When I was a kid I used to head straight to the back of Village Music and lose myself for hours listening to 45 records.  B-sides were my thing.  I was always hoping to find 45’s with a rare “B-side” track, a live cut or a different studio mix of the song on the A-side. 

Store owner John Goddard (read his MarinNostalgia interview here) had clunky little 45 players in the back room and I could hypnotize myself by listening to entire rows of singles until my mouth went dry and I realized I was starving and the day was almost over.   Surrounded by a cacophony of old movie posters and music memorabilia covering every inch of every wall and ceiling, it was easy to get lost in time.  I loved it.

And, like Rip Van Winkle, I’d emerge woozily from those sessions inside the dark Village Music onto the streets of Mill Valley,  excited to get home and listen some more.  My new frayed and tattered used record jackets were proof that someone before me had listened to these albums many times over and loved them.  Otis Redding, Johnny Taylor, Sam Cooke, Albert Collins…without Village Music I would have hardly known you.

The Village Music Record Store still exists…but just online and on weekends.  Visit the Village Music website for more info. — Jason

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A little video I made the day I found out Village Music was closing in 2007. — Jason

Photograph by Joseph Greco.  Visit Mr. Greco’s website by clicking HERE.

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Get Ready for the Village Music Documentary

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Special thanks to filmmaker Gillian Grisman for allowing a trailer for her documentary “Village Music: Last of the Great Record Stores”  to appear on MarinNostalgia.

“Village Music: Last of The Great Record Stores is a compelling music documentary that celebrates the life of the legendary record shop, Village Music and its proprietor, John Goddard, who had a tremendous impact on the famous (and not-so-famous) musicians who were part of it’s unique history. Featured Artists include: Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder, Sammy Hagar, Bob Weir, DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist, Betty LaVette, BB King, Collins Kids, Little Jimmy Scott, David Grisman, Jerry Garcia, John Lee Hooker & Carlos Santana. With over 18 uninterrupted performances, the film interweaves Village Music’s vibrant past with the final nine months of its existence – marking the true end of an era. In doing so, it also tells the larger story of the evolution of American music and the many changes the music business has undergone from the advent of recorded music up through the download era.”

Please visit the film’s Facebook page for more information.


What are your favorite Village Music memories?  Leave a message below or discuss in the FORUM.


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