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Living in a Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy—Day Four

Day Four: He Riffs, He Scores!

By 9 a.m., the more diligent (or perhaps less fortunate) camper bands are recording their groups’ original songs at Sirius Radio’s glass-enclosed studio. This may be the first professional recording experience for many, so I can easily imagine the mix of anxiety and anticipation as the campers lay down their tracks. The playback sounds surprisingly—and universally—good.

I had assumed that KISS’s Paul Stanley would simply breeze through our rehearsal space this afternoon, but he visits each group in turn, listening politely or—in our case—throwing himself into the fray. Stanley steps in and belts out “Can’t Get Enough” like the six of us are coming to the end of a long but fabulously successful concert tour. (Watch more of the band and a Q and A with Paul Stanley in the Day Four video.)

A towering figure in designer boots, Stanley holds an informal Q-and-A with all the campers. We learn that he donates the proceeds from his camp appearances to a favorite charity. While delicately avoiding queries about KISS, he proves to be a personable guy, good-naturedly mulling drummer Gordon’s invitation to tour with him.

Grand Funk Railroad was the A-side of my adolescent soundtrack. Too young to see them perform live, tragically—I was 12 years old when the band released “We’re An American Band”—I hadn’t even thought about them until now, sitting just four feet away from Farner. Feeling like a kid again, clapping my hands and stomping my feet, I rise to the occasion when he asks for backup singers on “Some Kind of Wonderful.” I grab Merigo, and we rock the mic on the song’s call-and-response chorus. After playing guitar with him, I wonder if that might outshine the grand finale concert.

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