What we heard: The gaming industry seems to be quickly discovering that asking a rock star to keep a secret is like asking a child not to eat paste. Recent months have seen real-world rockers tripping over themselves to spill their participation in the latest rhythm games. In September, Aerosmith fretter Joe Perry tipped Activision's hand on a Guitar Hero installment devoted exclusively to the band's extensive catalog, with Brit rockers the Answer signaling a 2008 release for Guitar Hero IV. Most recently, former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach may have spoiled EA's big reveal of a Road Rash revival.
The latest act to take the stage before the spotlight comes up may be glam-metal kings Def Leppard. As per a tip sent in to GuitarHeroNews, Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen reportedly said during the band's appearance on the Rockline Radio show yesterday that three of the band's songs--"Photograph," "Animal," and "Rock of Ages"--will appear in Guitar Hero IV. The comment reportedly came after a caller queried the band on why none of their songs had made it into any installments of Guitar Hero or Rock Band.
Verifying GuitarHeroNews' claim, and consequently Collen's statement, has proven to be a prickly undertaking. While Rockline is in the practice of rebroadcasting its live shows, the Def Leppard show won't be aired again until April 29 due to the fact that it contains as yet unreleased music from the band's newest studio album. Further, requests for confirmation made to Rockline and Def Leppard's publicist had gone unanswered as of press time.
[UPDATE] Last night, Rockline updated its Web site with an extracted audio clip from the Def Leppard interview in which Collen definitively states the band will be included in the next installment in Activision's Guitar Hero series. "We do!" Collen says, continuing, "It's on Guitar Hero IV. We just had to clear a few things like publishing, record company, and all that stuff. But we're going to have, like, three songs, I think, on Guitar Hero IV."
There's also little wiggle room on which edition of the game the band was referring to. Responding to the host's question, "So it is coming out? [GH3] is already out," Collen says, "No, it is coming out, it would have been out earlier, but we didn't get around to it." Collen then reaffirmed which songs would be included in the game, saying, "Yeah, I think Photograph, Animal, and Rock of Ages...something like that, yeah."
In retrospect, it's slightly shocking that Def Leppard has yet to appear in a single installment of Guitar Hero, or Rock Band, for that matter. The band certainly fits the bill of a likely candidate. The group achieved certifiable rock royalty status during the '80s, having released two diamond-selling (10 million-plus) records, Hysteria and Pyromania, and spawning a slew of memorable hits in the process. As such, it stands to reason that Collen's reveal came in good faith and is a clear indication of what is to come. Factor in rock artists' recent display of loose lips, and this possibility creeps ever closer to highly likely.
The official story: "No comment."--An Activision representative.
Bogus or not bogus?: [UPDATE] In light of a verifiable audio clip, this one's looking not bogus.