We can’t all be rock stars, but tour producer David Fishof’s vision is to make the dream attainable for anyone — if only for a while.
More than a decade after its founding, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp is gearing up for another year of events. The first camp session of 2009 runs from April 29 through May 3 in Hollywood, CA, and ends with a live performance for campers at Sunset Strip venue Whisky A Go Go.
The five-day camp, which gives ordinary people a shot to live the life of a rock star while actively working and recording with some of the industry’s biggest stars, is limited to about 80 attendees per session and comes with a $7,999 price tag. Campers also have the option of bringing a spouse along for an additional $699.
In a recent interview with TicketNews, Fishof acknowledged that admission is pricey, but quickly noted that most of the cost goes towards supplying the full “fantasy” experience — including daily meals, access to first-rate instruments, recording sessions at Capitol Studios, the closing night performance at Whisky A Go Go, and an all-star cast of counselors.
“Unlike any other fantasy camp, we have current rockers who are still selling out arenas and winning awards,” he explained. Counselors lined up for the Hollywood 2009 camp include Todd Rundgren, Alan White (Yes), Bruce Kulick (KISS), Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver), and celebrity chef Guy Fieri, among many others.
There can be as many as five fantasy camp sessions each year, and a different roster of rock star counselors is lined up for each one. Additional 2009 camps are planned for New York City this summer, Milwaukee in October, and London in November.
Fishof first got the idea for Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp in 1989 while he was on the road with Ringo Starr and the All-Starr Band. “I was on the road with all these amazing rock stars and wondered what it would be like for other people to have that experience,” he described.
The inaugural camp launched in 1997. Despite receiving excellent press at the time, initial enrollment was limited, leading Fishof to shelve the idea for a few years before giving it another shot. He added, “And now, not a day goes by that I don’t get an e-mail from someone telling me how the camp changed their lives.”
That’s one aspect of the camp that Fishof said he can’t stress enough: it is an experience like no other. Comprised of about 60 percent males and 40 percent females, campers undergo what Fishof calls an “extreme makeover, rock ‘n’ roll style.”
He emphasized, “I take them back to their childhood when they had no issues and show them what it is to have fun.”