“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.
The ERIC MCKENNA PROJECT. So, what is THE PROJECT? How did this happen?
Well, the Whole Story is discussed in my interview with Jaime Chesney on her show One of One. It was truly humbling to share the challenges, lessons and successes learned along the way. You can watch this interview right below
The shorter version reads this way…
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 I 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 content 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. Ever. Yet, again and again, I’d regroup. And again 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. And there was a lot of them.
While not a stellar academic student, I discovered I was a student of people. Of people’s behavior. I would study people’s decisions and their lifestyles. Good and bad. Always deeply rooted in a fascination of what makes people ‘tick.’
This fascination and the general enjoyment of people led to a successful career in the field of Sales. . And with confidence and success came new friends and an ever growing social circle. Not a bad life. And all the while, that constant music soundtrack in my head remained.
By 1999, the unrelenting wish to live life on my own 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 we 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. And many of these guitars were created and branded with our 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 my genuine fascination of people. And the diligence to care about them and always try to 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 to me. And the reason for all I do.
There have been setbacks and loss. Buried Brian, my only sibling and best friend, due to drug abuse and bad decisions. His death was a devastating and profound loss. And a lesson.
And I’ve also 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. All of this comprises a deep valley to go along with the peaks of success along the way.
Today, life is wonderful. My wife Natalie and I have returned to our hometown, Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, and made it our home. Our collective 5 kids are healthy, dynamic and – Amazing. 5 kids coming and going, 2 dogs and Natalie and my busy schedules add up to a family in near perpetual motion! Today, I’m also a Realtor. And being a Realtor just fits me. I’m still fascinated by people. Caring deeply about the human condition we all share and trying to be helpful to others, friends and strangers alike.
So, I suppose – there you have it! For a more detailed account of this journey, check out the video above of my interview with Jaime Chesney on her show ‘One one One.
What else has been going on lately?
Well, from Oct 2016 to Jan of 2020, I was a radio talk show host. The show was THE ERIC MCKENNA RADIO PROGRAM which aired weekly on WBVP 99.3. It’s was a real estate talk show with a variety show bent. We completed over 190 weekly shows and I loved every minute of it. Engaging and learning about people and listening to their stories was fascinating. And I remain a good study of people. And of course, that music soundtrack is still very present in my head. Every day.
March of 2019 saw the launching of THE ERIC MCKENNA PROJECT. The Project, simply put, is PITTSBURGH’S TALK SHOW! The formal description is: a Pittsburgh based, video web series, featuring long-form interviews and discussions with interesting and accomplished people in their respective fields. These discussions are recorded and filmed at the Boogie Street Studios in downtown Coraopolis, PA. A Pittsburgh suburb.
The Project has no sponsors. 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. The Project is truly all about – The Story.
Another important distinction between The Project and other TV, Radio, News or web based programing is: I’m not a journalist. I’m a show host. There’s a difference.
The audio podcast version of The Project is available for download on iTunes, Google Play and literally everywhere. As mentioned prior, we are also professionally filming each show in the Boogie Street Studio. Once produced, the video versions of our shows are released and promoted on Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and of course here at EricMcKenna.com. We are truly doing a full-production video web 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. And it’s where the magic happens.
So, there you have it. The ERIC MCKENNA PROJECT.
If the subject matter is not interesting or appealing to us, it won’t happen.
PRESS INQUIRIES regarding EMp, please call 412-613-4466