Julie Garcia, publicist for Granada Theater and Sundown, got her start in morning radio. From '99 to '07, her job was largely to manage Kidd's Kidds, the charity helmed by the Kraddick in the Morning show. After years of really early alarm clocks, last March she found her calling doing PR for one of the best live venues in the country.
Where did your fandom start?
I grew up in the panhandle in a town called Hereford. Go Herd! My family was poor, so my only source of entertainment was the radio and TV because it was free. Thus, my love of Casey Kasem's American Top 40, along with my fascination with a fledging show called Entertainment Tonight, began. During my teen years, I started babysitting so I was able to feed my new obsessions: Tiger Beat, 16 and Bop.
Who was plastered on your wall?
David Lee Roth, Rick Springfield, Menudo, Bon Jovi, Duran Duran and The Outsiders. I knew all songs that were in the top 40 and lived for Sunday morning, to listen to Casey Kasem on Z-93. I daydreamed of meeting musicians and celebrities all the time.
Let's fast forward to present day, and apply it to the Granada. What have you seen there that was profound?
There is one that really stands out for me. At the Cannabinoids show in January, Erykah Badu introduced her brother, who she had not seen in, like, 20 years. All I could think was, "Wow, I would be a total mess." I am the youngest of five and we lost our mom in '89, so my siblings and I are pretty close.
Who else do you consider real local stars?
Burning Hotels. They remind of Depeche Mode and put on a fantastic show. They performed here in January and I was front row dancing up a storm. I was thrilled to see so many people there loving them as much as I do. I also love Sarah Jaffe. What a voice. I was so excited to see how much press she received on her latest CD.
And I know you're a Sorta fan. Trey Johnson was in those same studios producing commercials at that time.
Trey invited me to check out one of their shows back in 2000. I was hooked. "Tell Me a Story" is still one of the most played songs on my iPod.
Working for a music venue and working for a morning radio show require different sleep schedules. Or do they?
Lucky for me, I had regular office hours with Kraddick, but of course that changed when we had a guest in the studio, or were doing a stunt. So there were times I was at the studios at 5 a.m. It really wasn't too bad. And who are we kidding? Having to go in early because Kelly Clarkson or The Rock was going to be in studio was not a bad way to start off my work day. At Granada, I start my day about 9 a.m., so that's not too early at all. Don't get me wrong, sometimes it is really hard to get up after a great show. I still can't believe my work allows me to do something like this.
What area of the local music community do you think needs work?
With all the music festivals in DFW, I love to see local bands on those bills. I hope more people take advantage of seeing all the local talent. Converting the masses that attend the festivals to become actual fans is what needs the most work and that's hard. Capturing them immediately should be a part of the publicity/promotion for any band. Having a good street team on site and a strong social presence is huge start. Get your family if you have to! I love the fact that if someone needs a hand, the local community is there. Just like the Bugs Henderson benefit in March. That shows how much the community means. It's not just about the music, it's about the camaraderie music creates.