Rock 'n Roll
A former weightlifter and bass guitarist from Venice Beach, Craig S. McConnel was one of G.I. Joe's earliest recruits, joining the elite special mission force with the codename Rock 'n Roll. While he does have a deep and abiding love for everything from classic rock to the blackest, most deadly metal imaginable, Rock 'n Roll earned his codename not just because of his musical taste but also from the way he carries himself in battle, never backing down and always keeping up no matter how big a threat he's up against!
In the wake of the "Revolution" event, however, that headstrong confidence has begun to be shaken. Already having trouble to adjusting to a world filled with aliens, being forced to shoot and, as a result, leave his teammate Grand Slam paralyzed has left Rock with a distinct sense of guilt over his actions. And that guilt hasn't gone unnoticed by certain individuals who would exploit it... He has also developed something of an uneasy, antagonistic but occasionally mutually respectful working relationship with his new teammate Skywarp.
His codename is sometimes spelled Rock & Roll, Rock n' Roll, or Rock 'n' Roll. If you can think of any other ways to stylize the word "and" or arrange apostrophes around the letter "n" he's probably been called that too.
Craig McConnel was born in the Venice Beach neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Living a fairly carefree life, McConnel didn’t pay much mind to his future and mainly concerned himself with lifting weights until he graduated high school and realized that he needed to find a career for himself. Turning to music, McConnel taught himself how to play bass guitar and became part of several local thrash metal bands that never went anywhere. Ultimately his closest brush with fame was when he briefly worked as a roadie for the then-up and coming Holograms.
With music not working out, Craig found himself at a loss with what to do with himself. One day while helping his friends with their workout routines, McConnel caught the eye of a vacationing “G.I. Joe” Colton, who advised McConnel to stop wasting his time here and join up with the military. Inspired by General Colton’s confidence in him, McConnel decided to enlist. After excelling at infantry and covert-ops training and serving a stint as a physical training instructor, McConnel was visited by Colton once again after he obtained the rank of Sergeant First Class and challenged to join the nascent G.I. Joe team. Accepting this challenge, McConnel’s love of music and the way he carried himself in battle earned him the codename Rock 'n Roll.
Rock 'n Roll was part of Team Alpha on a mission to retrieve network files that had been stolen by the Ichkerian mafia. After the team was discovered and Grand Slam was shot in the head by a sniper, Rock grabbed him and carried him back to the Joes’ raft as they retreated. Later, Rock visited Mainframe during his lengthy stay at the hospital following his injury on the mission and brought him an iPod loaded up with music.
When The Pit suddenly came under siege from several spider drones, Rock 'n Roll was one of the first Joes on the scene to retaliate against them, humming some AC/DC as he unloaded his machine gun on it. Later, Rock manned the gun of an A.W.E. Striker driven by Crankcase to intercept another spider drone just in case Scarlett and Tunnel Rat were unable to stop it from reaching the surface. Worse coming to worse, the drone did manage to escape The Pit’s air ducts and Rock was the one to spot it. Unfortunately Crankcase moved towards it without realizing he was driving through the minefield surrounding The Pit and ended up destroying their vehicle before Rock could get a good shot at it.
Rock 'n Roll watched Hawk’s interrogation of Scarlett with his fellow Joes as it was broadcast throughout The Pit and agreed with Torpedo’s assessment that the situation around her being interrogated “sucked”. He later joined the team of Joes parachuting into Patagonia to carry out a raid on Castle Destro.
Running into Mainframe and Dial-Tone after they got out of a flight simulator, Rock teased them by asking if they were doing "anything else" in that dark, enclosed, close space. Once Joe scientists managed to crack the secret of how Cobra's teleportation device worked, Rock was among the Joes who were scanned and had their physiognomy encoded onto a nanomite key. He was extremely concerned at the prospect of having to climb into the scanner while covered in live ammo. Later, he was one of the many Joes participating in the mission to Verde to monitor drug lord Pablito Ortega's mansion for probable Cobra activity.
Following the destruction of The Pit, Rock accompanied a team searching for Zartan and Storm Shadow, the two Cobra agents responsible for the Joes losing their base. The team arrived just in time to witness the two get picked up by a Mamba helicopter, which then fired a missile at the Joes and destroyed one of their Humvees. Given that his music collection was in that Humvee, Rock was quite incensed by the vehicle's destruction and began firing at the helicopter to work off his steam.
Rock was a member of the team of Joes sent to retrieve Flint’s team from Springfield. Though some of his teammates were worried that the safe they were hiding out in didn’t protect them from the bomb G.I. Joe had dropped to destroy the B.A.T. that was attacking them or that they may have suffocated, Rock was less concerned and knocked against the side of the vault to make sure they were okay. He soon got a knock back, proving him right.
Rock 'n Roll was part of a Joe team parachuted into Patagonia to investigate reports of Cobra operating in the area. Shortly after arriving, the team was ambushed and captured by Cobra and subsequently taken to the Section Five mining facility. It wasn’t long before the Joes started trying to fight back against their captors, Rock taking a guard’s stun baton and hitting him with it while demanding to know what happened to the prized Jeff Beck concert shirt he was wearing. Their attempted riot came to an end though after the facility’s overseer Urso arrived and threatened to kill Stalker should the others not get in line. Forced to work the mines, Rock took Leatherneck complaining about the quality of the meals they were being served as an excuse to steal some of his lunch. During a rare moment of privacy away from the mine’s security drones, Rock and Leatherneck discussed escape plans with Stalker. As the team put his plan in motion, Rock smashed a security drone with a hammer before hotwiring a piece of mining machinery and sending barreling down a tunnel towards Urso and a team of Vipers. After coming across an underground lake and slowing their pursuers down by flooding the tunnels they came through with explosives, Rock and the others narrowly escaped being killed by a mining drill driven by Urso. As the drill fell down a cliff with Recondo on top of it, Rock 'n Roll and Leatherneck both dove to catch Stalker as he dove to catch Recondo.
While visiting his hometown of Venice Beach, Rock saw a show by the Cold Crawlers and was decently impressed by their sound. Wanting to get a better look at their instruments, Rock moved closer to the stage and noticed a pair of thieves sifting through the band’s van. Yelling at them to stop, Rock chased them down and, after an assist from a bodybuilder on the beach, managed to stop them and return the band’s equipment. Afterwards, he had a chat with the band’s lead singer Julio Lopez and related to his struggle of trying to balance music with his other duties.
Rock Around The World
When the defunct G.I. Joe was revived to replace the Earth Defense Command as Earth's first line of defense against alien threats, Rock 'n Roll was among the Joes who were brought back into the organization. After the Joes launched a sneak attack on the Autobots in Portland, Oregon, Rock 'n Roll fired on Arcee as she charged their staging point and later re-concentrated fire on Optimus Prime after his arrival. After the seemingly robotic Rom arrived and appeared to kill Joe Colton, Rock 'n Roll misinterpreted Jazz reaching out to grab the Space Knight to stop him from escaping as him trying to team up with Rom and launched a rocket at the Autobot, blowing one of his arms off. In the aftermath of the battle, Rock helped with cleaning up the wreckage that had resulted from their fight and helped an injured soldier to his feet.
Suspecting it may have something to do with the Dire Wraiths they'd since discovered had replaced the real Joe Colton, Scarlett put together a team to covertly approach the mysteriously silent EDC base at Bikini Atoll and secure a valuable asset that was stored there in the event it was compromised. As a member of this team, Rock 'n Roll was launched onto the beach via a torpedoing process and was told by Scarlett to hang back with Wild Bill and Quick Kick while she and Roadblock tried approaching the base directly. When the two Joe commanders came under fire, confirming suspicions about Dire Wraith infiltration, Scarlett radioed Rock to tell him as much but he refused to believe it. However, after Wild Bill attempted to stab him in the back and then began trying to kill Quick Kick, Rock began taking the idea of G.I. Joe being infiltrated by Wraiths much more seriously. After briefly hesitating to shoot Bill, Rock smacked the Wraith imposter in the head with the butt of his gun while his back was turned and continued savagely beating him until Kick managed to snap him out of it. Carrying his injured teammate on his back, Rock approached the EDC facility and made an attempt at stealth that promptly ended once he reached a room that was completely filled with Wraiths. Shooting his way through the alien horde, Rock eventually set Quick Kick down at his request and found his way towards where the EDC’s valuable asset was being stored. Kicking down the door, Rock found a paranoid Grand Slam brandishing a laser rifle at him and threatening to kill him. Though he tried his best to convince Slam he was human, ultimately Rock was forced to shoot him. As it became clear Grand Slam was human as well, Rock fell to his knees in horror at having seemingly killed an innocent ally. That horror only multiplied when he heard a booming voice remark on Grand Slam’s seeming death, causing Rock to turn around and discover the valuable asset Slam gave his life protecting: the Decepticon defector Skywarp!
Operating the gun of a MOBAT, Rock 'n Roll had the honor of calling out the Joes' rallying cry as the team arrived to join in the battle against the monstrous fusion of Baron Karza and the Dire Wraiths.
Following G.I. Joe being reestablished as an international organization, Rock 'n Roll was part of Roadblock's team chasing down members of the Red Shadows ninja clan in Tokyo. Once Skywarp, now a full fledged member of the Joe team, arrived to even the odds against the ninjas, Rock 'n Roll attempted to talk the Cybertronian into getting a ride back to the team's new base but was soundly refused. When he did finally get back to the Lemuria with the rest of the team, Rock went to visit Grand Slam, who was still alive but confined to a wheelchair thanks to his injuries, and asked if he could get some kind of laser weapon to replace his clunky old machine gun. While he made no secret of the fact that he held a grudge against Rock for putting him in a wheelchair, Grand Slam still presented him with a laser shotgun before wheeling off.
Traveling to Hohhot in order to liberate the city from Crystal Ball and the Dreadnoks, Rock 'n Roll was doubtful that he and the rest of the team wouldn't have been able to find Crystal Ball's stately mansion without the help of their local guides. When those guides proved to actually be Dreadnok leaders Zandar and Zarana in disguise luring them into a trap, Rock was surprised to find his new weapon ineffective against Road Pig, the gun barely even slowing down the charging Dreadnok. As he staggered back to his feet after getting clotheslined, he was saved from Ripper's knife spewing machine gun at the last second by Doc and her single charge shield projector. This gave him time to save both of them from Buzzer's chainsaw staff. With the battle growing to include hordes of citizens that had been mind controlled by Crystal Ball, Rock 'n Roll suggested the team get him away from the citizens to break his control over them. To that end, Rock used Roadblock's back as a springboard to jump up and grab Crystal Ball from off the balcony. As he grabbed him though, Crystal Ball placed his finger to Rock's forehead and "opened his third eye", sending his guilt over injuring Grand Slam but also sensing a taste for destruction and chaos in the depths of his soul, a taste that would destroy him if he ignored it any longer... Ignoring Crystal Ball's probing into his mind, he threw the madman over his shoulders and slid down the stairs and ran outside, trying his best to keep Crystal Ball restrained as the team waited for Cover Girl return with transportation. In the ensuing car chase between the Joes and Dreadnoks, Rock did his best to fend the bikers off until the chase ended in a stand off on foot. Grabbing Crystal Ball as he attempted to escape, the psychic informed Rock that the chaos he's lusted after had arrived... arrived in the form of a gigantic monster that then emerged from underground and dragged the Dreadnoks back down with it! In the wake of this incident, Rock tried again to talk the recently arrived Skywarp into giving him a ride but was refused yet again.
Back at base, Rock delivered Crystal Ball's lunch to him and used this as an opportunity to talk to him about what he'd done to him at the palace. Crystal Ball merely laughed and again pressed his fingers to Rock's forehead, giving him a vision of himself as a gigantic monster similar to the one that had emerged from underground while Grand Slam hurled abusive accusations at him. All the while Crystal Ball commanded Rock to stop denying the great and powerful chaos that burned within him but the Joe still fought it. Before things could go any further though, Scarlett came on over the Lemuria's intercom and called for an all-hands meeting on the monsters. After promising Crystal Ball that he wasn't done with him, Rock was Cover Girl's first choice as a member for her team to take down another giant monster that had emerged from Mount Cotopaxi in Ecuador. After Salvo pushed it back into the volcano with her obscenely huge guns, Rock showed concern for Skywarp after he was caught in the lava from the ensuing eruption but this only made the Cybertronian annoyed with him.
As the Joes prepared for an expedition underground to cut the monsters off at the source, Rock attempted to compliment Grand Slam on the new Mole Pod vehicles he'd designed for the mission but only annoyed him instead, coming off like he was trying to kiss up to him for what he'd done. Sensing something was wrong with Rock, Spirit approached him and warned that he needed to stop bottling that stuff up and let it out before the two shook hands Predator style and shared a hug. Then, as Scarlett arrived to announce Doc would be joining them on the mission even now that they knew she was half-Dire Wraith, Rock welcomed her back and asked about what kind of combat capabilities her Wraith tentacles had. Though she was a bit exasperated by the question, she played along and playfully hit him in the arm, joking that she'd only use them if he got out of line.
Burrowing underground, the Joes eventually came to a cave and exited the Mole Pods. Getting out to look around, Spirit eventually spotted a couple of smaller creatures peaking out from behind a rock. Though he was initially charmed by their fluffiness, the two adorable little things soon turned out to be the same monsters that had been attacking the surface, some kind of dark magic having caused them to mutate into their giant forms. After both the beasts were down, Rock approached one that hadn't reverted to it's smaller form as the other had and touched it, causing the same spot Crystal Ball had touched on his forehead to suddenly begin glowing. With dark magic flowing throughout his body, all of the guilt Rock felt over injuring Grand Slam suddenly began rising to the surface, transforming him into a gigantic monster as well! Deciding Rock was just pissy over never getting to ride with him, Skywarp engaged him in battle but even he wasn't able to stop the monstrous Rock 'n Roll, who threw him into one of the Mole Pods and took out both the vehicle and a large portion of the explosives the Joes had brought with them. Making good on her promise, Doc extended her tentacles, wrapped them around Rock and siphoned off the corrupting magic, returning him to his human form. Regaining consciousness after the others had found the "Fatal Fluffies"' nest, Rock volunteered to plant and detonate the explosives, something that was effectively a suicide mission now that they'd lost their remote detonation equipment. While Roadblock and Doc tried to talk him down, Rock felt this was the only way he could make things up to the team. Surprisingly, Skywarp volunteered to help him. After saying his goodbyes, Rock charged in to the monster's nest guns blazing with Skywarp backing him up from behind. As the others headed back towards the surface, a huge explosion rocking the tunnel indicated that the explosives had been detonated successfully, taking Rock 'n Roll along with them...
...or so things seemed! Radioing back to the Lemuria, Skywarp reported that he'd managed to make it out just in time but neglected to inform Scarlett that he'd saved Rock 'n Roll as well, finally giving him the ride he'd been asking for all this time. After arriving in The Hague, Rock's survival was made known to his teammates as he and Skywarp showed off their new "Blast Beat" maneuver (where Rock 'n Roll stands on top of Skywarp's arm and opens fire while Skywarp delivers a rocket punch) on one of the two remaining Fatal Fluffy progenitors! After the fight was over, an Doc hugged Rock tightly, overjoyed to see that he was still alive.
Traveling to Scotland as part of a team led by Scarlett, Rock 'n Roll assisted in taking down a group of Dire Wraiths that were operating in the area. When a small, mysterious ship arrived out of nowhere and unloaded a group of warriors that somehow managed to take out Skywarp despite their diminutive size, Rock was hit by some kind of fireball shot from the ship as it departed. With Skywarp in stasis lock, Rock pointed out a nearby barn that they could hide him in until he was recovered.
Rock 'n Roll was part of the Joe team sent to retrieve the Talisman and Garrison Kreiger from the Onyx facility in Buenos Aires. As the Joes approached the facility, the traitorous Centurion suddenly activated the building's automated defenses and used them to attack the team. Diving onto the roof after their transport was bisected by the building's forcefield, Rock and the others began fighting back against the Oktober Guard and Red Shadows who were led there by Baron Ironblood. When the floating Autobot city Metrotitan arrived to help save the day, Rock commented that he never thought he'd be happy to see the Titan.
Still feeling the effects of whatever Crystal Ball had done to him, Rock 'n Roll was plagued by nightmares of soldiers bearing the same symbol the mystic had placed on his forehead while hordes of innocents were killed at the hand of some sort of dark, Eldritch horror... Despite these troubling visions, Rock and Skywarp's new "thing" was effective enough to earn him a spot on interim Joe commander Shipwreck's fast response team against the V.E.N.O.M. agents who'd joined forces with the resurgent Cobra. Traveling to New York City, Rock and Skywarp used their Blast Beat maneuver against Stiletto. When the V.E.N.O.M. agents' vehicles combined into the King Cobra, Rock rode inside Skywarp as he and Spitfire tried to take it down from the air. With Shipwreck developing a plan to take it down, Rock stood on Skywarp's shoulder as he converted to robot mode to try and hold the gigantic snake robot still, shouting words of encouragement to him and, later, words of admonishment when he simply dropped it after Gung-Ho had disabled it. Once they'd returned to base, Rock headed back to his quarters for some rest but again found himself plagued by nightmares of the dark army cheering for the resurrection of some sort of gigantic half-man, half-snake monster...
Rock'n Roll was one of several Joes sent to Mexico City to deal with the threat posed by Cesspool and his Army Ants, who were holding the city hostage with a nuclear bomb. On this mission he was saved by Skywarp, who had been shrunken down to the same size as his allies and the Ants, and hitched a piggyback ride atop him. Back at the Lemuria, Rock began telling Skywarp about his nightmares, though his "friend" was typically flippant about them. Later, Rock accompanied Skywarp to the Lemuria's lab when he wanted to badger the scientists about repairing his teleportation. Though Skywarp wanted to probe further when Spectrum let it slip that there was technically no reason they couldn't fix him, Rock told him he knew this would be a waste of time when Grand Slam lied to cover Spectrum's honesty.
Carlos Guzman had a Rock 'n Roll action figure in his office.