I was on 48th street checking out the music stores with an old pal, jingle writer Johnny Barranco. I needed a piano pickup for the night club on Long Island where I was working and had come to "Music Row" to buy it - corporate check in hand. John went across the street to another store first and we agreed to meet up at Manny's. I went into the store on my own and got the pickup, but when I presented the company check at the register, Henry said, "What's this? We don't take company checks, only personal ones! Get the heck out of here!".
I went back out to 48th Street where I met Johnny, and I went back into Manny's with him. Henry said, "Hi Johnny! How've you been?", then looked over at me and said, "What are YOU still doing here? I just threw you out!".
I answered, "I'm with John".
"Is he with you, John?".
John answered, "Yeah".
"Is his check any good?", asked Henry.
"Sure", said John.
"Why didn't you say you were with John? Give me that check", said Henry. And I got my pickup.
And that was my first experience doing business at Manny's Music.

Fast forward to many years later; I've been instrument technician to many well-known artists, spending tens of thousands of their dollars. Whenever I walked into the store, I always received the same warm welcome from Henry: "Teddy! Who are you working for this week?". And when I was signing for gear to be billed to a particular artist's account (which store policy meant ALWAYS demanded a "can this guy sign on your account?" phone call to management), Henry ALWAYS took me for my word and never checked up whether I had permission to sign or not. He always treated me as a gentleman, for which I was eternally grateful.

(Henry's going to KILL me for telling this story, BUT...)
Once I had picked up a Korg rack effect one day for then-Billy-Joel synth player Dave LeBolt. I took the unit back home to my neighborhood, and then ended up losing it - I had gone to an ATM machine to withdraw some cash, and, worrying more about having cash in hand on the "mean streets" of Manhattan than the Korg, I sped around the corner, leaving the Manny's bag with the unit in it next to the machine. 30 seconds later (upon realizing what I had done) I hurriedly ran back around the corner - the Korg was long gone. So, I now had to replace the unit with my own money, as it's loss was my fault. I went back to Manny's to purchase the replacement, and when I told Henry what had happened (and that I was paying out of my own pocket), he pulled me aside and said, "Go across the street to Sam Ash and buy it there - they bought a truckload of them and are selling them for less than my cost - go save yourself the money."!
What kind of store tells you to buy something from their competition? A store run by a mensch like Henry, who made me feel like family whenever I went in.

At one point, Henry actually told me that I could borrow money there! I reminded him of the day he threw me out and we both had a good laugh...

It was with great sadness that I recently learned that Manny's had closed it's doors.
But Manny's wasn't really a store, it was an one-of-a-kind institution - part insider's club, part store, and all family.

Much love to all the Goldrich Family from an old friend (now in Finland).


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Comment by Holly Goldrich on June 10, 2010 at 1:10pm
That is a great story. Thank you for sharing.

Holly Goldrich
Comment by Ted Leonard on June 5, 2010 at 12:41pm
Hi Holly & Sandi!
Glad you liked it, but I'm not John... I've been in touch with him and he's given up drugs and booze, living the good life as a born-again Christian, doing the Lord's work. More at
I'll do my best to encourage others to join, but it appears many I know are already here!
All The Best from Fabulous Finland,
Ted Leonard
Comment by Sandi on June 5, 2010 at 11:08am
Oh thanks John this is priceless!!!! I LOVE these stories, tell your friends to come share here!

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