So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star?
The crowd is roaring, the spotlights are blazing in your eyes, your ears are ringing from the towering speakers, and next to you onstage is Roger Daltrey from The Who. Behind you on drums is Alan White from Yes. And on vocals, you’ve got Steven Tyler from Aerosmith and Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys and . . . wait a minute, what is this, some kind of rock ’n’ roll fantasy?
Yes, actually, it is—the kind of fantasy you can only get from Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy Camp. There are a number of other rock music camps out there, but this is the original and, many say, still the best. The camps, which last about 5 days, are held in cities like Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, and London. (One-day camps are also occasionally offered.) Practice and recording sessions take place at legendary sites like Abbey Road Studios in London and the Capitol Records building in Hollywood. Best of all, each camp concludes with a live performance taking place at classic rock venues like the House of Blues, Whisky-a-Go-Go, and The Cavern (where a little combo called The Beatles got their start some years ago in Liverpool, England).
The camps, which are popular as gifts and corporate retreats, are a total immersion in rock music, and everyone from novice songwriters and newbie drummers to ax-shredding, head-banging guitarists gets to participate in the fun. But there’s plenty of work involved, too: In addition to the more than 10 hours of jamming each day, small group classes are led by professional musicians (imagine having Ted Nugent or Bruce Kulick of Kiss as your teacher!). Master class sessions in bass, drums, guitar, songwriting, and other skills are also offered. Campers eat meals and stay in the same hotel as celebrity musicians, so there are plenty of opportunities for one-on-one encounters with your rock idol.
After registering for Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy Camp, each camper is assigned to a band based on his or her interests and skill level. Campers practice an original song to be performed with their band at the final night’s concert, known as “Campapalooza,” which is open to the public and recorded on a DVD, so you can relive your rock ’n’ roll dream over and over again. All this making of fantasies come true doesn’t come cheap. A few days to a week at camp can run you anywhere from around $4,000 to more than $10,000. But really, you can’t put a price on living the dream. —ML
Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy Camp ( 888/762-2263 or 44/0845-0943256 in the U.K.; www.rockcamp.com).
When to Go: Whenever you’re ready to live the dream.