Rock Band's Final Downloadable Song Is Absolutely Perfect

Back when I was in high school, we had the same DJ at every school dance. His name was Ben Skirvin, and as he was a DJ at a local radio station, he went by the handle "Swervin' Ben Skirvin".

Not exactly the coolest DJ name of all time, but, hey, it was southern Indiana in the '90s. None of us were that cool.

My primary memory of those dances, aside from a more general recollection of vague mortification broken up by infrequent sunbursts of exhilaration, was the fact that Swervin' Ben Skirvin would end every single dance by playing Don McLean's 1971 classic "American Pie".

Any song that starts out slow but then gets fast is a bit dangerous for a high school dance — if you're not careful, you can pull a Sam Weir, grabbing a girl for a slow dance only to wind up awkwardly fast-dancing halfway through.

But it really is an amazing song for ending things. "The day the music died" and all that. And so it's fitting that "American Pie" will be the final downloadable song for Rock Band.

The song will mark the end of almost six years' worth of downloadable Rock Band tracks, a service that Rock Band developer Harmonix recently announced would be drawing to a close. Over those years, players downloaded more than 100 million songs across a half-dozen Rock Band sequels, independent bands were given the opportunity to upload their own music via the Rock Band Network, and Jason managed to convince Harmonix to add Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" to the catalogue. All in all, a pretty good run.

Now, all that ends. The grand finale tune was first outed by Polygon from Harmonix's PAX East party last night, and today, a Harmonix spokesperson confirmed that McLean's opus will indeed be Rock Band's swan song. It will be the full eight-minute version too — none of this half-length single malarkey — and it will be available April 2.

I haven't played Rock Band in ages, but I might have to dust off my drums and put the band back together for this one.


    This song came out 15 years before I was even born, and its still one of my favs.

      Because by all means, it's a perfect song :) Anyone, ANYONE who hates this song, has no soul...

    You're right Kirk, what an amazing song to go out with :)

    I remember my Dad used to play this on his accoustic guitar all the time as a boy, he still does from time to time, when I hear him or this song it transports me back to my childhood, some great, amazing times..

    I just had the strongest feeling of standing up out of my chair in front of my PC and giving them a standing ovation.

    Great memories playing this amazing game. Bravo to Harmonix for many years of gaming.

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