11 Best Fictional Rock Bands in Movies: Blues Brothers, Spinal Tap, more

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When “Jem and the Holograms” hits theaters next Friday, it will be the first big-screen adaptation of the 1980s music-themed cartoon series. Produced in part by Marvel and Hasbro, the show revolved around of a girl whose alter ego was Jem, frontman of all-female group The Holograms – and although her bandmates were real humans, Jem had the ability to project 3D images using special earrings. In the film version – seemingly a little less whimsical – Aubrey Peeples will direct a cast that includes Molly Ringwald and real rocker Juliette Lewis.

It’s a ridiculous premise, but rockers have always been ridiculous – from Led Zeppelin’s orchestral pomp to the semi-skilled Sex Pistols racket to the androgynous cry of Prince. And we love everything. Maybe that’s why Hollywood can’t help but put its own fictional rockers on the screens, whether in the form of parodies, uplifting tales, reflections of reality, or impossible fantasies.

Here are some of the best fictional rockers in cinema, from the 1960s to the new millennium. There are really too many to name them, so honorable mention has to go to the headbanging Wyld Stallyns of “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”, the nihilist Autobahn of “The Big Lebowski” and many more. So who took first place? Here’s a hint: this list goes up to 11.

11. The Oneders They are pronounced “Wonders” and one hit is all they have in the charming 1996 film “This Thing You Do!” A love letter in the mid-1960s from writer-director Tom Hanks. (Tom Everett Scott plays the band’s drummer.) The ridiculously catchy title track was written by pop-savant Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne.

10. Drimble Wedge and vegetation This unbearably pretentious group performs the title track from “Bedazzled,” a Swingin ‘London update to the Faust tale written by Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. Cook plays a frigid, completely bored leader who inexplicably drives teenage girls crazy. “I am autonomous, go away”, he launches to his fans who adore him. “You fill me with inertia.”

9. Steel DragonRock Star“, a fictional biopic from 2001, starred Mark Wahlberg as Chris “Izzy” Cole, a metalhead who becomes the frontman of his favorite band, Steel Dragon. Based on the true story of superfan Tim “Ripper” Owen and Judas Priest, “Rock Star” has been criticized by critics but is full of devious jokes and real-world parallels; Judas Priest bassist Ian Hill called it a “work of true fiction”.

8. The Carrie Nations Writer Roger Ebert and director Russ Meyer put together this feminine trio for their 1970 schlock classic, “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.” The band’s styles range from fuzzy pop (“Come With the Gentle People”) to angry rock (“Find It”), but the band’s secret weapon is its black drummer, Marcia McBroom – a rarity in any location. which group, true or false.

7. Juicy fruits Brian DePalma’s “Phantom of the Paradise” (1974) parodies almost every recent trend of the era: doo-wop, surf-pop, glam-rock, even Meatloaf (a diva named Beef) and KISS (a band called The Undead). The figure of Satan from the film is played by Paul Williams, who wrote the songs.

6. Soronprfbs This avant-rock group is so underground, so anti-commercial that its name is impossible to pronounce or remember. In the wonderful movie “Frank” (2014), the group is led by a Theremin player (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and a singer with mental health problems (Michael Fassbender, wearing a giant fiberglass head). When fame finds them anyway, they angrily change their name to The Oeccscclhjhn Bar Band.

5. Marvin Berry and the Starlighters They were just another prom group until November 12, 1955, when time traveler Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) took the stage and invented not only “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry, but also the jagged guitar technique of Eddie Van Halen. It’s a defining moment in the fictional rock’n’roll of “Back to the Future” (1985).

4. The Blues Brothers John Belushi as “Joliet” Jake Blues and Dan Aykroyd as Elwood Blues were the first examples of a parody group that had become so popular – first on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” – ​​that they became real, releasing multiple albums and opening for The Grateful Dead. True R&B legends Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles appeared in their now classic comedy, “The Blues Brothers” (1980).

3. The fabulous spots Lou Adler’s 1981 punk-rock fable “Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains” never had a theatrical release, but late-night TV shows and VHS bootlegs made fans of future grrrls. riot control like Courtney Love and Kathleen Hannah. The band members were played by barely puberty Diane Lane, plus Laura Dern and Marin Kanter. Members of the Sex Pistols, The Clash, and even The Tubes play supporting roles.

2. Dewey Cox “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story” (2007) stars John C. Reilly as the character of Johnny Cash who transforms into Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison and possibly Johnny Rotten over the course of his incredibly long career. Co-written by famous rock geek Judd Apatow and director Jake Kasdan, it’s the mock documentary that separates serious music heads from casual fans.

1. Spinal tap Still the king of all bogus rock bands, thanks to Michael McKean as lead singer David St. Hubbins (“the patron saint of quality shoes”), Christopher Guest as guitarist Nigel Tufnel (whose amps go to 11 ) and Harry Shearer as bassist Derek Smalls (him contraband cucumber). “This Is Spinal Tap”, directed by Marty Di Bergi (actually Rob Reiner), poked fun at musicians and their industry so mercilessly – but with so much affection and good humor – that the band ended up playing with it all. the world, from Mick Fleetwood to David Gilmour.

And the three worst. . .

3. Calm water The rock gods of Cameron Crowe’s “Almost Famous” (2000) were supposed to sound like Led Zeppelin, but their songs – mostly written by Crowe and his wife, Nancy Wilson of Heart – sound like a tasty mix of post-rock “rock”. 1960s. ”Plus, the band has the least exciting name since Bread.

2. Eddie and the cruisers In the 1983 film of the same name, Michael Paré plays Eddie Wilson, a once popular icon of the 60s who disappears. He looks like Dion, so why does he look like Bruce Springsteen? The anachronistic music came from roots rock band John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, another contender for the worst band name in history.

1. The sergeant. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Group The Beatles version was great, sure, but the 1978 film adaptation remains an infamous disaster. Peter Frampton plays Billy Shears, Steve Martin messes up through “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” and George Burns tells the story of Mr. Kite’s role in what looks like a mind-boggling TV variety show. It’s a quasi-disco, pseudo-rock atrocity.

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