12/09/2007

The Man Comes Around

While I try not to be the type that covets, I remember well the desperation I felt at wanting a xylophone like one of the neighborhood kids had when I was growing up. Hers was a miniature version of the real thing and was quite shiny and desirable and made the loveliest sound. My dreams were partially realized, if only in plastic, one year on my birthday.

It took little time for me to study the colour charts in the song booklet and bang out with as much precision as the little beaters would allow, the many awful children's songs on offer. I'm not sure what became of my toy xylophone but I think I've found a worthy replacement lo these many years later.

As a card carrying gawky pre-teen member of the Junior Choir at church, I played a smoking version of Jesus is Lord on the guitar, all two chords of it. While I haven't been near a guitar in years, I recently found in my hands a Les Paul Gibson. It's a miniature version and in plastic but with its colour coded keys to guide me, once again, I'm a guitar hero. Alright, so it's the guitar that comes with Nintendo Wii's Guitar Hero 3 but it produces no less a joyous noise than my real one from long ago.
You press the colour keys on the frets to match what you see on the screen and strum each note. In no time, you're a superstar, at least I am on Easy mode. Each difficulty level adds more notes and requires more dexterity. I'm halfway through the Medium setting and show no signs of stopping. Alright, there are signs, the threat of blisters and bleary eyes but if it makes me happy...

At various points in the game you must do battle against guitarists such as Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine and Slash from well, from under that hat, to progress. Welcome to the jungle baby!

Here's someone playing along with Heart's Barracuda on Expert. I'm no expert. Yet.

47 comments:

Tenacious S said...

Dale, I am contemplating which game to ask Santa for. Should I get Guitar Hero or opt for Rock Band. I must rock out. Congratulations on your developing musical prowess. Rock on with your bad self!

Dale said...

Rock band might be better Ten. S. so the whole family can get in on the action. I'm loving the Guitar Hero though and it makes me feel positively months younger!

Bluez said...

I got my nephew Guitar hero 1 & 2 for Christmas this year. He's 8. Nice to see you're still a kid at heart Dale. :-)

wapentake said...

The imminent demise of the Wii guitar (bass version?) would have looked great on the cover of "London Calling" as well.

I wonder if Paul Simonon would have kept those pieces.

Jake's Mom said...

You are never to old to have a happy childhood. Rock on dude...and come up with a suitable stage name! WWKCY (what would Korean lady call you)

Writeprocrastinator said...

Dang, Dale. From a junior Lionel Hampton to psuedo-Pete Townsend? You have come full circle.

I only saw about five minutes of Guitar Hero episode of "South Park," but I heard that the father of one of the kids plays a perfect version of Kansas's "Carry On Wayward Son" and on of the kids say "that's so lame! Who plays real guitar anymore?!"

Kate said...

I just got Rock Band for my oldest son... It is awesome! You can play alone or with 3 other people. It has been soooooo much fun! No one else seems to like singing so I get to do all the vocals! Thats something worthy of a YouTube for sure! hehehe

The downside to Rock Band is that all the instruments are corded. (although I understand that the cordless guitar can be problematic) Other than that... I love it! I am on expert singing Paranoid (Garbage) and Wave of Mutilation... All others just Medium or Hard... The screaming bits are just not my cup of tea... especially when my shreeks could break windows!

Hope you had a great weekend!

PS Is that you up there? You have great hair!

Jill said...

Now I want to try guitar hero!!
And I just realise one thing! I like the way a great shirt looks on a man, but damn, I cannot see their butt correctly!

pistols at dawn said...

I tried playing it once, realized I was better at actual guitar, and got very angry at my inability to rock a crowd of fake people. I may have smashed that pretend guitar.

chelene said...

That looks like a ridiculous amount of fun but it wouldn't be 5 minutes before I got utterly frustrated and broke that guitar in two.

Danny Tagalog said...

Dale, thanks for the message. All is going to plan and all are fine. Plinky plonky xylophones were all over my room as a kid. Never progressed to guitars - was quite content with the minimal tinny sound of the Xy.

Suze said...

I have asked Santa for this for Christmas. Since I am now a master bowler at wii, I have no doubt, after practicing, I will be scooped up and play for Gwen Stefani in a few months.

Flannery Alden said...

Welcome to the dark side, Dale. Rock on!

anandamide said...

All I can say is I'm glad this game wasn't around back when I was a big pot smoker. I would've turned into a hermit like Howard Hughes...

Dale said...

If I ever grow up Bluez, it'll be the end of me I'm sure.

I thought about trying to recreate the London Calling cover actually Wapentake but I'm just not rock n roll enough.

She still calls me Daire, I don't know if she'd rock my name out any further or not Jake's Mom.

Lionel was in my mind when I brought up the xylophone although Pete never entered the equation. There is a trickyish Who song in the game though - The Seeker. Now I'm wondering WP if I should pick up a real guitar again.

I want to hear you belt out Paranoid now Kate, I love Garbage! Rock Band sounds fun but my multiple personalities aren't developed enough to take on the intstruments together. I'll lend you my great hair any time you need it.

You already know I'm an ass Jill, you don't need to see it.

Fake people are everything Pistols! When they boo me off stage, I'm inconsolable for seconds.

Ricdiculously fun is exactly the allure Chelene and that's why there's an Easy setting! You can do easy can't you?

Plinky plonky, that's an XY chromosome isn't it Danny? Glad to hear you're doing fine.

But will you wear the clothes from her line Suze? It might be a requirement.

I'm doing what I can Flannery, you know it don't come easy.

Get Rock Band then Anandamide and get yourself a coven of hermits rocking.

Franki said...

The best part of Guitar Hero is listening to my 11 and 13 year olds belt out, "Carry on my wayward son
There'll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don't you cry no more."

Duh-nuh-nuh-nuh! Duh-nuh-nuh-nuh!

Writeprocrastinator said...

"There is a trickyish Who song in the game though - The Seeker."

Oh, jeez, that explains why my downstairs neighbor is constantly playing that song, he's actually playing the game.

"Now I'm wondering WP if I should pick up a real guitar again."

Absolutely, it's easier to play "Barracuda."

Evil Genius said...

I was at Best Buy picking up a gift card when I saw the Sex Pistols skin for the guitar controller. I have been sans console since I donated my dust-collecting PS2, but thought of investing in the whole get-up again just to have a reason to buy that accessory.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You've always been a guitar hero to me. Think of how impressed the entire Korean Bagel Lady family will be when they find out how much you rock.

Melinda June said...

man, I can't WAIT to get me a Wii Guitar Hero kit. Guitar Hero is the best thing EVER. Rock on wit your bad self, Master D!

Grant Miller said...

I love Guitar Hero and played Rock Band on Saturday. Also very fun.

BeckEye said...

I played Guitar Hero once and my fingers hurt like I was playing a real guitar. I press the keys too hard, I guess.

Coaster Punchman said...

I would have wanted a key-tar if I'd known about them during the 80s.

The Gifted Typist said...

Are you giving lessons on Guitar Hero?

Johnny Yen said...

The family we had Thanksgiving dinner with had Guitar Hero. I found it all pretty amusing. I kept wanting to shout out "You're my guitar hero!" (from the Clash' "Complete Control").

I started playing guitar when I was 17 and am afraid to say that I'm not a much better player nearly 30 later. My dreams of rock stardom have pretty much fallen by the wayside.

Hot Lemon said...

Good grief, have you let Flannery know yet? Her 3 year old does a mean version of th' chorus from "Surrender"...

Of course, her daddy and mommy ARE alright, just a little bit wweeeeiiird.

minijonb said...

when Triangle Hero gets released i'm going to play that until my hands hurt.

=:-)

Chancelucky said...

Do they have like a Lawrence Welk setting on the thing?

Allison said...

Guitar Hero is much fun. Drunken Guitar Hero even better. Then I actually believe I still hold the ability to play.

Blowing Shit Up With Gas said...

Cool video. I've never seen nor played that game, but always wondered what all the fuss was about. I should probably avoid it at all costs, as I think I could get addicted to playing that one.

Creepy said...

Have you started trashing hotel rooms or waking up in pools of your own vomit yet?

Jacy said...

Nice arse!

668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

i once wanted to put out an all xylophone tribute album.

mellowlee said...

Wwwwwwwwwwwwwoooooooo! I want that game for Christmas! It looks so much fun. I also would like that dance one :O)

Bluez said...

I just wanted to be your 35th comment.

Dale said...

That's excellent Franki, everywhere you go, the kids wanna rock.

If he starts playing Barracuda, he'll really be going crazy on you WP! Maybe when I'm finished with this obsession, I'll pick up a real one.

Anarchy in the U.K. sounds much more punk when I play it Evil Genius, the more missed notes, the more authentic.

Maybe I'll challenge her and the husband to play Rock Band with me Barbara. I can solve Korea's problems in one hundred notes.

We'll have to battle when you get one Melinda June. Transatlantic rocking will never be the same.

I'd like to play Rock Band Grant but I have no friends. When you pick up the guitar, do you always start with "It's Miller Time!"?

The same thing's been happening to me Beckeye. A little nerve damage is the price for hard rockin'.

It's never too late CP. Didn't they used to have a thing like that you blew into as well with a keyboard? If we can get Poor George on the Jew's Harp, we'll have club dates in no time.

For you Gifted Typist, yes. Come on over.

You're probably much better than you're letting on Johnny Yen. Set your blog to music already!

She's in on the magic Hot Lemon. I've surrendered to her, weirdness and all.

Right behind it will be Cowbell Hero Minijonb.

Yes, bubbles come out the neck of the guitar too and Bobby & Sissy dance onscreen Chancelucky.

As long as there's no smashing of guitars Allison, I'm in!

I wasn't sure if I'd like it BSUWG and now I can't put it down. You're right to be scared.

I've been banned from every Howard Johnson's in North America Creepy. That's by my own choice however.

It's all about the arse with you isn't it Jacy you dirty girl.

What happened to your dream 668?

Dancing is prohibited here in Footlooseland Mellowlee but if you get it, I want video.

You're there for me when I need an odd number Bluez, thanks!

Beth said...

You may not be an expert ... but you look hawt with that guitar slung over your back. You're so ... Springsteen ... so Neil Young ... so durn cool.

genn6 said...

Flannry has one, it's awesome!

Old Lady said...

Wow, trails!

Leonesse said...

I actually passed a few easy songs on the drums. Go me. On GH, I like Med Hyperspeed. Only passed a few hards, so far.

Leonesse said...

And I have made no secret of my desire for a Spirograph.

Dale said...

Now do you know why I was asking you about album covers Beth? I never did find the one I was looking for so I went for a simple shot. I wish I'd done The Clash though. No, you're hawt!

A xylophone Genn6? :-)

It's an all service blog Old Lady.

I'm almost at the point where I can head for the harder setting Leonesse but practice won't hurt me. Spirograph is from baby Jesus and is beautiful.

X. Dell said...

Sounds like fun. Keep it up, and you'll be back to rocking your church out in no time.

genn6 said...

no silly....Guitar Hero! But I think you knew that ;)

Dale said...

The Church of the Poisoned Mind is where I attend now X. Dell. It is fun though rocking in the free world.

Spirograph and Guitar Hero - does not compute. I'm new to the Guitar Hero thing only having just bought '3'. Explain please.

Jill said...

There is different level of ass, I want to see if you are one of those fine looking one!!
(2 new posts in one week?? Are you being busy??)

Dale said...

I'm a big enough ass without posting photos of my ass Jill.