Aug 13, 2008

Rock Out Or Get Out!

  • Imagine yourself waiting in line along a busy street in the freezing January weather of a small Maine city. Posters advertising a rock show plaster the cold brick wall to your right: Foo Fighters, one night only!

    The snow is gently floating down amongst you and the crowd of anxious and die-hard fans. Jackets are few, hats and gloves mostly forgotten, the warmth of a packed arena floor only an excruciating memory of rock show past. People with significant others stand wrapped in each others arms, rubbing and consoling, keeping minds at ease with the anticipation of the opening doors. Loners blow in their hands and hop up and down in the impatient dance of frostbitten toes.

    Thoughts of death from the harsh Maine winter's breath start creeping into your mind only moments before the doors finally open, letting the warm indoor air sweep across the few lucky enough to be close to the doors. Hurriedly, frozen feet carry people across the threshold into the arena as you shake the icicles out of your hair and feel the twitch of life flow back into your nose. The 4 hour wait is over.

    You feel like the floor in front of the stage couldn't be any more packed with people. You lift your feet only to be held up by the shoulders of your fellow rockers. The three opening bands have come and gone and you've rocked through all three, bobbing your head and singing along where you could. Everyone's frozen bodies have not only recovered from the cold but are so hot that the sweat from yourself and all the exhausted fans around you soak your body and clothes. The heat that's emanating off the crowd creates a fine mist floating toward the ceiling creating a cloud of perspiration and spent screams. Impatience creeps in. The chant "Foo, Foo, Foo" echoes and deafens. The moment is coming, the lights go out, the time has come.

    A drum beat, steady and hard swallows you. The bass beating on your already tortured eardrums keeps punching you in the gut with each heavy beat. Then there is beam of light that streaks from the scaffolding above.

    Illuminated at the center of the stage is burgundy, swede couch. The cushions have seen better days, stains streak the right arm rest, tears criss cross the left cushion. But your attention is drawn to the center of the couch. Behind a boom stand with its microphone positioned downward is Dave Grohl: the icon, the living rock legend, the front man of Foo Fighters. He sits reclined with his axe in his lap and his head back. The memorable opening notes of "My Hero" come flowing out of his fingers. You stand motionless as the crowd around you is paralyzed with shock, bewilderment and outrage. Your rock star dreams are destroyed like skinny and overexcited kid in a mosh pit.

    You're probably thinking, "This wouldn't happen." You're right, it wouldn't.

    But this same thing is happening in living rooms all across the nation without the second thought that it deserves. This needs to be stopped. Its an affliction I call GHOLS. Short for Guitar Hero Obsessive Laziness Syndrome. You may notice your friend or loved one playing "Slow Ride" by Foghat while sitting on the couch, the floor, in a recliner, with their feet up, or completely lying down. It is a common misconception that these are acceptable methods of which to play Guitar Hero. In truth they are not and can lead to a very serious case of GHOLS. In some cases this condition could be seriously life threatening.

    You may wonder why I went through this whole story just to inform you of this condition. My point is if Dave Grohl wouldn't do it on stage you shouldn't be doing it in your living room while playing Guitar Hero. The motto in my living room is: Rock out or get out, stand up or step down! Common behaviors for a healthy Guitar Hero player in my home include: jumping on furniture, flashing of the horns, power stance, crazy eye, and head banging.

    There will be a day when the world can live without GHOLS but it all starts with recognizing the symptoms. I will never let a case of GHOLS afflict anyone I care for and neither should you. Remember, if Dave Grohl wouldn't do it then neither should you. Show the same courtesy your rock hero would show to you and keep it rockin'!

    Also see: Chronic Axe Neglect Disorder for Rock Band (CANDRB)

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