Imagine seeing Lynyrd Skynyrd take the stage. The guitar chords start and the crowd erupts. Before you know it, everyone around you is screaming the words to “Sweet Home Alabama.”
That’s what music junkies near and far would call a religious experience.
Maybe that’s how Belmont alum Scott Bomar went from graduating with a degree in religion to writing “Southbound: An Illustrated History of Southern Rock.”
“I’ve always been a music nerd, and it just so happens that I came back to that,” said Bomar.
Southern rock left a heavy impression on Bomar growing up, and the 80s classic rock radio stations were his inspiration for learning how to play guitar.
After a songwriting stint in California followed by a job in licensing for major music labels, he took his experience writing liner notes and began writing the story of a genre that is overlooked, he said.
“I have a habit of taking a second look at things people don’t pay attention to,” said Bomar. “People dismiss southern rock because it’s ‘redneck’; I want to shine a fresh light on it so people give it a chance.”
“Southbound” gives an in-depth look into the architects who built the genre and made it what it is. It shares the stories of the greats and tells the history of southern rock as it is known today.
Bomar spent two years creating his masterpiece. At the same time, he was still working in the music industry.
“Unfortunately, you can’t make a living anymore on being just an author,” said Bomar.
His days were spent juggling a job, spending time with his family, researching his topic of interest and authoring his piece of work.
In other words, it was essentially one big balancing act, he said.
“I crammed five years of research into two,” said Bomar. “It was a time of very little sleep.”
But, in the end, all of his hard work must have paid off. He is now an accomplished author and has received endorsements for his book from around 20 members of the rock ‘n’ roll community, including Charlie Daniels, Ed King and Jenny Hall.
Bomar has recently concluded his book tour and is taking time out of the spotlight–for the moment, at least, he said.
He has more than 10 book ideas and has plans for writing about the history of Bakersfield, Calif. and its influence on the country genre.
And although Bakersfield is far from Belmont, he still holds his alma mater close to his heart. The lessons he learned in its hallowed halls have stayed with him throughout his career, he said.
“I felt encouragement to think and express those thoughts, how to make an argument then defend it and just how to communicate better,” said Bomar. “Those all play out in your life.”