All About Rockin Rudy’s
Owner: Bruce Micklus
Bruce grew up in the hotbed of music in the early 60’s, Palo Alto, California where he played trombone in various jazz bands in the Bay Area. He was weaned on rock ‘n’ roll by the King and was able to see Elvis twice and the Beatles once. Those were the days, my friends, he thought they’d never end. But they did in ’67-three years in the Marine Corps and then school in Eugene, Oregon at the University of Oregon. Hippies everywhere and a great music scene; House of Records and the Crystal Ship, two if the best music stores of all time-great places to learn from.
The Beginnings of Rockin Rudy’s
In 1974, Bruce opened the Great American Record and Plant Co. in downtown Bend, Oregon. It was extremely successful in the golden period of rock ‘n’ roll, but alas, in 1980-81 the big crash hit. Interest rates climbed to 21.5 percent. If you owed money, you were gone. Bye bye, Bruce.
In 1982, he moved to Missoula, Montana, and opened Rockin Rudy’s with his personal collection, still lovin’ the music. Used records, blank tape sales and record rentals were the mantra. Too bad the record companies were/still are so greedy. They ruined it for music fans everywhere. In 1986, Bruce was sued in federal court by the 11 major record companies. It was time for a new mantra.
42 Years of Rockin Rudy’s
Since then Rudy’s has grown into one of the largest independent retailers in the country. Described as a “hipster department store,” Rockin’ Rudy’s encompasses 25,000 square feet of product: cards, gift, jewelry, toys, incense, candles, clothing, posters, art, bags, candy, and, of course, music. Rudy’s is in a standalone building that used to be Eddy’s Bakery. Built in the early 1920s, the building sits in a residential area about six blocks from a very vibrant downtown Missoula.
Rudy’s is very active in the local art and music scenes, which are very strong. We also sell tickets to Missoula based events and shows. Missoula rocks; so does Rudy’s. In addition to the main store we have a record store, Record Heaven, with more than half-million records to choose from. We sell and recondition turntables, cartridges, speakers, and electronics. Vinyl rules; so does Rudy’s.