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Rock'n'Roll Fantasy Camp

© Lauren Greenfield

In the quest to retain youth, accomplished middle-aged professionals say that rocking out to classic songs is a preferable alternative to “buying a new car or having an affair”. And rather than permanently ditching the family for a headband and set of drums, many opt for short-term musical catharsis. Rock’n’Roll Fantasy Camp is a summer program that has attracted thousands of “campers” — men and women, executives and housewives — that dream of playing with leading musicians from hallmark bands of the past decades.
Bassists, guitarists, songwriters and drummers from groups such as AC/DC, Guns & Roses, Deep Purple, Megadeath, Aerosmith and The Cars “tour” the country in a rock star bus, meeting aspiring rockers in 26 cities. At a price tag of $4000 for one city, city, The “counselors” and the “campers” (roughly 80 per city) spend the day preparing for a big stage show performance that evening.

At the Los Angeles camp, rockers including Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple)(add most famous bands for these guys), Gilby ClarkeEarl Slick (David Bowie),, and Chris Slade David Ellefson (Megadeath) led assorted rockers-in-training in the day’s jam session, culminating with a live performance by the newly formed bands at the renowned Sunset Strip’s House of Blues.

Mark Hudson, 57, a prolific producer for mega-bands including Aerosmith, was a particularly enthusiastic participant. Hudson Aacknowledginges that, by many standards, he expected to be “wearing diapers” by now, he credits music, and the Camp, for keeping him young and rockin’. Says Hudson, “You get to be in a room with people who are hungry and scared. All that nervous energy, it’s such a beautiful thing.”

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