When I was a teenager, I was in a band called The Accidents.
We played the sort of punk rock that was edgy and chaotic, yet we possessed enough pop sensibilities that we could have called most of our tunes catchy. It wasn’t the best band I’ve ever been in, but I certainly don’t regret the time I spent playing four-chord punk songs in friends’ garages.
Our songwriting process wasn’t all that refined, and my lyrical abilities hadn’t quite sprouted yet. With less than two decades of life experience to draw upon, my well of inspiration wasn’t all that deep. Finding words was hard.
One afternoon, we were piecing together a new song. It was satisfactorily rough around the edges for what we were aiming for, and we were pretty excited to put some words to it and make it an official part of our repertoire.
But we were struggling with writer’s block. So I reached for my spiral notebook, which I knew was filled with sappy tunes I wrote for girls who didn’t know I existed, and flipped it open in hopes that I’d stumble upon something workable.
Apparently, the Fates were on my side that day, as the page I opened to was one upon which I had written down the boss order to Mega Man 3. I started shouting, in a faux Johnny Rotten voice, “Top Man, use Arm Cannon! Shadow Man, use Top Spin!” The first verse walked you through the first four bosses, and the second walked you through the last four. The chorus? It was just, “Mega Man! Mega Man 3!”
It was punk rock perfection. We had crafted our first hit song (which maybe a dozen people ever heard).
The Accidents played a show once. It was out in the street at some skateboarding festival thing in our small town. We brought along a box of rotary phones, because we thought it’d be punk rock to smash them while performing. It wasn’t; rotary phones are a lot more durable than they look.
At the end of the show, I was still pretty insistent upon breaking at least one of these phones, so I smashed one with the butt end of my guitar. I don’t know if I ended up breaking the thing, but that guitar is still severely fucked up to this day.
Less than a minute of video footage was ever salvaged from that performance, and it was nothing but me shouting at my bandmates, guitars feeding back, and police sirens in the background.
Still, whenever I play Mega Man 3, I get that song in my head to help me through the boss order. So if the Accidents left behind any legacy whatsoever, it’s that it’s been helping me through Mega Man 3 since the 90s.