For 25 years, Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp has made musical dreams come true, joining casual gamers with industry superstars such as Aerosmith’s Joe Perry and Steven Tyler, singer Darlene Love, Kiss’s Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, The Who frontman Roger Daltrey. , Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee, shock rocker Alice Cooper, guitarist Lita Ford and many others.
Although there are many Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy Camp programs throughout the country throughout the year, the event was held in Los Angeles from January 27th to 2019. 30 will be women-only for the first time with special guests Melissa Etheridge, Nancy Wilson of Heart, Katie Valentine of The Go-Go and guitarist Orianti.
“The time has come and it’s about empowering women,” said Britt Lightning, Vixen’s guitarist and music director for Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy Camp, during a recent phone interview.
“It’s a non-competitive environment where we can talk openly about anything,” she said, sharing the story of the experienced guitarist who was the only woman in the room at a recent workshop. “They’re just dudes and it can be intimidating. I understand. You have a lot of masculine energy, and people look at you like this: “Okay, show yourself, the only girl in the room.” We are not looking for this here. We want people to grow and improve, and we are here to encourage them, and this is the perfect forum for that. “
The four-day immersive experience includes all skill levels – from aspiring teens to grandmothers who just want to swing – from all over the world. The members are split into different bands and individually coached by a stellar lineup of rock stars including Pink bassist Eva Gardner, Eagles of Death Metal bassist Jenny Vee, Zepparella guitarist Gretchen Menn and many more.
Campers will also take part in Q&A and jam sessions with Etheridge, Valentine, Wilson and Orianti. At the end of the program, the bands will perform live in front of friends and family at The Viper Room, and the finale will take place at a Whiskey a Go-Go on the Sunset Strip. As COVID-19 continues to affect live broadcasts, Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy Camp attendees will be required to show proof of full vaccination and will be tested regularly throughout the event.
“The whole process of these rock camps is amazing,” said Lightning, whose real name is Brittany Denaro. “The camps are simply breaking all boundaries. It’s an inclusive community and incredible support once you get here. “
She said she was fully aware that it can be very intimidating to play in front of some of the biggest stars in the industry, noting that once some players learned that Jeff Beck would be present during the previous camp session, some refused. because they were too nervous to play with their idol.
“However, once you’re here, those fears will go away,” she assures. “It’s actually one big family working towards a common goal of just hanging out and being the best we can all be.”
Lightning joined the camp as a consultant in 2019 and befriended founder and music producer David Fishof. The following year, she became music director, and during the COVID-19 lockdown, the company hosted over 160 virtual workshops through the camp’s official website with a variety of artists to keep former and potential campers interested. In early 2021, a documentary, Camp Rock: The Movie, was even released about the camp and its superstar players.
Camp packages range from $ 2,499 to $ 5,999 and include a variety of amenities and perks. While the price may seem high, bassist and aspiring counselor Rhonda Smith, who has played with everyone from Prince to Jeff Beck, said she would like such a program to be available when she arrives.
“My parents would probably have registered me in something like that,” she said during a recent telephone interview. “I think it has a great vibe and it’s very specialized. There is also a safe atmosphere where people can go, it is a relaxed atmosphere, age and skill level do not matter, there is no judgment, and you just have fun. “
While she looks forward to being able to coach her entire band, Smith said she will be keeping an eye on the bass players in the gym.
“This is my # 1 love,” she said with a laugh. “I am looking for young bassists who can help, advise, support or do whatever they may need.”
Lightning said they are looking for singers, guitarists, bassists, keyboardists, but they need more drummers this year.
“Say hello to all female drummers, we need you,” she pleaded playfully.