When asked how he got involved in the creation of the barbershop quartet song in Season 5, Episode 10 “Strategy Timez,” Greg Rutledge insists it’s more interesting how he didn’t get involved.
He played the keyboard and accordion for one of Felicia Day’s favorite bands, The Ditty Bops and one of the band’s photographers knew Felicia through fan events.
He’s friends with the parents of the children who play Clara’s kids.
His wife was in a World of Warcraft guild that Felicia used to raid with.
So if all of these connections didn’t result in his involvement, how did he finally get included?
“I have been friends with Greg for many, many years and he’s a wildly talented musician. We always talked about wanting to work together and as soon as producers Kim Evey and Felicia Day approached me about putting together the Mega-Game-O-Rama Con quartet, I immediately thought of him,” said TJ.
Once they had decided on the collaboration, it was time to change the concept into reality.
As the self proclaimed “poor man’s Seth McFarlane,” Greg said that he enjoys writing lyrics if they’re comedy.
While the barbershop quartet song was comedic, Greg said he didn’t feel comfortable writing convincing lyrics about a gaming convention because he is not a gamer. So he whipped up a melody and sent it off to TJ for lyrics.
“Between [Felicia’s] ideas and my own love of the convention world, I was able to piece together the lyrics for the song. It’s a love/hate song that often calls back some personal experiences I’ve had at conventions myself,” said TJ.
Working off of the lyrics, Greg made a new melody, orchestrated and arranged the song, recorded a demo (in which he sung all of the parts), and sent it off. When it came to make the final version, they decided to keep Greg as the main vocalist.
“Everyone said it didn’t sound right without my voice.”
While not a gamer himself, Greg certainly understands the general mindset. His wife is an avid gamer with multiple level 80 characters in WoW.
“When my band was touring, I’d have to choose hotels with internet.”
Greg works at part-time at Santa Monica College as a professor teaching theater and sound and video design. He has a band that he tours with around Southern California and regularly appears at Treasure Island in Las Vegas. He also has been writing music for a new musical web series as well as working on the production of ‘Cesar and Ruben’ at Santa Monica College.