So, I've been procrastinating, but at the eleventh hour of anniversary day, I'm gonna wing it.
Story starts out simple. Boy plays GHII at a party, is terrible at it. Boy is gifted GHIII and becomes slightly less terrible. He catches wind of Rock Band, and somehow does not recognize it as being made by "the people who made Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero II", but instead as "the people who made EyeToy Antigrav, the first console game he owned, and by far the best use of that fledgling webcam", and then immediately trades in Pokemon Diamond for a copy of RB1 and puts that guitar to better use.
He loved it.
The soundtrack was meticulously picked. Won't Get Fooled Again, Paranoid, (Don't Fear) The Reaper, Orange Crush, Gimme Shelter, Here it Goes Again; every single main setlist song was perfect for the game. Most of the bonus songs were too. There has never been a better curated music game setlist.
After a summer filled with more Pepsi than I've seen in the rest of my life combined, I was hooked. Rock Band 2 was everywhere, peak popularity, and it was amazing.
Rock Band 3 was pushing the envelope so much, more ambition than I could have expected from a game company. Combating the naysayers saying to "play a real instrument", they allowed just that. The Squier, Mustang, and Keytar were incredible innovation from a company that wasn't content with just doing what worked in the past, and that's what made the Rock Band 3 era the shiniest part of Harmonix's history, even if the popularity didn't reflect it.
The drive of RB3 was infectious, it's what got me involved in giving back to the community. The Rock Band Network had been going on since RB2, but RBN2 (for RB3) is where I jumped in. A lucky offhand PlayStation blog post blossomed into a massive opportunity for teenage me. While I'm not satisfied with the quality of my end result, I got to work with one of my favorite companies (makers of some of the best platformers in history), see my work in an actual theater, and help an awesome charity. That was an amazing feeling for a high school kid.
Through RBN, I learned of hundreds of songs and artists through testing, reviewing, authoring, and outreach. I met tons of great people, and got to work with some heroes. I know I struggled a ton as a PS3 author, but seeing Gemini finally complete and available on sale, a song from the actual GHII setlist, was an incredible feeling. Even better were the messages of appreciation from the artists, at every level. It wasn't just me geeking out, they were all really excited I was helping them get into the game and I cannot put into words how fantastic that felt.
Harmonix has been composed of many different faces over the years, and I sincerely appreciate each and every one of them. Yes, even Derek.
I was honored to be selected for the Rock Band Road Crew, even if I felt like I didn't deserve it. I'm thankful for RB4. It may not have measured up to 1, 2, or 3, it was still a complete blast to play, and I'd scarcely dream of having 10 U2 tracks back in the day. Rivals Mode was an excellent way for it to set itself apart.
I apologize for drifting into obsessiveness at times. I know it was easy for me to get carried away; I'll leave the specifics out, but anyone who knows me knows when I'd buy a whole new chicken coop and be counting eggs before they were laid. Rock Band is a series I'm passionate about, one that I sunk countless hours in-game and out alike. It means so much to me, so much more than this late night rambling cell-phone post could possibly iterate, so all I really can say is...
Thank you, Harmonix5
Snagged a Black Friday PSVR deal!3
Radiohead? Say it ain't so4
I'm at a floating lantern festival! Finished decorating mine and waiting for dusk.2
Saw Blade Runner. Pretty faithful for a loose adaptation. Looking forward to 2049 later this week.1