Rock 'n' roll dreams never die. They just get more expensive.
At Sacramento's myRecordFantasy camp, which started Monday, rock fans can jam with, audition for and potentially make a record with Todd Rundgren, the "Hello It's Me" singer and record producer. The price of the three-day event is $5,000.
"It is not a trivial amount of money," said Joan Carlson, 50, a camper and singer from Sausalito. "It is (equivalent to) a good trip to Italy."
Rather than lounge in a Tuscan villa, the 30 myRecordFantasy campers – from Northern California, Chicago, Dallas, Brazil and elsewhere – pound on drums, noodle on guitar and shoot the breeze with Rundgren at the deluxe Track Shack Studios off Arden Way.
The building itself fulfills rock 'n' roll fantasies, with its open bar and walls lined with memorabilia including the red neon "Tower" sign from the former Watt Avenue store.
"I tried to resist, but finally, my inner child screeched, 'I want to do this!' " Carlson, owner of a design firm, said of signing up for the camp.
Now in its third session – previous events focused on the Monkees' Micky Dolenz and Starship's Mickey Thomas – myRecordFantasy is the brainchild of Mitch Koulouris, 50, a longtime Tower Records employee turned digital-music entrepreneur.
Koulouris' current venture, Gigatone Entertainment, puts on myRecordFantasy camp, produces records and a Web series related to the camp – and taps the significant market of baby boomers who were teenagers when first captivated by Rundgren's or Dolenz's music.
The same kids who learned to play guitar by listening to Rundgren's records in their bedrooms now play alongside him in a state-of-the-art studio.
The camp "brings back a moment in time in people's lives, regardless of their age – from a prom, a wedding or a (particular) summer – associated with a particular artist," Koulouris said. "If you fast-forward, we are all a bit older and working in our daily lives, and to be on a record with someone associated with fond memories of the past – it is an awesome thing."
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