The highly-addictive Guitar Hero or Rock Band can quickly turn any get together into an impromptu jam session -- but real players would be better served by planning ahead. Just buying the fancy music game and its plastic guitars and such isn't good enough, though. To truly do the deed in hotel-trashing excess -- or whichever lower-rent version of that behavior you can afford -- Out has put together a guide to the required gear, optimal attire and ideal refreshment for any budget.
Here's how to make your night in a smashing success:
Windy City Rollers (Cost: $100 or less)
Game to get: Guitar Hero II (Activision for the PlayStation 2 and XBox 360, MSRP $79.99). It is a couple years old and only has two guitars, but Guitar Hero II can be picked up on the cheap -- $80 or less -- and comes with 40 songs.
What to wear: Heavy winter coat, obscure band t-shirt, worn-out sneaks, facial hair
Tracks for a sweaty, sticky Midwest bar: Stone Temple Pilots' 'Tripping on a Hole in a Paper Heart,' the Pretenders' 'Tattooed Love Boys,' and Heart's 'Crazy On You'
Drink this: Blue Moon Belgian White (12 pack for $15) or, if you're serious, Pabst Blue Ribbon keg (about $90)
Bonus cuts: Grab the XBox 360 version and download The Donna's 'Take It Off,' Queen's 'Killer Queen,' and the Red Hot Chili Peppers' 'Higher Ground.' Guitar Hero II songs are under $2. (Sorry, no song downloads for the PlayStation 2 version.)
Sunset Strip White Lady (Cost: $100 - $250)
Game to get: Guitar Hero III (Activision for every console and computer known to man, MSRP $99.99). A nice happy medium, Guitar Hero III has better tracks than Guitar Hero II, but isn't as much of as an investment as Rock Band. There is also a large catalog of new songs to download from the Guitar Hero III store.
What to wear: Nut-hugging jeans, Ed Hardy shirt, needle tracks, flowing locks
Tracks for a hot LA night: Pat Benatar's 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot,' the Killers' 'When You Were Young,' and Guns 'n' Roses' 'Welcome To The Jungle'
Drink this: Jack Daniels Whisky (1.75 Liter for $45), Everclear Grain Alcohol (really cheap), one 20 oz. soda and one packet of Tropical Punch Kool-Aid for light 'mixing' ($2.00).
Bonus cuts: Download Aerosmith's 'Dream On,' No Doubt's 'Don't Speak,' and Foo Fighters 'All My Life' from the Guitar Hero III store. Songs are $2 a piece.
The Manhattan Nights (Cost: this week's pay check)
Game to get: Rock Band (Electronic Arts for every console and computer known to man, MSRP $169.99). Guitar, microphone and drum kit is like having Guitar Hero, karaoke and drum solos all in one package. Pitch in another $60 for an additional guitar and you have a four-man band.
What to wear: Italian shoes, skinny tie, flawless coif, trust fund
Tracks for the New York Penthouse: David Bowie's 'Suffragette City,' Hole's 'Celebrity Skin,' and Yeah Yeah Yeahs' 'Maps'
Drink this: Gran Patron Tequila Platinum (750 ML for $200), Remy Martin Louis XIII Cognac (750 ML for $1,500)
Bonus cuts: Download the song packs 'David Bowie' ('Heroes,' 'Queen Bitch,' and 'Moonage Daydream'), the cryptically titled 'Scene 1' (Fall Out Boy's 'This Ain't A Scene, It's an Arms Race,' Yeah Yeah Yeahs' 'Date with the Night,' and Angels & Airwaves 'It Hurts'), and 'Classic Rock 1' (Blondie's 'Call Me,' The Police's 'Message in a Bottle,' and Lynyrd Skynyrd 'Simple Man'). Packs run about $5.