Music Millennium opened its doors on the Ides of March in 1969 at 3 pm. The Beatles’ “It’s All Too Much” was turned up loud on the store’s impressive stereo and another chapter in what has made Portland… well,… Portland (disappeared a bit more each day these days) began.
With an inventory of mostly underground music not found in department stores, drugstores, or the few record stores of the day, Millennium scratched a niche in Portland music lovers and stocked the shelves with albums by Fairport Convention, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, John Fahey, The Fugs, the Holy Modal Rounders and anything else too hip for the other room. Many of the records were the very sounds heard on the then three month old FM station, KINK – The Underground Link.
Now somehow incredibly, it’s 45 years later and the store at 3158 E Burnside St. has become the oldest record store in the Pacific Northwest.
You and all your friends are invited to their 45th birthday celebration March 15 (at 3 pm of course). “It’s All Too Much” will be turned up loud (“All thee world is birthday cake”), and there’s live music, cake and libations.
A rare live set from Dirk Hamilton is after cake dessert. Hamilton has stayed true to the song since his early 1970s albums on Elektra and ABC Records – an appropriate fit for Millennium’s anniversary celebration. At 5 pm, Portland power-pop quartet The Cry will take the stage.
Later this year, in an even more appropriate fashion, the store is releasing a 45 record and another celebration begins again. They’ve just announced a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for much-needed repairs to the building’s roof since everyone needs a safe, warm, dry place to hear new and amazing music. But wait – there’s even more to this celebration. Music Millennium is planning the addition of an instore coffee, beer, beverage bar.
Change is afoot, so give it a hand. Go have a piece of cake and hear some live music from real beating hearts. Keep up with the ch-ch-changes at musicmillennium.com.