2008 Soap Box Archives

Guitar Hero

I had a rude awakening recently when I looked at a video game.

It was called Guitar Hero and is wildly popular with the younger set. I heard they had used one of my songs but I hadn't seen it until recently and when I did I was in for some unpleasant surprises.

The game features a rock band playing heavy metal covers of different songs and enables the player to become part of the band, pushing colored buttons on a faux guitar neck which correspond with
colors going by on the screen as the song plays.

Actually the game really has a dark side complete with grotesque monsters on stage with the band, strange, eerie lighting effects and all manner of weird things popping up on the stage.

To tell you the truth the whole thing bothered me and struck me as something that is not the healthiest thing in the world for young, impressionable minds to be exposed to, but the thing that really got me was what they had done with my song.

The song, "The Devil Went Down To Georgia," which I wrote, is supposed to be a lighthearted novelty about a fiddling contest between a country boy and the devil and the devil always loses.

That is not the case with the Guitar Hero version which comes complete with a horned, guitar-playing devil who battles the player and very often wins.

I want any of you parents out there whose children have this game to know that I did not grant these people my permission to pervert my song and am disgusted with the result.

Unfortunately I lost the publishing rights on the song many years ago in a settlement with a former partner and the license to Guitar Hero was granted by the company who now owns the publishing.

I would never grant permission for some company to create a video game version of a song I wrote in which the devil wins a contest and I'm sorely disappointed with the company who owns the copyright for not policing the situation. As it is they have allowed these people to violate the very essence of the song.

At this time I don't know if I have any legal recourse, probably not, but I wanted you folks to know that I vehemently disagree with what has been done to a piece of my work. And would like to pass along a little advice to parents of young children.

This game looks innocent enough but if you have a child who is playing it, take the time to sit with him or her while they're playing along and take a serious look at the images on the screen.

You may be surprised at the world they're being exposed to.

Pray for our troops.

What do you think?

God Bless America

Charlie Daniels


©Copyright The Charlie Daniels Band