Out and About


Out and About: At Bozeman's Wax Museum you won't find wax sculptures—just a whole bunch of records

Posted at 8:05 PM, Mar 21, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-22 11:32:59-04

BOZEMAN — Bozeman has a Wax Museum on East Mendenhall. And no, its not a collection of waxy historical figures—it's a record shop!

“Saw it was the house with the big round window that had haunted me since I had been in college here back in the 80s, and I thought, 'Oh, it's that house? Ok, can't say no to that,'” Kels Koch, the owner of the Wax Museum told me.

Koch opened the Wax Museum back in 2020, sharing a space off of East Bryant Street. After about two-and-a-half years, he moved to his current location: a house on East Mendenhall that was built in 1895.


Since opening, the Wax Museum has been a hidden gem for record enthusiasts across Bozeman and has even gained interest across the country. In fact, Koch got an order from Minnesota during our conversation.

“I’m getting calls from—that one was Minneapolis—I've sent them off to Maryland, Maine,” said Koch.

But what makes this record shop so desirable that people across the country are calling?

“All of these Bear Family box sets come out of Germany,” Koch said, showing his inventory.


Koch has an impressive knowledge of the music industry, which he gained during his time in Austin and Nashville. He says the Bear Family box sets are what set him apart from any other record shop in not only Bozeman, but the majority of the northwest.

“In my five years in Austin and 20 years in Nashville, these are staples in record stores. Up here, not so much,” he said.

It’s no wonder that back in 2022, The Wax Museum won Best Record Shop in Montana.

And if you were curious about the somewhat misleading name...

“Wax, going back to the 40s, has been slang for records. 'I got stacks of wax to play for you, baby,' you know. And museum because what this is, is more of a place to explore the history of recorded sound,” Koch explained.

If you’re out and about and in need of some quality records, take a stroll down to 533 E Mendenhall St, and visit the Wax Museum.