Those American kids!
Ah, how American kids (teenagers) make me smile. Having toured various American high schools with the Shakespeare show I was involved in I have experienced American teenagers firsthand and they sure have enthusiasm and attitude.
Being the only British-English speaker in the show, during the Q&A questions afterward I often got asked if my British accent was real and could I ‘speak some more’ so they can hear it. They love the British accent, they surely do!
American high schools are all that I would thought they would be, with the kids grouped by cultural reference – the indie kids, the goths, the cheerleaders, the drama kids, the jocks, the academics – and it’s all the more noticeable because of the non-uniform attire.
Yet again, I feel privileged to have extended my 3 year visit to the USA to places like these – it makes the American experience so much more whole and interesting. Gawd, I’m one lucky UK Desperate Housewife USA!
Out of the mouth of (British) babes
“If Americans spell ‘mummy’ like ‘mommy’, do they spell ‘tummy’ like ‘tommy’?”
Courtesy of you know who, age 6.
I love interacting with some of the American folks who stumble across my blog, particularly those who appreciate my wry sense of humour and tongue-in-cheek observations about their country.
Bruce is one such American, and this is his fab interview….
Name: Bruce Replogle
Bit about you: Music manager at musicmanagementusa.com
Age: 57. It seems funny to say that, because I still feel like a young man. If you think someone is a geezer because they are in their 50s or 60s, you just haven’t lived long enough. I spoke to the coolest guy recently who stunned me by saying he is 70, and he runs a very impressive concert hall in Connecticut.
Occupation: Music Management & Promotion
1. Tell me a bit about growing up in the USA and what your childhood was like.
I had an idyllic childhood. I grew up with a lovely family, lots of fun kids in the neighborhood and Jesus in my back pocket. I grew up mainly in Garden City, NY, which is a beautiful town on Long Island, with lovely historic houses, and a completely wholesome environment. A ‘Leave it to Beaver’ sort of world, and that was what was on TV back then too. I balanced this wholesomeness with a sense of adventure, hopping freights while also being a choirboy in the cathedral, and doing ‘hell rides’ on my minibike while also being a good schoolboy.
2. You’re from Rhode Island but now live in NYC – how do they differ and what did you like/dislike about each of them?
I was born in Newport, Rhode Island which is a very upscale town, but my Dad was teaching at The U.S. Naval War College, so it was a rather more humble beginning than it sounds. I have always enjoyed the mixture of being perceived as ‘to the manor born’ with the addendum that we were not.
When I eventually moved back to New York, it was for love. Everywhere I go, everywhere I am, I bring that love with me, so I am comfortable in any chosen location.
3. If you were to do a sales pitch about your lifestyle as an American professional in NYC, how would you sell it?
Thank God I haven’t had to make a pitch. My first company was called Low Key Entertainment, because I have always taken a low-key approach to selling anything. My business partner at the time was a Danish-American who picked the company name, because Loki is the Norse God of mischief. So again, the double entrendre seemed to prevail. It worked for me. Then again, when you have had the advantage of being hired by John Lennon and Yoko Ono to be their Publicist on Double Fantasy, you don’t really have to try to sell yourself.
4. Tell me about your job as a music manager. How does it work and is it very exciting and glamorous?
It is a study in diplomacy. Mainly you have to tell people why you don’t think you can help them. The essence of sales is the transfer of enthusiasm, and if you don’t love the music you can’t begin to promote it. You also have to personally like the artists, otherwise you end up having a conflict of egos and interests. The only way to create an authentic legacy in this business is to promote music and people you personally like.
5. Complete this sentence: NYC is….
the heartbeat of America. I can see the skyline of the vacancy of the World Trade Center from my living room windows. New York is indefatigable. The spirit of this city makes me very proud.
6. If you could tell your high school self three bits of advice what would they be?
I had more vision when I was in high school, than I could possibly recreate. So, be yourself, enjoy the trip, and follow your dreams seems to make sense.
7. Complete this sentence: Being an American is…..
a wonderful gift. Count your blessings constantly. Thanksgiving is the highest form of worship.
8. You have a keen interest in the UK and British music – tell me a bit about your influences and what you like particularly about the UK.
I had the great fortune of being invited to go to Oxford University my junior year as an undergraduate. I fell in love with a country that was my ancestral homeland. I even had a mystical experience at Ely Cathedral. Growing up with The Beatles as the soundtrack to my young life, and then working with John Lennon…what can I say? I love the UK, and I miss being the King of Scotland.
9. What advice would you give someone looking to carve out a career in the American music industry?
If you love music, pour your soul into it. An audience can feel and share that energy. Know that the music business and the general public has Attention Deficit Disorder, so make a great cinematic video with your best song, and brand the image you want your audience to have of you. If you are a great Britpop band, wrap yourself in the Union Jack and have girls chasing you across Tower Bridge while you have guitars strapped to your backs and smiles on your faces.
10. Who are your favourite American musicians and why?
I am particularly fond of The Traveling Wilburys. A perfect mix of Americans (Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, and Roy Orbison) making a joyful sound with a couple of Brits. You know who they are.
P.S. Thank you for your friendship and the wonderful things you share on your blog.