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World’s Greatest Record Store

By Tony Hicks
Tuesday, August 7th, 2007 at 7:55 am in Uncategorized.

It’s been a busy summer — I went to Alaska, I’m moving, my 5-year-old just learned to cut her own hair … so I’ve been a bit remiss over writing about a few things.

One is the September closing of Village Music in Mill Valley. Quite simply, it was the world’s greatest record store for decades. The owner, John Goddard, is a lovable-grumpy type who loves rock and roll as much as anyone alive. He relishes the history of rock music to the point where that history itself practically comes alive on his walls. No one, except for perhaps the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has a bigger, more spectacular collection of memorabilia. And John would argue his is better. (He has a secret warehouse somewhere full of stuff — he wouldn’t tell me where.)

And whatever you do, don’t ask him about that Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — unless you have some time to kill.

His record store was so good, a rock historian friend of mine and I seriously considered writing a book just about Village Music. The list of people who’ve been through there, from Mick Jagger to Elvis Costello, is amazing. Closing day is supposedly Sept. 30. Get yourself up there while there’s still something on the wall. The record store is a dying animal, unfortunately. For those of us who used to spend hours in them, the closing of a place like Village Music is a sad thing. Hopefully he’ll open a museum somewhere.

Here’s Goddard’s letter explaining what’s going on, and here are someone else’s photos.

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