Hey, Garrett Bell, What Are You Doing This Weekend?
Grover Cleveland 8th-grader performing in Pink Floyd's "The Wall" with School of Rock in Montclair.
Garrett Bell is one of those rare 13-year-old boys who know exactly what he wants to do with his life. For Garrett, the future is all about music.
This weekend, after years of lessons and countless hours of practicing, the Grover Cleveland Middle School eighth-grader will play his biggest gig to date – two live performances of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” in its entirety.
Garrett, of Caldwell, and fellow students of the School of Rock in Montclair have been preparing since September for the concerts that will include him singing and/or playing guitar or bass on at least 10 songs.
“I really like singing. I really like being on stage,” said Garrett. “It’s an amazing feeling. It’s awesome.”
Garrett credited his father as his biggest musical influence. It was dad who introduced him to everything from Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix to AC\DC and Green Day.
When it comes to picking a favorite guitar player, he said, it’s tough, but settles on Slash from Guns N' Roses: “He was huge to me."
The teen will be dropped off on Friday night for a three-hour dress rehearsal at Mt. Hebron Middle School in Montclair, where the performances will take place.
On Saturday, between a recreation basketball game in the morning and the 7 p.m. show, he may squeeze a rehearsal in with his newly formed band, GNGR. The band's name (ginger without vowels) is a reference to people like Garrett, who have red hair, fair skin and freckles.
The band is made up of Garrett and other young musicians he has hooked up with through the rock school that opened last summer on Valley Road in Montclair. Joining Bell on vocals and rhythm guitar are: Jason Inguagiato, of West Caldwell, on lead guitar; Aidan O’Connor, of Glen Ridge, on drums; and Owen Smith-Daly, of Montclair, on bass.
After rehearsal, Garrett said he will grab Mexican food at Tinga and head over to the show where about 30 fans will be rocking along to his vocals and riffs. Afterwards, the family is thinking about grabbing some ice cream.
The second performance on Sunday will be followed by a family outing to watch the Jets game at Friday’s in Wayne. But don’t expect this redhead to be wearing any green.
“We are Giants fans, but we want to see the Jets lose,” Garrett said.