Mike Boulware: Beyond the Strings
by Valentina Sanchez
Mike Boulware is an iconic Gainesville guitarist and instrument connoisseur. His store, B-Side Vintage, has been a huge success and is the home to guitars and music equipment owned by famous artists such as Duane Allman and Tom Petty. He sat with Narrow Magazine for an exclusive interview, where he told us about the music industry, his music inspirations and upcoming events.
Boulware started his interest in guitars in the early 70's. “There was a lot of music being made and sold and I am always looking for better quality,” he told me. Boulware introduced himself to the music industry through his instrument insight and slowly started doing his own gigs.
He also readily expresses his love for the city of Gainesville, and performing in the city, telling me, “I love to do performances in Gainesville. The interaction with people is my favorite. Some people have come up to me and told me that I gave them their favorite concert and that is a rewarding feeling.”
Musically, I asked him who some of his influences have been and he mentions being a huge James Taylor fan (“the style he has adopted”), and also cites the guitar wizardry of Clarence White (perhaps best known as the member of The Byrds that replaced Gram Parsons).
His current business, B-Side Vintage, is a great place to have in the lookout; from collectable guitars to your potential new instrument. He sells any kind of percussion instrument and some keyboards. Boulware’ likes “sitting and hanging out instead of the corporate feeling many music stores have.” He also cites Lipham Music, an iconic Gainesville music store that closed in 2014, famous for selling instruments to Tom Petty, Billy Joel, The Eagles and others, which is part of the model he wants to follow.
With his expertise he wants to point people to their right direction, and to a good quality instrument perfect for you. B-Side Vintage is located at 224 NW 8th Ave and his operating hours are Monday through Saturday from 11:00am to 4:00pm.
B-Side Vintage is also involved with sponsoring local events such as Tom Petty Weekend at Heartwood Soundstage, where he will also perform with 3 different bands. Moreover, they will be sponsoring “Have a Heart,” a charity event to raise funds for the people affected by Hurricane Michael who are still struggling to completely recover from the tragedy.