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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 stop adding new music. 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 catalog. 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'll be the full, 8-minute version, too—none of this half-length single malarkey—and it'll be available April 2nd.

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.

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Question, question.

I'm interested in playing Beatles: Rock Band, as I am a Beatles fan, but I know the controllers are a tad rare now. Is it possible to play Rock Band with only a PS3 controller, similar to as you can with DDR? I googled but keep finding ambiguous answers.