For The Lost Boys ? a fledgling teen rock band from Lakeport ? the last three months have been a crash course in the School of Rock. Every new gig offers a new lesson from veteran headliners.
After playing for over 10,000 fans at Raley Field in Sacramento on Memorial Day weekend, Journey?s lead singer offered this advice, ?Make sure you stay away from drugs and take the music pill instead,? remembers singer Beau Bastion, 16.
The Gin Blossoms offered a few tips on getting the right guitar sound. Eddie Money?s drummer told 17-year-old Jordan Mills to take the dampers out of his drums.
And from Eddie Money, they learned, ?Maybe don?t drink so much before you go on stage,? said Mills. ?He?s a cool guy, but that?s probably not so cool.?
Take a look at this summer?s Konocti Harbor summer lineup and you?ll notice The Lost Boys are opening for nearly every band passing through Lake County, no matter the genre: Kelly Clarkson, Tim McGraw, Heart, Lynyrd Skynyrd, All-American Rejects and 3 Doors Down, a major influence on the band.
It helps that Konocti general manager Greg Bennett has taken the Clear Lake High rockers under his wing.
?I?ve told them to enjoy every moment because it?s a tough, tough, tough business,? he says. ?We?re gonna open doors for you, but when those doors get opened, there?s only one thing that matters and that is can you capitalize on that door opening? They?re really gonna determine how far they go.?
Last November, the band was playing in the parking lot of Hillside Honda motorcycle store in Lakeport, planning for another summer of birthdays party gigs, non-profit benefits and talent shows. Bennett happened to be getting his car washed nearby when Bastion?s father, who built the fountains at Konocti, cornered him at the carwash and convinced him to check out his son?s band.
?They had a chair set up and I said, ?I don?t sit down for shows. I pace,? Bennett remembers.
Over the past 20 years, he?d been approached by dozens of bands looking for representation. So what struck him this time?
?They?re just one of those bands that have that vibe about them ? not only musically, but what they?re about and how humble they are.?
Heavily influenced by Nickelback, 3 Doors Down, Hinder and AC/DC, the five-piece band dabbled in country and alt. rock before settling on a very radio-friendly rock sound that runs from rock anthems like ?Summertime? to acoustic power ballads like ?Pictures.? Throw in Matt Weiss? keyboards and an ?80s throwback sound occasionally shines through.
So far, the most rock-star moment might be the limo ride to Raley Field, or hanging out backstage in the green room, or listening to the way chords echo when they travel over 10,000 fans.
Or it might be as simple as anonymous fan mail: ?At school, I?ve gotten love letters in my backpack,? says Weiss. ?That?s pretty crazy.?
On the flip side, ?My parents still make me do chores,? Mills says. ?When we?re at Konocti, you can?t let it get to your head. You?re still the same person.?
The past six months have also offered School of Rock training for the families as well. Beau Bastion?s mom signed on as tour manager in training.