Aerosmith – Lotteries and Imposters

Aerosmith - trying to make sense of it all

Aerosmith - trying to make sense of it all

We get pretty excited when we think about Aerosmith. Definitely one of the most decadent bands of all time, they turned it around in the 80s, cleaning up and became one of the biggest rock bands in the world – a promptly stayed there.

It was the first sign that these louts had some balls – and were willing to work hard and take risks for their music and their careers. It led to the groundbreaking ‘Walk This Way’ with Run DMC. We want to shed a tear and do the devil symbol just thinking about it.

The digital era has been funny to Aerosmith, but by no means bad. They signed onto the Guitar Hero franchise well before any other Johnny come lately. They have a new record due out, and rumours are they will follow the Eagles, AC/DC, Guns ‘n’ Roses and others with a retail exclusive (possibly with Wal-Mart).

But two things have really tickled us about Aerosmith lately.

First is the Aerosmith branded lottery scratchie. Yes, really.

The scratchies come with your standard chance of winning a million bucks, but some of the consolation prizes include tickets to shows and backstage passes. All tied in with Aerosmith‘s songs and images. Brilliant!

Full story from Billboard here – http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/aerosmith-hits-jackpot-with-branded-lottery-1003972115.story

The second is lead singer Steve Tyler‘s futile attempt to sue anonymous bloggers. Apparently Fake Steve Tyler has gotten around, posting on forums, Facebook and Youtube, talking about Real Steve Tyler‘s private life. So Tyler decided to sue, as is the American way. Funny thing was, the anonymous bloggers decided to stay anonymous and the court day came with no one turning up.

Techcrunch has the best summary we could find – http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/22/cryin-aerosmiths-steven-tyler-fails-to-sue-anonymous-bloggers/

This second bit is way more interesting than the lottery story. Fake celebs are everywhere, especially on Twitter. People like Tina Fey and Seth Rogen have to take a hard line to say they are not on Twitter, although you can find fakes of them on that service. Good on Tyler for trying something. Maybe Darth Vader will sue this site.

We bring all this up, not to poke fun at all the crazy things Aerosmith does, but to make a point that it must be confusing to be in a band these days. All these side deals, imposters, new technologies, games, retail exclusives… how can a bunch of rockers from Boston keep up?

The world is getting more and more confusing. We hope Aerosmith keep rocking right through the madness.

Britains Next Top Guitar Hero?

Guitar Hero - stars of stage and screen?

Guitar Hero - stars of stage and screen?

At times, it feels like we have little good things to say about reality TV or guitar hero. But do two wrongs make a right? We might find out soon. Activision, owners of Rock Band, has mentioned an interest in creating a TV show, and maybe even a tour.

OK, so we grant you the quote may well be a flippant comment on behalf of one exec. Still, the mind boggles.

Reality TV we can’t really say much about. But Guitar Hero, and it’s cousin Rockband, are just so interesting at the moment. We like the game. We were complete cynics before we tried it, and we will admit happily that it’s a lot of fun – for a bit. But it’s not a way to listen to music. It’s barely a way to discover new music.

It’s just a dead end.

All this hoopla about Metallica, Aerosmith and others, having exclusive versions of such games, is just over blown. Sure it’s great exposure, but those are some of the biggest rock bands in the world. What works for those nutty bands have never worked for anyone else. KISS coffins, anyone? We’re talking about metal and hard rock here. Most of the hard rock record shops I grew up with had more t-shirts than records. Chains, stickers, and just lots and lots of stuff. It’s cool – we own a lot of that stuff – but that’s where Guitar Hero falls into.

There is also the purist argument. Why not just learn the guitar? We get the flaw in this argument – most people can’t. It’s friggin hard. But in the long run, it’s more rewarding.

Guitar hero is also just keeping it’s head above the credibility waters. We cannot imagine those bands appearing as judges on a show. Unless Guitar Hero are REALLY making a lot of money.

(As an aside, we love the new, free, simple feature in Apple’s Garageband. It comes with free guitar and piano lessons. That warms our slightly snobby, liberal hearts)

So, who knows what TV show Guitar Hero could spawn. It should just be like Don’t Forget the Lyrics. A fun little game show for Joe The Plumber Whose Hobbie Is To Rock Out. But maybe it will be awesome, and I can happily eat my words. The music, at least, is bound to be good. More likely, if this show is ever made, it will last a season. And we will laugh about this like the Super Mario Brothers movie.

Guitar Hero Site