In a recent piece interview with A Perfect Circle, Pittsburgh’s Trib Total Media makes a claim that is very flattering of the Guitar Hero franchise, yet very upsetting for fans of rock and roll. In the piece, which also discusses the famous Maynard James Keenan performance of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the online paper says, “Rock music is in such strange place right now. As pop, hip-hop, R&B, even pop-country crowds rock music off the charts — and ‘buying albums’ seems as old-fashioned as renting videotapes — the only thing keeping rock and roll off life support may be Guitar Hero.”
The piece is an interview with A Perfect Circle’s guitarist, Billy Howerdell, who was on stage with bandmate Maynard James Keenan, for the now legendary concert, where they together performed “Bohemian Rhapsody.” As it turns out, however, he was not originally lined up to perform that evening, and schedule confusion, combined with a production-team freak-out, led to Howerdell taking the stage alongside his lead vocalist, Maynard James Keenan.
There was a party at the Staples Center in L.A. for the release of Guitar Hero and apparently Brian May was going to play guitar, and had to back out. Somehow, there was some kind of production mix-up. This is the story I heard — someone thought, “Oh, we’ll just have a guitar on tape.” Then production freaked out — the theme of the thing is Guitar Hero, after all. They freaked out, realizing they needed a guitar player. Maynard literally texted me right then when they were talking about it, and said, “If it’s all right, come down and do it.” I came down and did it, and it was nice to be back onstage together again, and I think it sparked the idea of making this tour happen.
Even though the concert was over a year ago now, gamers still look back at as an amazing performance. Check out the video below, which showcases one of the cooler animations found in Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.