Yes. The editor of a guitar magazine does lead a charmed life. That is, if one digs meeting and hanging out with guitar stars. You do, after all, meet a lot of your heroes through your job. But even with that access, I seldom get a chance to interact with superstars in a musical setting, or actually get to perform with them onstage. That opportunity didn’t come my way until I covered Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp a few years ago. At first, I wasn’t particularly jazzed about it. The camps are expensive, after all, and I feared I would be spending my weekend with a bunch of moneyed dilettantes who didn’t care about guitar playing as much as telling their friends they had coffee with Slash.
It turned out I was wrong.
Sure, there were captains of industry at the camp, but there were also a lot of the average peeps you see at concerts and sporting events in attendance. And as far as commitment goes, the campers I met were as obsessed about guitar playing and gear as I am, and a few of those people have been my friends ever since. I was put into Bruce Kulick’s band, and it was like I was back in boot camp or something. That guy likes stuff to be right. If I ever thought the “band” rehearsals were going to be full of jovial jamming, I didn’t factor in Kulick’s crazed mission to whip everyone into a super-tight, near-professional musical unit. We worked our asses off. Of course, all of the intense rehearsing paid off when my camp band performed “I Can See For Miles” with Roger Daltrey on stage at the Los Angeles House of Blues. And, let me tell you, singing “I Can See For Miles” with Roger Daltrey does not suck in any universe.
The experience was so fantastic that GP has been working with RNRFC in one way or another ever since. Last year, the relationship was evolved into a historic, debut partnership between Guitar Player and Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp to present the Ultimate Musician’s Fantasy Camp, February 13 through February 16, 2014, at the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas. For this event, we’re bringing in Joe Perry, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, John 5, and Orianthi—which means you get to hang with them, get schooled by them, and perform with them. Camp counselors include our buddies Elliot Easton and Gary Hoey, as well as drummers Danny Seraphine, Joe Vitale, and Frankie Banali, and bassist Tony Franklin.
Admittedly, the Ultimate Musician’s Fantasy Camp isn’t an inexpensive outing, but I can attest that you will get treated like a rock star and you will absorb a bunch of memorable and mind-blowing experiences that are absolutely not part of the average Joe or Jane’s leisure-life plan. Remember—I was there. I know.
For more information on Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp’s Ultimate Musician’s Fantasy Camp, powered by Guitar Player, go to rockcamp.com, and click the “Upcoming Camps” tab. There’s still time to sign up and spend the President’s Day weekend with Joe, Steve, Eric, Orianthi, and even a few GP editors.