Rock Band Turns 5 Years Old! Stories From The Community

edited March 2013 in Rock Band
Hey gang!

As mentioned on last night's livestream, Rock Band will be celebrating its 5th birthday next week! It's crazy to think it's already been that long and a lot has happened in that time.

We're planning on hosting an extra long livestream with some special guests and a few performances, but we wanted to involve the rest of the community in the celebration as well.

That's why we're asking that people use this thread to share your favorite RB memories. It could be about the first time you played RB, a favorite party / convention, friends you've made through playing together, an exceptional leaderboard victory... whatever means something to you. because that's the stuff that means something to us.

We're lucky to have one of the most dedicated, vocal, and all around best communities in gaming, and we've spent a lot of time with you over the last 262 weeks. Hearing your stories helps motivate us to try harder, keep us positive during crunch and hectic travel, and remind us that RB is a lot more than a game to a lot of people.

So feel free to post your favorite memories here! We'll try to share some of our favorites on the 11/19 livestream and we'll collect some of our own stories in a blog article next week. Thanks for all the support over the last 5 years!



  • dog037dog037 This Many Days Since Last Ban:
    edited November 2012
  • tnevakertnevaker Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    seems like only a year ago you guys were celebrating RB's 4th anniversary. my how time flies.
  • Lawdog1521Lawdog1521 Squirrel Chasing Expert
    edited November 2012
    I remember carrying the ginormous box up the stairs and banging it through various doorways to get it to the TV. Then the unboxing, the glorious unboxing.

    My first song was Maps on drums. :D
  • WitticusWitticus VERY DEEP
    edited November 2012
    I remember I first came across Rock Band at a friends house and had a blast singing Reptillia. I bought the game the next day and have been here ever since.
  • LiveHomeVideoLiveHomeVideo Trying too hard
    edited November 2012
    So we were playing Rock Band at a church one time. Some kid decided to pick a deathcore song, because nothing says loving Christians getting together like some Despised Icon. No one was stepping up on vocals, so I decided I could try. Next thing I know everyone's picking death metal so they can hear my failed attempts at death growls. Also, I was apparently the best guitarist in the party. So I got to showboat a ton that night.

    Then the final song was Painkiller. I was on guitar. Somehow, don't know if it was all the caffeine from the energy drinks or the spirit of the Lord, but I FC'd the first solo. On Expert. I still cannot replicate that to this day.

    That was an amazing night full of laughter, joy, and incoherent screaming.
  • jibjqrkljibjqrkl Eventually Perceptive
    edited November 2012
    where to start...

    When I was twelve, some awful things happened in my life, things I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemies. Nothing anyone should ever go through. Things that still (and probably always will) affect me.

    The way I dealt with this was with music. I started listening to music pretty much 24/7. I could simply drift off and enjoy beautiful works of art. Listening to lyrics that meant things to me. Great compositions. I didn't need another thing in the world.
    The only problem was, that was all I did. Just lock myself up and listen.

    But then, for Christmas, I got a present from my brother. It was Guitar Hero 2. And I was just amazed. Not only could I listen to great music, which is still my favorite thing to do, but now I could interact with it. He heard about the game from a friend of his. And he actually had that friend come over to play it with me a few times. Added me on XBL. And we were at about the same skill level. The rivalry between our scores was intense, the times we played co-op were just pure fun. Both of us started on easy, and by the time GH3 was about to be released we both just about 5-starred everything on expert. I finally started to smile a bit again. This went on with GH3, which had online gameplay. finally i could measure how good i was compared to a lot of other players. Finally started interacting with other people again. My friends list got bigger and bigger, and i was playing regularly and sending/receiving messages with people across the world. Around that time I met my boyfriend (well, he was just a friend back then, he became my boyfriend later on). And boy was he amazing at this game, he actually came in second place during the national World Cyber Games finals for my country with both GH3 and 4.

    Then Rockband came out. Since i met someone who was into music and games as much as me, we obviously got it as soon as possible. And he visited me as often as possible so we could play together. The friend i used to play with switched to drums, and his sister would do vocals occasionally. The first time i played as a full band in 1 room. I'll never forget the fun we had that day.

    I used to live with just my brother at that time and things were getting slightly out of hand with the two of us. He got addicted to drugs. Destroying himself and i just couldn't stay there anymore. Stayed at my boyfriend's parents for a while, until the 2 of us got a place together. (i was only 15, almost 16 at that time). Kinda lived my life the same as before that, although the contact with the guy I played with got broken because i moved away. Still had great fun with RB2, loved the soundtrack and couldn't ever stop playing. I was literally addicted to that game.

    Skipping forward to RB3, got the keyboard bundle as soon as it came out. (that was actually the only way i could get the game, and instruments in general started to be really hard to get) bought an ION drum kit later on during RB3 and started playing on it pretty easily. My boyfriend kinda stopped playing the game altogether then, because he got tired of it i guess. (He could still kick my ass any day, even if he hasn't played in months. And quite a few people on here can confirm that i'm pretty damn good myself :p ). Around that time my personal life became very messed up again, couldn't get the memories out of my head from when i was 12, I already had problems with this, but they became worse every day. almost no sleep, depressions, literally days of non-stop crying.

    Then came the best part about Rockband.
    I found this.
    I found this community.

    I simply can not describe what this community has done for me. And how awesome all of you are. (Yes, even Cipher :p)

    I had never seen people on the internet on any forum or comments section treat each other like this.
    no "LOLOMFGUSUX!", no "URFACEISSTOOPIDSOIWIN!" but people actually having conversations, treating each other with respect, actually listening to what the other has to say instead of just trying to shout as loud as possible. (well, those things apply to most of the times anyway :p)

    People actually having reasonable conversations and suggestions with employees of Harmonix that also just talk on here. Not like any forums where people shout: "Fix ur game you stoopid gimme money back haxorz are killing my pony! "

    Even people's sexuality is not a problem here. people just come out on these forums and everyone says: "oh ok, cool". Imagine someone saying he was gay on the Call of Duty forums. yeah.

    let me get an example thread here for that:

    That is an advice thread i made here a while back. seeing as i got a lot of help from people here, I wanted to do something back. And although the first page has a few jokers in there (there will always be jokers), starting from post #30 you can really see that this community is there for each other.

    And HMX cares about that, they care about the community. Just look at this week's DLC, people wanted a bit extra with the greenday and not only do we get pro upgrades, but some extra songs as well!

    This community helped me a lot, and so did HMX. I've even said to some people on here what happened when i was 12. and a lot of other personal stuff. things i've only been able to share with my bf up to that point. I'm not even sure if i had been able to go on all these years if it wasn't for all of this.

    Thank you guys, for giving a sad little girl a life.
  • jibjqrkljibjqrkl Eventually Perceptive
    edited November 2012
    I had some more to write in this, but I kinda need a break... I'll see if i add something later. Let me just say this though:

    This community is the closest thing to a (pretty dysfunctional :p ) family that I have. And i hope this place stays forever, I know it will in my heart.

    <3 Sarah
  • dragoninforcerdragoninforcer UnWashed
    edited November 2012
    Well, might as well share my whole Harmonix story.

    It was early 2007, I was in the 5th grade. We were outside for recess when I heard some of my friends singing a song I'd never heard. They told me it was called Message in a Bottle and was on a cool new game called Guitar Hero II. Curious as I was, I went home to see the song was on my parent's iTunes, to which I listened to the song. It was pretty good. Not too long after, my friend's brother came over my house with the same game I had heard of before. It had really piqued my interests, watching them play these intricate rhythms on Medium. I took a turn and went into the tutorial and played my first song on Easy, Surrender. This game was great. I played all of the first tier songs before he left with the game, bringing it back only one more time later where I had stepped up to Medium. I knew this was the game for me.

    Fast forward to July, my 10th birthday. I got $120. A few weeks later, I went to Best Buy to spend my loot when I saw a paper taped to rack in the front of the store. "Sale: Buy Guitar Hero II Guitar Bundle, Get Guitar Hero I 1/2 off". This was a sign. Well, literally and figuratively. I quickly bought the games and the guitar for my PS2 and went on to play all the time. I spent a lot of time on Medium, trying to 100% my favorite song on GH2, Killing In The Name. I had memorized the entire chart by heart, amazing one of my friends by playing the song on his wireless guitar in the other room. Moving up to Hard, I barely stuck with it, as it wasn't much of a challenge. I had tried Expert mode, and next thing I knew, I was trying, and eventually succeeding, in defeating the mighty beast known as Jordan. Yeah, I got GH80's and GHIII not too much later, but there's no real need to talk about those.

    I had begun to put myself in the GH community online where I heard about Harmonix's departure from the Guitar Hero franchise and their take on a full band game, Rock Band. Duh, I wanted this game more than ever. But I had no money. But that Christmas, oh I'll remember it forever. I had gotten an Xbox 360, and even my first guitar! I actually picked it up pretty quickly, with Guitar Hero actually aiding in me learning how to play. There was one more big box. The Rock Band full band bundle. The joy! Me and my brothers started a band in our basement and played the game all the time. They slowly started to lose interest in the game, while the entertainment had never died for me.

    Soon after getting Xbox live, I bought a few songs. A few songs led to more, and I had quite a few DLC songs on my hard drive. The game became less and less popular among friends, with FPS's like COD taking over their interests. No one wanted to play rhythm games anymore. That is, except for me.

    So I went on to get almost every Rock Band game, get all the instruments, and expand my still growing DLC collection. 5 years later, I'm still a loyal fan.

    Harmonix introduced me to new music I had never heard. Everything I know about music now, I owe to Harmonix. They gave me the push that I needed to get out of my music comfort zone.

    Thanks to Rock Band, I can play the guitar. I taught myself for two years how to play, purely by practicing. While everyone else I knew gave up on learning, I never gave up at it. I wanted to be big and talented like the bands in the game. Now, writing my own songs, I don't think I'd be as musical without Harmonix. Music means everything to me. As a source of entertainment, an escape from reality, and the basis behind my favorite game.

    I can't believe it's been 5 years. 5 whole years I've spent supporting this game and the company behind it. I don't know where I'd be, or who I'd be, without this game. Funny when you think about video games changing lives, but my life revolves around music, and I'd never have such a diverse taste if it weren't for Rock Band. So thank you, Rock Band community for all the support you've given me, and thank you Harmonix, for bringing this game into my life.

    I am forever grateful.
  • DeferredGalaxy3DeferredGalaxy3 Rising Star
    edited November 2012
    I found out about Rock Band at a friends house and thought the guitar was some sort of new future-like toy. Found out it was part of an actual game. When it came out for Wii, I was trying really hard to save up for everything. I have already bought the Rock Band 2 disc for Wii, this was before I had the PS3 and XBox 360 because I never really bought anything like that, and then it took me a whole year to be able to get the instruments and play the game. When I got the instruments, my grand parents gave me Band Hero (I actually loved that game, too, only because of the custom songs.), and I found out the instruments were compatible with Rock Band 2. Then, in June 2010, I found out about the RBN because of Jonathan Coulton's website. Then, I tried to get some of the music I have made into the RBN. When Rock Band 3 came out, I bought it because I couldn't wait to play keys! I have been on the forums in 2010, but I only made like one post and it was because I was too busy with the character photo thing. (Seriously, I miss that feature.) So, here I am, now with a lot of DLC on across all three systems, with Blitz, Rock Band 3, and Rock Band 2. I have made some friends on the Rock Band Forums, and got my music noticed because of the RB forums and the RBN. I have also found out tons of new music because of all the DLC. Seriously, I love you guys! :) :D

    PS I play Rock Band everyday, now, unlike other games I may get addicted to.
  • Bront20Bront20 The Writing's on the Wall
    edited November 2012
    I was always afraid to try rhythm games, because I generally was uncoordinated and bad at games. I had tried out some other game in a mall once and couldn't figure out how to use the guitar (the guy at the booth wasn't very helpful either).

    Anyway, I broke down and got RB1 for the Wii... and promptly lost my job. Still, I had fun, and scraped togeather enough to eventually get RB2 and started throwing RB parties.

    About 6 months in (mid-2009), I migrated to the PS3 haven't looked back. I've been holding monthly RB parties that range from 3-20 folks in attendance (some coming from over 120 miles away), I'll have 933 songs as soon as I get home (got to snag Loggins), and I play well enough on Expert to occasionally tickle the top of the leaderboards. I've also managed to sell a few friends on RB, and strengthened some good friendships.

    RB has also given me some great family moments. My wife, who usually hates video games, enjoys RB enough to stick around and listen/watch, and has even played on occasion (She's actually a pretty good vocalist), and the little one enjoys some of the cute songs I've snagged (Spongebob, Parry Gripp, "Before He Cheats"...) and loves dancing or singing along to several of them.

    RB has helped me stay positive though some tough times, and got me back into video games in a major way though getting the PS3. It's deepened and broadened my appreciation of music (I listen to more music now than I ever did prior to RB), and it's been a bright spot in my life for almost 4 years now.

    If I could afford to and had the time, I'd probably pick up a mustang and try to learn real guitar.
  • samjjonessamjjones Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    I can't play guitar.

    I can't play drums.

    I can't sing worth a damn.

    But when I play Rock Band, I feel like a ****ing rock star. Even after five years.

    Happy birthday, Rock Band, and congratulations to the crew at HMX for creating an incredible platform and legacy. Long live Rock Band.
  • sonicnerd23sonicnerd23 Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    My Rock Band story... Where do I begin? Well, I suppose it would be logical to start with when I first got the game: Christmas Day, 2007. I'm 11 years old, quite in love with the Guitar Hero franchise, and hyped for my presents. I rush out to the front room, open them, and lo and behold, there's a PS3 with the Rock Band bundle pack. So what do I do? I load up the sucker and go to town. I remember the first RB song I played was Blitzkreig Bop on Easy vocals. I tried drumming that day, but couldn't quite get a feel for it. Little did I know I would grow extremely well at RB drums and, as a result, take up actual drums. On guitar, having been trained with Guitar Hero the past few months, took up Hard and soon, I made the transition to Expert. Since then, I've had many FC's on guitar, most notably Blue Sky by the Allman Bros. and Heart of the Sunrise by Yes.

    Online was a whole new experience for me, having been a primarily Gamecube kid for the past few years. I got it, perhaps, in early '08. However, I don't believe I started getting songs until after RB2, as I distinctly remember that among my first DLC purchases, there was a song from Dr. Feelgood. Since then, I've amassed a massive library of DLC and RBN songs well over 1200. As for online play, boy, do I have a story. Initially, I started out as a quickplay bum on the original Rock Band. It was there I created my first character: Max I. Mum, a Kiss reject with dyed, bright red hair and clothing colored red and yellow. I created a few similar color-coded characters, but few, if any, of them actually stuck other than Max. When RB2 introduced creating your own bands for the career mode, I created Wyld Layzer. It was from there where I began my quickplay bumming anew, only with a logo.

    Eventually, I met several friends online, including dj3m5on, iTsCaRnAgE, pezzster, and shawnpatrl, all of whom I had one hell of a time playing with and still do. However, the most important friendships I made were with Miles_Edgevvorth (known as Doctor_Crow on here), ATonyVideo, gothiclysm, and HEAVYMETALHEAD. It's funny how I met the former, actually. I had been searching for randoms in Wyld Layzer when all of a sudden, he pops up on guitar, and (likely in frustration at recent randoms), I selected Caprici di Diablo and picked Bass. Surprisingly, he picked Expert on guitar and got 89% on the song, the best I'd seen anyone online do it. We became good friends quick and I became a part of his band, Maelstrom. Through that, I was introduced to Tony and HMH and, later in the band's lifespan, gothic. I also got into the whole competitive aspect of Rock Band for the first time. However, the band was not to last. Early in 2010, Miles had a falling out with our vocalist Scary_J3nn which I tried hard to fix, but this failed. However, he formulated a plan with Gothic to form a new band called Morning of Mourning (which I believe you guys gave a shoutout to once!) with Tony and HMH. This was where the fun began.

    With MofM, I got more into the whole competitive aspect of the game, as we often aimed into the top of the leaderboards, and often, we succeeded. We were in close competition with other bands, Interrobang! being one of them, and got several number one scores, my personal favorite being Hallowed Be Thy Name (live). While we had bitter rivalries with these bands (which looking back on seem a bit ridiculous), we had a more human side. I became great friends with all of these guys, sharing with them my feelings and experiences in life and we were there for each other when we needed help. We welcomed more members into MofM, but the sessions I remember most were the any of the ones with Miles, Gothic, Tony, and HMH.

    Unfortunately, these fun times were not to last either. The first sign of this was when Miles' PS3 went dead on him, taking him off of PS3 RB for good. Next, when we jumped to RB3, the whole band system had been a bit less organized and more loose than it had been in RB2, meaning we couldn't really be that competitive anymore under our band name. Finally, we just didn't have the time anymore to jam, so though we never wanted to admit it, MofM was dying... on the PS3, anyways. On the 360, so I've heard, they were able to win big on some songs.

    Afterwards, without a real band to play with, I strayed from Rock Band come March of 2011. Although sometimes it seemed like I would get back into the franchise with the release of the Yes pack and my subsequent purchase of it, I still remained occupied with other games like Call of Duty: World at War and Sonic Generations. Also, as mentioned before, I was getting busier. Thus, I sat on the sidelines while my friends continued to go at RB. Gothic and Tony, in particular, took control of Elite Rhythm Gaming sometime after MofM's apparent end.

    However, the thing to finally bring me back into the fold was the Iron Maiden pack of this year. After picking that up, I became dedicated once more to the franchise, oiling my rusty playing on guitar enough to get the aforementioned Heart of the Sunrise FC. Still, though, I was saddened at my lessened potential, as I was not as good as I had been years ago. This changed when I went to my best friend's birthday party come June. There, he had all of the Rock Band games for Wii, which I was quick to set up. Eventually, the other party goers played with me, and we had one hell of a time on the disc songs. From my friends' botched vocals to Rock Lobster to another's rendition of So What'cha Want, I just kept strumming on the geetar and banging the drums in the background and I fully realized for the first time how RB can truly be a great social game and that it really doesn't matter how good you play, you can still have one hell of a time.

    My final story is my tenure with Elite Rhythm Gaming, which runs up to the present day. I had been following them for quite some time after my Rock Band revival, amazed at how many FBFC's they managed to accumulate and proud of my friends for having become a major part of it. Eventually, I noticed their auditions announcement in September, and willing to take the leap, I sent them one. The wait was long, but the results were eventually posted, saying I had been accepted in. I was jubilant and played with them starting that weekend, and so far, I have helped them get quite a few FBFC's, which I have been proud of. I've had a blast with them and hope to continue working with them for a long time to come.

    Thank you, Harmonix, for supplying my favorite hobby, adding an addictingly social online mode, and continuing to support your loyal fans for all of these years.

  • samjjonessamjjones Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    dragoninforcer;4925453 said:
    Well, might as well share my whole Harmonix story.

    It was early 2007, I was in the 5th grade.

    The fact that fifth graders and people in their 30's and 40's could derive so much enjoyment from the same game is incredible, and a testament to the design and simplicity of the game. Five years of uninterrupted DLC. AC/DC, Green Day, Lego Iggy Pop, and freaking THE BEATLES. The whole thing is pretty surreal.
  • jibjqrkljibjqrkl Eventually Perceptive
    edited November 2012
    added a small thing to my first post
    Jibjqrkl said:
    let me get an example thread here for that:

    That is an advice thread i made here a while back. seeing as i got a lot of help from people here, I wanted to do something back. And although the first page has a few jokers in there (there will always be jokers), starting from post #30 you can really see that this community is there for each other.
  • dragoninforcerdragoninforcer UnWashed
    edited November 2012
    samjjones;4925499 said:
    The fact that fifth graders and people in their 30's and 40's could derive so much enjoyment from the same game is incredible, and a testament to the design and simplicity of the game. Five years of uninterrupted DLC. AC/DC, Green Day, Lego Iggy Pop, and freaking THE BEATLES. The whole thing is pretty surreal.
    It's something that really breaks the age barrier without being really child oriented or adult oriented. Yeah, it's crazy how people of all ages can feel the same enjoyment from a single game.
  • www1221www1221 StackOverflowError
    edited November 2012
    I should probably go to jail for how much I love this 5 year old...
  • SheSaidSheSaidSheSaidSheSaid Washed Up
    edited November 2012
    Meh, nothing I post is gonna compare to anyone else's stories.
  • dragoninforcerdragoninforcer UnWashed
    edited November 2012
    SheSaidSheSaid;4925509 said:
    Meh, nothing I post is gonna compare to anyone else's stories.

    It's not a competition, I didn't want to make people think that. I was just pouring my heart out into a subject I cared about. I think any and all things that need to be said are important :)
  • SheSaidSheSaidSheSaidSheSaid Washed Up
    edited November 2012
    dragoninforcer;4925513 said:
    It's not a competition

    It kind of is.
    hmxhenry;4925397 said:
    So feel free to post your favorite memories here! We'll share some of our favorites on the 11/19 livestream
  • Mr-TyKMr-TyK Opening Act
    edited November 2012
    My story is from the other end of the age spectrum. My wife and I have a tradition of going to my brother in law's home for the holidays. We usually spend at least the weekend but sometimes an entire week. While he's her youngest brother, we are of an age where he has teenagers and preteens of his own. The kids were always prattling on about Video Combat this, or the new Mega Doom game, whatever it was. I never cared for video games. Never owned one, never wanted to. They seemed a horrid waste of good electronics to me and those kids would be better off not sitting in front of a TV.
    Then, That Christmas happened. We were sitting in the in laws living room on Christmas day, watching the kids open up their gifts while we sipped coffee and watched the mayhem of ripping paper and flying cardboard for a relatively safe vantage point when a big box was in front of the kids. It had all their names on it. As they opened it, they found a video game disc and several individual boxes with individual names on them. Opening those, my oldest nephew was holding this plastic guitar toy thing, my niece had a microphone and a charming little pink plastic guitar and the younger nephew a drum looking thing. "Can we play, Dad?" came out of their mouths almost in unison. Some video game console came up out from one of the kids' room and got hooked in to the TV.
    I asked my brother in law what it was all about. He explained this was the latest thing in video games.
    "A video game?" I thought to myself but in the interest of family tranquility it seemd that the adults could indulge that kids.
    Then the game started. I was hearing songs I actually knew, and they weren't squeaky toy renditions but actual hits! I couldn't help but sing along on some under my breath. The oldest boy heard me. He decided he was going to show off to his old Aunt and Uncle. We got invited to play. The teen challenged my wife to a guitar battle. My wife won. She is a music teacher and I had dabbled a little in music when I was young. I had played bass. I got offered a plastic guitar. I didn't want to battle but I could join in on bass! In no time, we were all taking turns and playing this music video game. We took turns with the microphone and instruments and the next thing we knew, it was late in the evening.
    After supper and the kids going to bed, the adults were chatting about that video music game, how that was truly remarkable it was to have the kids that interested in playing with us "old folks", and we spoke of what fun we had. So, we adults turned the TV on to a low volume and cranked up the game to just play with ourselves. I asked my brother in law what that game was called. "Rock Band" was the answer, along with a comment of "I never thought you would get in to a video game like that!"
    Well, neither did I.
    I couldn't believe the next thing I heard from my own voice. "Let's hit the store you got that at, I want to get a setup like that for myself." Video console and all!
    Of course, years later when The Beatles Rock band was announced my wife and I were so excited that we preregistered to get The Beatles game when it debuted.
    We still play our Rock Band game and get DLC of the classics we love. When our nieces and nephews come for a visit with us, we still play between the generations. The Rock Band games are still the only video games I own.
  • jibjqrkljibjqrkl Eventually Perceptive
    edited November 2012
    SheSaidSheSaid;4925509 said:
    Meh, nothing I post is gonna compare to anyone else's stories.
    SheSaidSheSaid;4925526 said:
    It kind of is.

    if they had the time i'm sure they would tell all these stories on the livestream.

    and i'd want to read yours <3
  • pizzzapizzapizzzapizza Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    my favorite memory is when I came to this website and also getting greenday rockband vocals FULLGAME FC'D ON EXPERT VOCALS ON THE PS3 :)

    to see my scores go here :)
  • gamesurfgamesurf Unsigned
    edited November 2012
    I had wanted a video game console forever, but I was only 13 in 2007 and had no main source of income and my parents thought that getting a console would be expensive and unproductive (and they were half right, it turns out!). All I had gamingwise was a Game Boy Advance and 4 games I had carefully selected and beaten 100% several times; for everything else I voraciously visited my friend’s houses and bummed multiplayer sessions. That and whatever I could get on CD-ROM.) I knew there were music games out around 2007 when Guitar Hero III and Rock Band hit it big and could be found in every other living room, and I tried playing a few guitar songs on easy, but I never really caught on to it. Besides, since I didn’t have a console, it didn’t matter anyways, I could never really practice it and get good at it.

    For Christmas 2008, our family finally softened up and got a Wii. We FINALLY had a system that we could all play, on a tv, all to ourselves. Still, I paid little attention to music games; they looked fun and all, but I mean, I would never be able to pull off the feats demonstrated by people on YouTube. But when I heard that there was a Beatles game coming out, devoted exclusively to that band, I paid attention. I love the Beatles. I had their whole catalog on my iPod by converting my tape collection into MP3s. Yeah, I know what those are. With a game celebrating the Beatles’ career, I might finally be able to tolerate pushing buttons to finally get talented enough to PLAY this game.

    I had enough saved up by 9/9/09 to be able to purchase the game for $60- my first launch day purchase, and I didn’t even have enough left over to get a microphone from GameCrazy. I played it at our neighbor’s house; they and my brother traded off Medium guitar, and I sang. We beat the whole game that day. I bought two microphones from eBay a week later, and decided to build up a collection of whatever instruments I could so that I could master this game.

    I went back and kept going, and eventually I decided to try to play through the whole game straight. I began on medium, since it seemed easy enough watching them do it and it might be a little more engaging. Before long I was getting 86%, 90%, 95% on every song as I improved. I was surprised at how quickly I had picked it up, so I bumped myself up to hard halfway through the Shea Stadium set. I was playing the real thing now. Two-note chords everywhere, and it seemed that there was nowhere to go from there. I was actually playing the whole song, each note, with the full 5 buttons. And for the final two sets at Abbey Road and the Rooftop, I decided to see just how daunting Expert actually was. And I succeeded at four and five starring most of the songs. Not only had I successfully played through the whole game by myself in a matter of hours, but I had also taught myself to really use the controller in that same space of time.

    For my birthday a month later, I asked for a guitar controller. I was surprised when I unwrapped a shiny new GHWT controller in the box. My parents weren’t exactly happy when they saw I had unwrapped it. “This is just a guitar? We thought it came with a game!” Turns out there was a $70 GHWT guitar bundle and a $70 GHWT guitar; they took me back to the store to exchange them. Later that night I tried out Heartbreaker, Band on the Run, and Beat It (okay, I was ****y). And I realized that while I liked the songs, it just wasn’t the same. Sure, it was fun, the gameplay was basically the same but it was crazy over-the-top and focused in a direction I just wasn't interested in. I knew which franchise I wanted to invest my time in. (I picked up on GH later when the games were cheap used, and found out I maybe was too harsh. But I don't regret my choice.) I focused on totally mastering every Beatles song I could get. Abbey Road came out the very next day, and my challenge would only grow from there.

    I mastered the Sgt. Pepper’s and Rubber Soul DLC packs as they came out, and I loved them. I was thinking about possibly getting a drum kit; they were only $30 used, which I could afford. My parents told me to think twice about buying one. I assumed it was because they didn’t want the noise coming from the basement. Actually, it was because they bought the RB2 full band kit for Christmas. Apparently things go on sale when they’ve been out for a long time!

    My main goal after that was gold-starring the Beatles disc on all instruments, but I never forgot to pop the RB2 disc in once in a while. I was getting better and better at the drums, and I occasionally played the RB2 career and unlocked a few more songs, but most of my experience was through quickplay. Some months passed, and I got good enough to finally consider myself good enough in May 2010 to buy one of my favorite and trickiest songs for DLC-“Who Are You.” It is still one of my favorite drum charts.

    In August, I had practically memorized the entire Beatles game on all instruments. I was able to keep combo on the more difficult RB2 songs on all four instruments. We had bought Lego Rock Band, but I only liked playing it for short sessions before switching discs. I wasn’t sure where to go from there. Then I read about RB3 and its additions, and I was shocked as I went further down the list. Harmonies were now standard for every song! Sweet! I loved that feature! All drum songs could be played with cymbal notation? Something new to master! A…keyboard controller? Really. It uses the actual notation? I had joked about it to friends in the past but… they were actually doing it? I never expected that! But the most unexpected of all was the Pro Guitar and Bass. I had spent enough time mastering 5 buttons… I have the option to increase my challenge twentyfold if I really desired. This was a must get.

    Sure enough, I found myself buying RB3 and was gifted a cymbal expansion. With a few tweaks and modifications, I got them in working order and went to town on the new setlist. I was at the age where I was able to make money of my own, so I began buying DLC seriously during this time period as well, with Billy Joel being my first purchase. With a whole new disc to play, plus DLC, plus the Pro Drum addon, I expected to be kept busy for a while.

    I completed my Eagle Project paperwork in June 2011, and as a reward, I was given $500 to spend how I chose. I used it to buy a Yamaha e-drum kit and keyboard, plus a Midi Pro Adapter. I had taught myself piano some years before, and I wanted to see how my skills on a real instrument translated to the game. But mainly, I bought the e-drum kit wanted to see how my skills at the game translated to a real instrument. I was not disappointed. I made the translation in a few weeks, and decided to supplement it with lessons from my friend. I am able to proficiently play an e-drum kit now.

    I also started using DLCQuickplay and was approached by the Wii community about joining their league. We chatted on Skype and targeted specific goals and songs to grind and get #1. We discussed the DLC, we played for score, but also for fun. It added so much to the game to be a part of a community, and no other game I owned had such a robust online setup. Yeah, I know, what you're thinking, but you have to realize I never had Xbox Live or PSN and my PC was horribly out of date, so this was my first real online experience. And the community was so great; we were always there for each other. And while there were always times when I was upset the Wii was missing out on features the Xbox did, I now realize that in spite of everything, I still consider TB:RB, RB2, and RB3 to be among the greatest Wii games EVER. Nobody really looked twice at the Wii's online until the music game genre came along and proved that DLC and invitational online play were NOT just pipe dreams for the system. You may snark, but even with all the bugs, glitches, and crap we had to deal with, Rock Band 3 was probably the best online game I’ve ever owned.

    The icing on the cake was, in October, finding a guy on craigslist that had mistakenly bought a Wii Mustang when he had an Xbox and was selling it cheap. I immediately snapped it up and jumped into Pro Guitar. I had not started an instrument on Easy for the longest time, but it took time to get acquainted with the fretboard! I had to switch to Pro Bass to get used to the interface and new fretboard, and I stayed there for quite a while. But again, I was able to climb the difficulty scale and play the easier Pro Bass songs on Expert. I struggled with Pro Guitar, but never became quite as good at it as the simpler Pro Bass. Still, while making MUCH slower progress, I eventually fought my way until I could 3 star songs on Expert on Pro Guitar as well.

    This went on for almost a year, when I graduated from high school. I would be moving out to college in a few short months, and I would not be taking my Wii with me. I wanted to do something grand before I left, and at that point I noticed I had 700,000,000 fans, but hadn’t really tried to make progress on many goals. And at the time, there was only one completionist on the leaderboard. I set a goal that before I packed up and left, I would join the completionist leaderboard. (This is significantly more difficult when you’re missing 30 goals because you can’t import songs or play free DLC!)

    I drilled and drilled. I struggled through many trainers (remember, Wii doesn’t have breakneck speed for trainers!), and bought DLC specifically for goals. A week before I was ready to leave, my goal count stood at 970,000,000 fans. Literally all I had left was pro guitar goals, a few keyboard trainers, and Obsessive Compulsive which I was saving for last. I REALLY buckled down and played Pro Guitar almost nonstop that week. I was able to eek out three star ratings on Expert on all but the last tier.

    The day before I was supposed to leave, I had 997,500,000 fans. The only goals that would push me to the top were to beat the toughest Pro Keys trainers, and to FC Beast and the Harlot for Obsessive Compulsive. I buckled down and fought that trainer. And fought. And screamed bloody murder. And I then buckled down and suffered through the trainers one last time, playing them dozens and dozens and dozens of times until I got that one playthrough for each trainer that clicked. And in the end, I unlocked the goal and made it to 998,500,000 fans… and I had 90 minutes left with the Wii I was within striking distance. The time had come.

    I picked Beast and the Harlot on Harmonies. All I had to do was get 100% on every phrase, and I was better at the Harmony in the chorus and had no time to learn a new part. I yelped like M. Shadows. I vibrato’ed the heck out of every phrase.

    70 minutes left. RB3 was crashing much more than usual at this point. It knew I was trying to end it, and it was putting up a fight. Each time the Wii crashed or glitched was another 3 minutes spent resetting on top of the 5 minute song. I was singing into all three mics at once because my USB dongle would randomly disconnect and require a reset. 60 minutes left. I hated the “Ohhhhhh” slide before every chorus, it broke my combo FAR too many times. When I nailed all three choruses, I was so excited I could hardly contain myself! And… broke my combo on the second to last phrase. 50 minutes left. Fair enough. I tried again. Again I nailed the slides! And again I missed out on drinking the poisoned wine and fornication with kings. Fine. I paused and hit reset, and again the screen froze.

    45 minutes left. The day has come for all us sinners. I powered the Wii off, and was seriously concerned at this point. One more try.

    It worked, I nailed the “Ohhhhs”…. Got through the coda... and time for the final chorus!

    “She’s a dwelling place for demons…”
    Was I really going to make it?

    “She’s a cage for every unclean spirit,”
    I haven’t accidentally 99%ed anything earlier in the song, right?

    “Every filthy bird,”
    Oh, my goodness…. HERE IT COMES

    “And makes us DRINK the poisoned WIIIINE to Four-nuh-KAYTHING weeth our KIIINGSS!”



    I did it. After the song ended, I was waiting for my score to pop up. I was hoping and praying I wouldn’t get the 99% glitch. But I didn’t see my score. Instead I saw a small achievement pop up at the bottom.

    “Obsessive Compulsive Unlocked!”

    Quickly followed by, “You are now a Completionist!”

    My entire video gaming career for the past three years was being summed up in those 5 words. My goal was achieved. I had come so far, and jumping through each and every hoop you set out there to beat, despite the annoyances, crashes, finger pains, and Visions, was an absolute pleasure. You've created one of the most excellent game franchises in history (two if you count creating Guitar Hero), and while some may think of rhythm gaming as a "fad" or "stupidly repetitive" or "making a mockery out of musicians", anyone who's really immersed themselves in your games would realize that none of those three counts are true.

    After I moved out, I eventually got an Xbox. Dorm space was limited, and college classes more demanding and we only have one TV between the five of us, so my Rock Band obsession has unfortunately been mostly on hold since then. I still play Blitz occasionally and spend a few dollars on DLC for that, but I just can't put what I used to into the game. But who knows? If you're still around in a few years, I'd love to come back. Please don't think of this as good-bye. We just can't see each other as much as we'd like to. Mark my words... after the ride you've taken me through, I WILL BE BACK.

    Thank you, Harmonix, for creating such an awesome and incredible game. You completely redefined what a video game could be to me; much more than just getting your name on a high score list, 100% completion on a game, or the happiness of getting every achievement. Games could TEACH you things as well, and they didn't have to be preachy about it, they could be fun! Along the way, I’ve learned so much about music history, bands, song structure, melody, harmony, and the role of each instrument in rock music, in addition to how to play them. I bought a crappy used bass a few weeks into college, and my roommates were absolutely shocked at how fast I was able to go from total incompetence to basic proficiency, but your Pro system of learning WORKS. This game has installed a love of music that will last me all my life. I cannot express my thanks enough and I hope that you stay in business many, many more years.
  • MostSpartan14MostSpartan14 Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    God it's been 5 years already. It's hard to believe. My Rock Band story is interesting since at first I thought it looked stupid and had no intention of getting it. I didn't start playing these types of games until GH2 on the Xbox 360 in early 2007. I played it on the PS2 at a friend's house and instantly fell in love with it. I knew right away that I was gonna get GH3 once it came out (And I did too. It would be the second, and last GH game I would ever buy). E3 came around and I saw that another rhythm game was gonna come out that would also include drums and vocals. I thought it looked like a stupid, expensive, GH knockoff and had no interest in it whatsoever. Keep in mind that at this point I had no idea that HMX was the creator of both games. I was such a casual fan that I didn't pay attention to that stuff.
    So, fast forward a few months and it's November of 2007. I was enjoying GH3 and the first RB game had just been released. I didn't even think twice about it. All I knew about the game was that it was flying off store shelves and it was impossible to find. But I didn't care since I didn't want the game. Then one day about a week after RB had been released, I somehow stumbled upon a random youtube video. It was a video of someone playing Fortunate Son on drums. This was the first time I had ever bothered to actually watch RB gameplay. The only reason I did was because I liked the song and it wasn't in GH. As soon as that short video was finished, I knew I had to have that game. I was instantly hooked. I didn't even bother looking up anything else about the game. It went right on my Christmas list.
    Fast forward a few days later and I'm at the mall with my family for whatever reason. We stop into Gamestop and it just so happens that they have ONE more RB Full Band Set in stock. I beg my mom to get it for me since it was so hard to find. She at first said no and that I had to wait until Christmas. But I was able to convince her to get it then and there and the rest is history.
    What followed was the most magical few hours of my life as I went through the game on guitar. I bought they game knowing almost nothing about it. I didn't know the features, the customization, or even the setlist. Every single song that showed up was a surprise. It's something I wish I could experience with other music games but I would never have the control to not look at a setlist before hand. And that's part of what made the first RB so magical for me. Everything about it was a complete surprise. And I loved it.
  • jibjqrkljibjqrkl Eventually Perceptive
    edited November 2012
    great stories in here =)
  • Edfan1337Edfan1337 Opening Act
    edited November 2012

    My Rock Band obsession started back in the summer of 2009. Our family (only comprised of my parents and myself) decided to move to a summer camp for the entire summer to support one of our friend's church and get a whole new experience. (the camp was literally falling apart. I almost got impaled by a falling wood plank once; don't worry, it missed.)

    As we, as well as the +10 teenagers and young adults there, including 2 children, progressed through the year, lethargy and boredom consumed the free time that we had in between work and managing the camp programs. Surprisingly, my father came up with the greatest idea; turn one of the cabins into a party stop. Also surprisingly, he volunteered our cabin, even despite my mother's hatred of loud noises. Even when it was complete, something was missing...

    On one particularly crappy day, I broke my pinkie finger. I was omitted from many things, including swimming at the lakes and playing sports at the several courts, so that sucked. I was heading to my cabin after getting patched up when I heard a familiar guitar riff and the repeating lyrics.

    "It's the, eye of the tiger, it's the thrill of the fight..."

    I rush in, and see about 8 people inside, watching or playing Rock Band 2. I had never seen anything like it; sure, I saw the "Through the Fire and the Flames 100% FC" Guitar Hero videos, but a game like this? I was still playing platformers and fighting games, this was totally new for me. My father got it for the camp... it was his idea.

    I watched as the drummer flailed as he was hitting notes and the guitarist and bassist keeping their combos with the utmost attention. When the song was over, the guitarist invites me to play along. I claim that I would be no good, but then another person tells me that I could play on vocals (no one wished to; they did want to face the humiliation of awkwardly mumbling lyrics they did not know). Assuming I would fail in a particularly epic fashion, I said "why not?" and started playing.

    I got hooked. I tried out all the instruments (on easy, of course) and had a blast on all of them. While the others went and unlocked all the songs, I continued playing the few I knew. I never thought a casual rhythm game could be this fun, especially singing. Once I started getting 100%'s on easy guitar/bass, I considered upgrading to medium, but my aching pinkie made me reconsider.

    But all good things come to an end. The summer passed by fast and everyone was leaving, one-by-one. We decided not to clean up the party cabin; the next year would see more use. You'd think that after all the fun I had singing badly and hitting the yellow notes off-key I'd keep the game. Nope. The game, and all of its instruments were purchased with the camp's money, so we couldn't keep it. Much to my dissatisfaction, the owner pawned the whole bundle to help repair one of the cabins.

    Mind you our family was not the kind that had lots of money. I knew that we could never afford an expensive game like the Rock Band series. Plus, they even posted list of "banned songs" in the party cabin (reminder: it was a church-owned camp) after hearing the guys play "Chop Suey" and "Visions". They were quite frank in telling me to never play those songs (I was only 11 at the time), and I obeyed without question (I did not like the songs either.). I thought, despite the huge amount of non-screamo songs, they'd probably punish me for wanting a game where you sing "When angels deserve to diiiieeeee..."

    But ever since that day, I was hooked. Even though I was cut off from the game, I still got my fix from the uncountable hours spent watching FC videos and watching the new Rock Band DLC (I laughed out loud when the Spongebob DLC came out... both times). I tried out Frets on Fire, but it wasn't the same, not by a longshot.

    In fact, Rock Band is directly responsible for the reason I am such a music fan. Before that summer, I only knew about 6 songs, 2 of which were from video games. I didn't dare to listen to the radio thanks to this Lady Gaga chick suddenly showing up and pop music sounding kinda bland to me. I have since grown my personal music library to over 1,100 songs from over 500 different artists (okay, technically 499; I've got "Tom Petty" separate from "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers")

    Almost 2 and half years pass. It's now Christmas time of 2011. During the winter, I'd write up my wish-list and let my parents know what I wanted. For some reason, we never had any money during Christmas time, so whenever I wanted something, they would try getting it after Christmas; sometimes even months before the list gets half-way complete, despite usually being small.

    That year, now 14, I thought that I could try persuading them again. So I decided to write up my list in the shortest possible time.

    On Christmas morning, my father asks, "Well son, what do you want for Christmas?"

    I show my list to him. Only 2 words are written on it: Rock Band

    "You really want that game?" He asked me. I hesitated before nodding. "Well then, let's get it."

    He went straight to Ebay and bought a slightly used Rock Band 2 Bundle that came with 2 guitars, the drumkit, one (guitar hero) microphone, and finally, the game. It came quickly and I set it up in a haste. I turned on my Playstation 3, watched the opening cinematic, and went for the guitar.

    I go straight to medium guitar, hard bass, medium drums, and hard vocals and progressively got better on every instrument. I blast through career mode and unlock the songs that I used to play. I learned most of the songs during my "Rock Band hibernation", so I could actually sing them now.

    Soon, I was playing expert on every instrument, picking out my favorites, making up fake "Rock Band __" setlists, posting on the forums, writing reviews; heck, the only thing I haven't done yet is actually FC anything.

    Along the lines I also picked up the original Rock Band, Lego Rock Band, the Classic Rock Track Pack, a single pro drum cymbal, Rock Band 3, the keyboard, a micstand, and over 80 DLC songs. Heck, I even bought a real drum seat after going through 3 pedals. I loved the game so much that after I bought all this, I couldn't believe I invested so much into one game! And yet, my father backed me up the whole time, buying most of these things (minus the DLC) to keep his promise on fulfilling that list.

    One day, I go up to my father and the following exchange happens:


    "Yeah, bud?"

    "You're the best."

    This year, I'm not asking for a single, damn thing. :)


    TL;DR Version: My daddy is awesome because he bought me Rock Band.
  • whypick1whypick1 Headliner
    edited November 2012
    tl;dr: There is no tl;dr version, I write novels, son.

    In '08 after I moved to the Portland area from college, I answered a LFP ad on these forums for local Rock Band players. I had gotten the bundle the prior Christmas, but really only had myself to play with. That led me to Rock Band Tuesdays, at Ground Kontrol. After being thrust into action by playing Hysteria on bass with no no-fail mode to save me (this was RB1, after all), I quickly established myself as the best player there (even if I did fail at the end of the I can almost play it with just one hand).

    Fast forward to spring of '09, where Harmonix and Harrah's teamed up for the first Total Rock, Total Rewards Rock Band competition. One of the owners of GK and the man who ran RB night approached me asking if I wanted to participate with he and a couple other regulars as the house band, Mario Speedwagon. After some deliberation, I agreed to do so. We knew we had a tough task ahead of us. The nearest qualifying location was in just-recently-added Lake Tahoe, so we had exactly one shot at this. We'd spent weeks practicing two songs: Give It Away and Tangled up in Blue. The former was easy to score massive amounts of points on, but the latter had a much higher point ceiling, provided our singer could step up. Eventually, the deciding weekend came. We would be in the very last qualifying night for Tahoe, so everyone would be bringing their A game.

    We nearly didn't even have a chance, as our flight to Reno was overbooked and our drummer was the odd man out, but thankfully a stranger offered to go onto standby, so we could make the 2 hour flight + 2 hour drive to the casino. We got there around 3, competition began at 8. All we could do was wait (yeah, totally meant to rhyme there).

    Finally, it was show time. Lots were drawn and we were the third-to-last band up and the band before us were the current front runners. After some spirited efforts on-stage (which included one of the vocalists who had chatted us up prior coming up and saying "Yeah, the mics are really screwy on there", which gave everyone else but me pause), the leaders finally went. And they did..."Give It Away". We knew they would get a high score and we definitely knew at that point we were doing "Tangled up in Blue". We watched as the singer effortlessly got a 99%, but having spent many weeks pathing, I knew that they had left points on the table. Final score: 1.9 million. Our turn.

    We strode on stage, everyone but me nervous as all hell. I tried to reassure them, telling them "just pretend like it's another Tuesday". The highways came up; it was all or nothing. Our bassist kept the rhythm, our drummer handled the unusual pattern, I strummed every open chord like I was trying to pick up sorority chicks and our singer hit every weird pitch and off-key note that Bob Dylan threw at him. Our point total kept getting closer and closer to that magic mark, every new verse bringing in a barrage of notes from the 8x multiplier. And then, during the final chorus, it happened.

    We hit 2 million.

    We were #1.

    Each of us let out an audible cheer and broke combo. The vocals went out and the three of us proceeded to rock out for the rest of the song. When the dust had settled and the highway disappeared, we were greeted with vindication: 2.2 million. There were only 2 more acts, but they didn't stand a chance. At the end of the night, we had won*. Before we were officially crowned, the bassist and I went back to our hotel room to change into our we-didn't-wind-up-using-them costumes we were going to use in the semis. Along the way, 90% of our conversation was some variation of "We did it". We had. We had.

    The rest of the night was a bit of a blur of drinking with a couple of the losing bands and ****ty house music at the casino's dance club. The next morning, we had to fly out of there since half the band had to work that Sunday. All in all, we had spent about $300 each for about 18 hours in Tahoe...but it was worth it.

    Next up, I'll write another novel about the semis, but first...I'm going to play some Rock Band.

    *Yeah, you notice how part of this article doesn't really jibe with the beginning of my post? That always bugged me
  • Groudon199Groudon199 1 hour, 39 minutes, 52 seconds
    edited November 2012
    I started playing these types of rhythm games in 2007. First game played was Guitar Hero II at the nearby Wal-Mart in May. A neighbor got GH2 a month later, and no one in their house could pass anything on Easy (and my mom managed to pass 2 songs). I helped them out and breezed through Easy and Medium. Probably a week later, we got our own copy of the game. After about 2 months, I got good enough to pass most songs on Hard, and passed my first song on Expert in early September.

    Fast-forward to December. My high school was holding a Halo/Guitar Hero tournament, so I decided to go. During some of the downtime between rounds, I saw someone with Rock Band, which I had never heard of before. It looked interesting, so I decided to give it a try. I played everything except Vocals (Drums were a bit more complicated than I expected since I didn't know there was a bass drum pedal until then), and probably 70% of the time I played, the song was "Say It Ain't So". I got my 360 later that month, and got the full-band RB1 bundle at the beginning of January. I was playing on Expert Drums after about a week.
  • hiimSMAPhiimSMAP Road Warrior
    edited November 2012
    A story?

    Nah, ever since I began playing Rock Band at the age of 14 I was into nothing but sex, drugs, and Rock n' Roll.
  • BohemianMattBohemianMatt Headliner
    edited November 2012
    Started with GH3 and got addicted to the plastic guitar. Finally, I got bored with GH3 set list. Picked up RB1 to have more songs to play. Realized HMX released more songs every week (and not just incredibly hard ones). Five years later, they still do. :D:D:D
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