Misha Guiffre, director of sales, The Music Link Corp., counts his 1975 Fender Jazz Bass reissue at his most prized possession. It has been his constant companion for more than two decades.
The Music & Sound Retailer: Who was your greatest influence or mentor and why?
Misha Guiffre: My parents were and still are a huge influence on me. My father owned his own business, a successful design company in Silicon Valley, for more than three decades. He continually demonstrated the value of working hard and never giving up, even when the chips were down. My mother was a Pacific Bell executive for many years. She was masterful at bringing groups of diverse people and personalities together to execute largescale telecommunications projects.
The Retailer: What was the best advice you ever received?
Guiffre: On my first day of employment at the Haight Ashbury Music Center, the owner and my mentor, Massoud Badakhshan, taught me how to correctly coil an instrument cable. He also told me, “You don’t need a ring, just ask her!” That worked out great. My wife and I are still happily married 14 years and two kids later.
The Retailer: What was your first experience with a musical instrument?
Guiffre: One of my earliest childhood memories was seeing a hi-hat on a TV show. I was fascinated, obsessed and knew I had to play one in person. This led me to eventually joining the grade-school band as the snare drummer. I demanded the band director provide a hi-hat or I’d choose another instrument. I was the only drummer in the school!
The Retailer: What instrument do you most enjoy playing?
Guiffre: I most enjoy playing the electric bass guitar. Being in control of the lowest frequencies is a subtle yet powerful form of expression.
The Retailer: Tell us something about yourself that others do not know or would be surprised to learn.
Guiffre: My grandfather worked at Ampex Corp. for many years, and I grew up in a community of Ampex employees and their families.
The Retailer: What’s your favorite activity to do when you’re not at work?
Guiffre: My favorite activity outside of work is spending quality time with my wife and two boys. We love to go on adventures, try new cuisine and seek out interesting nature spots. And of course, playing music by myself or with friends.
The Retailer: What is the best concert you’ve ever been to?
Guiffre: The best musical performance I’ve ever seen was Joey DeFrancesco at Steamers Jazz Club in Fullerton, Calif. He played a Friday night right after The NAMM Show wrapped up. I was floored by the level of musicianship on that stage. Having dinner with John “JR” Robinson while watching the show and listening to his commentary on the music really took that night over the top.
The Retailer: If you could see any musician, alive or deceased, play a concert for one night, who would it be and why?
Guiffre: Led Zeppelin playing the entire “Led Zeppelin II” album. I wore that record out growing up. A huge influence on my musical development.
The Retailer: What musician are you hoping to see play in the near future?
Guiffre: Tough to say just one! MonoNeon, JD Beck and Domi Degalle, Kevin Parker and John Vanderslice are certainly near the top of my list.
The Retailer: What song was most memorable for you throughout your childhood, and what do you remember about it the most?
Guiffre: My dad would blast Vivaldi’s “Winter” while fourwheeling through the snowy Sierra Nevada mountains on our annual Yosemite trip. The powerful music added so much to the experience.
The Retailer: What are your favorite songs on your smartphone/iPod?
Guiffre: It’s impossible to answer this question.
The Retailer: What’s the most fun thing you saw/did at a NAMM Show?
Guiffre: Participating in the NAMM Young Professionals mentorship program was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the meetings and chats with my mentor. It’s an experience I’ll forever cherish and remember. I highly recommend it to anybody who is interested.
The Retailer: If you had to select three people, past or present, to have dinner with, who would they be and what would you ask them?
Guiffre: I’d choose Antonius Stradivari, Laurens Hammond and Leo Fender. I’d ask what inspires them most.
The Retailer: What is the best thing about the MI industry?
Guiffre: The best thing about working in the MI industry is the people I’m blessed to interact with on a daily basis. Being a part of our highly specialized industry forges lifelong relationships and friendships.
The Retailer: Who do you admire most outside of the music industry and why?
Guiffre: I admire all the doctors and research scientists doing groundbreaking work on cures for the world’s health problems. Their work impacts thousands of lives.
The Retailer: What technology could change MI down the road?
Guiffre: The continuing evolution of brain-computer interfaces could change the creative process drastically. Imagine making music at the speed of thought, directly from your mind.
The Retailer: If you weren’t in the music industry, what would you be doing and why?
Guiffre: I’ve been in the MI industry since I was 16 years old. I can’t imagine doing anything else!
The Retailer: Tell us about your hometown and why you enjoy living there.
Guiffre: I was born and raised in Sunnyvale, Calif., the heart of Silicon Valley. I enjoy living here because of the high level of innovation, perfect weather and overall quality of life.
The Retailer: What are your most prized possession(s) and why?
Guiffre: My 1975 Fender Jazz Bass reissue has been my constant companion for over two decades. It’s been my main instrument for numerous bands, recordings, shows and tours.
The Retailer: What’s your favorite book and why?
Guiffre: “The Music Lesson” by Victor Wooten. I have now given away three copies of this book to my musician friends. A great read about music and life written with humor and depth.
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