VG History

Vintage Guitar magazine History
The History of Vintage Guitar magazine

Published since 1986, Vintage Guitar magazine has, from its first issue, focused on rare, old, beautiful guitars coveted by everyone from local pickers to rock stars, actors, authors, and others.

Printed in a large tabloid format, VG celebrates not only the technical details of guitars (and amps!), but wallows in their aesthetic charms!

Publisher Alan Greenwood started the magazine in 1986, first as a shopper called The Music Trader, aimed at music stores and musicians of all kinds. A guitar player himself, after only a few issues, he started adding guitar-related editorial content, and it quickly turned into a guitar magazine. Also, “We noticed all the ads we were getting were about old guitars,” he said. “So in 1990, we changed the name.

“We came into it at the right time, because in the late ’80s, the Japanese were buying up vintage guitars big-time,” Greenwood added. “They had all this money and the yen was strong. Then, by the early ’90s, guitars had become a hot commodity amongst the Baby Boom generation. Their sense of nostalgia combined with a strong economy made guitars suddenly very collectible.”

As America’s economy picked up steam in the early ’90s, guitar values began a dramatic rise, and VG grew in terms of audience, editorial reach, and advertiser base.

Today, VG prints approximately 35,000 copies each month, with about 20,000 mailed to subscribers while another 15,000 go to newsstands, trade shows, and conventions. Its staff consists of nine employees at its home office in Bismarck, North Dakota, and its editorial pages are filled with an an eclectic mix of articles by expert freelance writers who cover a range of instruments, players with a vast array of musical styles. There are music reviews, gear reviews, and of course, the ever-popular “Readers Gallery.” The magazine’s advertisers include a range of guitar dealers, manufacturers (big and small!), musicians, and readers/players from around the world.