by Eric McKenna
“Eric McKenna is a Rock ‘n Roller and an avid entrepreneur. In that order.”
You see the statement above? Someone sized me up once and spoke that exact statement. It’s spot on. But it’s far from everything…
Hi there. Eric McKenna here. Thanks for your inquiry or curiosity. Five different people attempt to write my Bio for this website. Five different approaches. All different. All interesting. However, in the end, none of the five worked. So, I thought I’d give it a go.
The ERIC MCKENNA PROJECT. So, what is EMp? Well first, have you see the Boogie Street Studio? Did you see it? Cool, eh? But I’m getting ahead of myself.
As the story goes… Currently, I’m a bit over 50 years old. A lifetime Pittsburgh native with one helluva life. A full life. A ‘good run’ as some say. And the Universe permitting, hopefully much more ahead. An individual who has always wanted a life – on my terms. My way. Some of the Rock ‘n Roll records played as a young child encouraged a strong desire to do things – my way. The music was driving. Always loud. And full of tasty lyrical contContent which often questioned authority. Questioned the status quo. Societal norms. And daring the listener to reach toward something – different. This music gave a sense of empowerment and determination. Whether it was the guitar of Jimmy Page, the lyrics of Neil Peart, the vocals stylings of Paul Stanley or the angst of Johnny Rotten, I was indeed a different kind of kid.
Early on and often, the big hand of life would, sometimes viciously, slap me back into place. Reminding that life was hard and nothing desired was going to be easy. Yet, again and again and again, I’d regroup and wonder, “Why not my way?”
Schooling certainly wasn’t easy. Ever. And by choice, I was a college dropout. And an easy target of scorn from those who thought they knew best. While not a stellar academic student, I was student of people. Of people’s behavior. Their decisions and lifestyles. Always deeply rooted in a fascination of what makes people ‘tick.’
This fascination and the general enjoyment of people, led to a career in the field of Sales. Curious ways certainly helped, however it was the realization that by blending genuine curiosity with sincerity and helpfulness, a successful career was possible. As well as attracting friends and an ever growing social circle. Not to mention a happy existence. And all the while, that constant music soundtrack in my head remained.
By 1999, the unrelenting wish to live life on my terms led to the launch of Boogie Street Guitars. An online-only, worldwide guitar sales and design company. For 15 years, BSG was a journey that could not have been scripted. Customers were amazing. Vendors were awesome. The places traveled, the people met and the music experienced were all over the top. Many of the musicians worked with were childhood heroes. Including Paul Stanley of KISS. And on top of it all – the incredible guitars. Thousands and thousands of guitar creations. My designs. My way. And many of these guitars were created and branded with the Boogie Street label on them. It was, at times, overwhelming. And very satisfying. Fortunate, would be an understatement. Quite lucky as well. And all of this happened partly because of a genuine fascination of people. And the diligence to care about them and always remain helpful. Almost to a fault. To cap off this remarkable era, my two children, Austin Major and Gwendolyn Leigh were born. From their birth, the sun rises and sets on them. They are – everything.
Like us all, there have been setbacks and loss. Being profoundly shaped by these events. Buried Brian, my only sibling and best friend, due to drug abuse. And I’ve lost many loved ones, friends and business associates along the way. There is the pain of two failed marriages. And watching my parent’s trials as my father suffers with viciousness of Dementia. And there has been the challenges of confronting, addressing and coping with my own demons. A share of deep valleys to go along with the peaks of success along the way.
Today, I’m a Realtor. Still fascinated by people. Caring deeply about the human condition we all share and enjoying being helpful to others. Being a Realtor just fits me. I’m also a radio talk show host. The show is The ERIC MCKENNA RADIO PROGRAM which airs weekly. It’s a real estate talk show with a variety show bent. Well over 150 shows completed and I simply love it. Engaging and learning about people and listening to the stories of their lives continues to fascinate. Like it always has. And I remain a good study of people. And of course, that music soundtrack is still very present in my head. Every day.
In 2019, I launched The ERIC MCKENNA PROJECT. EMp is, in it’s ‘official’ description: A Pittsburgh based, Video pOdcast series featuring long-form, casual discussions with interesting and accomplished people in their respective fields. These discussions are recorded and filmed ‘Live’ at the Boogie Street Studios.
EMp has no sponsors. No advertisements. And no commercial breaks. Thus our content is beholden to no one. Our small creative advisory board administers our guest invitations and guest inquiries. ‘Open genre’ means our guests are from various fields including but not limited to art, music, film, business, science, technology, education, sports, philanthropy and without question -literature. Personally, I’m drawn to authors. To engage an author regarding their work and the story behind their book can fascinating. Our discussions are ‘guest-driven.’ Our guests take the show in the direction they want, in a free flowing exchange of opinions, ideas and of course, stories. EMp is truly all about – The Story.
There are not politics on EMp. Furthermore, if the subject matter is not interesting or appealing to us, it won’t happen.
I’m not a journalist. I’m a show host. There’s a difference.
The audio version of EMp is available for download on iTunes, Google Play and literally everywhere. As mentioned prior, we are also professionally filming each show “Live” in the Boogie Street Studio here in downtown Coraopolis, a small town right outside of Pittsburgh. Once produced, the shows are on Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and of course here at EricMcKenna.com. We are doing a true ‘Video pOdcast’ series in every sense of the word. The Boogie Street Studio serves not only as our show’s video backdrop and the home of EMp but the Studio is a nod to the history of Boogie Street Guitars, with decor and accouterments which create a cool and relaxing vibe for our guests.
So, there you have it. The ERIC MCKENNA PROJECT.
PRESS INQUIRIES regarding EMp, please call 412-613-4466