Camp Freddy – A Rock ‘n’ Roll Dream at the Roxy
I first discovered Camp Freddy about six years ago when I first moved to LA, and the show made me feel like I had finally arrived in Hollywood. I had to pinch myself as some of my favorite musicians from the 80’s and 90’s just showed up to play their own songs as well sing cover songs at the tiny venue The Roxy on Sunset Blvd. Only a couple feet away, my childhood musical stars were appearing one after the other to jam together and show that they still ‘got it.’ I marveled at Macy Gray, ZZ Top, Mark McGrath, Perry Ferrel, Chris Chaney, and Dave Navarro from Jane’s Addiction, Kid Rock, Jewel, Fred Durst, and the list goes on.
Camp Freddy Delight – Billy Ray Cyrus, Slash, Dave Navarro, Billy Morrison (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)
“CAMP FREDDY is not just a band, but it is also way more than a jam session. CAMP FREDDY is an Occasional Happening, a freak of (Hollywood) nature. What happens when we get together and play is anyone’s guess. Surprise guests, lounge singers turned heavy rock superstars, some of the world’s greatest guitarists playing three chord punk tunes. I mean, who knows what will happen at the next show? It’s not about money, or managers, or agents, but about motivation and fun. What we all got into the business for originally. We play some of the greatest rock and roll songs ever written, have a real laugh doing it, and invite artists that we respect to play them with us. It’s the real spirit of Rock and Roll.” —Billy Morrison, Guitarist/Camp Freddy
Billy Idol right before he went on stage. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)
So, when I had the chance to get tickets for the sold out show (in less than 5 minutes) again this year that happens only on 3 Fridays in December in LA, I was beyond excited. The Friday night show was so stellar, I brought my friends back Saturday night and a friend of mine in Jane’s Addiction brought us backstage (where I saw all the magic happen or maybe not happen). This year’s Friday night line up included OMG, Billy Idol! Yes, Billy freaking Idol! Rebel Yell had us screaming “More, More, More!!” He sang White Wedding just like he was on my record player in the 80s.
Guitarist Chris Chaney with Billy Idol. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)
Other highlights included Billy Ray Cyrus donning the stage, Moby, Mark McGrath (of course, he hosts the lineup) and Courtney Love who came along for the ride both nights. Apparently she left dinner at Spago to come sing Friday night. Both nights she jammed taking her shoes off, and all I could think about was Kurt Cobain.
Courtney Love appears at Camp Freddy at the Roxy on Sunset. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)
One of my favorite all time performances is the passionate singer Franky Perez. I saw him sing insanely a few years back at an Eco Oscar event and at Camp Freddy and have always been enamored by his energy. Joining Mr. Perez on Saturday, was the gorgeous long blond haired singer Julie Mintz, who has music coming out soon produced by Moby. We spotted her backstage Friday night because she looks a bit like Carolyn Bessette.
Franky Perez plays the bongos next to singer Julie Mintz. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)
What Camp Freddy show would be complete without Dave Navarro sweating on the crowd and taking his shirt off in less than two songs. Slash, who I have seen play privately several times before, made an appearance Saturday night too, although I saw his wife Perla at the Roxy Friday night. Drummer Matt Sorum shook things up Friday evening as he smashed some sh** up because apparently he didn’t like how the crowd was responding. Talented guitarist Chris Chaney and Billy Morrison played the full show every night with every musician involved. The impressive jam session with all the guitar players and musicians on stage at one time just doing their thing was beyond incredible! At one point, there were over ten rockstars jamming together creating something so special that I thought how this could never ever be replicated.
Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction shakes things up – only at Camp Freddy. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)
The energy of so many musical talents is an electric one of a kind show that will last in my memory for a long time.
Camp Freddy gets real wild. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)
Who exactly makes up this Camp Freddy and where did the name come from?
CAMP FREDDY, headed up by Billy Morrison (The Cult), Dave Navarro (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane’s Addiction, The Panic Channel), Matt Sorum (Guns N Roses, Velvet Revolver, The Cult), Donovan Leitch (son of legendary folk singer Donovan), and Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction, The Panic Channel), was created for the sole purpose have having a good time. They have, in the six years they have been together, played an ever-growing list of shows, from the bizarre to the fabulous. Opening the world’s biggest strip club, through shows for Blender magazine, Sony Playstation, Vanity Fair, Grey Goose Vodka and many others, and on to charity shows to help Tsunami and Hurricane Victims, and low key, secret shows in their Los Angeles hometown, the band continue to play the greatest rock and roll songs in their own beautifully chaotic way.
- Camp Freddy JAM – Billy Ray Cyrus, Slash, Franky Perez, Dave Navarro, Billy Morrison. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)
The list of guests that have joined CAMP FREDDY onstage grows longer and more outrageous with each concert. So far, artists such as Moby, Robbie Williams, Ronnie Wood, Lou Reed, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mark McGrath, Slash, Perry Farrell, Wes Scantlin, Billy Duffy, Fabrizio Moretti, Stephen Perkins, Twiggy Ramirez, Duff McKagan, Sebastian Bach, Kid Rock, Steven Tyler, Chad Smith, Jerry Cantrell, Jonathan Davis, Cypress Hill, Xzibit, Rob Zombie, Brandon Boyd, Richard Patrick, Lemmy, Steve Jones and many more have played with the band. They have performed such classics as ‘Paradise City’, ‘Whole Lotta Love’, ‘Pretty Vacant’, ‘Jean Genie’, ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’, ’20th Century Boy’, ‘Brown Sugar’, ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’ … in fact, at last count, the band have had over 100 guest artists appear with them to play over 100 songs.
Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray looking sharp pumps up the crowd. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)
whose name was derived from a character in the classic Michael Caine movie, ‘The Italian Job’ formerly hosted a radio show on L.A.’s once hottest radio station INDIE 103.1FM. The radio show was nominated for Best Radio Show by the LA Weekly in 2005, and Camp Freddy Radio was an extension of the bands live performances with drop-in guests, live on-air calls to the ‘ladies of the night’ and a great selection of music. Jam band, covers band, party band, or just a great night out.
Camp Freddy continued the madness in 2008 at the Roxy with a five show residency every Thursday in May and a four show residency Tuesdays in December, as well as performing for the Hilfiger Sessions in NYC, Galpin Auto Sports, another X-Games gig, John Varvatos, and many other shows. Recently, Camp Freddy has played at the East Coast Guggenheim Partners holiday party held in a ballroom on the East Side of Manhattan to 2000 party goers, and Camp Freddy flew to Washington DC for a special Halloween party at the 9.30 Club. The event was a fundraiser for veterans at the Boulder Crest retreat.
Courtney Love barefoot. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)
Billy Ray Cyrus makes a guest appearance at Camp Freddy. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)
Slash with Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction) in back. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)
Slash showing off his talents. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)
Billy Ray Cyrus not twerking, thank goodness. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)
Mark McGrath. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)
Mark McGrath peeping out from behind the curtain. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)
And this happened. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)
Sugar Ray (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)
Mark McGrath at Camp Freddy. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)
What a phenomenal 2 night show! Camp Freddy rocks. Quicksilver rep Jaime Smith with writer Melissa Curtin. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)
Billy Idol, like an 80’s dream come true. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)