Gear practitioner

The Rock Doc

photo courtesy of the rock doc

“When you talk about The Police, you don’t say Gordon Sumner, you say Sting,” explained the man who prefers to be known solely as The Rock Doc. For the last two years, the Doc has taken appointments to fix whatever ailments afflict most instruments, his business mostly spread through word of mouth from Chico musicians. To contact the Doc, and to see samples of his work and testimonials from satisfied clients, search for The Rock Doc on Facebook. His shop is located at 932 W. Eighth Ave.

Where did you learn to fix instruments?

I’ve been woodworking literally since I was 3 years old. My dad was a guy who knew how to do a lot of stuff, and he passed along some of that to me, along with his tools. I also started playing music when I was in fourth grade, and started tinkering with instruments when I was a teenager.

How did you start doing this professionally?

Essentially, I needed some more room in my house, so I cleaned out my garage, rented this place and set up a shop. I started thinking, instead of just having this as a glorified man cave, I should start using my skills. My wife made a connection with Sid Lewis from the School of Rock and I started repairing all their instruments. Then I started the Facebook page and fixing things for other people.

What kind of repairs do you do?

I replace strings, fix cables and jacks, any electronics, guitars, lots of keyboards come through. I think it’s kind of beneficial for local musicians because I can fix things for less than it might cost to ship a keyboard to Sacramento or San Francisco, which you might have to do if I wasn’t here.

Do you do custom work?

Absolutely. I especially do a lot of custom cases, like [for] vintage lap steels and even an acoustic Flying V guitar. I made that one into a backpack and you might see the guy riding around town with it. I also built a custom bar for someone out of an old piano.

Anything you can’t fix?

Well, motorcycles. I’ve been asked to do that a couple of times. And brass instruments; there’s not much I can do for them except maybe a little soldering if someone needs it. Other than that, I’ll know a job I can’t do when I see it.

What’s special about your services?

I always try to do a little extra. If someone hires me to fix their amp, I’ll fix it and also clean it up really nice. I also try really hard to keep the price fair, and to do things as soon as people need them.