OK. This is going to be the last post about Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp for a little while (because frankly, the more I talk about it, the more I miss the actual experience of playing on those stages...or hell, any stage for that matter. And at this point in my life, I'm not quite ready to get back into a gigging band (and besides, I think Devilcake already has like 8 guitar players or something in it by now)).
But in going back and looking over the 'crummy' things that happened with the trip--in the grand scheme of things, they really weren't THAT horrible. But I finally figured out what bugged me so much about it all.
It wasn't the fairy-tale version of the story. See, here's how the fairy-tale version went down (in my mind):
I got the email from LiveNation telling me to call them. I called. They told me I won. At this point (in my head), it should have gone down like this....
I get flown in to Phoenix. The limo driver meets me at the airport and takes me to the hotel. When I get to the hotel, someone from the RRFC crew is either there to meet me or calls me when I land. They congratulate me for winning and tell me how great it is to have me on the tour. They take me out to dinner (or tell me to order room service-it's on them). And then they lay down the details of how the rest of the tour is going to go. Then they say that someone's gonna be there at 8:whatever O'Clock to take me over to the Phoenix camp. And here's my per-diem....here's a t-shirt (or 12)...and we'll have a meet and greet with the band sometime on the first day..put out a press release about the contest winner...blah blah. In short, I wanted to be treated like the fairy tale prince. And maybe that's my fault for expecting all of that (it probably is).
The reality was...I got the email telling me to call them (LiveNation). I called. They told me I won.I get flown in to Phoenix. The limo driver meets me at the airport and takes me to the hotel (which isn't even the one that the rock camp/rock stars are staying at). I get checked in. I wait. I don't hear from anyone. I don't have anyone's phone numbers. I wait. I call the office numbers I have and leave panicked voicemail messages. I get hungry. I order room service (because I'm in a strange city and don't know any details of what's going on). I go to bed. I wake up. I still don't hear from anyone. I finally track someone down at the studios where we're rehearsing. I hop a cab over there. I get a name tag and get my shite settled in the room we're rehearsing in. I get little acknowledgement about the contest at all (because everyone else there paid a lot of money for the camp). I have to make a pain in the ass of myself before someone finally acknowledges that I'm supposed to actually be on the tour for the rest of the way. And from there, it's OK. I rock with Dave and Gilby...we rock the Marquee. Get on the bus...rock Vegas...blah blah. The rest is history (and fairly well documented by this point).
So, I guess what I'm cheesed about is that I never felt like I was getting treated as a 'rock star.' And isn't that the effing point of Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp? That for a day, we can be on the same playing fields as these Rock Gods? Am I missing something? I shouldn't have had to be a pain in the ass to anyone there. I shouldn't have had to feel like I have to apologize for every question I have just because I didn't pay $10,000 to be there. And I shouldn't have to feel like I couldn't fully enjoy being the prize winner because it might make someone else who paid the full price feel bad and take away from their experience. What about my experiences as their friggin' contest winner?
I have to say that part of me not being able to roll with the punches very well when I got there was the fact that I felt like ass. I was feverish and sick for most of the trip (thank god for Day Quil and 5 hr. Energy Shots). And I was a little bummed that in every city, other people on the bus had family and friends meeting them at the shows to watch them rock out. I really wanted my wife and kids to see me up there on stage(no offense, Chrissy and Don-I was very happy to see you guys in L.A., esp. knowing what a pain it was for you guys to get there, but it wasn't the same:-)).
And, if it were not for Dave Ellefson and Gilby Clarke being such outstanding counselors-and really effin' decent people (not to mention the vibe of that first band-thanks Nathan and Mike-you helped more than you'll ever know), I really would have been looking for a way home after that first morning, contest be damned. I cannot stress enough how much they really made me feel welcome that first day.THEY made me feel like I was in a band with them. And THEY made me feel like the RockStar.
But it had a happy ending. I wound up racking up more positives than negatives on the whole trip. There are things that happened that would have NEVER happened in my life otherwise....if I live to be 100, I'd have never been in a situation to hear Mark Slaughter and Mark Hudson swap Ozzy stories while Chris Slade hands out the beers.
I was just thinking this morning that 'you know...it really didn't play out like a movie would have played out....but it DID play out just like a reality TV series would.' So, if I wind up being the bitchy fat guy on the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp show that comes out this fall, we'll know what's up.
I guess I was just hoping for the Fairy-Tale version, not the Reality TV version. I'm sick of reality TV.
I'm not sure what's going to happen yet with the video clips I took. I'm not even sure I'm gonna make my little movie. Because, lets be honest...it's gonna be a lot of pix and me doing a voice-over where I'm basically re-hashing the same things I've posted about in these blogs as of late. And who's THAT going to be interesting to? Yeah. exactly.
Could be I'm just still tired and when I'm fully recovered, I'll have a different perspective. I do know this....that I do want to start writing songs again. Even if they're just for me. Plus it'll be good to have something to fall back on if this whole 'movie' thing goes south. :-) So, Darrin and Ian....ya'll might be getting that 'Rock Emergency' call sometime in the near future.
Peace, and Rock On!
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