Cowtown Guitars is a vintage guitar shop famous for having one of North America’s largest collections of vintage guitars. Located on 1009 S. Main Street in Las Vegas, the shop is owned by husband and wife Jesse and Roxie Amoroso. Jesse Amoroso have made several appearances on History Channel’s reality show Pawn Stars, and so has Cowtown’s amplifier repair expert Roy Page.
Next to Cowtown Guitars is a vintage clothing and accessory boutique owned by the Amorosos and Michael Mack. The name is a reference to the Rolling Stones’ album Exile on Main St.
Notable guitar authenticated by Cowtown / Amoroso
One of the most well-known guitars ever brokered by Cowtown was a 1963 Fender Stratocaster once owned by Jimi Hendrix. It could be tied to Hendrix due to specific modifications made by him personally, the guitar’s rare green pickguard, and a black mark present on the inside of the electronics compartment. Jimi Hendrix brother Leon Hendrix confirmed that he had seen a guitar with these details in the apartment the brothers shared in the 1960’s. It is believed that Jimi Hendrix used the guitar during the recording of Blues in ¾” and My Friend for a Noel Redding solo album, but this has not been confirmed.
The first incarnation of Cowtown, opened by Mark Chatfield in 1990, wasn’t located in Las Vegas but in Columbus, Ohio. In 2011, longtime employees Jesse and Roxie Amoroso purchased the store from Chatfield. Within a year, the new owners moved the store to the arts district in downtown Las Vegas.
Jesse and Roxie was married in 2006. They have three children, including one who is named Gibson Felix after the renowned guitar manufactorer.
Jesse Amoroso is an expert in vintage stringed instruments and amplifiers. He plays the guitar in Pigasus and Crazy Chief. Crazy Chief, a band where Roxie Amoroso is also active, is sometimes referred to as a super group, since its singer Dew Johnson also fronts the Mojo Rising, its rhythm guitarist Nick Thompson performed with the Dirty Somethings (Red Feather) and its drummer Dan Conway performed on tour with Warrant.
Jennifer “Roxie” Amoroso
Jennifer “Roxie” Amoroso used to design costumes for casinos in Las Vegas before she founded her own screen printing business. Nowadays, she is also a live music promoter that works together with venues such as The Clubhouse, Texas Station, Boomers Bar, East Bonanza Theater and The Las Vegas Country Saloon. Just like her husband, she’s a member of the Las Vegas based rock band Crazy Chief.
Cowtown and the Amorosos are known for their fund-raising events, which tend to have a guitar-theme. Together with other shop owners in the 18b Las Vegas Arts District Neighborhood Association they support the charitable organization Guitars For Autism, a charity that benefits children with autism. Cowtown serves as a drop off location for guitars donated to the cause.