I recently told someone that my only access to what is current and relevant within the music industry is what Weird Al Yankovic parodies. His albums are time capsules of the previous three to five years between his latest releases. Whenever the original song begins to play somewhere, I immediately think they are playing Weird Al’s version. Without Al, I would not have the slightest clue of who’s who and what’s coo(l).
Classical, minimalism, and video game and movie soundtracks are roughly seventy-five percent of my music collection. What fills in between the remaining 25-percent are classic rock, German metal, and lesser-known folk rock groups.
Playing through what “regular” songs I do have a few days ago, I noticed a connection between them. Between Rollins Band, Motörhead, Del the Funky Homosapien, The Ramones, and a few others, it occurred to me that most of my favourite bands all appeared in one collection: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3. To this day, I continue to jam with Motörhead; Del, and his alternative performance moniker Deltron 3030, remains one of the three rap artists I enjoy; and Henry Rollins belongs to a list of people I would like to meet.
A few other songs and artists were sprinkled into the THPS3’s soundtrack have stuck with me. In my rare dark and angry moments, CKY’s ’96 QuiteBitter Beings’ alleviates the aggression.
Red Hot Chili Peppers are famed for a number of their funk rock hits, but ‘Fight Like a Brave’ is my favourite. In fact, it is the only Chilli Peppers song in my collection.
‘What’s the Matter Man’ propelled my fandom of Rollins Band and further piqued my appreciation for the 90s grunge music scene. Understanding that Rollins Band was not a grunge group, their repository of hard-hitting rock songs led me to find Alice in Chains.
The first time I heard Motörhead’s ‘Ace of Spades’ welcome me to the next stage, I was mesmerised; I had never heard an opening guitar riff like that. My Dad overheard the track while I was playing. “Hey, I remember those guys,” he said.
“You do?” I asked, thinking how could he know of such a new and hardcore rock group?
“Yeah, Motörhead. They were big in the 70s.” Shortly thereafter, I went to my local Hastings (may you rest in peace) and bought ‘Aces.’ Lemmy Kilmister (may you also rest in peace) remains my only rock and roll icon.
Thanks to my cousins, I knew about The Ramones during camping trips. Being older, they were more astute and in-tune to what was cool. The Ramones was a top pick of theirs, making ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ the only song I knew before playing THPS3 for the first time.
Del the Funky Homosapien
The biggest wildcard of the track list was Del’s ‘If YouMust.’ This song proved to me that hip-hop and rap was not always as it’s generally portrayed. Rap could be funny and amusing, albeit often bizarre. Del opened the door to a very small room of rap artists whom I enjoy. Mos Def shares the couch with the Del here.
While THPS3 was fun, it was not the game itself that impacted me. There are plenty of other video game titles which made a stronger impact in that department. Rather, the skateboarding title’s song list defined my musical tastes for the years to come.