Some executives dream about a having a couple of Jaguars in their garage. Rodger Roeser is happy if, in his garage, he's got a couple of guitarists and a drummer.

"From the age of 5, my goal in life was to be a rock star," says Roeser, vice president of the Justice & Young public relations firm in Newtown. It was at that tender age that he performed his first live show, singing "Delta Dawn" in a city-wide talent competition ("I didn't win, but I was a finalist").

Roeser went on to found the band Turning Force. The executive has been playing and performing for about two decades, and had his first single played on the radio at the age of 19 ("A lovely '90's hair ballad" is how he describes that particular song). "KISS was my inspiration, I guess. So my two heroes are 50-something bald Jewish guys."

As lead singer, songwriter and bass player, Roeser formed Turning Force in 1984 with Mark Savina, wh'™s now an engineer for NASA. "We performed everywhere: New York, Chicago, and every dirtbag bar in between.

"I thought I was the second coming of Bon Jovi. Then grunge hit. So I traded in my hairspray for flannel and we toured and toured."
Roeser and his band scored their first and only Billboard 100 hit in 1990 with the song "Was It You?" An MTV video of the tune soon followed.

He estimates they've now played in 5,000 clubs over the years, opening for such bands as Warrant and .38 Special. "I approached it very much as a business, not as a musician. I was doing PR and promotion long before I knew PR and advertising was a real job."

Along the way, the band has produced two CDs, Only and Six Pack of Monkeys. And Roeser's songwriting talent naturally translated into a career path that involves writing advertising jingles and slogans.

When the band was taking the stage every night, life could get crazy, Roeser recalls. "We were all suit-and-tie by day. We would literally have to change at the office to make our gigs on time."

While the band has pretty much stopped performing live ("All of us have normal jobs now," he laughs), they are finishing off their third CD, as yet untitled, for release this summer. The executive describes the evolving sound "as kind of like a cross between Journey and Nickelback. It's a clean kind of a melodic, haunting, passionate rock."

He has no doubt that Turning Force will return to the stage eventually. "We will perform again. It's just that right now, we've been concentrating on this album."