School of Rock

This weekend I got to hang out with some of the cool kids at Paul Green’s School of Rock. The School asked me to come in and just tell my story, play a few tunes, answer their questions.

I was a bit nervous beforehand, because I knew the age range was anywhere from 8 to 17. I didn’t know if I should bring Don Passman or a KISS coloring book. But when I got there, it was clear that these kids were super-bright and all about rock and roll. My first indication was after I played a few tunes and started to talk a bit about my writing process, the youngest one, Max, astutely asked, “Can you play some more songs?” Fair enough, Max, fair enough.

We had a great time though, and (thanks to Andy, the fantastic guitar teacher who sat in on the class) we capped it off with a songwriting exercise where the kids broke up into groups and actually penned originals:

  • Maddy & Paris pulled together a hip girl-rocker, with the kicker “it won’t make you sick, but — it’s con-TAGE-ous!”
  • In true Peart-style, Alex put aside his drumsticks momentarily to become a veritable lyric-machine on Max & Gunnar’s melody: “You know I failed every class that I’ve taken in school/ I always break a window when I’m playing pool…”
  • The big boys, Elijah, CJ & Parker — already a bona fide rawk band — put a rippin’ hard core riff down for the brain-melter, “Paris Hilton Has a Lazy Eye.” Ahhh, rock and roll is always better when it’s true…

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