It's every parent's nightmare. You work hard trying to raise your child, teaching him bad manners and a healthy disrespect for authority, and the little jerk turns out to be a straight-A nerd on the straight-and-narrow. If only there were some kind of rehab for young geeks, a place where they could go and learn to admire heroes like Mick Jagger and Joey Ramone … a kind of two-week crash course in rock and roll that'll get their blood boiling for some sweet licks on a Strat … a Rock Camp USA. Well, hot damn, there is.
I wrote about Rock Camp in the paper version of Unfair Park a couple of weeks ago. It's a summer camp for aspiring musicians of all skill levels and ages, ranging from about 12 to 16. Led by Fort Worth rocker Lee Allen and a team of very patient music teachers, kids are grouped into bands by skill level and taught to rock. Literally.
From stage presence to guitar riffs to that most important skill of all, the ability to play in time with your fellow musicians, kids play covers of Zeppelin, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Black Sabbath … pretty much anything's fair game. The whole thing culminates in a big Saturday afternoon concert.
Sound like something your future hellraiser would be interested in? Though he's already finished one Rock Camp session this summer, Allen's putting together a second Rock Camp for everyone who didn't get a chance to participate back in June.
Tuition's around $400 for two weeks (the kids go all afternoon, which means parents get to go all afternoon, wherever the hell they want -- something that, I'm told, doesn't happen much in the summertime.) Allen's second session, if it fills, would start around July 23rd. But he can't have camp if he doesn't have campers. You can poke around on the Rock Camp Web site for more info, or e-mail me for Allen's phone number if you'd like to push your kid (and his/her loud music equipment) off on someone else for two weeks. --Andrea Grimes
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