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Steve Vai Shreds at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp (VIDEO)

Charles Epting

Several months back Noisecreep took you inside the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp in Los Angeles to watch as head counselor Paul Stanley of KISS, along with dozens of other rockers including Lita Ford, Kip Winger, Vinny Appice, and Bruce Kulick helped campers from all over the country live out their ultimate rock and roll fantasies.

Camp was back in session last week, and Noisecreep was back to capture some of the action during a decidedly guitar-heavy gathering that featured none other than Steve Vai (David Lee Roth, Whitesnake, Frank Zappa) and Zakk Wylde.

At the Saturday session, Vai, along with legendary bassist Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big) jammed for the campers, up close and personal, before several campers actually got to take part in a bit of a master class with Vai, playing alongside him before receiving critique from the acclaimed master of the axe. During a Q&A, Vai then shared some inside tips and professional memories to help shape and form the dreams of the assembled amateur rockers. The guitarist talked about playing with David Lee Roth (in a band that included Sheehan), about late night visits from Eddie Van Halen, about playing for Frank Zappa at age 20, and how he approaches his craft (still practicing more than an hour every single night).

Then it was time to start evaluating all of the 14 bands that had been assembled, each being assigned a celebrity counselor, to get the players ready for their big show at the world famous Whiskey a Go Go on the Sunset Strip. So Vai visited with each band, sat in with them on guitar, then gave them his advice. For the campers, it was just another mind-blowing experience over the course of an almost week-long chain of similar “pinch me I must be dreaming” moments.

Watch Steve Vai at Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp

The brainchild of producer David Fishof, this is the camp’s 15th year. With years of experience producing rock tours throughout the world, Fishof first got the idea for the camp as a way to give music fans the opportunity to see their rock dreams become reality by learning from some of the most influential artists in the industry. That dream first crystallized in 1997 and over the years, he has delivered some of the world’s top rockers to mentor, teach, perform and just plain hang out with fans.

Charles Epting

Kip Winger, a staple of 1980s MTV as head of the band bearing his last name, has been involved with the camp for years. “I live in Nashville now, I stay very busy as a composer, but I love coming in to work with the camp,” he told Noisecreep. “It’s a good chance for me to help out people that want a serious taste of this life- and also I get to catch up with some old friends, too.”

This session of camp also includes Warren Haynes from the Allman Brothers, Matt Sorum from Guns N’ Roses, Bruce Kulick from KISS, Lita Ford, and renowned bassist Rudy Sarzo, who has played with Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, and Dio, among many others. In an exclusive video interview (seen below), Sarzo told Noisecreep what the camp means to him.

Watch Rudy Sarzo Talking About Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp

Noisecreep will be back with a report on the big finale at the Whiskey a Go Go, but in the meantime for the campers and counselors alike – there is work to be done.

For more information on the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp and its different packages, please visit this link.

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