Astoria Music is one of the oldest independent own music stores in Astoria. It first opened in 1922, but the current owner, George Phillips, has owned it since 1982. Phillips was always a musician, but while working at NASA he wanted to find a way to pursue music full time. That’s when Phillips decided to buy Astoria Music from the original owner and run it full time himself.
Drawing from his engineering background, Phillips has put his passion for tinkering to work in his store. He repairs all manner of instruments, from wind to string, even pianos. He even built his own grinder using a refrigerator motor, power switch, and a hand forged base.
In the 31 years that he has been running the store, Phillips has seen the neighborhood transform from first generation Greek and Eastern European immigrants to mostly American and Latino. Taste in music has changed as well, Phillips mostly deals in guitars and bass now, when he used to sell many wind instruments in the past.