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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

May 2019

"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
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Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

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Start your Sunday morning by perfecting your practice during our outdoor yoga class. Enjoy the beauty of yoga outdoors in the glow of the Ferris Wheel lights! This class welcomes all levels, from...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wheeler Ferris Wheel
1701 S. Western Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73109
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James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
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Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

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Cost: $10 - $30

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Miller Neighborhood
NW 10th to NW 16th, N Villa to N May
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
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Sponsor: Miller Neighborhood Association
Telephone: 405.642.5982
Contact Name: Elizabeth Beard

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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...

Cost: Adult: $20 Seniors and Children: $15

Where:
Regatta Park Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73119
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Sponsor: Oklahoma River Cruises
Telephone: 405-702-7755
Contact Name: Che Loessberg
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OKC's premier chamber orchestra, the Oklahoma Virtuosi, presents their season finale concert.  Concert will include: St. Paul's Suite Op.29 No.2 by Gustav Holst,...

Cost: Free

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21C Hotel
900 W. Main St.
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
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Website »

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As the first anniversary of her sixth album Conversation With A Ghost approaches in June, Italian-born and Austin-based singer-songwriter Giulia Millanta possesses a...

Cost: $15-$20

Where:
The Blue Door
2805 N. McKinley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
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Telephone: (405) 524-0738
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"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

More information

James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.815.9995
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Piedmont Airlines will be hosting a Information Session for ramp agent jobs at Embassy Suites in OKC. Please plan to spend up to 3 hours with us, as we will have you fill out applications, listen...

Cost: Free

Where:
Embassy Suites
1815 South Meridian Ave.
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Sponsor: Piedmont Airlines
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James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

More information

"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

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Cost: Free

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Chisholm Creek
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"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

More information

James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

More information

James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
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Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

More information

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Cost: $4 - $6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
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Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

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Cost: Free

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Sponsor: Paseo Arts Association
Telephone: 405-525-2688
Contact Name: Paige Powell
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Enjoy all your favorite activities at the Orr Family Farm for a special price! Admission is only $8 per person on this day only.

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14400 S. Western Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73170
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Telephone: 405.509.9312
Contact Name: Lauren Daughety

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"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

More information

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Cost: $4 - $6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
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Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

More information

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Cost: Save $5 on a Dual Park Pass!

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Cost: Adult: $20 Seniors and Children: $15

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Sponsor: Oklahoma River Cruises
Telephone: 405-702-7755
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Website »

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Cost: $59.95

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1 Park Ave
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Telephone: 866.496.0535
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