In this installment we spoke with Terry Borchard of Music Millennium, the oldest record store in existence in the Pacific Northwest!
1. How long have you been in business?
Music Millennium opened on the Ides of March, March 15th, 1969
2. Can you give me some background on the shop?
Don & Laureen MacLeod were the original owners. They opened it to have a store in Portland you could find all the titles they wanted to buy but could not find in town. I started in a record store in 1972 and came here in 1984 when the middle ownership was going to file bankruptcy. Don and Laureen assumed the debts and came back after being gone 5 years.
"We are lucky there is a new audience for vinyl and it keeps growing. I think our biggest challenge is keeping the industry interested in releasing physical goods."
3. Do you focus on any particular genres of music or any specific formats?
We carry all genres of music. We carry vinyl, CD, DVD, Cassettes and even some 8-tracks.
4. What are some of your best sellers?
Since we have been here 53 years, our best sellers are from all decades. Long time best selling artists are Grateful Dead, John Prine, Bonnie Raitt, Neil Young, Beatles, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac. We sell tons of hip-hop from Wu-tang Clan to Kendrick Lamar, MF Doom, Kanye, Mac Miller. We sell a lot of Khruangbin, Thundercat, Sault. Lot’s of jazz vinyl, both classic Bluenote and Verve, Miles, Coltrane as well as new stuff by Jeff Parker and Comets on Fire.
5. What are the biggest challenges you think the store will have to navigate in the next ten years?
We are lucky there is a new audience for vinyl and it keeps growing. I think our biggest challenge is keeping the industry interested in releasing physical goods so we can take care of our cutomer’s needs. And CDs are not not dead. We are seeing a revival.
6. Favorite three records of 2021/Any staff favorites?
My favorites of 2021 were….
Dumpstaphunk - 'Where Do We Go From Here'
Floating Points with Pharoh Sanders - 'Promises'
Cheap Trick - 'In Another World'
6. Anything else you want customers to know? (do you feature live in-store performances? Have a cozy listening room, etc?).
We pioneered live music in a store in 1989. We had done a few live things over the years including Robert Fripp, Treat Her Right, Young Fresh Fellows. In 1989 we put in a stage and sound stystem and had 40 straight days of live music for our 20th Anniversay. We have done over 4500 live events including Randy Newman (only ever instore), Joe Strummer (ditto), Keith Emerson (ditto), Soundgarden, Weezer, Richard Thompson, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Charles Bradley and plenty of others.
3158 E. Burnside
Portland, OR 97214
Monday - Saturday: 10:00AM - 10:00PM
Sunday: 11:00AM - 9:00PM