“Our target audience is actually four- to nine-year-olds, not necessarily toddlers,” says Clint Perry of the children's music group the Boo Hoo Crew, which he describes as “the only kids rock band that actually rocks the kids.”
Perry's book Pack Rat Pat, Don’t Take That inspired the formation of a band to further his communication with kids of all ages.
With such a young fan base, performing the group’s 50-plus song inventory — covering kid-centric topics from “Pirate Booty” to “Jelly & Peanut Butter,” “It’s Halloween,” and “Potty in the Pot” — can be challenging.
“The most difficult thing is the chaos,” says the father of three boys. “When it’s a group of little ones that all need a nap or are on a sugar rush it can be really hard. Just yesterday, I had to stop a show three times for one little guy who was just having a rough day. He fell twice, knocked over the bubble machine, whacked a girl with a tambourine, and pushed another little kid over.” In addition, “It’s increasingly difficult when the parents come and see us as their babysitter for the 30 or 60 minutes and really don’t pay attention to or regulate their child.”
New Year's Eve 2011/2012 found the band playing the San Diego Children's Museum with local 'tween trio Pink Army. In November 2012, the Crew landed a residency playing the first and third Mondays of every month at Panera in San Juan Capistrano.
“We did our Shake Your Pirate Booty CD release album on pirate ship from San Diego,” says Perry, “the Treasure Seeker, as it sailed the bay...we also do a recurring monthly event with Rady Children's Hospital where we go play there for the kids once a month.”
Perry (who runs an employee benefits managing firm called Unlimited Benefits) has also booked his Crew at PlayWerx in Carlsbad, a three-story indoor playground structure forever immortalized in his band's history, thanks to one particular show.
“We went into ‘Potty in the Pot,’ and right about the second chorus, we hear this scream coming from the third-story corner of the structure. Then crying. Up top, during our song about going potty, a little boy decided to pee right there. I didn’t stop the song, but segued right into the line, while slowing the song down, ‘If you can’t hold it anymore, go into the bathroom, close the door.’”
Venue staff quickly cleaned up and, according to Perry, “The boy and his mom Jesse still come to the shows at PlayWerx...when they walk in, we smile and I say, ‘I know what song I’ll be playing next.’”
A new CD was released in February 2014, Time of Our Lives, featuring thirteen rock-Calypso-country tracks about San Diego, a “virtual vacation through music” that comes with “song map.”
"Kids can match the songs on the back with corresponding icons of famous San Diego landmarks inside," explains Perry. "Kind of our ode to San Diego, America's Finest City after all." Sporting a cover featuring the band (now including Perry's wife) at Lego Land, the album's release party was held at Belmont Park.
"The new songs like 'Vroom, Vroom' take the level of intensity in our music up a lot, harkening to Kid Rock," says Perry. "Songs like 'I Just Wanna Go Home' sound like Foo Fighters. We're trying to give the parents -- and kids -- something they don't expect."
Among the band's sponsorship partnerships are Spirit Hoods ("They supply us with awesome hoods for use in songs relating to animals") and Vans. "All our shoes are supplied to us by Vans."
Their fourth album Super Hero was released in June 2915. "The album is centered around the Super Hero each of us can be, and our individuality, plus other types of everyday heroes in our lives," says Perry. "The garbage man, the fireman, mom, our teddy bear, our teacher, etc."