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Rock ?n? Roll dreams

This week, there have been reports about a new toy for middle-ranking corporate executives to get their teeth into.

india Updated: Feb 03, 2007 00:42 IST

This week, there have been reports about a new toy for middle-ranking corporate executives to get their teeth into. It is called Fantasy Rock Camp, which, as the name suggests, is a place you can go and live out your rock ’n’ roll fantasies and play your axe with your heroes and idols.

When I read this, it sounded fabulous and was ready to give it a go.

I was intrigued because it would be the perfect foil to a rock ’n’ roll fantasy I lived out on my 40th birthday, when I played The Forum, in London. This was as good as it could get — at least, that’s what I thought until I read about the camp. The reports suggested you would play with the likes of Ronnie Wood and Jack Bruce, to name but two. Intrigued, I went to the website to see who I might be sharing a stage with.

After looking at the site, it looked closer to playing with Millwall at the Den rather than Arsenal at the Emirates. I am into music and fairly obsessed with learning the guitar but... the immortal Kelly Keager (Night Ranger), the seminal Scott Ian (Anthrax), and the legendary Jeff “Skunk’ Baxter (Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan), please.

It’s worth watching the episode of series 14 of The Simpsons where Homer gets to go to Rock Camp. There, he gets to play with Mick, Keith, Lenny, Elvis and Tom Petty. Not, in other words, a bunch of unknowns who require the name of their bands after their own names to ensure you know who the hell they are.


I don’t know how many of you have met your musical heroes, but it is invariably a shocking disappointment. My view is keep your distance. Your idolatry is invariably dented when you get up close and personal. Either you behave like a starry-eyed fool, or you leave disillusioned with their absence of star quality. For those of you who have seen the latest Pixies road movie (Quiet Loud Quiet), you will know what I mean. I don’t want Kim Deal to be the woman you see on screen; I want her to remain the all-time coolest female bassist.

My great music hero is Thom Yorke — and I did meet him briefly backstage after a gig a couple of years ago. It was in the autumn after they had played Glastonbury. In my over-excited state, I ran up to him and asked how he thought the gig differed from the Glasto extravaganza. He hesitated for a moment, looked me in the eye, only to reply, deadpan, that Glasto was outdoors. I walked away in shame.

So, a simple piece of advice: stay away from your musical icons. Rock ’n’ roll reality rarely matches up to the fantasy.

The Guardian/Will Hodgkinson