southern rock 2With Self Made Man sunning himself in the French Alps it’s time to forget the past and introduce the future – as guest blogger Southern Rock Man writes for the rushonrock masses!

Hailing from the deep south and boasting the kinda bushy beard and tousled hair you’d find in the front row of any .38 Special gig he puts the yee into yeeha! And he’s doing it all for you. Sit back and enjoy the latest addition to the rushonrock family… 

Now, despite what many people say, I am not stupid. I know that Guitar Hero is a poor imitation of the real thing.

I know that bashing some coloured keys on a plastic Gibson isn’t music. I know that my best mate, who is a quite brilliant guitarist and songwriter, made a kid cry by saying how rubbish the concept is.

I know that if I invested the time spent nodding my head in front of the box to Enter Sandman into actually learning how to play music, I might actually get somewhere. But I also know I am a realist.

No matter how hard I practice, am I ever going to play Orion or the  Ace of Spades in front of a mad, crazy crowd? Am I ever going to play the opening cords to Cherub Rock with almost faultless perfection?

The answer, despite my finest and loudest pleas to the gods of rock, is a big fat no. I just don’t have the time or the patience. And I am sure there are plenty more out there who share my pain.

So for all it’s fake plastic nature, Guitar Hero has taught me a few things.  And you know what you purists out there, I am pleased I am a member of this oh so new fangled cult.

Now I am sorry to say people, that rock isn’t the magic that always rocks my musical boat. I am , and probably always will be, an indie man at heart. Paul Weller is my Bruce Dickinson. Yet ,thanks to my little plastic guitar , my musical horizons are stretching. And they are reaching out further than ever before.

I have ,for example, been thrust into the world of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Are there many better tunes than Tuesday’s Gone? Jeepers, pure genius, it just oozes quality. Takes you back to that era in a sweet snapshot.

I must say I had never heard anything by them before. Now I have plenty. And it’s class. Not only did I instantly purchase their first album after singing along time after time to this heartstring-pulling number, I then had to shake my head in sorrow after learning of the way most of the band were tragically killed in a plane crash.

You see, learning and rocking all the time. That’s the beauty of music. It can reach out to peeps all the time, whatever their fancy, whatever their age. There aren’t many things to better that feeling of just loving a new song. That eureka moment when you think ‘This is awesome.’ You end up playing it over and over again. And it never gets dull. Ever.

We have all done that a million times and will continue to do so a million more. Guitar Hero does that a lot. And that’s why I like it. I have heard, sung and played along to Foghat’s Slow Ride, banged my head like a man who bangs his head a lot to the likes of Metallica’s Sad But True and Fade to Black.
Kiss? Bunch of weird blokes with mad hair and very long tongues. One blast of I Wanna Rock And Roll All Night soon changed my opinion.

The list goes on. And on.

Of course, playing the guitar is a skilled art. But for those of us unskilled types, is there any better way these days of really letting rip and rocking free? If anything, games like these can only educate the new kids on the rock on what has ruled the airwaves before their times. It can give little aspiring Slashes an insight into what it’s like.

And, with apologies to my Guitar Hero hating buddy, it’s blinking good fun. It makes me feel like a musician. Trying and failing to learn the trumpet as a 12 year-old quickly showed me that it wasn’t my strong point. Surely following the release of Metallica’s own spin-off, countless bands will follow suit.

If anything, this genre has given groups, new and old, a totally fresh and different way of getting out to the people. New tunes, new ideas, new methods. Interactive fun fellas, it can’t be sniffed at.. even if you can play guitar properly.

Right, where’s that green button?

Steve Brenner