Oral History Information
Rob Eastman and his wife DeAnna established Musician's Friend in 1983, which became the leading mail order musical instrument business in the country. Rob's father, Bud, opened a music store in San Jose, California in the mid 1960s and began writing a small newsletter for his customers. By 1967 that newsletter became Guitar Player Magazine, which was among the very first music themed specialty publications vying for shelve space next to Look, Life and Time magazines. The following year Bud began the mail order portion of his business, which Rob would begin managing when he was 17 years old (with a little help from his grandmother and mother). Although the business grew under Rob's direction, his father decided to close it down, allowing Rob and DeAnna to begin a brand new company, Musician's Friend. The innovative company was among the first to sell guitar strings in bulk, leaving the strings straight instead of wrapping them in a coil. They sold their own straps and picks and brought on product lines that allowed them to be the first to sell such items as the Cry Baby effects pedals. They also pioneered the use of the Internet as early as 1995. Rob retired from the company in 2009, which was later sold to Guitar Center.