Floyd star teaches fans to rock

13 maart 2009

By Rodrigo Davies
6 Music news reporter

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Nick Mason first got involved in the rock camp in Los Angeles

Music fans with money to spend have met Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason – and soon they will be playing on stage with him.

Forty-two attendees each paid around £6,000 for the annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy camp, which is being held in central London for the second time.

The six-day event takes place for most of the week at Abbey Road studios, where a litany of stars have recorded.

It finishes on Sunday with a performance at Liverpool’s Cavern Club, which famously hosted the Beatles.

This year, Pink Floyd drummer Mason and Guns ‘n’ Roses guitarist Slash were among the professional musicians on hand to give the budding stars advice and guidance.

Mason was involved in a previous camp in Los Angeles, which persuaded him to take part in the UK.

In this environment you’re just doing it for fun. There are no musical differences.

Nick Mason on the Rock N Roll Fantasy Camp

He told BBC 6 Music paying fans and professional musicians got a lot out of it.

“Playing music is just great fun,” he said. “It’s a terrific thing to do, and in this environment you’re just doing it for fun. You don’t have any musical differences.”

As part of the course, fans rehearse for 10 hours a day, eat with the famous musicians and perform with them at the final gig.

It takes in musicians of all abilities, which former Who frontman Roger Daltrey said was part of the charm.

“I feel quite passionate about anything that encourages people in music,” he explained. “They all rise to the occasion, it’s fantastic.”

The camp itself is an American creation – set up 11 years ago by promoter David Fishof, who previously reunited the Monkees.

It was even featured in an episode of the Simpsons in 2002. In the past, it has attracted the likes of Brian Wilson, Roger Daltrey and Marky Ramone.

When asked whether it reminded him of the formative years of Pink Floyd, Nick said: “Oh no – they’re a lot more grown up, these people.”

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