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Guitar Hero

  • The song "Spanish Castle Magic" was recorded with vocals, though they are not present in the final game. The song can be sampled with vocals intact at the official Guitar Hero website. Why the vocals were removed from the song has been said to be that the Hendrix estate do not wish for Hendrix to be impersonated.Template:Fact
  • While waiting for a song to load, a loading screen is presented with an image of an amplifier. The amp has three volume knobs, each of which turn to 11. This is a reference to the 1984 "rockumentary" This Is Spinal Tap, in which an amplifier is discussed for its apparent ability to go to 11 rather than simply 10. Furthermore, one of the random loading screens displays the reference 'Eleven IS louder than ten'. Subsequently, the song "Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight" by Spinal Tap was featured in Guitar Hero II.
  • Though many of the loading screens give the player brief playing tips and hints, many of them are also jokes about rock'n'roll culture. One of the screens reads: "They don't really want you to play Freebird, they're just heckling you." This is a reference to the Lynyrd Skynyrd song "Free Bird" and its frequent request at concerts. Ironically, "Free Bird" became a playable song in Guitar Hero II, with a rather self-referencing response: "Fine. They're not just heckling you this time. Sigh."
  • Watching the credits in their entirety rewards the viewer with a number of messages, one of them asking the player if they've started playing a real guitar yet. A similar suggestion can be found for attaining Guitar God status on any of the difficulty settings in career mode.
  • After completing all songs on the expert difficulty, the player receives the "Battle Axe" guitar. At the Guitar Select Screen, the info box next to the Battle Axe states "Judge this race not by its remains". This is very similar to one of the lines in Genesis' "Watcher of the Skies" which states "Judge not this race by empty remains".
  • At the song select screen, if you scroll to the bottom, there is a graphic with the letters PMRC crossed out. This is a reference to the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC).
  • At the character select screen, when the Grim Rippper character is highlighted, the info box on the right side of the screen states, "Do not fear the Ripper," an obvious allusion to the Blue Öyster Cult song, "(Don't Fear) The Reaper".
  • The unlockable bonus track "Guitar Hero" is played by Monkey Steals The Peach, a fictional band comprised of rotating members of the Harmonix art team including Mike "Swid" Swidereck (Level Artist and Bassist), Ryan Lesser (Art Director and Guitarist), Daniel Sussman (Producer and Guitarist), and Jason Kendall (Art Associate Producer and Singer).

Guitar Hero: Rocks the 80s

  • The clock around the neck of the character Grim Ripper shows the time near midnight, possibly as a reference to the popular 80's Iron Maiden song 2 Minutes to Midnight.
  • Though the song was released before the era the game is based on, in the character description for the Grim Ripper, there is a reference to the Blue Öyster Cult song (Don't Fear) The Reaper.
  • When viewing the character Axel Steel's information on the character page, the beginning is a slight reference to the Journey song Don't Stop Believin', in the line "just a city boy/born and raised in South Detroit", with "Detroit" replaced by "Peoria".

Guitar Hero II

  • On the loading screen, you can see a cherry next to a pi symbol on the chalkboard. This is a reference to the song Cherry Pie, which appears in the game.
  • The Stonehenge venue is most likely a reference to a scene in This Is Spinal Tap, in which a performance of their song "Stonehenge" goes awry.
  • The high school is Nilbog High, which is Goblin spelled backwards, a reference to the movie Troll 2.
  • The sixth tier is named after the real-life Vans Warped Tour.
  • On the floor of the Harmonix Arena there is a sign that says "the end is nigh!", like those held by street preachers.
  • Similarly, on the floor of the Harmonix Arena, there is also a chalk marking of Buckethead on the floor. This is a reference to his "Crime Slunk Scene" album.
  • One of the loading messages before you play Free Bird refers to the previous game's loading message about Freebird: "FINE. They're NOT just heckling you this time. SIGH."
  • Another loading message reads "Remember, NO STAIRWAY!". This is a reference to Wayne's World, where one of the characters tries to play Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven at a guitar shop but the owner stops him, showing a sign that indeed reads "No Stairway".
  • When loading the song "Less Talk More Rokk" by the band Freezepop, the loading screen will say "Throw your undies on the stage, no wait, you're underage", which is a line from another of Freezepop's songs, "Super-Sprode", which is a bonus song by Freezepop in the Harmonix PlayStation 2 rhythm game Amplitude.
  • After the encore at the Battle of The Bands, your drummer disappears in a puff of green smoke, yet another reference to the movie This is Spinal Tap.
  • In the end of the Career, the stars discreetly spell out "Live and Let Rock", A possible reference to Paul McCartney's song "Live and Let Die".
  • It may say Stone Henge is in UK, but the plane actually flies to Greenland.
  • Also on the loading screen, you can see a game of hangman; if you look to the left of the image, the word of the game is "Strong Bad", who is featured in the game with the song "Trogdor".
  • One of the venues is in Detroit Rock City. This is a reference to the KISS song "Detroit Rock City".
  • The Xbox 360 version of Guitar Hero II, the credits read "No pitchers were harmed in the making of this game. Except for one. Joel Zumaya. He had it coming." This is a reference to his absence in the 2006 American League Championship Series due to a sore wrist because of him playing Guitar Hero.
  • Some of the loading screens prior to a song are jokes and references specific to that song; for example, before encores, it tells the player never to "just jam" when the audience wants an encore (a reference to the movie This Is Spinal Tap), while prior to "Jordan", the player is told that wearing a bucket on one's head won't improve one's performance, a direct reference to the song's artist, Buckethead.
  • The scrolling text on the walls of the school venue contains various lyrics to Alice Cooper's "School's Out".
  • Clive Winston will use a violin bow to play his guitar when star power is activated with him. This is a tribute to several guitarists, most famously Jimmy Page, who would often do the same thing during performances. Pandora also mimics this action sometimes when her star power is activated, yet she does not actually have a bow.
  • Xavier Stone will sometimes pick his guitar with his teeth when using star power, a tribute to Jimi Hendrix.
  • In Practice mode, the bedroom has many Rolling Stones references. A Their Satanic Majesties Request poster, Let It Bleed album, and a poster of the band themselves in the far right corner.
  • The Rat Cellar is a possible reference to Aerosmith's "Rats in the Cellar". Or, more likely, The Rathskeller (an infamous Boston venue shut down after health violations).

Guitar Hero III

  • The guitarist now sings along to certain parts of songs, as long as you have a 4X multiplier, and are in the Green on the Rock Meter. They'll sing backing vocals for some tracks, but not all of them. Easiest ones to notice are F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X.'s screamy part, and Closer's "SEARCHING FOOOORRR!". They also sing along for most of My Curse if you maintain a 4X. (Unconfirmed) This only happens in the PS3/360 versions.
  • The Distant Visitor guitar's description says in big letters DON'T PANIC, a reference to The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
  • If you look at the "More Stats" screen for the Tom Morello Guitar Battle, all of the names of the sections are named after how his/your guitar sounds loosely translated.
  • The stage diver's shirt says "Bom Chicka Wah Wah", which is a well-known guitar riff popularly associated with porn films.
  • The large glowing sign on the left of the screen in Kaiju Megadome is a Japanese Proverb saying something along the lines of "Falling down 7 times, getting up 8.". Kaiju is the 7th stadium out of 8, and all the signs behind where the guitarist play say encouraging things about not giving up.
  • In the PS2 loading screen with the buff guitar-playing arm, if you look at the guy's forearm there are 2 cards tattooed: 3 and 7.
  • In the PS2 version loading screen, the little skeleton with wings has a 5 Gum logo on his arm.
  • The loading quote that says "Don't trash your instruments unless you can afford to replace them," is a possible reference to The Who, who, before they were popular, played shows in bars, and were getting paid around £200, and smashing up £300-400 of equipment per gig.
  • On Shanker's Island, the drummer's bass drum has the God of Thunder head from The Garden venue of the original Guitar Hero. Also, "God of Thunder" is a song by Kiss. [
  • The section name for the solo in Paranoid is called "Solo Bloody Solo". This is a reference to Black Sabbath's album and song Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.
  • The section name for the solo in Rock and Roll All Nite is called "Ace This Solo, Freely". This is a reference to KISS lead guitarist Ace Frehley.
  • The back of the Moon Shot guitar has a black sticker which reads "DARK SIDE". This is a possible reference to Pink Floyd's classic album "Dark Side of the Moon".
  • The location of Backyard Bash is 22 Arcadia Avenue, a reference to Iron Maiden's "22 Acacia Avenue".
  • The man on the PlayStation 2/Wii loading screen is playing a guitar replica of the Kramer Striker PS2 controller.
  • The loading screen, "Never leave your lead singer in charge of the mix," could be a reference to Guns N' Roses lead singer Axl Rose, who replaced a section of Slash's guitar track with the work of Paul Tobias on a cover of The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil."
  • The Bat guitar and it's subtitle 'Out of Heck' is a reference to Meat Loaf's "Bat Out of Hell".
    • In the final cutscene, you are seen escaping Lou's Inferno on a motorcycle, referencing the cover to Bat Out of Hell.
  • The alternate clothing for Axel Steel has him wearing a trucker hat, black vest, and camouflage shorts along with a red beard. The image is meant to represent Dimebag Darrell, former guitarist of Pantera. The Brown Vest style represents Black Label Society and Ozzy Osbourne's lead guitarist Zakk Wylde with his blond hair and beard.
  • When you play Through the Fire and Flames on Expert, the loading screen simply says "Good luck"
  • On the poster of the Desert Rock Tour there is a signpost with an arrow pointing to the right saying "Lou's Inferno". Lou's Inferno is the final Venue.
  • One of the loading screens says, "It's probably not a good idea to tackle your lead singer." This is a possible reference to John Myung of Dream Theater, who once tackled James LaBrie on stage.
  • Lou in his human form is one of the teachers in the tutorials.
  • On the Xbox 360 edition, there is a sign on the crowds left-hand side of Mitch's Moose Lounge that reads "Telus, I dare you to stage dive."
  • In the Kaiju Dome, there is a poster of Sublime featuring Lou Dog.
  • Even Flow is a song by Pearl Jam, who are from Seattle, Washington. Note that this is the encore song in England, but this song was played in Florida.
  • On the stage "Studio 999", there is a poster that looks like the Neversoft logo, the developers of Guitar Hero III.
    • Also, in Studio 999, the stage has a Pontiac logo on it.
  • Towards the back of the Kaiju Megadome there is an add for Neversoft.
  • In the Kaiju Megadome, the screens around the dome say "Welcome to Kaiju Megadome". Note that you are in Japan and most Japanese don't speak english.
  • Victory Solo O is missing in the Devil Went Down to Georgia.
  • In practice mode, the song sections for Impulse are all hyperboles (heaviest riff ever, funkiest riff in history, incredibly beautiful solo)

Cut Scenes

  • Cutscene 4: When the lights shine on the singer, La Marseillaise (the French national anthem) plays for a few seconds. Note they are playing in England.
  • Co-Op Cutscene 3: At about 9 seconds, it shows three magazines, and the middle one is titled The Throwing Stone, which is spoofing Rolling Stone.
  • The final cutscene has a literal tornado of souls, a possible reference to Megadeth's "Tornado of Souls".
  • On the cutscene with the news reporter, look closely when it shows Slash. Next to Slash, there is a shadow of a guitarist and it looks like it's shaped like Skwisgaar Skwigelf, the lead guitarist from the virtual band "Dethklok" (whose song "Thunderhorse" was featured as a bonus song in Guitar Hero II. What makes it even more interesting is the animated cutscenes are provided by the same animation team of "Metalocalypse", an animated series centered on "Deathklok". Screenshot: Skwisgaar silhouette
  • On the cutscene before Shanker's Island where the magazine asks if they are selling out, this is a reference to Avenged Sevenfold. The picture depicts the band in a car, similar to the Avenged Sevenfold's Bat Country music video.
  • In the third cutscene when Lou offers the contract to the band, He says "Just go ahead" which is the only real words spoken in the cutscenes.
  • The ending cutscene for the Co-op career is the same as the solo career. This is incorrect, as the bassist from the solo career appears in it, and in co-op mode, the bassist is a character that is chosen by one of the two players. Furthermore, in the co-op career, the final battle with Lou is omitted.
  • In one cutscene, the band and Lou are watching a video of the band performing. The website they are on, FretVid, is mimicking the layout and logo of YouTube.
  • the various silhouettes of the guitarist of the band in the cutscenes depict that the default guitarist is Casey Lynch.

Guitar Hero On Tour

  • On the Box art, the Axel Steel based character has a shirt with the Vicarious Visions logo printed on it.
  • After the encore for the third venue, one of your reviewers is "Vicarious Envisions" obviously a reference to Vicarious Visions, the game's developing company. Also, one of the reviews is by a company called "Green Octave" who says they will put the songs in the next "Guitar Warrior" game. This is a reference to RedOctane, the publisher of Guitar Hero.
  • In the fourth venue the CD being made from the five songs is called "Nefarious Visions" obviously a reference to Vicarious Visions
  • During Guitar Duel Mode, when a fan asks you to sign their book, the top of it reads "Lars Ümlaut" a character from previous Guitar Hero Games
  • Also during guitar duel mode, one of the shirts will have "Casey Lynch user posted image" at the bottom of it.
  • One of the reviewers for Career mode is the God of Rock.

Guitar Hero Aerosmith

  • The Bassist's shirt says Max's Kansas City on it.
  • Before you battle Joe Perry, one of the dancers from Guitar Hero 3 comes out and tries to hug Joe Perry.
  • The dancer will be taken away by a bodygaurd/policeman that appeared in Guitar Hero 3 as well.
  • On the back of Johnny Napalm's leather jacket in his default mohawk outfit (labeled heliotrope) is an Aerosmith logo.
  • If you play the intro to Dream On without missing any notes on expert, Steven Tyler says something to the audience and there is a sound of a jet taking off
  • On tier 5, in the back of the field there is a sign telling you to 'Play Hard'. It either means the football players should play roughly or you should play the difficulty 'Hard'.
  • When you play "Kings and Queens" on expert, the loading screen says "Good Luck". This is a reference to Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, when you play Through the Fire and Flames on expert.

Guitar Hero World Tour

  • Lou and God of Rock can be seen in the crowd during the last venue.
  • In the opening scene, Lou (in his human form) can be seen. He has hired someone to hypnotize the crowd but fails when the Guitar Hero Band shows up.
  • The Bassist, Singer, and Drummer from previous Guitar Hero games can be seen in the Band intro video.
  • In the church-like venue, in the pre-encore cinematic, the Dethbat, the main icon for the band Avenged Sevenfold, can be seen flying through the window on stage.
  • When you're in the music studio, if you look next to the computer for GHmix, you'll see a Van Halen poster.
  • One of the tattoos available for your custom rocker is a monkey with a wrench, referring to the song "Monkey Wrench" in Guitar Hero II.
  • In the recording studio, a banner displays the name of your band in Career.
  • In AT&T Park, in the background on stage is the words Bighouse Blues, referring to the title of Tier 5 in GH3.
  • In the character creator, the hairstyle called "The Remedy" may be a reference to the band The Cure. It is similar to the bands hair.
  • When Playing Vocals, The loading screen will sometimes say "Tip: Move Away From The Mic To Breathe" This is a reference to an Internet Meme from the the video "Chocolate Rain"
  • Another Meme reference is made in the song To Much To Young To Fast,In the results sceen, the name of the first section is "All Your Into Are Belong To Us" a reference to the Imfamous line "All You Base Are Belong To Us" from The poorly Translated game Zero Wing.
  • The Bass Guitar Inlay Named rolling the bones is a possible reference to the Rush song Roll the Bones
  • The Drum Skin named Cowboys from... is a reference to the Pantera song Cowboys from Hell
  • The Guitar Body named Free Bird is an obvious reference to the Lynyrd Skynyrd Song Freebird
  • All of the Kingly Command actions are based on Elvis Presley
  • All of the sections of No sleep til Brooklyn are named after places on the way to Brooklyn, with the final section being called Brooklyn
  • The hairstyle "Seattle's Finest" appears to be reference to the Seattle band Nirvana, as it resembles the hairstyle of drummer Dave Grohl. The guitar tone "Seattle Fuzz" also seems to be a refrence to Nirvana.
  • The "Metal Chops" facial hair option is a clear refernce to Motorhead bassist Lemmy, whose song "Overkill" appears in the game. To poke fun at Lemmy's age, the default color for "Metal Chops" is grey.
  • In theCreate a Rocker Mode, there is a tatoo called Woof At The Moon, as from Ozzy Osbourne's "Bark At The Moon".

Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades

  • The introduction screen uses Activision's old logo, dated in the 1980s, and uses 8-bit style. [1]
  • The Coral Pink Dueling Screens "guitar" is essentially a guitar-shaped unit attached to a DS. It has four fret button as well.
  • The Modern venue description says "...music video games are breaking through to new audiences and even into your palm (like, right now)." This is a self-reference, namely to the Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades you are playing.
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