Guitar Hero II yay yay, etc. Everybody’s amped about Guitar Hero II, but have you ever stopped to consider why? Sure, it could be the thrashtastic gameplay, the rush of being a virtual rock star, or the thrill of banging out “Free Bird” like a hillbilly oxycontin junkie in a Skynyrd cover band (hi, Cousin Bumpy). But maybe, just maybe, we love Guitar Hero II because real rock stars loved the original Guitar Hero so much it set off the celebrity-culture chips in our brains…you know, the ones that govern impulse shopping and keep our attention from straying too close to humanity’s looming extinction?
Could be true. The Wall Street Journal has covered the popularity of Guitar Hero among actual rock stars. (Is it a sign of the aforementioned impending apocalypse when the Wall Street Journal has a feature about real rock stars preferring to be fake rock stars?)
The gossip chain goes like this: Korn lead singer Jonathan Davis loved the game so much while on tour this summer that he’s not inviting dudes from any other bands to play until his high-end audiovisual rig is set up, because he “didn’t want to be a chump.” Meanwhile the members of Three Days Grace routinely ditched their own actual recording sessions after they caught the GH bug from Tool. Oh, and Trent Reznor loves it too. Gaming adept Allison Robertson of The Donnas couldn’t play guitar on GH’s version of her own song, “Take It Off.” The guitarist from Incubus got pwned by his 14 year-old sister, and members of My Chemical Romance used the game as a daily ritual while working on their new album. The drummer kicked the guitarist’s ass.
When opening for Band of Horses, Saturday Night Live comedian Fred Armisen played Guitar Hero for the audience instead of performing actual comedy. He couldn’t hear the real audience, but he says “the fake crowd on the game loved it.”
I guess it makes sense that musicians would love a music game, but it’s still a queer thought. I might have thought they’d want a little rest from burning down the house, or whatever the kids are saying these days. Not so:
Many professional rockers, however, say the game lets them act out a fantasy that their real lives don’t quite match. Sometimes, pretending to be a rock star for a few minutes can be more fun than being one.
Ok, I’ll buy that. But can I still get royalties?
When Being a Fake Rock Star Is Better Than the Reality [The Wall Street Journal]