As the manager and mastermind behind the careers of OC’s biggest bands including The Offspring, Social Distortion, and No Doubt, Jim Guerinot has obviously earned a Ph.D In rock-n-roll. He also happened to get a B.A. in English at UCI when he graduated in the class of ‘85. It took him nine years to get out of college after dropping out of high school and getting his G.E.D., becoming a shining example of success by taking the super scenic route–take that, nagging parents!
This Sunday, Guerinot will address the graduating students at his alma mater UCI with a commencement speech about life in his untraditional career path that resulted in millions of record sales, his own management company Rebel Waltz Inc., an Academy Award-winning documentary (20 Feet From Stardom) , and thousands of crazy stories to bust out at cocktail parties.
After starting his career booking bands in OC in the early ‘80s while attending Fullerton College, he became UCI’s concert commissioner during his time at the university, booking Crawford Hall and the Sound Stage with bands like The Cure, Oingo Boingo, George Thorogood, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
He also started Rebel Waltz during college and later his record label Time Bomb Recordings in 1994. Throughout the decades Guerinot has always maintained ties to OC and remains a valuable asset even as a newly retired 60 year-old.
He’s taught music history classes at elementary, middle and high schools all over Orange County based on his book Legends, Icons and Rebels: Music that Changed the World. The former manager also taught advanced placement U.S. history about the 1960s, most recently, at Laguna Beach High School. You can bet he’s got plenty of lessons to hand out to the newest batch UCI grads in Humanities this Sunday.
Check out the full backstory on Guerinot here.
The School of Humanities’ commencement ceremony will be held Sunday, June 16, at 12:30 p.m. at the Bren Events Center. Jim Guerinot’s speech will be live-streamed on commencement.uci.edu.