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 to me. Well, it’s spot on. But it’s far from everything.
Hi there. Eric McKenna here. Thanks for your inquiry or curiosity. I had 5 different people attempt to write my Bio for this website. 5 different approaches. All different. All interesting. In the end, I didn’t like any of them. So, I thought I’d give it a go.
The ERIC MCKENNA PROJECT. So, what is it? What am I doing here. Well, first, let me ask you – Did you see the Boogie Street Studio? Did you see it? Cool, eh? But I’m getting ahead of myself. That studio will make sense shortly…
Let me take it back aways to try to explain my goal here with the ERIC MCKENNA PROJECT. As I write this, I’m a bit over 50 years old. A lifetime Pittsburgh native. And I’ve enjoyed one helluva life. A full life. A ‘good run’ as some say. And the Universe permitting, hopefully I’ve got much more ahead. I’m also an individual who, for as far back as I can remember, wanted my life to move ahead – on my own terms. My way. I think some of the early Rock ‘n Roll records I played as a young child, and continued to play in my head near every waking minute, encouraged my desire to do things my way. This music was driving. A bit loud and chock full of tasty lyrical content. Much of this content was questioning authority. Questioning the way things were. Societal norms. And daring the listener to reach toward something different. And most importantly, this music gave me a sense of empowerment and determination. Whether it was the guitar of Jimmy Page, the lyrics of Neil Peart or the vocals stylings of Mr. Johnny Rotten, I was indeed a different kind of kid.
Naturally, early on and often, the big hand of life would slap me back into place. Reminding me that life was hard and nothing I wanted was going to be easy. And yet, painful or not, I would regroup and wonder still, “Why not my way?”
School certainly wasn’t easy for me. Ever. And quickly, by choice, I was a college dropout. And an easy target of scorn from those who thought they knew best. However, while I was not a stellar academic student, I did realize I was good student of people. Of people’s behavior. Their decisions and lifestyles. I was, and remain today, a good study of people. I’m deeply rooted in my fascination of what makes people ‘tick.’
This fascination and dare I say, the enjoyment of people, led me to a career in the field of Sales. And while my curious ways certainly helped, it was the realization that by blending genuine curiosity with sincerity and helpfulness, I could not only have a successful career but I also could attract new friends as well as an ever growing social circle. Not to mention a generally happy existence. And all the while, that constant music soundtrack in my head remained.
By 1999, the unrelenting wish to live my life on my terms led me to launch Boogie Street Guitars. An online-only, worldwide guitar sales and design company. For 15 years, BSG took me on a journey I could never have scripted. My customers were amazing. My vendors were awesome. The places I traveled to, the people I met and the music I experienced were all over the top. The musicians I had the opportunity to meet and work with were some of my childhood heroes. Including Paul Stanley of KISS. And on top of it all – the incredible guitars. Thousands and thousands of guitar creations I had a part in. 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. To say I was fortunate would be an understatement. Quite lucky as well. And all of this happened for me partly because of my 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 of my life, my two children, Austin Major and Gwendolyn Leigh were born. From their birth, through today, the sun rises and sets on these two.
Like us all, I’ve not been without my share of setbacks and loss. And I’ve been profoundly shaped by these events. I buried my brother, my only sibling and my 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 I’ve watched my own parent’s trials as my father suffers with viciousness of Dementia. And I’ve faced the challenges of confronting, addressing and coping with my own demons as well. Again, like us all, I’ve encountered a good share of deep valleys to go along with the peaks of success along the way.
Today, I’m a Realtor. I am still fascinated by people. I care deeply about the human condition we all share and I still enjoy being helpful to others. I suppose being a Realtor just fits me. I’m also a radio talk show host. My show is The ERIC MCKENNA RADIO PROGRAM which airs weekly. It’s a real estate talk show with a variety show bent. I’m well over 130 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 humbly admit, I remain a good study of people. And of course, that music soundtrack is still very present in my head. Every day.
The ERIC MCKENNA PROJECT is, in its ‘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.
The PROJECT has no sponsors. No advertisements. And no commercial breaks. We have enlisted the aid of a publicist to administer our guest invitations and receive guest inquiries. ‘Open genre’ means our guests will be 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 be alluring. It’s also important to state that our discussions will be ‘guest-driven.’ Our guests can take the show in the direction they want, in a free flowing exchange of opinions, ideas and of course, stories. The Project is truly all about – The Story.
That being said – we won’t cover everything. Politics will be avoided. And to put it bluntly, if the subject matter is not interesting or appealing on our end, it won’t happen.
Furthermore, I’m not a journalist. I’m a show host. There’s a difference.
The audio version of our pOdcast is available for download on iTunes, Google Play and literally everywhere else. As mentioned prior, we are also professionally filming each show “Live” in the Boogie Street Studio here in Pittsburgh. Once produced, you can watch the shows on 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 our Project’s home but the Studio has been created with a nod to the history of Boogie Street Guitars, with decor and accouterments which create a cool and relaxing vibe for our guests. And us as well.
So, there you have it. The ERIC MCKENNA PROJECT. I humbly ‘Thank You’ for your interest. Cheers!
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