So I finally managed to find Guitar Hero 3, and started playing it yesterday. It's tight and polished and I'm really enjoying it so far. It seems a little tougher than Guitar Hero 2, but that's okay... I find Hard to be too damn hard and Medium on GH2 was a bit too easy, so maybe Medium on GH3 will be perfect.
Anyway - that's not what I wanted to blog about. I wanted to blog about nostalgia. I am guessing that for a lot of people one the the big attractions of GH (and probably Rock Band too) is the nostalgia factor of getting to rock out to the hits - and in many cases the obscure b-sides - from back when we were in highschool or college or whatever. That was definitely a big part of GH2 for me anyway. In fact, sticking The Stooges and My Chemical Romance in the game together is what makes me wanna go buy some My Chemical Romance... a band I likely never ever would have listened to if Iggy hadn't drawn me to the game in the first place. Clever that.
But GH3 is different for me - because there are bands featured in it, and in the downloadable content - with whom I actually played shows way back when I was a useless little punk rocker. The second or third set of songs in the single player career mode features a track from AFI called 'Miss Murder'... we played a gig with those guys back in '97 when we were on tour.
On top of that - the most recent downloadable track pack is the Dropkick Murphys track pack featuring not one but three (really good) songs. Back on that same tour (The Dole's only tour) we actually played three different shows with the Dropkick Murphys. This was way back at the start for them - our first show together was literally nine days after the date Wikipedia lists for the release of their first EP 'Boys on the Docks'. They had six songs on that EP - we had two on our single at the time. Back then, I think they hadn't even recorded their 'Do or Die' album and we were among the first in the world to hear songs like 'Barroom Hero', 'Do or Die' and '3rd Man In' - which they were playing live even if they hadn't recorded them yet.
Now they're pretty famous - having played at baseball games and having one of their songs featured in Scorsese's 'The Departed' (and according to Wikipedia again, even having a song in The Simpson's episode 'The Debarted' - if that's not fame... nothing is.) Congrats to the Murphys that I remember from back then... now I am not sure if I remember who was who - but I think it was the entire orginal crew, Mike, Rick, Ken and Jeff. I definitely remember Ken and Rick - because some years later the Murphys played a show in Vancouver and I ran into both of them there and we caught up. Ken is the only original member still in the band.
Anyway - it kinda makes me wonder if The Dole had stuck with it if I'd be able to play 'Hands Off Our Fish, America', in a Guitar Hero track pack. Guess we'll never know. Anyway - I kept a journal from when we were on tour. Here's a bit about the Dropkick Murphys. It's no 'Get in the Van' - but it's how it was.
Thursday July 24th, 1997
Got up in the van and drove to a "Denny's" for a way too expensive, incredibly disgusting breakfast, then went out to Santa Rosa, found Los Caporales where we were playing. It's a big place - the biggest yet, but the town looks dead. Nick had the fantastic idea of going to a public pool for a swim and - god forbid - a shower. Shit, shower, shave - 2 bits; good deal. We're clean again at last.
We buy some bagels. I'm running out of money - fast. We go back to the bar and meet Lisa. I go into the 'Thursday Market' which is this open street market on Thursdays and we hand out fliers. They spelled our name wrong - as 'The Dull'. How bad can you fuck it up? Whatever.
The Dropkick Murphys show up. They're all good. We hang with them mostly and I end up getting way too shit-faced. The PA is fried. We only get to play like 6 songs again. The Murphys rage though. Greg's amp is fucked. I get a Murphys shirt - which rules. Lisa gets us pissed. We make $50 and she gets us a place to crash, and she's gonna get us a place for tomorrow apparently.
Oh yeah - when we were drinking in the park in the afternoon a cop comes along and tells us to pour out our case. I can't afford that. We were talking about our 'next tour' - the hypothetical one - if we do it, we have to book it via the bands we know who we wanna play with and who have a draw of people who will like our stuff. This whole "drive into some random town and play for people who never heard of us, opening for some band who sound nothing like us" is just a fuckin waste of time.
The show as a pretty good one, but only by fluke and only because the Murphys crowd was there. I think that tonight's show and our two in Oakland will be our only really good shows....
So there - my nostalgia is better than all of yours. Too bad there's no Acheivement points for that.