Herb David Retires
Ann Arbor Guitars is a partnership of Herb David's three luthiers: Hesh Breakstone, Dave Collins, and Brian Delaney. Breakstone says they haven't yet signed a lease with David, who owns the building, but "Herb is giving us very generous terms. Can you say how grateful we are?" Breakstone is the junior luthier of the three in service, though not in age: "I was an exec at GM for thirty years," he explains. "I took my retirement ten years ago and started training as a luthier."
Breakstone says "Herb has encouraged the store to continue taking in instruments for repair for the remaining month it's open. We all want as much continuity as possible, and Herb is helping."
Herb David, who will turn eighty-two on April 15, opened his shop in 1962 on State Street, and from the beginning it attracted the best acoustic musicians in Ann Arbor. It was where they bought, sold, fixed, or taught guitar. David Siglin says he owes his career, indirectly, to Herb David. "I worked behind the counter, taught guitar, and did bookkeeping there," and sometime around 1967, Jim Feiker, who was then running a little church coffeehouse operation called the Ark, "came into Herb's looking for people to play. He hired me and Matt Reynolds. We played there a couple of times, then Feiker's job opened up. [My wife] Linda and I applied for it."