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Scott Booker: The Art of Listening

The Flaming Lips, ACM@UCO and beyond



 


If you visited the historic Rainbow Records at 23rd and Classen in the 1980s, you may well have talked to a young Scott Booker. Thirty-five years later, he’s the CEO of Academy of Contemporary Music at UCO in Bricktown, a unique incubator of performing art talent. What happened between then and now is a story of constant curiosity, a willingness to pay close attention to the interests of others and a drive to achieve.

Mixed in that time from Rainbow Records to ACM@UCO have been many years as the manager of Oklahoma City’s enduring, Grammy-winning Flaming Lips.

But before he ever met Lips front man Wayne Coyne, he learned how to listen carefully to the desires and preferences of others.

Starting out prior to turning 15, he sold a national general-interest newspaper called Grit. Roaming through his neighborhood of Midwest City, he learned to engage potential customers in an easy conversation about what they liked and didn’t like. He calls it his “first job in the entertainment industry.”

But when Booker wasn’t going to school and selling Grit door to door, he hung out at his local Sound Warehouse, then a regional chain of record stores back when vinyl was the main method of listening to music other than a live performance.

In addition to the growing skills of selling entertainment, Booker says that his gig, “also gave me five dollars per week. In 1978, that was the price of an album. Every day I would go to Sound Warehouse and hang out, figure out what I would buy that week, and I would buy a record a week.”

And once he turned 15, he already knew so much about music and people that Sound Warehouse hired him. He worked there until his junior year in college, when he took his deep knowledge to Rainbow Records – and there honed his music curator skills even further.

Scott Booker


It was at Rainbow that he met Lips bassist Michael Ivins. And he got to know more members of the band as he started hanging out at the most intense music venues of the day, which included the Velvet Underground.

He brought his ability to connect people with music as he moved gradually into the role of manager for the Lips. He says there wasn’t any formal contract to be their manager … and there still isn’t. One day one of them just started referring to him as “our manager” and it stuck.

Today, Booker can be seen in a number of venues and milieus, including the Master Class for which he brings in seasoned artists such as Jackson Browne, Moby, Hall and Oates and other well-knowns to visit with ACM students and the public about how they navigated their own careers and brought their talent into full view.

He also teaches classes on how to manage the business of performing arts. Some of his students may move on to work for well-known large companies such as Warner Brothers, and others may use that knowledge to manage their own music careers.

Is he a musician himself? No. But that doesn’t stop him.

“I don’t think it’s been a hindrance in any way,” he says. “Maybe it’s almost the opposite. Maybe because I didn’t know theory, some music that would be discordant and annoying to people was actually still beautiful to me.”

And he continues to recognize the beauty of talent in others as he cultivates it through classes at ACM@UCO.

 

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Calendar

July 2018

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Cost: Free

Where:
Armstrong Auditorium
Herbert W. Armstrong College
14400 S Bryant Ave
Edmond, OK  73034-8174
View map »


Sponsor: Armstrong International Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 405-285-1010
Contact Name: Shane Granger
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Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
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415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

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Science and the Bible dramatically converge to reveal ancient Jerusalem’s most famous king-prophet pairing. In this interactive, multimedia exhibit, visitors discover the illuminating history...

Cost: Free

Where:
Armstrong Auditorium
Herbert W. Armstrong College
14400 S Bryant Ave
Edmond, OK  73034-8174
View map »


Sponsor: Armstrong International Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 405-285-1010
Contact Name: Shane Granger
Website »

More information

 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options, visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918.495.6000
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Science and the Bible dramatically converge to reveal ancient Jerusalem’s most famous king-prophet pairing. In this interactive, multimedia exhibit, visitors discover the illuminating history...

Cost: Free

Where:
Armstrong Auditorium
Herbert W. Armstrong College
14400 S Bryant Ave
Edmond, OK  73034-8174
View map »


Sponsor: Armstrong International Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 405-285-1010
Contact Name: Shane Granger
Website »

More information

 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options, visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918.495.6000
Website »

More information

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Cost: $79 per person, plus tax and gratuity

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MMR Prime Steakhouse
2920 NW 63rd
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View map »


Telephone: 405-608-8866
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Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Science and the Bible dramatically converge to reveal ancient Jerusalem’s most famous king-prophet pairing. In this interactive, multimedia exhibit, visitors discover the illuminating history...

Cost: Free

Where:
Armstrong Auditorium
Herbert W. Armstrong College
14400 S Bryant Ave
Edmond, OK  73034-8174
View map »


Sponsor: Armstrong International Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 405-285-1010
Contact Name: Shane Granger
Website »

More information

 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options, visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918.495.6000
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

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Join us every Thursday this summer for morning yoga practice while enjoying the beautiful sunrise over Will Rogers Gardens. This class is designed for all skill levels, so grab your...

Cost: $5 per class

Where:
Will Rogers Gardens
3400 NW 36th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73112
View map »


Sponsor: OKC Parks and Recreation
Telephone: 405.297.2279
Contact Name: Becca Leon
Website »

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Science and the Bible dramatically converge to reveal ancient Jerusalem’s most famous king-prophet pairing. In this interactive, multimedia exhibit, visitors discover the illuminating history...

Cost: Free

Where:
Armstrong Auditorium
Herbert W. Armstrong College
14400 S Bryant Ave
Edmond, OK  73034-8174
View map »


Sponsor: Armstrong International Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 405-285-1010
Contact Name: Shane Granger
Website »

More information

 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options, visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918.495.6000
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
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View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Science and the Bible dramatically converge to reveal ancient Jerusalem’s most famous king-prophet pairing. In this interactive, multimedia exhibit, visitors discover the illuminating history...

Cost: Free

Where:
Armstrong Auditorium
Herbert W. Armstrong College
14400 S Bryant Ave
Edmond, OK  73034-8174
View map »


Sponsor: Armstrong International Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 405-285-1010
Contact Name: Shane Granger
Website »

More information

 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options, visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918.495.6000
Website »

More information

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Cost: $20 suggested donation

Where:
DC on Film Row
609 W Sheridan Ave
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Sponsor: The Dragonfly Home
Telephone: 405.212.3378
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Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

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701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
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Contact Name: Business Office
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Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

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701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
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Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
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More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
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Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

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Bring the family and join in on the fun for the 26th Annual Youth National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show. There will be great horse show classes, kids' activities,...

Cost: Free

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3001 General Pershing Blvd
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Sponsor: Arabian Horse Association
Telephone: 303.696.4500
Contact Name: Mikayla Boge
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Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

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Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
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701 W Sheridan Ave
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Sponsor: Revolve Productions
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Contact Name: Tobi Coleman
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The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

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Where:
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701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
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