Dear Guitar Hero,
There’s no easy way to say this, but you know those four words you never wanted to hear from me? Well, times change and…and I guess I’ll go ahead and say it.
We need to talk.
I never thought this day would come. I mean, we’ve spent almost every day together. It’s been over five years…five years we’ve been together. I remember the first day I heard about you. A coworker asked if I had ever heard of you, and the way you were described…”A video game where you play notes on a guitar shaped controller”…I thought it was too good to be true. You combined my love of rock n’ roll with my passion for video games. Remember the first day we met? I failed Bark at the Moon…on Medium. Didn’t even make it past the first verse! But I wasn’t gonna give up that easily…not with something as special as you. I finally brought you home and we spent the whole day together. The day turned into the night. Nothing really happened, we were just…together. I told my dad about you, and he thought you sounded “pretty cool.” Heck, when he visited he loved hanging out with you too. It was kinda funny to see you two playing Smoke on the Water.
Our love just grew from there. Passing Texas Flood, getting the new games as they came in. Remember how excited I was that Freebird would be in the sequel, and Raining Blood would be in Legends of Rock? And don’t get me started when I found out Guitar Hero: Metallica was coming out. That was a special day.
Of course, not every moment has been great. Oh, those times you wouldn’t let me get the 100%, or the five star score, I remember them all…Seventeen, Hold on Loosely, 18 and Life…Does Misirlou ring a bell? There were many times you could be a real bitch. You’d be so needy some times that I missed social engagements or work deadlines. Did you really need me to play Nickelback? I fucking hate that band.
In all fairness, I should also apologize to you. I took some of my frustration out on you undeservedly. I know I’d get mad and throw you on the ground occasionally. Or when I found out that Keira had been dating someone else the whole time, and I smashed my favorite guitar? That was not your fault at all, and you didn’t deserve that treatment. I cried immediately afterwards, and regretted ever doing it.
Even though there were some difficult times, the great times were worth it. It took a while to convince you that I was worthy of some of the most difficult songs. Through the Fire and Flames? That was well worth the wait. Revolution Deathsquad. Totally unexpected that day, but after playing it for 10 hours, you believed I was worthy. The best? Has to be The Devil Went Down to Georgia. My dad heard the song and said, “That will be impossible. Good luck!” It took me over three years and nearly seven months to accomplish the five star rating. Hell, it took me nearly a year just to pass the damn song. Worth the wait? You better believe it. And who can forget Hero for the Heart: A Guitar Hero Record Setting Rock-a-thon to Benefit the American Heart Association. We raised over $6,500 for the AHA, and you helped me accomplish a child dream in breaking a Guinness World Record. We were definitely ready to kill each other at various points. Freezing at inopportune moments, the guitar malfunctioning, me accidently chucking you halfway across the room. We were a part of history.
Which leads me to this point: We’ve done everything together. After 5 starring every song on expert, getting all the Full Combos that I can, breaking a world record…where does it go from here? It can’t get any better. You’ve already made it clear that you don’t intend to make any more games in the future. Yeah, you’ve hinted at changing this year, but really, what’s the point? It will just be the same “play guitar tracks” song and dance. This relationship is going nowhere. I want a real guitar relationship. You should know that in the past month, I’ve been playing with the Gibson…and the Ovation. They don’t provide a phony relationship like you do. I know this hurts to hear, especially since all of friends know us as an item; you can’t say one without mentioning the other. It breaks my heart to do this, but I have to be honest with you and myself:
We’re officially done.
I’ll never forget the great moments we had together. You were a wonderful part of my life, and I’ll cherish the memories for as long as I live. But it’s time to move on. There’s too many places I’ve got to see.
If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me…
Pat Young is an actor and improviser in Atlanta. In his spare time, he enjoys running, heavy metal, and saving lives.