Haight-Ashbury Music Center Closes After 40 Years

Melissa Culross
January 20, 2020 - 1:31 pm
Haight-Ashbury Music Center holds a liquidation sale as its owner, Massoud Badakshan, plans to close its doors on Monday after 40 years in business.

Carrie Hodousek/KCBS

In the heart of San Francisco's Upper Haight, across the street from the Club Deluxe night club and a few blocks from Amoeba Music, sits the Haight-Ashbury Music Center, which has been selling musical instruments and recording equipment for almost 40 years.

But the center’s owner, Massoud Badakhshan, said it has become too difficult to continue to keep its doors open in San Francisco.

“I moved in here back in 1984 and my rent was $1,700,” said Badakhshan. “Now, if I was going to stay, it would be very close to $15,000.”

The store’s wide selection of instruments and clientele of famous musicians gave the Haight-Ashbury Music Center a reputation that spanned the globe.

“I had a gentleman who lived around the corner from Ireland [who told me>, ‘You won’t believe it, but your store is so famous in Ireland,” said Badakhshan.

The store that sells instruments and recording equipment shut for good Monday. 

“I just turned 70 and I’ve been doing this for 40 years. It’s a big portion of my life. I work seven days a week” said Badakhshan. 

But this isn’t the start of retirement for the business owner. Badakhshan plans to focus more on Gelb Music, the iconic music store in Redwood City he purchased in 2015, and online sales, which he credited with keeping the Haight Street brick-and-mortar store alive until yesterday.

“I’m going to keep Haight-Ashbury music alive online and ship from our other location because we have all the facilities over there to do this,” said Badakhshan.