HomeFairfax General ForumArrest/Ticket SearchWiki newPictures/VideosChatArticlesLinksAbout
Fairfax County General :  Fairfax Underground fairfax underground logo
Welcome to Fairfax Underground, a project site designed to improve communication among residents of Fairfax County, VA. Feel free to post anything Northern Virginia residents would find interesting.
ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: FAIRFAX NATIVE ()
Date: October 20, 2010 12:26PM

I used to go there back in the day. Drove by there recently and they were no longer there. What happened to them?

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: justsayin ()
Date: October 20, 2010 01:26PM

The store closed.

----------------------------------------

"She looks pretty good for 12, admit it." - WingNut, 04/24/2012

"I'm racist too. So what?" - Ellipsis 9/16/2011

"If you only knew who I was, and what I was working to do you would...have the decency to tell me I hated my nation and the way of life. I may not agree with...the government...I hate the "government"......" - Firrat 9/1/10

"there seems to be a queer...why? To try and further demean a defeated... dumb Tea party... I think we need more... far left folks on a regular basis - Louis Farakhan, Jesse Jackson...Al Sharpton" - Registered Voter, 8/19/2011

"If your computer is running slow, or you have any other problems, email me at with the problem and i am willing to fix it, for a price of course" - Taylor, spamming FFU on 04/12/2006. "N****rs as slaves again? I think so..." - Taylor, 09/20/2009

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: More Complete ()
Date: October 20, 2010 03:10PM

NEWSFLASH: It closed like 10 years ago.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: No. ()
Date: October 20, 2010 03:23PM

No. They were open as recently as 04/05 they remodeled it and had a large selection of speakers and guitars downstairs in 2 large showrooms. They always had good deals in there.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Match prices ()
Date: October 20, 2010 03:38PM

They would match other store's prices too.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: GC ()
Date: October 20, 2010 03:38PM

What happened to Rolls Music? Guitar Center happened to them. The Wallmart-ization of music retail is now nearly complete. I think Acoustic Axis is still around in Alexandria and independently owned and run although I haven't been there in years.

Options: ReplyQuote
Border Security is CHEAPER Than Wars
Posted by: WingNut ()
Date: October 20, 2010 03:42PM

`


idontlikebeingrightaboutshitlikethisbutiam



Edited 21 time(s). Last edit at 5/31/1967 05:57AM by WingNut.

Last edit at 11/30/2015 01:37PM Last edit at 5/14/2015 03:52PM Last edit at 1/28/2014 05:57AM Last edit at 11/29/2015 01:10PM Last edit at 3/14/2011 11:52PM Last edit at 7/20/2012 04:07AM
Last edit at 6/29/2013 11:18PM Last edit at 3/19/2011 01:02PM Last edit at 3/26/2012 09:07PM



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/19/2015 11:03AM by WingNut.


Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: More Complete ()
Date: October 20, 2010 04:44PM

No. Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> No. They were open as recently as 04/05 they
> remodeled it and had a large selection of speakers
> and guitars downstairs in 2 large showrooms. They
> always had good deals in there.

Seems like when I use to go there on the regular in 98 or so they had zero business and the prices were pretty high. I could tell they weren't going to make it even back then.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: 30 years ()
Date: October 20, 2010 05:04PM

Dude they were around for almost 30 years so obviously they were doing something right.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Didn't Dig Rolls ()
Date: October 20, 2010 06:42PM

In 2003, I went there to check out a keyboard I'd read about, check out how it felt, hear its sounds, etc. It was a fairly complex instrument, so I asked the salesguy if I could see the manual so I could find a few things. The guy was totally cool, gave me the manual and let me do my thing. I really like the board and had decided to buy it, but was just noodling around for a few more minutes because I really liked it.

And then...

The manager or owner came in and belligerently asked what I was doing and why I had the manual. I said I was planning to buy the board and wanted to check out a few things to make sure it would work for the things I wanted to do. He literally yelled that I didn't need the manual for that, took it from where I had laid it on the keyboard and told me I (yes, me the poster) had no intention of buying the keyboard. That I was just wasting his time. A few things to consider before I finish:

*) He had nothing to do with it, the cool salesguy helped me
*) I was about 90 seconds from getting out my credit card when numbnuts arrived

I told him the salesguy had been helpful and that I was planning to buy the board like right now. He assured me again that I had no plans to by the board. It was ridiculous. He wasn't acting like he was stoned, just a giant a-hole with a huge chip on his shoulder.

So, as I got up to leave I told him the salesguy was good, but his own customer service sucked and that it had cost the store a sale of $1,200+. I also told him that if he kept treating potential customers that way that he'd be out of business fast. He said something nasty about being in business 20+ years, so I told him good luck. The Coda is that I went to Chuck Levin's few days later and bought the keyboard. I still have it and like it a lot. Chuck's is 10x better even if I have to drive farther.

I hope the manager/owner who pulled that little stunt reads this thread and remembers that day. I am really crushed Rolls is gone. Not.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: wally pip ()
Date: October 21, 2010 01:38AM

Fox music is still open just in a different location

I too concur about the effect of Guitar Center on Rolls Music. My memory faulty but sure seems like Rolls closed not long after Gitar Centre came to town. Wonder how Gitar Centre is doing these days? Weren't they having some financial troubles plus the introduction of instrument sales at Best Buy can't help.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Guitar Center????? ()
Date: October 21, 2010 11:56AM

what year did Guitar Center open?

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Tom Jones ()
Date: April 13, 2011 08:22PM

They sold me CHarvel 6 on clearence a few years on their going out of business sale for $150 and its worth $600 now :)

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Jr ()
Date: April 15, 2011 09:43PM

To- 'Didn't Dig Rolls'... Your Rolls Music experience mirrors same for me from some many years, prior. 1995 visited the Falls Church Rolls Music (it was around forever, at the time) and before Guitar Center juggernaut times... Had cash in hand to drop on a 5-pc set of maple Pearl drums.

Like, you said... salesman was cool etc. Asked about return policy and holy-heck!! Italian-looking guy (owner/mgr?) with NY accent and attitude came out of no where and asked if I, "...intended to buy or just window shopping?" Salesman helped me out and I made the purchase in the end. NEVER had a similar buying experience like that for anything... ever!

Probably the same Ass that you experienced years down the road? Never-the-less... sorry that a local music shoppe is gone. Yes, we still have Chuck Levin's in MD around for excellent service. Veneman Music in Springfield and Rockville along, with Giant in FFX are sadly a thing of the past...

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Hey ()
Date: April 16, 2011 11:30AM

It wasn't Guitar Center, they closed due to mismanagement and the owner went to jail for not paying taxes etc.
He always had a new exotic car and girlfriend, an impossible feat given the small profit margin on a small music store.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Kenny Bania ()
Date: April 16, 2011 03:11PM

Yeah, I remember seeing the article posted at Foxes on the wall about 10 years ago. The dude who owned Rolls got nailed for something like $150-175k in tax evasion charges.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: phil rolls was a pr!ck ()
Date: April 17, 2011 01:43AM

His name was phil rolls, and yeah, he was a NY azzhole

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: BobDerBaumeister ()
Date: April 17, 2011 07:47AM

I remember buying a Paiste 505 cymbal from a cheesy looking guy named Gene back in the day. I miss Rolls and Veneman.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: fivestroke ()
Date: April 18, 2011 09:40AM

Gene Stroebel was that guy's name. He left Rolls and was managing Drums Unlimited in Bethesda until they closed.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Mickey Abbott ()
Date: April 18, 2011 10:04PM

Veneman's was awesome. Stupid electrical fire.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Brian Bell ()
Date: November 24, 2011 03:06AM

I had a similar experience with Rolls music in 77---I went in to buy a Guild D40-dreadnought and asked if I could put one on layaway. The guy laughed at me and told me I was wasting his time! I went to Venemans and bought my guitar---on 6 month layaway with no interest!---It was less than 400.00 but that was a lot for me at 21!---I NEVER went back to Rolls. I still have the Guild too! I did have an old Rolls T shirt for a million years and all of my kids wore it as a nightshirt when they were little. I think it had a rolls royce on the front and some skinny dude with bellbottoms.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Fruitpie TheMagician ()
Date: December 07, 2011 09:04PM

Gene was a great guy. He gave me a hell of a deal on two Vox Ac-30's in which they had to order from England. I bought a lot of stuff there. Roland RE-150, Bradley Tele, MXR effects. Phil was rather rude, until you flashed cash, and then he would laugh. They treated me right, but I always wanted to deal with Gene - he was humble and righteous - a great guy. I am sad to see any local music store perish. All would vanish if not for lesson money...

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Broke 80s ()
Date: December 08, 2011 07:48AM

I bought some guitar strings at Rolls in the 1980s. and maybe a pick

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Wrolls ()
Date: December 08, 2011 09:12AM

Rolls sucked when it was there. Most of the employees were pricks. I'm guessing they were guys that played in little local/regional bands and thought they were big shit and didn't have time for some kids coming in to buy some gear. I too had an experience with Phil, and though he wasn't a prick to me directly, you could just tell he Oozed "Douchebag".

That said, Guitar Center with their quarterly "biggest sale ever!", and "60% off list!!!" (Which is actually regular price), and their cookie cutter selection, I really, really miss the days of the independant mom & pop music stores.
From what I remember, Mars music was even a bit better.

Unless it's an absolute emergency, I buy all my gear online now. You can go into a store and check something out, but you get better deals online and don't have to deal with all the douchebaggery of going into the store.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Hey ()
Date: December 08, 2011 09:25AM

I have gone on two guitar shopping missions at guitar center...
I have hit 3 guitar centers on each mission, and asked to go through every single brand G model x that they have in the store.
They are always either horrible or slightly less than horrible.
With Guitar center dominating the market, the manufacturers are putting out really terrible instruments.
Went to Chuck Levins, and found a really high quality version of what I was looking for in about 10 minutes.

You gotta know that there is an online/guitar center product and a good one.
There was literally no comparison between the instruments at GC and Chucks.

Back to the original topic:

I miss going to Rolls and messing with Phill.
He was SUCH a dick.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: 2mm Pick ()
Date: December 08, 2011 06:11PM

Miss- Rolls Music Center, too. If nothing else it was a decent local shop and there aren't many left! Chuck Levins is still amazing in Montgomery County MD. Melodee Music in Loudoun County VA are a godsend too for excellent local purchase and service. Give these local DC music shops your business for Christmas shopping.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Date: December 08, 2011 09:57PM

Veneman's in Springfield and Rockville were great. I remember I was putting a basket case Monkey Ward's open back banjo together and stopped in the Springfield store to see if they had a tail piece, otherwise, I was going to order it from Elderly Instruments. I walked in and asked the guy behind the counter if they had any tail pieces for early banjos and as he was telling me no another guy walked over, held his finger up, went over to some drawers and started rummaging around. After about ten minutes he pulled out a tail piece with like a $2.50 price tag on it and handed it to me. I got into early music back in the 70s and Veneman's somehow had gotten ahold of some Renaissance recorders made by Willy Hopf in Germany. Between the two stores I picked up Garklein, Sapronino, Saprano, Alto, and Tenor for a song compared to what I would have spent from the one early instrument dealer in the U.S. at the time.

Chuck Levin's was great too but the kings for wind players were Zaverella's in the Crystal City area and Ted's Musician Shop in Baltimore. If you could get in with them, their storage areas were like an archeological dig... you never knew what you could find.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: GP ()
Date: February 10, 2012 01:39PM

I bought from Rolls in the late 70's early 80's, but it was Phil Roll's attitude that finally chased me away.He managed to stay in business for quite a while in spite of the fact that he was working so hard to sabotage it. I do remember his girlfirends & cars though!

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Bob der Baumeister ()
Date: February 10, 2012 01:46PM

I would like to go back in a time machine to summer 1985, hit Veneman's, buy a Yamaha DX-7, Springfield Mall, the halfpipe in Newington, then Veneman's in Rockville, and Rockville BMX.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Steve ()
Date: October 17, 2012 03:00AM

It is interesting at what some of the memories are of Rolls Music. I know a lot of musicians that bought lots of gear there including myself. They always had the best prices and their guys actually knew what they were talking about, Guitar center was and is just the opposite. I was sad when they decided to close. I know they were there for about 30 years! So obviously the community was supporting them. So now we're stuck with Gtr Ctr, Venemans Zavarella, Rolls all gone and that sucks!

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: pcarter ()
Date: November 23, 2012 08:08AM

That would be Phil Rolls. He was a major asshole. My budies and I used to buy our equipment there in the mid 80's and he used to pull the stame crap on us. He even told my guitar laying friend when he wanted to play a guitar he was planning on buying that it sounded like any other guitar, six strings, six notes, and makes noise.

We too started frequenting Chuck Levins or the one that used to be in Springfield.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: More Complete ()
Date: November 24, 2012 11:54AM

Fruitpie TheMagician Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Gene was a great guy.

Was he the black dude? There was a black guy that use to work there that was super cool. Don't remember his name though.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Joe B. ()
Date: November 24, 2012 10:51PM

Anyone remember the Tiki Tiki massage parlor that got shut down? Was in the West End Shopping Ctr. too. Sgt. Tuthill was in on that bust.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Jr2012 ()
Date: November 26, 2012 06:31PM

To More Complete and Fruitpie: Yes, for the black salesman but don't recall his name from late 80's... probably Gene?? The only helpful all around guy at the shop. Called ahead several times for cymbal buys and he would hide my requests in the store 'til I showed up for purchase. Recall a time when he literally climbed stacks of inventory cartons at back of store to pull a 20" Paiste ColorSound ride cymbal that he stashed away for my purchase. There was good and bad with Rolls and Gene?... was awesome!!!

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: VyeT4 ()
Date: November 26, 2012 09:57PM

I got my Yamaha Anton Figg snare at Roll's I think, or was that Veneman's? The place in Springfield next to Dauphine's I think, now Paper Moon I believe. Wasn't Roll's in Falls Church? Getting old, can't remember shit any more.

I got my Yamaha S90 keyboard there too I think. Chuck Levin's was a cool store but too far, although I did get a Roland TD-9 there. Anyone wanna buy it? Haha. Guitar Center is annoying but at least they let you play around with stuff without bugging you.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: pgens ()
Date: November 27, 2012 09:45AM

The emergence of "big box" music stores killed off the smaller ones like Roll's and Veneman Music. Mars Music moving into Springfield just down the street from Veneman's Springfield was the first shot fired. Mars went out of business but Guitar Center started picking up. Then Musician's Fiend and other Internet sales outlets made the prices at local small shops look silly.

I had good and bad luck with Veneman Music. Some of the salespeople assumed teenagers didn't have jobs or money and I got treated like crap with one or two of the salespeople. One of them insisted on only selling me banged-up floor models and I had to go to someone else to grab a non-crushed one from the back.

Roll's Music was in Falls Church, Veneman's Springfield was next to what is now Paper Moon.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: More Complete ()
Date: November 27, 2012 05:30PM

I remember when Veneman’s caught on fire and they had a "fire sale". You could buy perfectly good stuff that was just a little bit burnt for a quarter of the price! I bought all kinds of sooty stuff that worked great!

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: More Complete ()
Date: November 27, 2012 05:30PM

Oh yeah and Mars sucked. That didn't last long did it?

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Yo Daddio ()
Date: November 27, 2012 06:12PM

Yeah, I bought a few things at Rolls back in the day and had the same experiences as everyone else. They had lots of cool gear and a few cool salesmen, but a few real a-holes. Veneman's in Springfield was a lot better, but just wasn't big enough.

Every Spring (or maybe it was every Fall, I forget), Veneman's in Rockville would have a huge blowout sale. We'd roadtrip up there at like 6:00 am on a Sunday and wait in line for hours for the doors to open, just to get $3.00 cables or some other b.s.

I heard that Veneman's was bought out by the same outfit that owns both Guitar Center and Musician's Feind.

Chuck Levin's was (and still is) Mecca.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: What a Douchebag ()
Date: November 27, 2012 07:49PM

pgens Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I had good and bad luck with Veneman Music. Some
> of the salespeople assumed teenagers didn't have
> jobs or money and I got treated like crap with one
> or two of the salespeople. One of them insisted
> on only selling me banged-up floor models and I
> had to go to someone else to grab a non-crushed
> one from the back.

There was a salesperson who worked there Veneman who had the words LATINO stickered and spray painted all over his car. He would blast shitty rap music everywhere he went. He had a real superior attitude about himself. He thought he was the shit.

The reality though is he was around 5'3" tall and probably an illegal.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Drum Boogie ()
Date: January 11, 2013 04:11PM

Phil's last name was not Rolls, that was the last name of his senior and silent partner. His last name was Bucasa or something Italian like that. I know because I lived right behind the West End Shopping Center on Patterson St. and I used hang out there back in '75 when Phil first opened the doors. It was just a single space hole in the wall then. Used bug him all the time about when the drum gear would come in, all he had was guitars. And you all are right, he was a real prick. I'm kind of snickering on hearing he got nailed by the IRS.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: try again ()
Date: January 11, 2013 04:44PM

Drum Boogie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Phil's last name was not Rolls, that was the last
> name of his senior and silent partner. His last
> name was Bucasa or something Italian like that.



Wrong, his last name was Bakalas and he was Greek.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Max Volume ()
Date: January 11, 2013 05:11PM

That Phil shit is funny. Rolls was on the tour when we'd go out lookin' at instruments. Seemed like he was always eating a sub and saying stupid shit with his mouth full. Zavarella's in Crystal City was cool too. Lot's of good used gear.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Musician man ()
Date: January 19, 2013 10:03PM

Yes, Veneman Music was a great musical instruments store in its day in Rockville, MD, about 35-40 years or so, before being bought for a Guitar Center location, I think in the late 90s or early 2000s, but I had gone to Memphis TN in 1998 and am not aware of all the exact details. They had a smaller, old Rockville location that used to compete with Chuck Levin's Washington Music of Wheaton, MD back in the late 60's, but I could not tell you where it was now, too long ago. Old man Veneman was a nice guy from Austria, if I recall correctly, and I have good memories of his kindness towards a young teenager like me at the time in 1969. I bought a "second" stamped 1969 Gibson SG Standard, but I never could find the second aspect about it, really nice instrument. Sold it circa 1971.

On to Rolls Music of Falls Church, VA. I enjoyed traveling from Southern MD to NOVA to go there every once in a blue moon, since they were one of the five or so good discount large dealers in the area where you could get good deals, but Phil Rolls was a character, no doubt! He could be moody, nice some days, a jerk others, ha. He did ship me an Electrovoice 3 way PA/keyboard Cab all the way to Western Kansas in the early 80s for a good price with shipping, and I also bought an Ampeg VT-22 tube amp from him circa 1979, so I must have gotten along with him okay enough, but he definitely had an attitude at times. I wonder where he got his money for the store now, ha. Italian and NY he was as another poster described, and a relatively handsome, flashy man, wore HI shirts and stuff, ha, like he lived the good life and money was no object. He was into the Rock and Roll party persona, and BC Rich with its many suggestive posters featuring nice looking ladies were about the store, with those guitars in stock. Still, just today, returning there after so many years with a girlfriend to go to a store in the shopping center there on Broad St/RT 7/Leesburg Pike, I recognized the location immediately, and it was very sad to see Rolls closed and inhabited by a Mattress Discounters, but I still got quite a stroll down memory lane just walking the shopping center in front of the M.D. Store and remembering back 20-30 years, looking out on that parking lot, vista and the overhead train track/walking path, that was an unusual feature I had forgotten, but was very distinctive to see again. The guy at M.D. was nice and said apparently they started there 9 years ago after Rolls closed, making their closure sound like 2004, when I was still living in Memphis. Ah, halcyon memories of all these Stores of old DC fame.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Client 9 from Outerspace ()
Date: January 20, 2013 07:34AM

Back in the 70's, Tiki Tiki was located at the same shopping center. It was featured in a national magazine before the authorities shut it down.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Musician man ()
Date: January 20, 2013 05:48PM

Yes, it was usually in the month of May that Veneman Music had their big Spring blow out sale, at least during the 1990s, which had many incredible deals, and was an annual event to plan for and make as a gear purchasing musician if you could. For a while, Veneman's was an industry leader also with their sales magazine/catalog and online presence called "Music Emporium" if I recall correctly. That too seemed to be towards the late 1990s. I do not know their final journey into Guitar Center buying them out, as I left for Memphis for the next 12 years, beginning in 1998.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: JohnnyRottenAppleSeed ()
Date: April 16, 2013 08:39AM

Damn I love visiting the site. Same story...as a teenager I'd sometimes visit Rolls to look at the keyboards and they'd give me the "are you buyin' or cryin'" crap. When I finally did buy an expensive Roland keyboard, I got it at Venemans. (This was in the mid 90s before Guitar Center bought them) When I drove by the store I used to wonder why you'd sometime see a Ferrari or whatnot parked out front. Now I know why!

It's remarkable how long some businesses with poor customer service can survive. There was a photo development shop at Tysons called "Positive Image" where the attitude was anything but. They made it quite clear that unless you were a professional doing a huge volume of business with them, they saw you as an annoyance and a waste of their time. The old "AOL hometown reviews" website - yelp before yelp and I don't even think it exists anymore - had some funny reviews of their rudeness.

Off Topic, but, what was the mysterious building across from from the former Foxe's Music store, just about a mile east of Rolls? It looked liked it might be a furniture store but something about it was foreboding and I was always afraid to drive in there and check it out. Had a name like Accom?

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: b ()
Date: April 18, 2013 05:52PM

Adcom. Art supplies.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: KristaD ()
Date: April 18, 2013 11:21PM

Rolls was horrible. Just a bunch of dicks working there. We always went to Venemans. I still remenber Steve and he treated us very well.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: FruitpieTheMagician ()
Date: May 02, 2013 06:42AM

Phil reminded me of Tony Montana from Scarface, and looked like him too! He liked you if you spent dough often enough. He would kid with you with you. Gene was a white guy (drummer) who sold a lot of stuff for Phil - he kinda looked like a Doobie Brother type - crazy 70's hairstyle and a mustache - humble guy with laid-back attitude. I still have a receipt from Rolls for a $100 Bradley (Venemann's) used telecaster that I bought signed by Gene. Great times! I would drive from Warrenton VA to salivate over their gear!

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: C-Man ()
Date: July 11, 2013 02:24PM

I'm sorry you had that bad experience at Rolls. I shopped there for years and dealt with the owner most of the time. He never acted in a negative manor towards me. I think you may have caught him on a really bad day. The internet competition and Guitar Center had a negative affect on his business. Maybe he was just depressed and took his frustrations out on you. I purchased (ordered) a Mackie D8B and HDR2496 from him before he went out of business. I later discovered that the HDR2496 had a few bugs in it that needed to be zapped out. I called the owner about it. He apologized for the problem and told me to bring it back to the store. He shipped the HDR2496 to Mackie Digital Systems and called me in less than thirty days later and told me to come and pick up a new replacement.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: David Clark ()
Date: September 13, 2013 12:48PM

I had originally posted this on a Veneman thread, I am sorry for that and will remove it. It clearly belongs here.


I remember being a kid. A stupid kid. My dad had given me a 1960's ES 335. It was in the mid to late 80's/ affordable Charvels had just come out and I was tired of classic rock and into metal. I went into Rolls Music in Falls Church to see what kind of amp I could trade for it thinking I could maybe get a Charvel and a cool amp to do divebombs and whatnot. the guy saw me coming a mile away. "Oh what you have there is just an old bastardized ES, the real ones would have had a vibrato on it, blah blah blah...I can trade you this Roland Super Cube." Mind you, I was a stupid kid but THAT guy was an A$$HOLE and he made good money on my stupidity. I have hated music stores since

I love the internets. They didn't have it then
David Clark

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: WomenAndChildrenFirstVH ()
Date: August 30, 2014 09:33PM

Man ,Phil was the central casting for what people would imagine for excessive '80's rock attitude and lifestyle lol . He used to love to talk about all of the partying he did with various rock figures , emphasise on partying haha .Very true what people have said about blowing you off if you weren't buying anything ( man , I hated it when he was a super dick to me and my friends when trying out equipment ), but if you pulled out your wallet , he could be truly kind and funny . , Bending over backwars to make sure hou were happy .I bought a JCM 800 Marshall head for only $300 dollars new in 1982 ! Man, he had the best prices . Bought a used Marshall half stack cab with my Dad for onlu $250 and Phil was super cool and had a truly nice conversation with my Dad . Still have the head and cab :)Good or bad , Phil was the real deal.And as was said previously , he loved having any poster with a hot chick on it .Good memories !.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: 3w6Ev ()
Date: August 31, 2014 04:17PM

in the 80's there were white people there, in falls church, teaching and selling legitimate music and instruments and lessons to future mead skeletons. a typical, quaint, strip mall otherwise.

i bet there isn't now! (just a guess)

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: 7UhDn ()
Date: August 31, 2014 04:20PM

there's more an more illegals moving in near me, using obama 9x any other president spending, i'd say

there's less and less whites anywhere there's a strong immigrant / black presents, like falls churt

---------------
when does this turf war come to my door?

oh that's right. DMV is full of foreigners making fake id's and credentialing foreigners: and are extorting me.

now i remember

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Back-N-Tyme ()
Date: September 19, 2014 08:43PM

Another blast from the past.

Phil could be an ass but, if he knew you were seriously going to buy, he would treat you right.

I still have My Rickenbacker 4001 I bought from him in 1982.

I remember going to Venemens in Rockville around the same time and seeing 4 diferent color Ricks 4 to a color as well as two 4080's there all the time, they were always well stocked.

Chuck Levines was also a great place who would deal with you, bought my Ampeg SVT rig there.

Zavrellas was classic old school, for the wind instruments Tony was the one PERIOD.


Man those were the days.

EFF Guitat Centers!! lol

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Date: September 19, 2014 10:10PM

Back-N-Tyme Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Another blast from the past.
>
> Zavrellas was classic old school, for the wind
> instruments Tony was the one PERIOD.
>
>
> Man those were the days.

I picked up a J.W. Pepper Pocket Cornet from Tony many years ago. It wasn't a matter of handing him the cash and taking the instrument. I was invited to his house, introduced to his fantastic antique toy collection (with a complete Amos and Andy Open Air Taxi in mint condition no less), fed dinner, was allowed to see the cornet and when I said I wanted it was told that it would be ready for me to pick up in a couple of days after he had gone over it and made sure that it would be in playing condition. I think I paid $75.00 for it. He was the one, indeed.

Did you ever hit Ted's in Baltimore?

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Holy Roller ()
Date: September 20, 2014 04:36AM

I bought a used Epiphone guitar there back in the day. I remember you got a free t-shirt or two with the purchase. Those shirts were cool, even cooler than the free dc-101 shirts or wava "the rock and roll animal" shirts you could get when they'd show up at stores and give them them out. Lol, just thinking of wava as the rock and roll animal now cracks me up. Now it's some conservatard jebus station.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: NippleChuck ()
Date: September 20, 2014 08:15AM

Miss Zavs and Venemens. Rolls not so much. I bought an amp from there once and sometimes you could find cool used gear down stairs. Foxes is cool for sheet music and acoustics and Action is just around the corner now. Miss Giant Music and the wall of Fender you had to walk through to get in the store.
Nip

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: ericT ()
Date: March 07, 2015 05:10PM

In the mid-early 70s I went to buy a guitar from a guy in a basement of a house in the Oakton/Vienna area - out in the country. The guy had a little shop set up like a residential guitar store, just 8 or 10 guitars on stands etc. It was Phil. He always seemed ok to me.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Jimmy S. ()
Date: June 07, 2015 10:13AM

ROLL's MUSIC, CIRCA 1975
Attachments:
Rob Rolls Music.jpg

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Phil rolls ()
Date: July 21, 2015 06:02PM

It's amazing to read some of these posts. Some mademe laugh some were a disappointment and some were purely fictional.
I was always the brunt of ridiculous rumors that never had any basis in fact and that still 12 years after I retired persist

I am extremely proud of the music store I started in my mothers basement with $761 and within 10 years we were #5 in the Country and the highest grossing music store per employee out of some 9300 dealers. Obviously we did something right to achieve such incredible success.

There is no doubt I rubbed some the wrong way but no place could you get better products for less with excellent service after the sale. Most have no idea how much I did for so many customers in the nearly 29 years I ran the stores

No I never had a partner, I was not closed down I was just tired and the business changed where it just wasn't fun anymore, no I did not go to jail by the IRS I never partied with anyone I was too busy working and no the mafia had no involvement from my hometown NY Most of all everyone always got a square deal regardless of who you were. Those that knew me knew it was important to make people happy, that came first the money was second. I've always felt if you make people happy the money will come. I still have this philosophy in my current business in Los Angeles

Those wee some of the best days of my life wife the loyal guys that stayed with me for so many years. Also 99% of our customers were great, good guys trying to make music and I enjoyed helping in any way I could.

Thank you to everyone even those who had a negative experience for being such a positive part of my life

Phil Bakalis. Aka Phil Rolls.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Phil Rolls ()
Date: July 21, 2015 06:16PM

An early photo with Rob Noble who passed away a few years back, John Pineau our repairman Phil and another guy who worked there in the early days
Attachments:
image.jpg

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Questions for Phil ()
Date: July 21, 2015 06:39PM

Questions for Phil.

1) What happened to all the pictures of the local bands that were hanging on the walls on the upper floor/level of your store?

2) Who was the employee who was married to a woman from Colombia South America?

3) What was the name of the employee who would sometimes sing Carpenters songs outloud to himself?
One day while I was in the store browsing I told him I myself was also a Carpenters fan but judging from my stoner rocker appearance he did not believe me. Lol.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Rolls Shopper ()
Date: July 21, 2015 08:18PM

I hope that is you Phil posting that stuff. Went there many times in the early 80's. Sometimes you might have been kind of gruff, others giving me a good deal. Either way, always loved coming there just because of that, always an adventure. Not boring like Venemans, Zavarellas, Chucks all the way in Rockville. Rolls had character, whether you took it good or bad. Plus way best selection of used gear which was all I could afford at the time. Wish I could walk in there now and get that stuff for what it sold for then......

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: gasdaddie ()
Date: October 23, 2015 11:35AM

Me in my Rolls tee 1982. I shopped/loitered there for 5 years. Bought a late 60's Slingerland 3 piece kit that was buried in the basement. I also frequented Giant music on Broad street & Fairfax, Venemans and Chuck Levin. All great places for the local musician community. I remember Phil.
Attachments:
127066_1259898373527_3617171_n.jpg

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: John Burgess ()
Date: August 19, 2016 02:52PM

Hey Phill,

Yeah I guess I'm one of the people that always got a good deal and purchased a lot of stuff from your store. From bass gear to starting my production company.
You sold me a SVT head and 8/10 cab for $850 not to mention great deals on tons of other gear. I still talk to Jeff Smith every once in a while.

Yeah the business is way different now and not in a good way for the most part.

Good luck

JB

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Arlington native ()
Date: August 19, 2016 08:59PM

I bought my first guitar from Giant music in falls church. After they closed, I would go into Rolls. Sold a few things( wish I still had them). Phil was always lower then I wanted, but he was buying wholesale. The guitar shop in dc was cool. They had amazing stuff, and Steve Spellman, the owner new his shit as did the salesmen. The repair guy was top notch and reasonable. I always liked the stores that let you screw around on the guitars and would talk shop. Eventually, I would figure out what I wanted and they'd get a nice sale. It was a culture. Phil was all business most of the time, but he was cool. Guitar center has a lot of choices, but no soul.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Arlington native ()
Date: August 19, 2016 09:02PM

Addendum: for clarity, the shop downtown was called "The Guitar Shop" and it's knew not new for spelling purists.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Mike Jones Who ()
Date: January 26, 2017 06:54PM

I bought a used guitar in 1979 or so from Rolls. It was a good deal and I still have it. I remember an expensive car being there too. As a fourteen year old carefully trying to spend my money I learned quickly to seek out anyone but Phil when I went in there with questions. Then ignore Phil as much as possible.
Fun membering.

Found this-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWw1Gxod0C4

Is this our Phil?

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: The Raven ()
Date: January 26, 2017 06:57PM

Can someone please post any picture they might have showing the storefront?

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: David in FC ()
Date: January 26, 2017 09:03PM

Mike Jones Who Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I bought a used guitar in 1979 or so from Rolls.
> It was a good deal and I still have it. I remember
> an expensive car being there too. As a fourteen
> year old carefully trying to spend my money I
> learned quickly to seek out anyone but Phil when I
> went in there with questions. Then ignore Phil as
> much as possible.
> Fun membering.
>
> Found this-
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWw1Gxod0C4
>
> Is this our Phil?
Yeah, that's him alright. A face that I haven't seen in 15 years or so.
Not bad lip synching, but the air guitar sucks.
I lived about 1 mile away from Rolls, so I could walk there if I wanted to, (and did many times). Bought at least 3 guitars from them, as well as lots of strings and picks. Yes, they did have decent prices, but also yes, most of the people in there were pricks.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: bumptard ()
Date: March 17, 2019 10:34AM

bump.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Phil Rolls / Bakalis ()
Date: August 18, 2019 11:10PM

Yes I still have all the photos that went around the walls

The girl was from Peru and my wife for 19 years. She passed away in 1994

I’m not sure who sang carpenter songs Don’t remember that Could have been Kevin who was a stock guy that was a great guitar player

Phil

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Rolls me out ()
Date: August 19, 2019 04:24PM

How did Phil stay in business so long? It's seems that he was rude to everyone.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Bob der Baumeister ()
Date: August 21, 2019 12:07PM

So great to see so many NoVA OGs in this thread. You know Dave Grohl's mom had to have taken him to Veneman's or Roll's back in his wee years.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: ROLLS MUSIC CENTER LEESBURG PIKE FALLS CHURCH VA
Posted by: Vienna Boy ()
Date: March 25, 2020 08:23AM

Glad to hear from Phil and see his recollection of the Rolls Music experience. My first meeting with Phil was in a basement in Vienna. He was running a service that I believe was named “Musician’s Exchange”. As a local player you could pay him $30 and he would put you or your band on a list that was seeking other musicians. It was a good way to find players for your band. At the time, my guitar playing friend and I were young and broke and looking a drummer, singer, and other musicians to form yet another band. Phil gave us a few names for free and humored us young punks for a awhile. When he finally realized we were broke and could never pay him, he rightfully stopped helping us and threw us out. I also remember distinctly him selling a 1959 Precision Bass from his basement. He wanted the princely sum of $900. That would have been around 1972 and was way before the concept of “vintage” guitars. So $900 was outrageously expensive for a bass you could buy new for about $275. I still want that bass. If only I had $900 in 1972.......

After/during his Musician’s Exchange enterprise, he started buying/selling/trading used equipment. Being able to find and buy less expensive used gear was a real service to us broke kids trying to be rock stars.

Somewhere during that time Phil started selling new gear and things took off. I’m glad he had a store we could go to that was a bit closer than Chuck’s. As much as I love Chuck’s, it was a bit far for me to travel for an hour of wistful gear lusting.

Most of the stories I’ve read here about Phil’s temperament I’ve observed personally. He could be funny, helpful, and extremely kind. He could also be surly and impatient. Either way, he was always entertaining. He was especially entertaining when he was in a full rant telling somebody that they couldn’t afford a piece of gear and they shouldn’t be wasting his time.

Anyway, thanks Phil for the memories and hope you’re doing well.

Options: ReplyQuote


Your Name: 
Your Email (Optional): 
Subject: 
Attach a file
  • No file can be larger than 75 MB
  • All files together cannot be larger than 300 MB
  • 30 more file(s) can be attached to this message
Spam prevention:
Please, enter the code that you see below in the input field. This is for blocking bots that try to post this form automatically.
 ********  **     **  ********    ******          ** 
    **     **     **  **     **  **    **         ** 
    **     **     **  **     **  **               ** 
    **     **     **  ********   **   ****        ** 
    **     **     **  **         **    **   **    ** 
    **     **     **  **         **    **   **    ** 
    **      *******   **          ******     ******  
This forum powered by Phorum.