"Although the business did not open until March 1988, the story of “The Rock Inn” really starts in 1979, when I travelled from Melbourne to Perth on tour with my band and fell in love with Perth, and Western Australia. After 3 months of solid touring and gigging in the West we headed back, but my trusty ’68 Dodge truck only made it to Ceduna before warping the head and having a total cardiac arrest. The truck then had to be towed to Adelaide and then put on the rail to get it home, needless to say all the touring funds were gone and then some! I then got a job in a music shop to pay off the debts and eight years later, with nothing except experience, a few dollars, my grandfathers EH (he didn't need it anyway), and a removal truck of tasty gear I had been collecting, I made it back to W.A to open at shop at Roberts Road, Subiaco.
The Rock Inn has always had one focus, to be different from everyone else. A vision which remains the same to this day. In the late 80’s we were the amongst first selling PRS, Charvel/Jackson, Trace Elliot, Ampeg to the public (to name a few) and within a short time became the top stockist of Rickenbacker guitars. We were the first Vintage guitar store to open in Perth, selling vintage and used gear imported from the UK and USA, which at the time was very hard to come by. In 1990 we opened another store in Applecross – which gave us the roots of our now-strong customer base south of the river. In 1993 an opportunity arose to combine the two stores into one big store - so both businesses were shifted to a larger premises. In late 1993, The Rock Inn was opened on Hay Street, Subiaco where we had great success in expanding the shop and level of stock, until August 1997 when we finally moved to our current location on Beaufort St, Mount Lawley - which with three large showrooms, had even more space for our growing collection of guitars and amplifiers.
After speaking at length with many customers about the availability of quality acoustic guitars in Perth, 2002 saw the opening of “The Acoustic Inn” - a specialist Acoustic store dedicated to one thing only, quality acoustic guitars! Stocking all the famous brands under one roof, The Acoustic Inn provided a place for dedicated acoustic players to play at length, and have access to specialist products and accessories. It’s a fantastic building being an old 1930’s Garage with exposed wooden truss roofing - the only problem being you cant hear the guitars in heavy showers, thanks to the old 30’s tin roof.Both stores are next door to each other, making it easy to check out guitars, and then more guitars… because that’s all we sell! I often have customers share their experience of purchasing of a guitar from one of the many Rock Inn stores over the last 2 decades. Surprisingly, I can normally remember each instrument down to the fine details! If you have an interesting story about visiting the shop, I would love to hear it. The Rock Inn is a guitar players store run by guitar players, and that’s the way it’s going to stay!” - Andrew McIlroy (owner)