Roger, who spent the majority of his career in the emerging tech industry and is a regular contributor to broadcasts like CNBC’s Squawk Alley, has returned to his roots as a musician. He described his inverted path to the stage in a recent interview, “Here’s how it worked. When I was in college, I was in a really awesome band called Guff. I think we really had a real shot. It was 1980 and we were playing really at the intersection of the Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa and punk, and it was a good time to be playing that kind of music. We were a quartet and the guy who wrote the songs fell in love and ran away. I had been supporting myself through all of this and I had all these student loans and then, suddenly, the notion of going off and trying the band thing without our core songwriter just seemed really risky. So I went off and got a day job. By a series of total miracles…it worked out really, really well!”
He elaborated, “What was weird is the fact that I was a musician turned out to be the key to it. I got involved in the personal computer industry when it was just starting out, and the thing that was so funny was that everyone that was in that business was my age. We all listened to the same music, we all liked the same drugs, and at the trade shows and conferences people would bring instruments and we would have jam sessions…and I knew more songs than everybody else.”
Chuckling, he continued, “So I was sitting there paying with Paul Allen from Microsoft and the head of R & D from Apple, and I got to know all these people as musicians, and if you know somebody from playing music you know them a lot deeper than from just a conversation. I just…I was just really lucky. I showed up in the right place at the right time. The only place a hippie could be successful in business was the tech world. Steve Jobs, bless his heart…famously said “Never trust someone who hasn’t taken acid.” And that WAS the personal computer industry. And that felt pretty normal to me, weirdly enough right? I’m not really a business person, but I did have a really lucky run in the tech world and that allowed me to get back to playing on my own, being able to play in bands. I’m blessed.”
Roger is the lead vocalist and plays bass and guitar with Moonalice, playing 90-100 shows a year since 2007. Moonalice has been a pioneer in leveraging technology to build a national audience and has one of the most engaged fan bases on social media with more than a half a million fans. The Moonalice Couch Tour™ on Moonalice.com enables fans to watch any show on a smartphone or PC without an app. Moonalice works with a group of more than 24 poster artists to produce a unique poster for every concert. In 2014, Roger and Jason Crosby (Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Susan Tedeschi Band) formed a duo, Doobie Decibel System that has since expanded to a band including Dan Lebowitz, Pete Sears and Jay Lane. A special version on the band will be performing at this year’s BottleRock Napa Festival.
Attendees at the Sweetwater Tailgate Super Bowl Tailgate Party can expect an acoustic show with a of a range of original ballads as well as covers, like this rendition of The Beatles’ “Here There And Everywhere” that he recently shared via a live Facebook broadcast – and to take home memories of a jolly good time out as well as a commemorative poster!