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Creekside Music brings new life to old space

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FRIENDLY GREETING: Fred Myers greets customers at Creekside Music on Saturday.
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CREEKSIDE MUSIC: Creekside Music sits, as the name would suggest, along Prairie Creek in downtown Frankfort. The shop features instruments and music supplies for purchase, offers guitar and drum lessons and guitar and drum repair.
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DRUMS FOR ALL: Fred Myers demonstrates the beginner drum set that aspiring drummers can practice on during lessons at the shop.

By Leeann Doerflein - news@ftimes.com

On the banks of Prairie Creek sits a downtown business that specializes in rocking out – at the beginner and expert level.

Creekside Music opened in May 2018, after one and one-half years of renovations to a building at 259 E. Clinton St. that could have otherwise been lost to history.

Owner Fred Myers, a retired vice president of operations of the Frankfort NHK, purchased that address and now-razed 258 E. Clinton St. from the city in 2017 to create a music store and instrument repair shop.

“It was totally devastated, and it probably should have been torn down. But it had this aura about it … I thought it was a cool place, and it would be perfect for a business like this,” Myers said.

With help from friends and a lot of elbow grease, 259 was reborn as Creekside and refitted to provide unique spaces that celebrate the building’s history and the music-making process. Since 258 was beyond repair, it was demolished to create a patio on the creek bank complete with a stage, seating and koi pond.

Myers has given the historic structure new life as a place where people can celebrate music in many ways.

“That’s what I’m wanting to do is make it a cool place like what you would see in Broad Ripple,” Myers said. “A cool place for musicians to hang out … Where kids who have a band and can’t play as loud as they want at home to come play. Not just those guys, church groups and other group who wants a professional stage to play on.”

The patio stage has already brought entertainment to the community last Hot Dog Festival, and Myers is hoping to bring even more music to liven-up downtown in the coming months.

Myers initially was looking for a site to expand his home-based instrument repair business, but conversations with community leaders steered him to offer more.

Starting at about age 7, Myers learned to play drums, then guitar from his dad, who had a garage band. Since they did not live close to a music store, Myers read up on instrument repair and became a self-taught repairman out of necessity.

Myers put away music in favor of his career and family and did not think much about repairing or playing until his son joined band in school. After his son graduated from school and band, Myers picked up his own instruments again after about 14 years ago. He started by taking guitar lessons to refresh his skills and his teacher at McGuire Music in Lafayette taught him some tricks to repair his own instruments.

His passion reignited, Myers began playing again and started repairing instruments for himself and friends. Before he knew it, the word spread, and his client base kept growing. Today, about half of the shop basement is filled with many precision tools to repair guitars and drums. Myers will take on tasks as simple as replacing strings or as complex as repairing an antique instrument.

On the retail side, Myers describes his selection of music supplies as “stuff local people want,” meaning picks, strings, amplifiers, cables and instruments. He said the selection can cater to any need whether a teen with a garage band, an 8-year-old just picking up a guitar or a church group.

Local experts also offer personalized lessons for guitar, drum and bass beginners at competitive prices, Myers said.

More information on the shop and its offerings is available on the business’s Facebook page. The shop is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday.