Saturday, July 7, 2012

Osiecki Music Center 22nd and Parade St. in Erie, PA

Osiecki's ad from 1959 General Telephone phone book.
I would like to offer a public apology to Val Osiecki for spending so much time in his store drooling over guitars and amps that I could never afford. I lived on East 22nd Street (upstairs of guitarist Preston Lindey) from 1975 to 1985 and I was in the store at least once a week to see what new trade-ins came in. The guitars hung on a rack behind the front counter on the south side of the store. I'm pretty sure there was a Fender Mustang (12-string?) and a Gibson Melody Maker hanging there for many, many months.

There were used amplifiers on the second floor at Osiecki's and I eventually found one that I had to have--a Fender Princeton. And once I had an MXR Distortion pedal, I could make that thing scream. It had a gritty, street tone that allowed me to play along to the Ramones and Sammy Hagar, among others. I broke a ton of 'E' strings due to my lack of patience. Val would just shake his head when I would come back in to buy another one.

Osiecki's was a cool place to hang out. It got kind of crowded in there on Fridays. I imagine everyone was stocking up on supplies for weekend gigs. The store sold Peavey guitars (which seemed to come in three colors- blonde, natural and black) and amps.

At some point Osiecki's moved from 2201 Parade Street to 2426 Parade Street before they finally shut their doors. The old ad from the 1959 phone book shows Harry and Jerry Osiecki playing the accordian.

Osiecki's had a branch in the West Erie Plaza in Millcreek Township in 1971:


  1. I was there a LOT in my younger years. I remember Mike Damico being the manager at the time. Bought many guitars and amps there over the years. They were the Fender dealer for a long time. This was all at the 22nd St. Store. I was only in the 24th St store a few times. Fond memories.

  2. I took lessons from one of the Osiecki brothers...fond memories

  3. I bought a Fender Stratocaster here and was told afterward it was a pre-CBS (Takeover), in White but made my own Piggy Back amp in Woodshop, Strong Vincent High School as I was just a po-boy with big dreams in those days. I forget the price but remember it took all I had and then some!

  4. Mr. Osiecki gave me private lessons in the mid-50s. He was an older man and had a slight accent. It was hard sometimes for my parents to come up with the $2 per half hour of instruction cost. Back then, almost the whole store was accordions. Now, at age 67, I'm starting to retake those lessons myself and I'm still in love with the accordion. I am amazed how many young people play it now and they are quite good. Funny, the used 120 bass accordion we bought from Osiecki was Italian made and sounded beautiful...better than the new plastic ones.

  5. I wanted to buy a 65 Fender Super Reverb amp from that store so bad, but they only had the floor model and wouldn't sell it to me. So I went to Jamestown and bought one from a music store there. I used to go into the 22nd and Parade street store quite a bit, but did end up teaching guitar for a short period of time at the 11th and Parade Osiecki store. I played in a band in the 60's called the Avengers. Fond memories.