Monday, November 26, 2012


(Great FL Gig Op!)

Located in the heart of
old school Melbourne —
Florida Discount Music 
has been the hometown
 destination for musicians
since the mid 1970s.

I recall being a 15-year-old newbie walking into Florida Discount Music (FDM) for the first time. The year was 1978 — and along with my equally clueless teenage colleagues, we plunked down our hard-earned nickels, dimes, quarters and singles (along with a few fives and tens) onto the front counter and purchased our first PA system.

The joint was packed with much older, seasoned musicians in their early 20s — many were test-driving Les Pauls plugged into Marshalls — cranking out random Nugent riffs. They also all had long hair and wore tight-fitting Levis — one of them even drove up to the shop on a motorcycle! I was (am) a complete geek, and I was giddy to be hanging out with these guys. They were cool rock dudes. And in my mind, simply by association, that made me a cool rock dude too. It didn't matter that I'd never even played a gig at that point — I'd just bought band gear from FDM!

The store outgrew its original location some years back and moved next door to its current home. My friends Mike and Lisa Dellacoipa bought the business in the 2000s and they continue to thrive.

In spite of recent renovations,
FDM is still all about the music.
More than 150 students are presently enrolled in music classes at FDM — learning from some of the area's top instructors. In fact, when my son Jesse decided to play drums in 2008, I insisted that he take lessons from a great teacher. In short order, I signed him up for lessons at FDM with renown instructor Randy Crouch. In no time, my kid became a badass player.

Thanks to FDM instructor Randy Crouch, my
son is now the 9th greatest drummer in world!
However, a bigger building, new owners and increased student enrollment are not the only major developments at FDM in recent years.

In late 2012, Mike and Lisa gave the store's interior a bit of a reality show-type makeover — resulting in the creation and grand opening of Open Mike's — FDM's very own in-house lounge. Yep, crazy but true! And in addition to coffee, beer and wine, Mike and Lisa now also are serving up great live music — solo acts, acoustic duos — even full bands. For patrons, Open Mike's offers the kind of groovy vibe that you'd expect to find in big-city venues — but with a smoke-free atmosphere. And for musicians, you've got a top-quality sound system and an intimate-size stage, all under ambient lighting.                                                                                

Open Mike's NOW OPEN!
Open Mike's: Serving coffee, 
eer, wine and LIVE music.
As someone who is still  involved a little bit with the music scene, I know how tough it is to find cool venues in which to play — and it's only getting tougher. So, note to indie artists — if you're currently booking Central Florida gigs, do yourselves a favor and check out Open Mike's, located inside Florida Discount Music in Melbourne — before the beautiful new stage gets gunked up with duct tape residue!

-Christopher Long
(November 2012)

(321) 254-5645

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