FEATURED SHOP OF THE MONTH
As a self-described “punky” Portland native kid, Hank Failing always loved music, shows, and local music stores that embodied the culture of Portland, Oregon. Hank started working at the legendary Old Town Music (one of Guitar Shop Tees featured shops in 2018!), where he became the manager and a core piece of the community.
After two decades of learning from the greats, Hank took the leap and open his own shop, Hank’s Music Exchange, with the focus of giving Portland area musicians access to affordable, cool, and unpretentious music gear, carrying classics like Fender, Gibson, Harmony, and Danelectro — as well as the weird and rare. (He recently acquired a vintage Crybaby Thomas Organ Stereo Fuzz Wah, a late 60s Tone Bender pedal, and a nearly mint Silvertone 1457 amp in case. His ideal “get” is a Fender Jazzmaster, which has been his favorite for the past 20 years — he loves it for its tremolo system and unconventional electronic setup.)
The best part for Hank about finally owning his own shop? Seeing people happy and excited with when they get new gear -- his favorite stories are when people come in and say that they love what they’re doing. “I want people to feel like this is their shop.”
Fun fact: Hank also ran his own record label, Failing Records, in the mid-2000’s, and released five compilation albums with over 40 Portland bands. He’s also been in the band, Toyboat Toyboat Toyboat, an experimental krautrock project, since 2008.