The Record Garden Started in 1976 - A small store on a side street in Lebanon Oregon. Open 6 days a week - Closed Wednesdays. Wednesday was the day we made runs to a wholesale warehouse in Portland. Realizing that we were under-funded and that the warehouse had so much stuff, we started the popular Discount for Special Order Policy that carried on for all 31 years.
By 1978 we were out of Room and we moved out to the Main Street, a bigger space right on Highway 20. By 1981, selling Rock and Roll, T- shirts, Posters and other unpopular items, we were sort of railroaded out of Lebanon. By then we had a large inventory and were ready to relocate the store to the Eugene area. This also saved an almost 100 mile a day commute.
The First Eugene store was in a narrow alley in the Marketplace West Shopping Center out West 11th. The need for Hard Rock and Heavy Metal was apparent and unfilled by the other stores. The rocker kids were being treated like second class citizens. Our ordering escalated to several times a week and to many other vendors and our customer base expanded to Oregon, Washington and Northern California. We soon outgrew our alley and moved again to a large space in the same building. Working with KZEL FM 96.1 we started a weekly metal show called the Metal Zone. It was hosted by Al Scott. The show gave us a chance to turn listeners on to the exciting music that was coming from Europe, Japan and Scandinavia. As with all good things, it had to end. Our affiliation with the Metal Zone eventually came to an end when KZEL execs decided that we needed to play more common stuff, just like they played every other hour of the day. "Rock You Like a Hurricane" is a great song but we didn't see the need to play it during the Metal Zone and our term ended as did the show not long after.
The West 11th store had a large parking lot and Eugene. We used to schedule parking lot concerts. Some photos from those will show on this page from time to time. I can't believe we got away with that.
We saw an opportunity to move to a huge space downtown in 1987. Moving into the 957 Willamette Store in the spring we continued to grow. With its chandeliers, mirrored columns it was an ideal place for a record store. When the building sold, we moved on again moving up the block by rolling bins, counters, desks and all up the street, right across 10th and Willamette in a daring overnight move.
The New Store at 1030 Willamette underwent several expansions and wall removals - It was a great time in the music business. We opened an Annex down the street at 1340 Willamette for our huge volume of used stuff. We stocked everything we could get our hands on and had a customer base that appreciated it. Thanks to those of you who supported us !
As Construction for the new LTD Depot began, the parking disappeared and the Congestion got worse with demolition and Construction. Once it was completed the property values of the surrounding buildings all went up and our rent was about to Triple at the 1030 Location.
It was a Sad day to disband the 1030 Willamette store. We Divided the inventory between the Annex, a new store in Springfield and another new store in Cottage Grove.
The Rigors of 3 stores were huge. We eventually sold the Cottage Grove Store. Then the Building at 1340 in Eugene was condemned by the city to build the new fire station. We consolidated into storage areas and kept the Springfield Store Full.
Time and Tide - The declining of the Music Industry and passing 30 years in business told me it was time. When the building owner in Springfield announced that we would have a 60% increase to stay - and a 120% increase if we wanted Air Conditioning and new Floor covering, it was the push I needed to get off the fence. We closed the Springfield Store in the summer of 2007 and began the task of sorting and listing more ites for the Web. A year later the building still sat empty.
We had begun selling online in the late 90's becoming well established for the eventual changeover.
I had a lot of great times and memories from the Stores. I have met some great people as Customers and Employees. IF time permits I'd like to relate some of those funny, bizzare, and almost unbelievable events and memories here on the Website.
If you have photos or memories of the store feel free to please send them to the shown Contact Email in the header.
This website was started in June of 2008.
Refurbished in May 2019
The photo section of this page is a work in progress and we intend to update it with more Photos along with memories of the Past Stores, Sponsored Concerts, and Customers.
If you have Photos, Memories or Articles from the Record Garden Past please Email them to me. We will be updating and improving the History Page as time and found material allows.
The Record Garden at 957 Willamette
The Record Garden at 957 Willamette
Joan on the Job at 957
1030 Willamette from the Office Window when Vinyl Dominated the Floor
1030 Willamette in the later CD Days
1030 in the Later CD Days
Cottage Grove Store
Metal Church with David Wayne at 2160 West 11th Store
Glacier at the 2160 West 11th Store
Monolith at the 2160 West 11th Store
The Original Bad Boys
R.I.P. John Jessell
R.I.P. John Jessell
Portlands Wild Dogs wrestling in the 2160 West 11th Store
X-Piracy - Eugene Local
Tony - Kevin - Rob - X-Piracy
Eugene Band Mysstress
Seattle Band RAIL in the 2160 West 11th Store
Landing Gear in a Parking Lot Concert - 2160 West 11th - approx 1985 ?
Carlos from Landing Gear -- in the Parking Lot - approx 1985 ?
Another Landing Gear Picture - Approx 1985