by Jordan Green


Brian Haran and Renée Mendoza Haran, the husband-and-wife team that forms the core of Filthybird, plan to open Fret Sounds in Graham on March 5. The guitar shop’s name pays homage to the classic 1966 Beach Boys album, Pet Sounds.

“It’s predominantly going to be a repair shop and a place to sell guitars that I’ve redone,” Haran said.

The Harans live in Greensboro, but frequently make the eastward trek on Interstate 40 to play shows in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. That circuit partly accounts for their decision to open their store in Graham — more or less midway between the Triad and Triangle — and the inspiration for their venture..

“I noticed that there was a jewelry shop, and his work bench was in the window, and his tools were laid out on the work bench,” Brian Haran recalled. “It was immaculate. I wasn’t looking for jewelry, but it made me want to walk in and check it out. I thought if people could see me working on guitars, that would be really draw them in.”

Brian Haran said he has been taking guitars apart for the past 15 years and getting paid for it for the past 12. He specializes in hot-rodding vintage guitars that were cheaply manufactured in their day.

“One of my favorite things to do is to take Supros, Airlines and Kays — these cheap ’60s department store guitars — and make them into real guitars: Take the frets out or seriously level and re-crown the frets that are already in it, modify it so it can use a bridge that can be intonated. Put new gears in the toners, add a pickup, hotrod the pickups that are in it. Filthybird has used a lot of oddball guitars that people are interested in. Every time Renée and I would change guitars — I’d have a Vox hollow-body with a Gibson neck — people would ask, ‘What is that?’ I thought, “I could make those and sell ’em.

“I counter any reservations with the thought that in a tough time people are more likely to want to get things repaired than to buy new things,” he continued. “Hopefully people will see the beauty of recycling or growing what they have.”

Fret Sounds will be located at 20 NE Court Square in Graham. For additional information, call 336.226.0066. — JG


Nathan Tabor, chairman of the Forsyth County Republican Party, has purchased the Jefferson Place Apartments in Kernersville. Tabor, who also owns three apartment complexes in Winston- Salem and one in Greensboro, said he plans on remodeling and improving the overall appearance of the complex, giving it “a major facelift.”

Along with extensive renovations, Jefferson Place will undergo a name change as well. The 58-unit apartment complex will now be called Piedmont Manor. Despite the soft housing market, Tabor said he is optimistic his renovation project will be successful.

“We hope that by renovating we can provide more affordable housing in Kernersville for people who can’t buy a home right now because of the economy,” he said. “This is an area we are going to spend the time, energy and resources to clean up and help transform it into a nice, safe place for people to live.”