It started like this.
It was a warm August night, and Rachel and I were driving home. We were listening to local classic rock station The Bay, and a Styx song came on.
I said to Rachel, "Y'know, I'd rather hear a Styx song than a Rush song."
Rachel's response, "You're fuckin' crazy."
So I did what any rational person would do, I took the dispute to Facebook.
And before I finished typing in "Rush vs. Styx" a number of other battle/pairings came to mind.
So I posted, Rush Vs. Styx #therecanbeonly1battle and my friends on Facebook took it from there. The response was bigger than I thought, so over the next few months, I kept posting many battles that came to me. I ended up with well over 110 battles.
Quickly I adopted a few certain rules for myself.
1. While I should not explain the rationale on Facebook, I still needed to have a firm rationale for pairing bands in battles. While the pairings may not make sense to everyone, they needed to make sense to me in a way that could be explained.
2. When pairing up the battles, I needed to have a pony in the race - meaning I needed to care enough to want to vote on the battle even if I rarely did.
3. When people complained that the battle was "apples and oranges", I could only respond, "apples and oranges are both fruits, so they can be compared."
4. If anyone posted a battle suggestion on my wall and I noticed it, I can't do that battle (even if I had already planned on it).
Other than that, anything goes.
A number of the battles surprised me. Battles I thought for sure would go a certain way didn't, battles I thought for sure were lopsided turned out to be balanced (and vice versa).
Friends would break the unspoken Facebook Alternate Reality Rule (the one that says we don't talk about Facebook conversations in real life), and want to talk about battles. A stranger approached me at a neighborhood festival, told me her name and warned me she was going to friend me the next day so she could vote on the battles (and she did). In fact, I started getting a number of new friend requests so people could vote on the battles.
Some friends seemed to want this to be a round robin type tournament instead of a pairing and battle of two bands (not sure how I could even manage that).
I had a friend angrily say to me, "Y'know, I was totally into those battles until I realized it was all made up!" Evidently, he didn't like one of the battle match ups and it made him realize I was just some guy putting two bands together via some rationale and then inviting friends to vote on which band wins.
But that was pretty much it in a nutshell. What follows is the initial battle, the winner based on votes, some of the best quotes from the voters, and then artwork by friends of the bands battling.