‘Rolling’ Along: Rockin’ tennis coach and Bay City Rollers frontman to sign book at Aug. 25 event

Eric Sage and early Bay City Rollers’ guitarist Ian Mitchell on stage performing in their incarnation of the Scottish pop band who recorded the No. 1 1975 radio hit, ‘Saturday Night.’ Courtesy

If you go
What: Book signing by rock ‘n’ roll singing tennis coach Eric Sage
When: Noon, Aug. 25
Where: Warwick’s bookstore, 7812 Girard Ave., La Jolla
Information: warwicks.com or ericsage.com

By Pat Sherman

If life were a tennis game, it could be said that San Diegan Eric Sage is approaching his match point.

Eric Sage's 'The Magic Key to Tennis'

As a “tennis teacher to the stars,” Sage has helped everyone from George Clooney to Alec Baldwin and Robert Downey Jr. perfect their games.

While teaching tennis to Hollywood’s elite during the 1990s, he also pursued acting roles (he played the guitar store salesman in “Wayne’s World” who prohibited customers from playing the tired “Stairway to Heaven” riff). Meanwhile, Sage was busy taking piano and voice lessons at night.

Twelve years of music study paid off. Sage would go on to tour with Vince Neil of Motley Crue and write and record with rock band, Velvet Revolver.

He currently serves as lead singer of the Bay City Rollers starring Ian Mitchell (one of two incarnations of the tartan-clad, Scottish pop band that penned the No. 1, 1975 hit “Saturday Night”). He also fronts the Bon Jovi tribute band “Livin’ on a Prayer,” and performs with other musicians regularly at La Jolla hotpots such as Beaumont’s Eatery and Amaya.

In between his busy schedule, Sage penned a book about a system of tennis instruction he developed while simultaneously teaching celebrities and studying music that is based on chord progressions.

Sage (born Eric Crabb in Toronto) will sign copies of his book, “The Magic Key to Tennis,” and talk about his career as an instructor and rock performer at noon, Sunday, Aug. 25 at Warwick’s bookstore, 7812 Girard Ave.

Eric Sage in his Bay City Rollers (featuring Ian Mitchell) stage attire.

Sage said his method is particularly useful in helping people learn how to master topspin, in which a player puts a spin on a ball to make it bounce or travel far, high or quick, usually by hitting it with a sharp, forward and upward stroke.

“Topspin is truly the key to what the pros are doing,” said Sage, 42. “I’m always amazed that it’s not discussed more and people don’t quite understand it.”

Sage said his numbered system of instruction is “as easy as communicating chord progressions in music.”

“When people do it, they’re freaking out. They’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, I just need to hit three feet over the net and it goes in the perfect spot every time.”

When not on the courts, Sage can be found making female audiences “freak out” as an ersatz Bon Jovi (a well-paying gig he grew into after an agent saw him performing Bon Jovi songs at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas), or touring with Mitchell in his version of the Bay City Rollers.

“It’s so fun and interesting to watch all these people singing every lyric of these songs and wearing the tartan clothes,” Sage said. “Not only are there 50-year-old women throwing panties, but their 20-year-old daughters are there. I throw on leather pants and do my thing. That’s part of the fun, I think, is that they get to relive that part of their lives.”

Sage’s own trip down memory lane includes moving to San Diego at age 17, where he studied tennis at San Diego State University on a full ride scholarship.

Though he achieved a professional ranking, he was injured as a passenger in an automobile accident in Hawaii, derailing his professional career.

Naturally, Sage said, his book includes inspirational passages about overcoming challenges and obstacles through his life’s journey.  “The book talks about reaching your goals and how, if you have a dream, you can reach it with hard work and discipline,” Sage said.

Related posts:

  1. Fabulously Subversive: bicoastal architect William Georgis celebrates release of retrospective book
  2. Horton Welcomes the News! Dr. Seuss expert finds seven lost stories for book No. 45!
  3. Librarians pick top children’s books for 2011 with annual awards
  4. Jane Mitchell scores a hit with new book on San Diego athletes
  5. Author to discuss his biography on Hedy Lamarr in La Jolla

Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=112280

Posted by Pat Sherman on Aug 21, 2013. Filed under A & E, Books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar


Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • Del Mar couple to present program about Bhutan at Solana Beach Library September 1, 2014
    Join cultural anthropologist and photographer Roger Harmon and his wife, Nancy, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9, in the Solana Beach Library for a free presentation of their travels to Bhutan through slides and artifacts. […]
  • Carmel Valley Boy Scouts climb Mount Whitney September 1, 2014
    Several boys from Boy Scout Troop 765 (Carmel Valley) made the climb to the tallest peak in the contiguous 48 states this summer. They spent the summer hiking the tallest peaks of Southern California, preparing for their hike of Mount Whitney. These peaks included Mount Baldy, Mount San Jacinto, and Mount San Gorgonio. The boys made the 22-mile round-trip tr […]
  • Multimillion-dollar renovation complete at Hilton San Diego Del Mar September 1, 2014
    Hilton San Diego Del Mar announces the completion of its multimillion-dollar renovation. Funded by Wheelock Street Capital and Sage Hospitality, the hotel’s completed renovation includes the lobby, business center, fitness center, restaurant, meeting spaces and all 257 guest rooms. “This renovation has truly transformed the Hilton San Diego Del Mar property, […]