It’s exactly this elder-statesmen reputation, in fact, that puts Aerosmith in the perfect position for Guitar Hero. Their longevity makes them appear credible to the naked eye, and their stockpile of well-known tunes makes them a good draw for gamers who don’t really know jack shit about rock.

For Activision, they’re heaven-sent. They’re big enough to create press-release earthquakes whenever they shake hands with a suit, and they’re loose enough to accept money from pretty much all comers. They’re recognizable to all ages, inoffensive to most demographics, and completely fucking for sale. Their shameless history of selling out makes them gorgeous to suits who need a house band for a big-money project where music is mostly irrelevant: Super Bowl halftime shows, car commercials, Target commercials, Gap commercials, camera commercials, blockbuster-movie soundtracks, and whatever else pays. They’re a commodity, and you can buy them this summer for your favorite home gaming console.

Postscript: I’ll admit, however, that the Guitar Hero concept is a lot less retarded than Aerosmith’s previous video game. For those too young or lucky to remember, the band lent its name, music, and likeness (and anything else that was for sale) to a preposterous 1994 arcade game called Revolution X, in which the player was asked to defeat a dystopian government that had outlawed all music and video games. (I’m not sure I’d mind.) In the process, the player could earn extra points by rescuing the kidnapped members of Aerosmith — which put them in the ignominious “Princess Peach” role. I played it, and it was as bad as it sounds.

Aggrieved Aerosmith fans can e-mail the author at for a full apology.

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Related: The Big Hurt: Broken bones and stripper poles, Crossword: ''You're out!'', Top ten Boston CDs: week of October 29, 2006, More more >
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