Looks like not everyone is happy to have their songs included in Activision's Guitar Hero series. Charlie Daniels of the Charlie Daniels Band recently got a chance to see the cover of "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" from the third installment of the game, and was a might pissed, mainly at the fact that in the game, the devil can win.
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 licence to Guitar Hero was granted by the company who now owns the publishing.
Journey with Charlie Daniels into the dark side of Guitar Hero...
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.
So very torn here. Part of me wants to tear into Mr. Daniels for being behind the times and go into a spiel about Guitar Hero being one of the more innocent games in the industry. I want to tell him that children playing Guitar Hero more than likely never even see these images, so intent on the fret bar than the scenery is just to keep onlookers interested.
The other part of me recognises that Charlie wrote some of the greatest songs of all time, Devil included, and I should probably just let it go unless I want to get my arse seriously kicked. I live in Georgia, where in the summer they regularly project one of his songs onto the side of a mountain with lasers. Lasers! Not a good place to be dissing the man.
Instead, I leave you with Charlie Daniel's parting words from his soapbox entry last Friday.
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.
And after the surprise wears off, snatch the guitar from their hands and show 'em how it's done, and whatever you do, don't mention to Charlie that the devil is a playable character. Might be too much for the old boy to handle.
Guitar Hero - Soapbox [Charlie Daniel's Band Official Site via Terry Frank - Thanks Chris!]