Monday, December 19, 2005

My first gig

In 1993, one of my friends tried to convince me that we could start up a metal band. We were both listening to a lot of Pantera and Metallica at that point in our lives. Also, we were drinking a bit too much as well. So, one night when I had had a few too many, I decided that "getting the band back together" sounded like a good idea. He already had a guitar and had become quite adept at playing it, and considering the fact that I couldn't sing, it was a done deal that I was destined to be the drummer.

After a few awful sounding months, the experiment failed and “World Disorder” was put to rest. A few years later I sold off my kit on consignment at a local drum shop and bid farewell to my dreams of becoming a musician.

All of that changed a few months ago when my passion for gaming and poorly performed music combined with the release of a new game for the Playstation 2. I've mentioned this game in an earlier column. It's called Guitar Hero and it kicks all kinds of ass.

I've played more than a few games in my life but I can't recall one before that I've tried so hard to become great at. At this point I'm still playing the game on the medium level, because I want to perfect or "5-star" each of the songs before I move on to the final two difficulty levels.

Another way that I know that the game is great is because of an email that I got from a friend recently. Here's a quote.

"Cowboys from Hell. Four stars, bitches."

Now that is a concise and to the point email, people. Also, it rocks.

There aren't many games that I've played that have inspired me to jump around the room like a little kid when I manage a great score, but this game makes me feel like I'm 10 years old all over again.

So, the other day I'm walking through Best Buy, as I often do, and I see that they have a copy of Guitar Hero running on one of their TV's there. Sadly, there was a 20-something grunge kid just hacking away at the game and making a fool of himself. Seriously, it was just plain sad. Once the song, mercifully, finished I picked up the controller and commenced rocking for the entire retail audience.

After one (5-star) performance of "Spanish Castle Magic" by Jimi Hendrix, I had about 7 or 8 Best Buy employees all gathered around to watch me play. After the song finished, I had guys shouting out requests. Sure there was the one jerk saying "Play Freebird," but he was quickly hushed away by his fellow employees, who knew that they were in the presence of a rocker who could kick his ass for suggesting such a song. After a few moments it was decided that I should take on Symphony of Destruction by Megadeth.

In a performance that everyone present agreed that put Dave Mustaine to shame (not like it takes much to do so) I put down my axe and threw the sign of the goat as I walked away.

Next time I'm bringing a hat to collect tips.


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