Real Schools of Rock
By Ransom Riggs
I'm sure you all remember the recent film School of Rock, starring Jack Black. It was only after that film came out that I realized there really were schools of rock in the world -- non-fantastical places where kids could learn to play electric guitar, the drums, the bass, and how to make death-metal faces like Ozzy. A documentary about one of these schools, the Rock School in Philadelphia, came out right around the time the Jack Black film was released (and I think got a bit overshadowed by it).
In my town, LA, there's another music school -- not just for rock, but all kinds of music -- which was founded by Flea, of all people - yeah, that Flea -- the bassist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Here he is describing how music rescued him from the streets and a life of crime, and how he hopes his school will help a new generation of kids in the same way.
Of course, there are probably more fantasy versions of rock 'n' roll schools out there, like the Jack Black film, than there are actual schools. One of my favorites is the old music video for Yo La Tengo's "Sugarcube." Remember the Foghat principle, kids!
Before rock 'n' roll and schools learned to live in harmony, though, there was Rock 'n' Roll High School, a super-cheesy 80s movie semi-inspired by the Ramones song of the same name (it even stars the Ramones).