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It's just a rock 'n' roll fantasy for Pa. man

September 18, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The experience proved to be "Some Kind of Wonderful" when a Chambersburg man played that song while opening for Def Leppard and Journey last Sunday.

Ted Guarriello participated in the Rock n' Roll Fantasy Camp's first one-day camp, which mimicked its weeklong counterpart in offering Guarriello and about 70 other campers an opportunity to jam with professional musicians and participate in a battle of the bands that evening.

"They put you up on the stage with often the people who originally wrote and recorded the song," Guarriello said.

He said he experienced stage fright during the morning's audition, but wasn't as nervous when performing in front of 2,500 to 3,000 people at the Germain Amphitheater in Columbus, Ohio.

"We played it well, had the audience dancing and got a huge cheer at the end," Guarriello said.

"They're really judged well," said David Fishof, who founded the camp in 1997. The battle of 11 bands was judged by industry executives and radio disc jockeys, he said.

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Guarriello's band, Loose Change, worked with Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad.

Loose Change didn't win the contest, but Guarriello was impressed by the band that did. Toys in the Attic included two high-schoolers under the guidance of Teddy Andreadis, who played with Guns N' Roses.

The audition was one of the best parts of the day, Guarriello said.

"It was a really neat morning," Guarriello said. Musicians from all over the world "got on stage with their high- school heroes," he said.

"We only hire counselors who are great and accessible," Fishof said. The camp caters to people with any level of talent, he said.

"You can play for 30 years, three months, or you can sing in the shower," Fishof said.

Guarriello's 16-year-old daughter's practicing on the drums spurred him to begin playing the guitar more often.

"It was her drumming that inspired me to take my guitar off the shelf," Guarriello said.

Fishof is looking to launch a 20-city tour next year with campers opening for the artist each night. He also is scheduling camps in Los Angeles, London and New York City.

"We used to do one a year, but now we're doing a bunch of them," Fishof said.

The incorporation of a one-day camp was designed to shave the $10,000 weeklong fee and also to accommodate work schedules, according to Fishof.

"Many people cannot get away for five days or, with travels, six or seven days," Fishof said.

Guarriello said he would recommend the camp to anyone. It gives participants the opportunity to realize that professionals work hard, yet are real people, he said.

"They're there for the fans and are good people. It's an incredible experience," Guarriello said.

He's documenting the experience at www.guarriello.net.

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