MAKING A SOUND LIVING – Hey, Baby Boomer . . . This Webzine Is Made For You

Randy Patterson of Boomerocity is ensuring the music never dies. Since 2009, Boomerocity.com has been a wealth of fun and informative interviews with some of the biggest names, movers and shakers in the entertainment industry. Photo courtesy of Randy Patterson.
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MAKING A SOUND LIVING – Hey, Baby Boomer . . . This Webzine Is Made For You

High school reunions are known for sparking memories and re-connecting with past acquaintances but, an online rock and roll magazine?!!!

For Randy Patterson — Editor, Writer and sole owner of Boomerocity (pronounced like Travelocity, trav-e-loc-i-ty) — that’s pretty much how it happened.

Patterson’s love for music started with Elvis movies. Not only did he see Elvis in concert, but he even met the legendary Colonel Tom Parker (Elvis’s manager).

Technically this was his first interview in 1973 at the age of 13.

Fast-forward to Patterson’s 30 year high school reunion where he took it upon himself to write a newsletter for the upcoming event. Many people commented on his writing and how much they enjoyed it, so he took to the web and combined his love of music and writing to create Boomerocity.com, launched in 2009.

As I scrolled through the interviews and pages on the Boomerocity site I noticed that there were NO advertisers — none! Impressive in this day and age where Boomerocity readership hits 42 countries and is read in just about every state in the U.S.

With over 360 notable interviews and clicks too numerous to mention, he could easily cash in.

The layout reminds me of the old music magazines like Creem and Rolling Stone. (Only a true Boomer will understand the layout of the interview page answer at the end!***)

The name Boomerocity was created by Patterson who said if he could connect Baby Boomers with a song, it would be American Pie by Don McLean.

He goes on to explain: “To me the song American Pie represents the foundation of where Boomerocity starts. I feel it encapsulates the essence of (the generation) Boomers’ music and times.”

His wish is that as the webzine Boomerocity grows, it brings back fond memories, puts a smile on people’s faces and inspires them to continue to support that favourite artist still, as a thank you for all the years of great music and entertainment.

The diversity of artists reminds me of radio in the ‘70s when you would hear Aerosmith, Marvin Gaye and Carly Simon in the same hour. Patterson also goes after behind-the-scenes people like managers and agents such as heavyweight Peter Asher.

Now, who could expound on the full picture of Classic Rock in any capacity if you didn’t include “The Muse” — the women who inspired the music like Bebe Buell and the infamous Angie Bowie!

Patterson’s easy southern style of communication has a wonderful way of disarming his subjects. What unfolds in articles is an artist who reveals their true self where you feel like you’re in the room/the bus or backstage with them.

Recently, I had the chance to speak with Patterson from his Boomerocity headquarters situated in his North Carolina home. Here is a summary of our conversation.

BIZ X: You’ve interviewed Angie Bowie and Bebe Buell to talk about their time in those heady musically creative times. Do you think that explosion of music of the ‘70s will ever happen again?
PATTERSON: One of the first interviews I did was with Dan Andrews of (Janis Joplin’s band) Big Brother and the Holding Company who said: “You know back then we were making this stuff up. Now you have schools that graduate 500 kids a year that can play Jimi Hendrix better than Hendrix! You wonder if there has been anything done that hasn’t been done yet?” Or worth listening to at least I might add! We did have the best music, hands down. If you noticed the Billboard Music Awards this year, best tour was all Classic Rock acts. This means by golly, (told ya he was southern) these are the acts that people are showing up for. It’s transgenerational. I don’t think kids today who love Justin Bieber will be taking their grandkids to his shows.

BIZ X: Do you think this transgenerational love of Classic Rock music translates to numbers in views for Boomerocity?
PATTERSON: Yes, I do. I will say that I think web analytics is an estimation at best, regardless of the tools. I just have a feeling that it’s a wild guess — what makes me think that is the fake bots. When I look at the public “likes” on Boomerocity and the data behind it and I think that’s just little old me. Let’s just say I’m pretty proud of my numbers compared to someone who has sold millions of records.

BIZ X: You are truly a one-man band for over 10 years. You approve the layout, you write, you produce with no advertising, why that is?
PATTERSON: Our demographic is a very eclectic mix moving from one extreme to the other. They are either “Get off my lawn type,” — the millennials like to put us in that box — or what I call “lurkers” that make up a larger demographic who are interested in all kinds of content. I’ll be testing those advertising dollars in the upcoming months to see what if anything I’m interested in pursuing.

BIZ X: Was Boomerocity born from a business plan with marketing or just a labour of love and passion?
PATTERSON: A little of both. The initial plan was what you find in the unplugged section of the magazine. Some musings, some introspective things. I used song titles representative of what I wanted to talk about for articles. When I started I thought it would be up and down in a year. I finished my first year with 25 interviews.

BIZ X: What advice would you give to someone ready to leap into writing?
PATTERSON: Be willing to do it for free, because you will! I read a long time ago that if you have a job, you love and would be willing to do it for free you’re really blessed. Over 360 interviews it’s been a lot of fun. Always do your homework by looking at other interviews and don’t ask those questions! Sometimes you can’t avoid it. I try to ask things that aren’t always asked. It’s so important to be respectful. It’s not about you, it’s about who you’re interviewing. That is part of why I get access to the people that I do. I let them know that Boomerocity is a safe harbour.

***The Interview list reads like the PRINTED playlist (yes many a tree died for your musical information!) of the top 50 singles and albums that you could pick up at any record store. Through the years the paper turned into a two-page fold where you would see which bars your favourite act was playing. It also started to promote concerts. Two names come to mind, Bamboo Productions and Son of Bamboo Productions, now get off my lawn, you hippie!

From working backstage production to the radio airwaves, Lori Baldassi has been involved in the music industry on a number of professional levels for many years. Baldassi has spoken in front of the CRTC, holds a certificate in Adjudication from York University Toronto, and is a graduate of St. Clair College’s Media Convergence program.

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From backstage to the airwaves or leading the organizing committee Lori Baldassi has been in and around the music industry for over 20 years. Lori has sat on a number of boards of directors and focused on charity/non-profit committees for concerts/festivals bringing in name acts. She has also spoken in front of the CRTC. If you have any questions for her please email her at [email protected]