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

Day Three: This One Goes to 11

The camp staff is finally getting its act together. Shuttles arrive on time, and the maniacal shuttle drivers deposit campers (some hung over from last night’s after-party, to which, I’m told, the cops were summoned) at their respective rehearsal studios.

Today’s goal: finish composing our original song, which must be recorded tomorrow. (The camp management has an ulterior motive as well: It is hoping one of our sessions will yield a “theme song” it can use for future promotions.) Crafting our contribution—the three-minute masterpiece “Working on a Rock ’n’ Roll Dream”—is a bit like building Frankenstein’s monster, as we graft the limbs of long-dead melodies onto the body of an up-tempo blues arrangement. (Watch Frankenstein's monster come alive in the Day Three video.)

Surprise! We get a free concert by a new group featuring former Blondie drummer Clem Burke and David Bowie’s guitarist Earl Slick (one of my all-time favorites) as well as some fashion designer as their lead singer. It’s an added bonus to see these veteran rockers up close and personal for free, but the sound levels in the small performance space are painfully loud. (Note to potential campers: Bring earplugs!)

Afterward, the campers are at liberty for the first time as the day draws to a close. While some choose sightseeing or Broadway shows, I return to the studio for a post-dinner jam session. Blaring guitars pound out classic rock stand-bys, replete with the obligatory extended solos—even for the drummers. Having professional participants certainly helps—just as your game improves when you play with better athletes, most campers’ skills shine when the counselors sit in.

  • Continue to Day Four: He Riffs, He Scores!