West Side GR music store to close after 42 years

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – It’s the end of an era for a music store on the West Side of Grand Rapids. Rainbow Music, which opened in 1979, will close permanently on June 12.

“We have customers who are the sons and daughters of people who came back a long time ago and it’s really good to see these people,” said co-owner John Gelderloos.

Gelderloos focuses more on store finances, but his partner Pete Bardolph focuses on handling equipment.

“Between the new instruments and the walk-ins, there are a number of things I can do for people’s guitars,” said Bardolph, who also co-owns the store.

Rainbow Music in Grand Rapids on June 2, 2021.

The owners of Rainbow Music connected through music while performing in bands during their high school days in Chicago.

“Two different groups, but a year or two later each group lost some of its less important members and joined only one,” Bardolph said.

The duo stayed together and eventually landed in western Michigan to study at Calvin College.

“That’s what we loved, playing music,” Bardolph said. “We liked things, we liked knowing our guitars, our basses and our amps. We were like, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could make a career out of things that we love?”

They took out a loan and opened the store in 1979.

“It was a struggle for a number of years, but we pulled it off and our loans were paid off after about 10 years and things went well,” Gelderloos said.

Rainbow music reached its peak in the 1990s. Internet retailers and chain stores are putting the brakes on their business. However, the duo are proud to last as long as they have.

“You provide a higher level of service and do what you need to do to be successful, and you can still get there,” said Gelderloos. “I still believe that someone who starts today can be successful.”

Rainbow Music in Grand Rapids on June 2, 2021.

Bardolph says the one-on-one interaction in a small store like Rainbow Music has been crucial to their success.

“We’re getting close enough to where you can just sit and shoot the breeze and maybe that will translate into business,” Bardolph said. “Granted, that results often enough that we get away with it.”

Gelderloos will be retiring and spending his free time volunteering.

Bardolph, meanwhile, isn’t ready to stop when it comes to music. He will be opening a guitar service store this summer.

`)); // Facebook script embedding (function (d, s, id) {var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName (s)[0]; if (d.getElementById (id)) return; js = d.createElement (s); js.id = identifier; js.src = “https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.12&appId=166116077300962&autoLogAppEvents=1″; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore (js, fjs); } (document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); // Integration of the Twitter script (function (d, s, id) {var js, tjs = d.getElementsByTagName (s)[0]; if (d.getElementById (id)) return; js = d.createElement (s); js.id = identifier; js.setAttribute (‘async’, ”); js.src = “https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”; tjs.parentNode.insertBefore (js, tjs); } (document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-js’)); } // Simplify some iframe stuff var iframes = $ (‘iframe’); iframes .filter (‘.responsive’) .each (function (_, frame) {// 16×9 responsive ratio iframes var $ frame = $ (frame); $ (frame) .css ({position: ‘absolute’, top: 0, left: 0, right: 0, width: ‘100%’, height: ‘100%’,}). Parent (). AddClass (‘wood-responsive-container wood-responsive-container-16×9’);} ); var lazyFrames = iframes .filter (‘[data-lazy-src]’); function woodMakeLazyFrame (selector) {var observer; var options = {root: null, rootMargin: ‘0px’, threshold: 0,}; function handler (entries, observer) {entries.forEach (function (entry) {var ioR = entry.intersectionRatio; if (ioR> 0) {entry.target.src = entry.target.dataset.lazySrc; observer.unobserve ( entry .target);}}); } observer = new IntersectionObserver (manager, options); observe.observ (selector); } lazyFrames.each ((_, frame) => woodMakeLazyFrame (frame)); }); } (jQuery))

Alice P. Darby