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Downtown Fargo guitar shop experiences 'red hot' day of sales after celebrity guitarist pays visit

FARGO--Celebrity sightings are nothing new to Nik Gruber, but today's sighting required a bit more self-control than the others. "I hate to be the fanboy kind of guy, so I had to hold it in," said Gruber, owner of Gruber Guitars at 413 Broadway N...

Gruber Guitars owner Nick Gruber poses for a picture with Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer in his downtown Fargo shop Wednesday, August 23. Special to The Forum.
Gruber Guitars owner Nik Gruber poses for a picture with Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer in his downtown Fargo shop Wednesday, August 23. Special to The Forum.
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FARGO-Celebrity sightings are nothing new to Nik Gruber, but today's sighting required a bit more self-control than the others.

"I hate to be the fanboy kind of guy, so I had to hold it in," said Gruber, owner of Gruber Guitars at 413 Broadway N. in downtown Fargo.

Shortly after 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 23, Gruber saw a familiar face walking through the front door of his shop. Gruber knew exactly who it was as soon as he saw him, but-as he would with any customer-he approached the man to see if he could be of any help.

The man told Gruber he was traveling east to visit a friend in Traverse City, Mich., after stopping in Idaho to watch the historic solar eclipse. Gruber said the man needed to take a short break from traveling, so he decided to make a pit stop in Fargo.

Gruber's conversation with the man eventually lead to him ask if the man played in a band. "Yeah," the man replied. Playing dumb, Gruber replied, "Oh yeah? What band?"

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"Red Hot Chili Peppers," the man said. "You may have heard of us."

It was then that Gruber finally let out his inner fanboy, revealing to Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer that he knew all along who the man was.

INFORUM-August-2017-picture-3610353.jpg
Josh Klinghoffer / Wikimedia Commons

Klinghoffer spent an hour at the downtown Fargo guitar shop, trying out a wide array of guitars and amplifiers. Before leaving, Klinghoffer purchased three guitars and two amplifiers. "It's a rarity that the celebrities that do stop in actually buy," Gruber said.

Gruber Guitars, which specializes in making custom-made, wooden Fender-style guitars, uses locally-produced wood from places like Valley Hardwood and Dakota Timber.

"He dug the fact that the guitars were made with local wood," Gruber said.

OTHER CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS:

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Gruber said he typically "doesn't sell more than one guitar per month," and that he makes about 20 custom guitars each year.
When asked if he knew whether Klinghoffer would actually play the guitars, Gruber said Klinghoffer told him "they're gonna get played" and that he "plans on using them on stage."

Gruber credits his downtown location as the reason for a number of celebrity sightings at his shop. In the past two years, Gruber said he's had visits from band members of Ghost, Goo Goo Dolls, X Ambassadors, Testament and Buddy Guy, among others.

"A lot of it is just location," he said. "They're just walking around downtown after soundchecks or getting a bite to eat and they just stop in."

Related Topics: MUSICFARGO
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