24 June 2010

It's all part of my rock and roll fantasy...

I wonder what sort of people show up for these fantasy camps. Fantasy camps in general are interesting phenomena, and to an extent I can understand the draw of being on the same baseball field with your childhood heroes, but this rock and roll fantasy camp is hardly my idea of a fantasy.

The big draw in 2006, apparently, was that you got to "open" for Def Leppard and Journey...as if that were some kind of fantasy. Actually, if that is your fantasy, then I probably don't know you. Nor do I wear jean shorts, drive a camaro, or drink wine coolers.
The camp has seen such rock luminaries as Roger Daltrey, Jon Anderson, Dickey Betts, Mickey Hart, George Thorogood, and Neil Schon make our campers rock dreams come true, as they learn from and jam with the world’s greatest celebrity rock musicians.
Wow. As much as I respect Daltrey, you have to admit that outside The Who, he's made some pretty poor artistic choices. Mickey Hart, I'm guessing, was searching for himself in the years after Jerry Garcia's death. Other than that, you're really looking at the County Fair circuit. But it gets better:
Audition alongside celebrity rock star counselors Simon Kirke (Bad Company/Free), Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (Doobie Brothers), Artimus Pyle (Lynyrd Skynyrd), Teddy Andreadis (Guns & Roses), Gunnar Nelson (Nelson), Spencer Davis (Spencer Davis Group), Fred Coury (Cinderella), Kelly Keagy (Night Ranger), Michael Lardie (Great White), and many others.
Nothing against these guys, because everyone has to eat, but the equivalent in a baseball fantasy camp would be to list a few platooning outfielders or middle relief pitchers with a few years of MLB experience each and baseball cards worth about 3 cents. Half of these guys I'd rather see in the County Fair dunk tank than anywhere else.

Still not convinced to shell out your $2000 for the camp? Well, here was the kicker back in 2006:

Will I actually get to open for Def Leppard/Journey?

An all day rehearsal and instruction from celebrity rock star counselors, use of top line studio quality equipment, such as: Gibson guitars, DW drums, Marshall amps, and Korg keyboards, playing in front of thousands as the opening act in the Battle of the Bands, a meet and greet with Def Leppard and Journey, two meals, merchandise, and prime pavilion seats for you and a guest for the show, all for only $2000!

So to answer the question, not really. You will open the Battle of the Bands, which takes place two hours before the Def Leppard/Journey concert...or should I say, 2 hours before the time marked on the tickets, which of course is never when the band comes on. So the likelihood of "playing in front of thousands" as an act coming on at 5:30 p.m. when most people are going to be getting to the concert at 7:30 p.m. is, well, optimistic.

Oh, and you get to play (it seems from the website) 2 songs. So you're probably offstage by 5:40 p.m.

But if you are a huge Def Leppard or Journey fan, and some of those people are out there, it might be worth $2K to play some music, meet the groups, get your t-shirt/bumper stickers etc. that are involved in "merchandise," eat your two meals, and watch the gig from your pavillion seats.

More recently, the camp has been scaled back considerably, although the price remains $2K. Now instead of playing in a battle of the bands at a concert headlined by some creaky middle-brow 80's bands, you will get to play "in a band" with a counselor and Dickey Betts will be there. While you aren't promised that you'll be on stage with Dickey Betts, you are promised that you will get to "Jam with Rock Legend Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers."

All of this fun takes place at the Trocadero in Philly in October. Start saving.


Anonymous said...

Although your article is quite well written and entertaining, commenting on an event that you NEVER attended is unfair and unjust. I challenge you to attend the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp and see if your opinion doesn't take a 360 degree turn. I believe you'll be deleting this blog post and posting up a "loved it, best experience of my life" blog instead. Take the challenge. I dare you.

cs said...

David: Are you fronting the $2K?