You can play like your favorite rock stars with Guitar Hero, but what if playing the game also allowed you to meet one of them? Video gamers had the chance to do just that Sept. 10, 2009 at the Santana Guitar Hero 5 Challenge.
Hosted at Wasted Space inside the Hard Rock Hotel, the challenge featured 10 contestants who won the chance to compete through local radio stations. Each contestant had to play the Santana hit “No One to Depend On” on the newly-released version of Guitar Hero 5. The person with the highest score won free tickets to see Carlos Santana and a meet-and-greet with the legendary guitarist.
Fans and band members who play with Santana at his show in Vegas were present to cheer on contestants. One of them was percussionist Karl Perazzo who started playing with Santana in 1991 and has recorded three albums with him. I was able to speak with him during the challenge.
Perazzo started playing the drums when he was just 2 years old. I wanted to know want inspired this and his career.
“I just had this passion to bang. The more I did it the more doors opened up, and it became more in depth and intriguing and interesting and life shaping. It’s carried me this far,” said Perazzo.
He also gave some advice for aspiring musicians.
“Keep on track with your dreams and study hard… You must know the history of the genre of music you’re performing because everyone has something to tell you in their own way, and these are the people that paved the path for people like myself,” said Perazzo.
Being at the challenge was a unique opportunity for Perazzo and the other band members to interact with fans and offer support. Along with playing, Perazzo is also very passionate about teaching music to others.
“I believe that music is not mine to keep. It’s not ours to keep at all, and we must keep music alive. I want to inspire the next inspirer,” said Perazzo.