Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Grumps Garage Is The Place To Be In Southern California For Motors and Music

Feed your addiction for all things motors and music, check out Grumps Garage in Lake Elsinore, CA

One of the great aspects of running a company such as Rusty Knuckles, is all the great folks I get to meet. It could be fans of the bands or folks who purchase from us online or many of the dealers and distributors that carry our products. Each of those individuals means a great deal to us as we value our business and the reputation we choose to uphold.

On a recent and very brief trip to southern California to work on the Billy Don Burns documentary, we made time to stop off in Lake Elsinore and meet up with Mark Carrillo of Grumps Garage. Let's get right to the point, Mark is a solid dude and what he has built there on Main Street is something truly impressive. The attitude, the vibe and the overall presentation of all that is Grumps Garage is quite awesome to check out. Details about in his store layout along with his plans for promoting more shows for bands stopping in on tour. 

Do yourself a favor and dive into all that is Mark Carrillo and Grumps Garage, with a few quick questions below. We are damn proud to have the music of the bands we work with carried in his store and to hopefully get a few tours routed through the shop in the very near future.

Interior of Grumps Garage in the parts section

1. What gave you the impetus to start Grump's Garage?

Been in the hot rod parts retail side for 11 years before I started my own gig. As the time approached I wanted to do the hot rod thing, but wanted to incorporate my love for the music I had deep inside. Had known some shops to carry a few CD's and what not, but never completely focused on it.  Being in the scene and hitting shows, I always knew how key a role the music played. Wanted to focus down and be somewhat genre specific. When you think hot rod, you think 1950's rock 'n roll & rockabilly, as it is incorporated a bunch in the shows. I myself had a passion for Hank Williams and found this whole underground movement of Country music. So I created a hot rod music section that encompasses Americana/Country, Blues, Early Rock 'N Roll, Psychobilly, Rockabilly & Surf. In doing this, I instantly became the only Hot Rod Parts Shop to have a fairly complete Music Shop as well.

Old signs, gas pumps and petroliana are in abundance
Need to find out what is happening in the independent Roots and Country music scene? Call Grumps Garage
Vintage items are in abundance

2. Once you found the right location, what makes Lake Elsinore a great place to run the shop?

I studied the Inland Empire for some time to figure out where I wanted to land. Ultimately, I wanted to be centralized in the County and at the same time be fairly centered between Orange & San Diego Counties as well. Being somewhat of a Hobby Shop, needed to be accessible from many areas. Being located on a Historic Route, Route 395, also is a good advertising tool for my foreign customers as well. And lastly, being located right off of the 15 freeway enables me to have bands visit between the 2 counties I mentioned. Whether they want to do an advertised in store appearance, just visit, or decide to play one of my Saturday night shows once my venue is just felt right.

3. With the large inventory of parts, which areas do you focus on?

While most of my inventory focuses on 1928-48 Ford Car & 1928-56 Ford Truck, I do carry a bunch of accessories that work with any ride. I am also adding in unique used items that can be restored or used as-is on ratrods. It is vitally important to be flexible and work with all car people. If someone wants to start with a ratrod and work their way up to something else later, fine. Whatever I can do to try and persuade a kid to own a piece of American history and not waste money on an import that will never retain its value.

4. Why do you think hot rod folks are so into music?

I just think that at the point in history where hot rodding was born, Rock 'N Roll was just coming to the forefront. Has gone hand in hand ever since. Today, I see a hunger in people of not only exploring the early hot rod history, but also the history of the music.

5. Tell us more about your plans for the outdoor music venue and what type of acts you are bringing to the shop

Well, I'm always thinking of what I can do to keep my shop the most unique. At the same time, want to help spread the word of the music that encompasses my daily life. Venue? Had some good space out in the back of my shop, and decided what I thought I would enjoy. What it will ultimately end up being: A small scale 1940's Gas Station with seating for up to 80 people and standing room for another 20-25. The type of acts is easy...Country (the type I carry, not what's found on the radio), Rockabilly, Blues and some unplugged rare performances from some Psychobilly bands too. I feel that in this sort of intimate setting, the bands and patrons can create a more personal relationship.

Mark Carrillo is doing something great with his store, Grumps Garage