|The Fabulous! The Wonderful! Roggie Baer|
Editor's Note: SLIT contacted Roggie asking her to explain how she started RajiWorld booking agency.
I started as a buyer at the University of Arizona in the late 80’s through SUAB where I led booking for Eat To The Beat (Red Hot Chile Peppers, Jane’s Addiction, Billy Idol) and Spring Fling (Jellyfish, Redd Kross, Posies, Paladins booking at UA), some promoting at Counter Club and Club Congress (I brought the first El Vez show to Tucson, as well as the Ringling Sisters). I was also KAMP student Radio music director, and made a few trial national bookings for Green On Red and Giant Sand. I then headed the Spring Fling music committee in 1991.
At the time I was a Chemistry major, and going between the chemistry lab and my music office with a lab coat and a Motorola brick cell phone. My friends thought I was nuts and referred to the whole thing as RajiWorld (even though my name is spelled Roggie) So it stuck.
My first client was Rosie Flores. I booked her to play at the U of A, a conference in PHX, and a club show in Tucson. I worked the door at the club show and part-way through the night the bar owner collected the money so I wouldn’t have to hold it. I trusted him. He passed out in the office and never paid us. I withdrew all my savings and gave her what I could. She later found out about it and asked if I would book her. I soon added Duane Jarvis and Buddy Miller, who were direct referrals and that was how it started. I am incredibly grateful.
In 1993 I moved to L.A. and began promoting music in earnest. I had an opportunity in 1994 to relocate to Austin and work with Joe Ely in the studio, on the road with MCA and his musical called Chippy, which played at Lincoln Center and had a long run in Philly this year, which allowed me to go on the road and meet all the venues and local press which has been invaluable in the 16+ years since. RajiWorld has been run between L.A. and Austin ever since.
In 1998, Bill Elm (of Friends of Dean Martin) and I married, and he put out many great records which enabled us to work in the field we loved, as we became parents in 1999. I feel very blessed to have long working relationships with some of the bands I was first a fan of, like Danny & Chuck, Howe, The Fleshtones, Rosie Flores. I often mention that I was in the right place at the right time with what came out of Tucson.
I started in fashion as a teen, modeling, designing, retail and wholesale. I have a degree in Fashion Merchandising, and I love that world. I went back to school to study Chemistry as a frustrated animal rights activist / makeup artist. Chemistry led to a degree, although I do not use it (except in the kitchen). I had a desire to mix up my 21 unit school day with a fun student activity (which is how I got to booking for UA and student radio.
I have recently come full circle by creating World Beauty, which reps fashion designers, hair and make-up artists and photographers and videographers for events like music festivals and awards shows. My first client was SXSW 2010 Music Awards. Later this year I am partnering with a dear friend to combine this with her full service travel, transportation and tour managing services to form SPECTRUM, a full-service turn-key company.
Visit the RajiWorld Website
This article originally appeared in the print edition of SLIT 2010