“Over that time we kind of learned how artists should be folded into this, in a way,” he said. “What is it that helps an artist? How valuable is that direct connection between artist and fan?”
Count Rogers as a fan who made a connection, time and again.
Back in Goshen
Growing up in the Maple City, Rogers was a skateboard kid. His parents — dad Keith and mom Paulette, she the future Beats Music curator — were music enthusiasts.
Rogers was a kid who went to South Bend to buy records, and mail-ordered albums from Maximum RocknRoll magazine. At age 13, he stood in line for six hours to see Blue Oyster Cult’s 1986 concert at The Goshen Theater downtown. He also played in the long-defunct local punk band Albino K-Mart Shoppers.
Rogers went to the Elkhart Area Career Center for radio broadcasting, and worked at the WVPE radio station.
“Working in music was the only thing I could imagine doing,” he said.
Rogers credits his former stepfather, Mike Gill, with putting him on a path to computers and music when he was a child. Gill had a sizable record collection, and an Apple II computer.
“My stepdad had been a computer guy, so I knew computer programming from when I was like 10 years old,” Rogers said in a previous interview with The Goshen News.
Rogers was later in the computer program at Indiana University, and wound up in an internship at the School of Music. He graduated in 1994 and began doing websites — “this brand new thing,” Rogers recalled — for fun.
His Beastie Boys site drew the attention of no less than the Beastie Boys’ management. In short, Rogers picked up work. He moved to California and went on tour with the Beasties in the spring of 1995. Then he got into Web design.
Then came Yahoo, and TopSpin, and now Beats Music. Rogers still sounds a bit awed at the course his life has taken, and to be working on this latest project and with the people involved.
“I can’t believe that even happened,” he said.