Dhani Harrison talks up the Beatles’ “Rock Band”

Dhani Harrison…yes, you may know him as George’s son…has been making the press rounds, talking up You Are Here, the album by his band, thenewno2. While doing so, however, it hasn’t exactly required a great deal of arm-twisting to get him to chat about how he had more than a little bit to do with the folks at Apple Corps agreeing to license the Beatles’ music for their very own volume of “Rock Band.” But that’s fair enough, since “Yomp,” a song by thenewno2, was released as downloadable content for “Rock Band” on July 29, 2008, and another track, “Crazy Tuesday,” was released as one of 20 free songs for “Rock Band 2.”

“I basically did that for Apple,” admitted Harrison, “so that they could see it and say, ‘Oh, look, there’s Dhani, he’s a new media kind of person, and this is how he’s selling his stuff. Maybe we should consider doing that with the Beatles, seeing as we don’t have any digital deal or anything.'”

The Beatles’ “Rock Band” evolved out of several meetings Harrison had with Alex Rigopulos, co-founder of Harmonix Music Systems, the developers of “Rock Band.”

“He’s a genius,” said Harrison, “just the loveliest, loveliest guy. We were sitting around one day, and he just said to me, ‘Do you think they would ever go for a Beatle game?’ And I was thinking the same thing to talk to him about! ‘It would be amazing, wouldn’t it?’ I said to him. Actually, I think I said, ‘It would be amazing because I could kick your ass at ‘I Am the Walrus’ while dressed as a wizard in Shea Stadium.’

“Do you know what I mean? Or I could put on the ice skating outfit from ‘Help!’ and then beat you at ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ in the universe somewhere. I don’t know. Just make up whatever you can; ‘I Am the Walrus’ at the Cavern Club, even. Wouldn’t that be fun? And we both just started riffing on that kind of stuff until we both just were in hysterics, and it was obviously a brilliant idea, but I said, ‘Well, that’s never going to happen, is it?’ And he said, ‘No, it’s never going to happen.’ I said, ‘But I should talk to the guys from Apple, anyway. Because it is actually a no-brainer. It is the biggest no-brainer that I’ve ever, ever thought about, and if Apple don’t go for it, then they are shooting themselves in the foot, because someone else is going to do it. Someone else is going to get their own game.

“In the way the media works these days, in the way that music delivery systems work these days, I find it quite often best to be first,” Harrison explained. “If you were the first person ever to design an application for the iPhone and you patented it, you would be very, very better off than we are right now, you know? But you’ve got to be the first one to do it. So I figured that Led Zeppelin or The Stones were going to do it unless we just got on to it. So I got cracking with the guys from Apple. I kind of almost bullied them into believing how amazing it was. They really didn’t need much convincing if you looked to the fourth quarter, the month of December 2007, I think they sold something like 10,000,000 units of ‘Guitar Hero 2’ in just one month, and they are $50.00 each. I said, ‘If you do the math, if you go 50/50 with ‘Rock Band’ and you sell a Beatles ‘Rock Band’ game, that’s a big deal’ you know. And not to mention that, once the game is made, you can just keep adding songs to it. You could do the Bangladesh pack, you could do the ‘Live and Let Die’ pack, you could do the ‘Imagine’ pack…”

Are you salivating yet? Better clean yourself up. You’ve got ’til September 9th until the Beatles’ “Rock Band” hits stores.