Wanna Join The Beatles?

Back in the 1960s it seemed as if everyone wanted to be a Beatle. Well, maybe not actually join the band, but fans dreamed about hanging out with John, Paul, George and Ringo and perhaps jamming on a few tunes.

In September you too will be able to play guitar like George, pound on the skins like Ringo and even pick out a few bass lines a la Paul when Apple Corps, Ltd. And MTV Games’ Harmonix Music Systems releases “The Beatles: Rock Band” in all its faux-instrument glory.

Photo: AP Photo
Announcing "The Beatles: Rock Band."

Beatles McCartney and Starr were joined by Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison at the E3 Media & Business Summit to make the announcement, which heralds more than a few “firsts” for the band that ruled the charts forty years ago.

For example, the release of “The Beatles: Rock Band” will mark the first time the band’s music can be legally downloaded. Although 45 songs will be on the gaming disc, the group’s Abbey Road album as well as other tracks will be available for a future download purchase.

Huh? 45 songs on disc? Er… Which ones?

Glad you asked. Giles Martin, co-producer of The Beatles Love album project and music supervisor / creative producer for “The Beatles: Rock Band,” told the E3 crowd the first 10 songs that will be available are “I Saw Her Standing There,” “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” “I Feel Fine,” “Taxman,” “Day Tripper,” “Back In The USSR,” “I Am The Walrus,” “Octopus’s Garden,” “Here Comes The Sun,” and “Get Back.”

Although “The Beatles: Rock Band” highlights the Fab Four’s years at the top of the pops, it’s also a game where you and your friends play at being in the band, and that means an entire new set of game controllers for players wanting to catch that special Mop Top Vibe, including a replica of Lennon’s Rickenbacker 325 and Harrison’s Gretsch Duo Jet guitars.

For those of you wanting to duplicate McCartney’s bass riffs, the game also includes a controller based on Macca’s Hofner bass, and for Ringo aficionados, there’s a Ludwig-branded Rock Band 2 Drum set, complete with a replica Beatles kick drum head.

The game itself promises to take fans on a virtual journey through The Beatles’ remarkable career, including Liverpool’s Cavern Club, the “Ed Sullivan Show,” Shea Stadium, the band’s Budokan show in Tokyo in 1966 and the famous 1969 rooftop concert atop London’s Apple Corps HQ.

One more thing. “The Beatles: Rock Band” will be the first band-oriented game involving three-part harmonies. Better loosen up the ol’ vocal cords.

We hope we passed the audition.

It was also announced today the song “All You Need Is Love” will be released exclusively for the Xbox 360 platform as a downloadable for “The Beatles: Rock Band” with proceeds benefiting Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières.

“The Beatles: Rock Band” will be released on September 9, 2009, the same day the band’s entire remastered CD catalog will ship.

Click here for the official Web site for “The Beatles: Rock Band.”