Andy Preston and Chris May who were running the Newcastle shop, and many ‘Andy’s’ Custom’ models were produced . This link was severed in 1981, but The Overwater Guitar Co. still exists and makes mainly basses .
During the 1980’s and 1990’s the shop in Denmark Street expanded into guitar sales, dividing up the premises floor by floor with different sections for electric, acoustic, bass and classical guitars, but keeping the guitar workshop ethos with two workshops and workbenches on the upper sales floors. Andy’s has 6 full time repair staff.
In the early 1990’s Andy’s was the first guitar store in the UK to be on the internet, and introduced Andy’s Guitarnet – an internet based Guitar-Finder Service – especially useful for finding second-hand and rare instruments. The shop is now computer-networked with internet stations throughout the store.
Around the same time, in the early 1990’s, an electronics workshop was added in the basement, guitar teaching on the top floor, and the shop went onto 7 day week operation.
Drums were added in October 2001, with the opening of Andy’s Drum Centre alongside the shop in Denmark Place, featuring vintage, second-hand and new drum kits.
In 2002 the shop became the first central London music shop to go onto late night opening, prov