Best Buy -- which recently made headlines for its purchase of Napster -- is moving into the musical intrument biz and to kick things off, the Greenfield store, 4610 S. 76th St., hosts an in-store with local rockers The Cocksmiths on Saturday, Oct. 18 at 2 p.m.
The band will perform two sets and sell and sign copies of its latest disc, "Trouble Pill." The band plays Oct. 23 at Turner Hall with Local H.
"We're pretty excited about this," says guitarist Paris Ortiz. "It's a cool little program they got going on over there. Who knows maybe we can win over the 'Guitar Hero' generation and inspire some of the little ones to pick up the real thing."
The event also serves as a local launch event for the new "Guitar Hero" video game.
Best Buy announced in July that it will begin selling musical instruments and recording equipment at 75-85 stores around the country after testing the waters with a pilot program in Minneapolis and Southern California.
"The introduction of musical instruments is a natural progression for Best Buy," explained Steve Hehir, senior vice president of musical instruments for Best Buy. "Consumers have always looked to us as a resource for music in a variety of formats. Now they'll be able to rely on us for help with musical performance and creating, too."
Ortiz says the Greenfield store has a wide selection.
"It's crazy. They opened a full on retail music store with sweet high-end Fender and Gibson products. It's great stuff; guitars, basses, drums, keyboards, P.A., DJ stuff, foot pedals."
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.