On Saturday, August 12, the city will celebrate Terry Currier Day. A ceremony is scheduled to take place at Currier's store at 1 pm, with former Mayor Bud Clark making the official proclamation. Not coincidentally, the event also falls on the day of Music Millennium's annual Customer Appreciation Barbecue, which will feature food, live music and a giant wheel customers can spin to win prizes.
"It's been a whole surreal kinda feeling from the very beginning," Currier says of the honor. "I do what I do because I love what I do."
In 1969, Currier—who, don't tell anyone, actually lives in Vancouver—opened Music Millennium on West Burnside Street.
But Currier's done more than just run a successful business. He's credited with appropriating "Keep Portland Weird" from Austin and was the first to plaster the phrase on bumper stickers. He co-founded the Oregon Music Hall of Fame, and was inducted himself in 2008. And his feud with Garth Brooks in the early '90s led, indirectly, to the start of Record Store Day.
Currier's notoriety within the music industry stretches far beyond Portland, too. Earlier this year, he was honored with the Music Business Association's Independent Spirit Award, which has previously been awarded to Brett Gurewitz of Epitaph Records and Tommy Boy Records founder Tom Silverman. When famed Seattle label Sub-Pop heard that Currier was being given his own day, they shipped him 900 copies of an exclusive compilation, featuring an illustration of Currier on the cover.
"It's nothing you really expect," he says. "There's been an outpouring of people expressing feelings for what I have done over the years, and it makes you reflect."
It's already been a significant month for Currier: After years of delays, Music Millennium finally activated their liquor license on August. 1. Currier says they hope to start serving beer and wine at the store by Thanksgiving.