Rock Camp Day #4: A very special day, the home stretch.
I brought in a personal guest instructor, Isabel (from the duo "Izzi & Margo"). At 15 years old, she's a veteran of 3 or 4 Rock Camps -- vocals, guitar, bass, and drums. She gave the boys a talking-to (tough love). Highlights from her speech: "Sometimes you don't like the song, but that's how life works.... ... I'm a diehard Taylor Swift fan; do you think I wanted to play all that metal that boys wanted to play?" (I choked on my laughter.) Then she confessed that she enjoyed Ozzy's "Crazy Train."
She observed our rehearsals and offered insights about working together and supporting one another. Believe me when I say, the boys improved 40% immediately. As tough a taskmaster as Isabel was, she also let them know: "Wow, you guys are really talented and know what you're doing. If you're THIS good while goofing around so much, I can't imagine how good you're gonna be on stage if you buckle down for these last two days." She is right.
And the boys DID buckle down. They tightened up the sound, executing the epic qualities in the big-sounding material they've chosen. The Who, The Eagles, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Santana, and Led Zeppelin. We are one rehearsal away from masterliness. Drummers (Keyan, Eliot, David) are undaunted by playing in a two-drummer act. Vocalists are on-pitch and in-the-pocket. Both guitarists can solo (Rob & Isaac). Bass Benjamin and keyboard Nick are rock-solid. We finally get to discuss the icing on our cake: Band name, wardrobe, stagecraft, etc. (They have decided to call themselves "14 Weenises... Should I run that by the parents?)
Guest Speaker: My longtime friend Ehren Ebbage, who writes, records, and produces music for television and film. The kids enjoyed the variety of his samples, emphasizing the extreme diversity that an artist must embrace if he or she wants to have a career in music. Ehren is so humble; he was slow to mention the shows in which his music has appeared: "Sons of Anarchy," "Sons of Guns," "Killing Fields," ..... and he's not exactly sure if any of his music has been used in "Duck Dynasty."