Letter To The People - July 2019

Publisher's Commentary
by Rökker

Rökker and Mama Rökker - Then and now

Rökker and Mama Rökker - Then and now

Not every kid’s mother is named Mama Rökker… but mine is. She first started taking me to concerts back in the seventies, and worked in rock clubs through the eighties. Many of my mom’s friends were the rock stars of the day like Ruby Starr, Bad Boy, Moxy Roxx and many others. I spent many of my teen formative years eating from deli trays in the back room listening to the war stories from touring bands and often the best ones came from the crew guys.

I never forgot those days backstage and when I started presenting my own shows like Bomblastica, Last Crack, Halloween I always wanted to take care of the musicians I booked. There’s not a lot of money to be made playing music so making sure the bands are taken care of and fed is important. And that’s where Mama Rökker comes in.

In 2002, I started booking the music for the Rock Stage at Atwood Summerfest and the beginnings of Mama Rökker’s Band Bistro was born. Those early days were easy with just the Rock Stage to feed, but eventually it became two stages. Then Atwood Summerfest became AtwoodFest and it became two stages, two days, and even some of the KidsFest Performers.

The backstage hospitality first started with just my mom and dad, and now we have an entire crew to support the 150-200 people that make up bands, crews, celebrity announcers, and significant others. Mama Rökker now makes over 800 of her legendary meatballs a year for hungry band dudes and dudettes for AtwoodFest. 

After this year, Mama Rökker is going to “retire” from active duty. I personally don’t think we’ve seen the last of meatballs and ribs, but us young whippersnappers are gonna take over the grunt work so she can come to AtwoodFest with Papa Rökker and enjoy the music, maybe get a drink!

Not many kids get a chance to work that closely with their mom, but I did and I am very grateful and I know there are a zillion musicians out there who are too. You can find her on facebook and like her page Mama Rökker and send her a note, she loves hearing from you guys!

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