Fender Benders

As I was walking out of the Edwards / Regal movie theater at The Crossings at Corona last night after seeing Inglorious B… (I guess the movie I saw isn’t important), I heard some guy over a loudspeaker tell people to come over to the side of the fountain for a free rock and roll show. Curious, I walked over.

It turned out to be an exhibition for the Fender Center’s Kids Rock Free Program that featured bands made up of kids in the program. According to the Fender Museum website, this program offers free and low cost musical instruction to children aged 7 to 17.

The first band up was the Fender Benders, which appeared to be made up of high school kids. They started the set with Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” followed by Heart’s “Barracuda”. I was surprised that they were playing classic rock – songs that were classic even when I was in high school – but they were good songs for the band’s female lead singer. I did feel bad for them when they broke out Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'”. They played it well, but I feel bad for anyone in high school that has to be subjected to Journey. I went to high school in the 80’s and I couldn’t stand Journey.  They followed up with “Boys of Summer” by Don Henley, which helped me forget about Journey.

While I enjoy classic rock, and definitely appreciate the talent it takes to play these songs, I do hope that these bands get to pick some more contemporary music too.

I guess the Fender Center’s program is pretty good because all five members of the band are talented. In fact, the announcer at the beginning said that one of the guitarists had been accepted into the Berklee College of Music in Boston.  If I understood the announcer correctly, kids in the program rotate through the different bands, so last night’s makeup of the Fender Benders might look different the next time.

If I didn’t have another commitment, I would have stayed longer to see the other bands. I left during the band’s rendition of “Carry On Wayward Son” by Kansas.

Fender Museum
Fender Center
Kids Rock Free Program
www.fendermuseum.com

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