If you collect antiques, collectables and memorabilia, chances are you watch the seven time Emmy nominated PBS television series, Antiques Roadshow. Gary Sohmers was the appraiser of Antiques Roadshow for thirteen seasons and is often referred to as the King of Pop Culture. But that’s not all he’s done! Over the past thirty years he’s been a lecturer and a featured guest on many radio and television shows as well as having his own syndicated talk radio show, Calling All Collectors, on the air since 1986. When he has time he performs stand up comedy and plays with his band, Mindjammer.
Recently, he has become the executive producer of The Pop Culture Expo which takes place Memorial Day weekend at the Shriners Auditorium in Wilmington, Massachusetts. It’s a celebration of all forms of popular culture including a Comic Con and Collectibles Extravaganza, costume and videogame competitions for cash prizes, there’s always a celebrity guest or two, autographs, screenings, animation, plus 150 vendors of vintage and modern toys, comic books and cultural artifacts.
Examiner spoke with Sohmer’s about some of his other ventures which includes the Annual Rock and Soul Holiday Show as well as an Interactive Celebrity Meet and Greet. For more info: www.InteractiveMeetandGreet.com
Examiner: Tell us about the Interactive Celebrity Meet and Greet? It’s virtual so the people are not actually meeting the celebrity face to face?
Sohmers: “It’s a newly patented technology for a social commerce application of web streaming video that allows the consumer to purchase a face to face encounter with a celebrity and seeing an item autographed, through any electronic media delivery system. The video that can be seen live is also captured, archived and shipped on a flash drive to prove authenticity. A download is provided for sharing the user’s experience.”
Examiner: Let’s talk music. Tell us about the Annual Rock and Soul Holiday show at the Regent Theatre in Arlington.
Sohmers: “Back in the 1980s we had a real great camaraderie among the music industry folks that culminated each year with many of the greats being home for the holidays … so when we started the Music Museum of New England project, I felt the merging of the classic musicians and the new could rekindle that experience. I contacted my friend, the great Barrence Whitfield, who is the star of the show every year, and everyone has volunteered to play for the Music Drives Us charity every year.
I produce the show like an old fashioned Johnny Otis show with some acts to open the show and then an old fashioned show where the All Star Band backs great performers.
This year the incomparable James Montgomery leads the All Star show with some great talent.”
Examiner: How did you get involved in the music business?
Sohmers: “After having a 10 year successful career in rock n roll in Madison Wisconsin, I moved to Boston in 1983. I went down to Metro and Spit on Lansdowne Street and started working as a schlepper and eventually worked my way up to Production Manager . I stayed on Lansdowne till 1991.”
This year’s 6th Annual Rock & Soul Holiday Concert Benefit—Presented by Suburu, Benefit for Music Drives Us will be taking place on Friday, December 12, 2014. The line up of performers are: James Montgomery, Gary Hoey, Mike Girard and The Fools, Barrence Whitfield, Tsunami of Sound, Charlie Farren, Greg Hawkes, All Eyes on Me and the All Star Band with David Hull, George McCann and Jeff Thompson. A few surprises are in store!
Blue Hills Brewery, 1020 Turnpike Street in Canton will be supplying the beer! Drink up!
Reserved Seats: $30. First Six Rows Center Orchestra and $25. Rest of the House Visit website: http://www.regenttheatre.com/