On a quiet street in South City is a shop that makes quite a bit of noise in the music world.


“Electric guitars to me are always better louder,” Dave Hinson says.


He’s about as plugged in to the scene as one can get.


“This is a 1955 Fender Stratocastor all orignal it’s had some play, had some love.”


He started playing the stringed instrument when he was eleven, but his passion goes beyond finger picking.


“You know how many guitars a guy needs?  One…more.”


He’s a man who knows guitars better than just about anybody else on the planet.


“I work for Heritage Auctions which is based in Dallas. I do all the appraisals and authentication for their guitars. I also write the Blue Book of Guitars,” he adds.


He and his staff buy, sell, trade and repair vintage guitars.


“Everyday is like Christmas here we never know what we’re going to see. Everyday I see something I haven’t seen before.”


He opened Killer Vintage in the mid 90’s, but it was a by appointment only establishment until 2005 when he and Mark Quinn flipped the rather funny open sign.


“I’ve been lucky I’ve found a lot of really sought after unusual new old guitars some nobody knew existed,” he explains.


And with that kind of inventory the list of people he does business with is pretty impressive.


“Who did we deal with this summer so far Tom Petty, Joe Walsh, Keith Urban.” 


Many of which have signed the bathroom wall, but Dave is rarely starstruck.


“I treat them as badly as anyone that comes in here.  No, I’m kidding!”


On occasion he doesn’t even know who he’s dealing with.


“There’s one I probably shouldn’t put on record, but I was in Prague n Czech Republic at a recording studio and the guy showing me the studio goes Lady Gaga recorded three of her songs on her last album here and he turned to me all excited and said and One Republic recorded their whole album here and I’m like One Republic. They show up in my shop three months later.  I go what band are you guys in he goes One Republic I said oh so you know Faust and they go we recorded our whole album there.  We were best friends.”


His stories are as impressive as his guitars.


“The oldest one in here…this is a 1934 martin 017,” he explains pulling it off the wall.


He also has amps, accessories and t-shirts that are quite popular.


“I’m kind of known for my t-shirts.  Keith Richards was a huge fan of my shirts.”


So Killer Vintage might be a bit of a hidden gem in St. Louis, but it’s a place musicians from all over the world are well aware of.


Killer Vintage is at 3201 Ivanhoe. It’s open Monday through Saturday.  314-647-7795 is the phone number or go to www.killervintage.com.


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