1 Elliot Easton 1 year ago You want a story? I have a doozy. I grew up in Massapequa, Long Island and Gracin's was my go-to store. I used to take the Sunrise Hwy. bus and I remember that the store was right next to Wetson's Hamburgers. I got a crappy import electric from White's of Massapequa for my Bar Mitzvah and around '67-'68 I wanted a good acoustic guitar to play folk and country blues. With my budget (very little), Bernie steered me to an all-mahogany Favilla acoustic guitar. I worked at the bagel store on Hicksville Rd. in Seaford/Plainview/ N.Massapequa in the Calvert Shopping Center. Bernie ordered the lefty acoustic for me from Tommy Favilla and I drove Bernie crazy calling him practically every day to see if it was in! He couldn't have been more patient and kind to me and when the guitar finally arrived I was thrilled and loved that thing so much. I was never without it. A year or two later in the 11th grade I decided that since my heroes Robbie Robertson, Jesse Ed Davis, Mike Bloomfield, Roy Buchanan, Roy Nichols, Clarence White, Cornell Dupree, Steve Cropper and James Burton (to name a few), all played Telecasters, then I had to have one too. Sooooo, I went to Gracin's and Bernie ordered me a custom-made left handed Telecaster in blonde with a maple neck. The price, with case and tax was around $220, a fortune to me then. I got a job at La Crepe restaurant in the Bar Harbor Shopping Center in Massapequa to earn the money to pay for the guitar. I was one of those kids who was completely obsessed with guitars, sending away for catalogs, hiding them in my textbooks at school, etc. I knew every spec of every model from every company you could name. Obsessed. By now, I was in a fever to get my guitar and again, I called almost every day and drove Bernie nuts but he was again totally kind and patient with me. I loved guitars so much that even Bernie and Pops couldn't believe it. I would take the bus to Gracin's just to be around guitars. I used to help Danny, sweeping the floor, moving boxes, anything I could do to make myself useful. Bernie could not believe how much this kid loved guitars. He understood how badly I wanted that guitar and even loaned my a used lefty Fender Jaguar that someone brought in on trade. It had a psychedelic paint job and Bernie said I could hang onto it until my Telecaster came in. Maybe he thought I wouldn't call so much if I had a Fender to play! He was such a kind man, sometimes it would be late and closing time and he would actually drive me home rather than my having to take the bus at night at 16 years old. That's a mensch. This was 1971. Soooooo, now, roll up to 1979, I've already made two multi platinum albums with The Cars, and Gibson brought me out the the summer NAMM show at McCormick Place in Chicago. So, I'm standing in one of the booths and across the floor I see BERNIE GRACIN!!! I raced over to him, not really expecting him to remember me. I introduced myself to him him and told him about my success with The Cars. I told him my name and reminded him and thanked him for his kindness to me all those years ago. When I finished the story, he had tears in his eyes and said "you've gotta meet my wife!" He dragged me over to his wife and said to her, "THIS IS THE KID I ALWAYS USED TO TELL YOU ABOUT WHO WAS SO CRAZY ABOUT GUITARS!!!" He remembered. How's that for a Bernie Gracin story?