The Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp From Hell
Rocks Off recently got invited to cover something known as Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp, which works a lot like baseball fantasy camp, except none of the participants can field a line-drive grounder. Among the idols rock campers will meet include 3 Doors Down, Mark Farner, the drummer from the Hooters and the guitarist for Mr. Big. That's pretty bad, but the chance to meet Cliff Williams of AC/DC and The Who's Roger Daltrey is also afforded, so we think we could definitely do worse. Hmm, if Rocks Off were to deliberately create as terrible a rock camp as possible, what would it be like...?
Photo illustrations by John Seaborn Gray
Your tour bus pulls up in front of Rocks Off's massive Exile In the Hill Country Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp compound buried deep in central Texas somewhere between Austin and San Angelo. As you disembark from your tour bus, you notice an enthusiastic young man pounding out the theme to Jurassic Park on his Casio keyboard.
A few steps closer and, oh my goodness, it's an Andrew WK! Yes, Rocks Off Exile's campgrounds will feature at least three fully licensed and authentic Andrew WKs patrolling the grounds offering encouragement and middling, ambient keyboard improvisations at all times. Feeding the Andrew WKs is strictly forbidden.
But that's just the beginning of your adventure. Your bags will be stowed away by members of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Less Than Jake, Voodoo Glow Skulls, and many other once-famous Third Wave ska bands Rocks Off found living on the street and rehabilitated at our own expense. Once that's taken care of, you'll be given a tour of the camp grounds by none other than Pete Doherty.
Shit like this pretty much happens every day.
Please note: if Doherty keels over dead there is no need to panic; simply activate the defibrillators sewed into his chest cavity as per their easy-to-read instructions printed on his T-shirt.
Your morning routine will start off with a nutritious batch of breakfast burritos, microwaved by none other than Juan Croucier himself, former bassist for Ratt and Dokken (and even a brief stint in Quiet Riot). After that, your day starts off with a bang when you head into your first class to receive guitar lessons from the man, the master, Mister Jack White!
Yes, Jack White, born Horst Nussbaum in 1940s Germany, wrote and produced several hard-hitting songs for many famous rock & rollers, including Barry Manilow, Paul Anka, David Hasselhoff, and the great Pia Zadora!
He'll teach you all you need to know about beginner guitar, although you should be warned, he becomes agitated and has been known to scream and throw things at mention of the term "power chord."
After a lunch prepared by a surprise guest celebrity chef (usually a choral member of the Polyphonic Spree), you'll venture into the great outdoors for some good old-fashioned exercise. To be exact, you'll be put to work setting up the massive stage pavilion for that evening's concert.
You'll be tutored in the art of roadie-ing by roadies who have worked for such big-time acts as Inspiral Carpets, The Boo Radleys, Virgin Prunes, Gruntruck and many more. Honestly, this will take you the better part of the afternoon and on into the evening. You probably won't get around to eating dinner until around 9 p.m....
...at which time you'll be treated to Mystery Murder Dinner Theater courtesy of members of Entombed, Unleashed, Darkthrone and several other death-metal bands. Note: the members of these bands frequently break character and actually murder one another, so please assist us in being on the lookout for weapons and blood that look decidedly realistic, as well as suspiciously inappropriate dialogue such as "I'll fucking kill you, you fucking fuck!" or "Fucking die! Fucking die! Fucking diiiieeee!" or anything screamed in Norwegian.
Rocks Off is not liable for any death, injury, or psychological trauma incurred during the performance.
Once dinner is over (and, if necessary, all witness statements have been given to the police), you'll proceed to the stage you built to watch a concert put on just for you by members of Nickelback, Creed, Bush, Lifehouse, Hoobastank, Vertical Horizon, Dishwalla and Puddle of Mudd. The supergroup is mostly made up of bassists, drummers, and backup singers, so please be respectful of the group members who are only recently learning lead guitar and keyboard parts.
You'll be treated to a rockin' three-hour improvised jam session, and thanks to Exile In the Hill Country's strict no-alcohol policy, you'll be able to enjoy every single second of it stone sober and unimpeded by rowdy drunkards.
After you're done breaking down the stage (Texas regulations state that our pavilion must be disassembled every evening and reassembled every morning), you'll head back to your cabins to bed down for the night. But wait! Who's that sharing a room with you?
Why, it's none other than one of our many celebrity bunkmates, including the pride of Rocks Off's rock & roll staff, Joanna Hensley, onetime roommate of Chloe Taylor, daughter of former Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor. Some celebrity bunkmates have been known to sneak drugs onto the camp grounds, so we ask that you please report them to one of the Andrew WK's.
So sign up for Rocks Off's Exile In the Hill Country Rock & Roll Camp today! After just one week, you'll be unable to legally testify that it was entirely unrelated to rock & roll!
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.