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'My life is music' | Griggs Music and West Music to merge this summer

The two longtime QC music fixtures will keep both stores open through the back-to-school season before consolidating at Griggs around October.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — They say it takes two to tango, and now two iconic Quad Cities music stores are going just that.

West Music and Griggs Music stores will merge later this summer, combining more than 200 years of musical experience. 

The businesses made the joint announcement on West's website in mid-June, stating that the consolidation would go through on July 1. However, both store locations will remain open through the back-to-school season before moving into the current Griggs store in Davenport by the beginning of October. 

At that point, the store will be called West Music, although the owners say the spirit of both companies will live on. 

"Combined, it's about a 200-year legacy of serving musicians here in Iowa. So obviously, we're excited about the opportunity to join together and really amplify our businesses here in the Quad Cities," said Robin Walenta, CEO of West Music. 

It's been 119 years since Griggs first opened for business, compared to the 82 years West has been open. 

All of the employees and inventory at both locations will also be consolidated, something that was music to Steve Judge's ears. 

"One of my biggest concerns was making sure that the staff was dealt with and that this is going to be very, very smooth," said Judge, owner of Griggs. "That was something that meant a lot to me." 

After 47 years at Griggs, Judge says it's officially time for a new chapter in his life: one that includes more time spent fishing and with his grandchildren. 

Still, walking away from Griggs will be a huge shift. 

"My life is music," Judge said. "I stopped here to buy a guitar strap when I was 18 years old — that I didn't need — and there was a help wanted sign on the door. And here I am, almost 50 years later." 

Looking back, he says the relationships he formed with his employees, customers and fellow music lovers will be what he misses the most. 

"Bringing together all the talented associates from both physical facilities into one and combining all of our inventory assortment to really expand the breadth of offerings to all the customers here in the Quad City market through this one location is a dream," said Walenta. "We have the greatest job on Earth. We change people's lives because that's what music does." 

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