Walt Copeland started his career in retail music at Schneider Music Co. in Rapid City, SD in 1955. He soon became a trusted advisor to the many new "Rock & Roll" artists that began coming around for gear. Walt became expert at guitar repair and setup and amplifier repair. Many people new to the world of electric guitars and amps learned what they needed to know from Walt. Although he was older than the teenagers that rushed to buy equipment during the "Beatlemania" and "British Invasion" era, he treated everyone with respect regardless of the type of music they played. Many of the young bands at the time didn't have any idea how PA systems worked or which microphone was best, so to have someone like Walt to count on for correct answers and advice was invaluable. Walt was also an active player and was always helpful to those who "just needed to get through the gig". Whether it was a loaner amp while yours was being repaired or a fresh set of strings when times were tight, he had great empathy for working musicians young and old. Many active players in the region sought out Walt before making a purchase anywhere else. Walt enjoyed a long career at Schneider Music and his contribution to South Dakota Rock & Roll and the Black Hills music scene in general is immeasurable.


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