JOE LYNN TURNER GIVES BACK IN HACKENSACK
Local Musical Icon Mentors the Next Generation
at New Jersey Rock School

A SoundPress.net Archive Article by Rich and Laura Lynch

Guitarist and singer Joe Lynn Turner has performed and recorded with a distinguished list of musicians including Rainbow, Deep Purple and Yngwie Malmsteen. Turner's tenure with Rainbow was that band's most commercially successful. Joe is a New Jersey native and a recognizable voice of hard rock thanks to sustained radio and video play in the 80's. On June 17, 2010 Joe began a three night run mentoring and performing with the School of Rock in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.

Joe Lynn Turner at the School or Rock
Joe Lynn Turner - the spotlight kid on stage at the School of Rock.

We had the pleasure of seeing professor Turner with approximately seventy up and coming musicians on June 18, 2010 at the South Hackensack branch of the school in New Jersey. The walls of the converted warehouse were adorned with historical classic rock posters and stickers. The music of Queen was heard prior to the first group of rockers taking the stage at 7:30 p.m. with a forceful version of Deep Purple's "Smoke On The Water".

For many of the songs, it was the students who handled lead vocals with Turner on back up. Throughout the concert, Joe paced the stage smiling and encouraging players. He appeared to be sincerely enjoying himself. Joe had many accolades for the talented teens and kids who rotated between tunes giving each student an opportunity to perform.

"These guys are burning tonight, even better than the original," stated Joe after the School performed a potent "Highway Star". Joe mentioned that he was influenced by the band Free as the next group of players segued into "All Right Now" with the crowd clapping along.

"Unbelievable! Right?," asked Joe after the band played a blazing version of "Bad Company". Turner handled lead vox on a menacing "Manic Depression" by Hendrix before strapping on a guitar. Armed with a gold Les Paul, Turner and company played an amped up version of the Allman's "Statesboro Blues".

Joe Lynn Turner at the School or Rock
Just some of the over youthful 70 performers who shared the stage with JLT in June.

A young man sporting a Slayer shirt stated that Ronnie James Dio was one of his favorite singers and he did an admiral job of paying tribute to the legendary Dio - the recently passed voice of heavy metal who was being honored throughout the evening. This singer had the confidence and chops to handle the heavy "Rainbow In The Dark". Many of the guitar players were also outstanding including the duo who dueled through Dio's daring "Holy Diver". Bass, drums and keys were also aptly covered.

Several female students took center stage to lead the School through "An American Band" by Grand Funk Railroad. Joe added cow bell to the mix and commentary about seeing the band GFR at Madison Square Garden. "Spotlight Kid" - a song Turner co-wrote for Rainbow and "Mississippi Queen" - were also sung by the ladies backed with bold beats and lusty guitar licks.

Joe took a moment to memorialize his friend Dio before leading the School through a intense interpretation of "Man on the Silver Mountain". Returning to Hendrix the School performed "Purple Haze" and "Little Wing" - which Joe sang with passion supported by soaring guitar licks.

Joe shared vocal responsibilities on Rainbow's "Heaven Tonight", "Street of Dreams" and "Stone Cold" which all rocked hard. Turner was very animated in his moves and vocals, interacting with the players and setting a good example for the students. The entertaining evening closed with a fiery "Burn" and a collective bow from the professor and his players.

The School of Rock's mission is to inspire kids to rock on stage and in life. The curriculum teaches students to play music in a unique and interactive way developing both their music skills and confidence. School of Rock currently operates 58 schools in 23 states and is looking to expand.

Joe Lynn Turner at the School or Rock
Parents took pictures as Joe posed with the students after the rockin' two-hour event!

Related Links: For more information on JOE LYNN TURNER and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links -- JoeLynnTurner.com | Hackensack Branch | SchoolOfRock.com

(Originally Published on June 18, 2010)

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