The history and origin of
Bananas at Large is clouded in mystery.
Alan Rosen, general manager and partner relays a story along these lines:
Back in the sixties, three noted and notorious local musicians opened a small
music store in San Francisco with the express specialty of obtaining vintage
instruments and supplying them to major touring acts. The underlying motivation
for this was that it got them into shows for free! The store bore a sign
that simply read “Music”. Customers would usually find the store
closed, as the proprietors were either touring with their favorite bands
or scouring the back alleys and countryside for sweet vintage gear. These
guys earned the nickname of “Bananas”, a term of the day denoting
their wackiness, and eventually morphed into “Bananas at Large”
which ultimately made its way to the store signage.
Today, Bananas at Large is still rockin’ thanks to
one of the original “Bananas” and current owner J.D. Sharp who
opened the present incarnation in 1972. In 1987, Sharp moved the store to
it's present location and has since built a reputation of having a big store
full of prime gear.
Alan Rosen had this to say: “We service everyone
from the beginner to the working professional. We service the biggest names
in the industry and the beginning musician. And we're not just a musical
instrument store. We do professional audio, DJ, lighting, we are an Apple
Computer preferred dealer, a full-line professional video store, a projection
video shop…we do it all. We also do installation and design of these
products as well as artist relations for various companies. Epiphone is the
fastest-growing guitar line here at Bananas. Epi's quality and selection
is second to none, for the price range and Epiphone has the least warranty
issues of any other brand. Our customers appreciate the wide gamut of styles,
and selection. The new
acoustics rival other guitars we carry that are three times the price.
We just got the new Elitist
Chet Atkins this morning and we were blown away by its quality and
finish...it is a sick looking guitar! Bananas is a proud Epiphone and full-line
Gibson family dealer and are very excited
about the future."
To find out more about Bananas At Large, check out the
pictures below and visit them on-line at
The current Bananas features
a great looking store front and there's even an
Les Paul Standard Plus greeting you before you get in the door!
A wall of Epiphone electrics
including an Elitist Chet
Atkins in Sunrise Orange.
Epiphone Solid Body electrics
Marley Les Paul Special.
Trees full of
Bananas resident guitar expert and former Dr. Hook
guitarist Rik Elswit jams on a
EF-500R Fingerstyle model as Martin’s and Taylor’s look on
Bananas General Manager Alan
Rosen receives the Featured Dealer Award from Epiphone's Will Jones/Dr.