Hey, Summer Campers!
We talk about a lot of famous celebrities here on the Everything Summer Camp Blog because so many of them went to summer camp when they were closer to your age. I’ve posted about more than 100 big names whether they were on TV, in movies, play sports, or play music. And the latter is just what one Pete Wentz does as the bassist, lyricist, and backing vocalist for the American rock band known as Fall Out Boy.
A former summer camper as well, before Pete ever wrote a song he traveled north from his hometown in Wilmette, Illinois—a wealthy Chicago suburb—to Camp Chippewa nearby Bemidji, Minnesota. There he enjoyed his summer stay, taking in the enchanting beauty of the Chippewa National Forest on Cass Lake.
Pete once recounted his first musical memory to ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine—even before his time at camp. He remembers sitting in the backseat of his father’s car, listening to ‘Build Me Up, Buttercup’ by The Foundations.
After gradeschool, he went to New Trier High School as well as North Shore Country Day School, where he made a name for himself on the soccer team. He made such a name for himself, in fact, that he considered turning soccer into a professional career for a while. He eventually decided against it as he found music to be more fulfilling for him. “Music was more of a challenge,” he’s quoted for saying. “And, in the end, felt more interesting.
Pete graduated high school in 1997. He immediately found work at a Subway restaurant in Chicago and attended DePaul University, studying political science. Though he attended school for multiple years, he dropped out when he was just one quarter away from graduation as his job at Subway had gotten increasingly demanding. He’d been promoted to the store manager with a salary increase.
He turned to the Chicago music scene during this time to give himself an outlet for his creativity and social life. And after a few years of continuing to pay his dues at Subway, he ultimately ended up quitting when the opportunity presented itself to play bass full-time for a band called Fall Out Boy.
Pete now owns his own record label called DCD2 Records, the label that’s signed such bands as Panic! at the Disco and Gym Class Heroes. Pete has since found interest in other non-musical projects, including writing, acting, and fashion. It was almost 13 years ago that he founded the clothing company, Clandestine Industries. Check out Camp Chippewa sometime for yourself and, as always, thanks for reading!