Ten Movie Bands We Wish Were Real

From School of Rock to Crucial Taunt, the greatest rockers of cinema.

Tia Carrere in Wayne's World

By Jon Blistein

The just-released Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is just as much about music as it is about video games and evil ex-boyfriends; the soundtrack features songs by Beck written for the titular character's band, Sex Bob-Omb. In tribute, we're honoring the best fake bands in movie history. Please note: this list does not include any fake band that went on to actually release a record (aside from the movie's original soundtrack) or tour. So that means no Spinal Tap, no Otis Day & The Knights, and no 2ge+her (which is too bad, because those guys were hilarious).

1) Crucial Taunt, Wayne's World

The greatest musical component of Wayne's World will always be the "Bohemian Rhapsody" scene, but love interest Cassandra's band Crucial Taunt comes in at a close second. Their covers of Hendrix's "Fire" and Private Life's "Touch Me" are both solid, but their version of Sweet's classic "Ballroom Blitz" wins out. Plus, there's a lot to be said for a frontwoman who can play Hendrix, yet inspire you to hear "Dream Weaver."

2) School of Rock, School of Rock

It was the role Jack Black was born to play (aside from Barry in High Fidelity, a film which itself features several awesome fake bands) — a goofy, dead-beat, wannabe guitar god who teaches a bunch of preppy elementary-school kids the power of all things rock. Points for the wonderfully cheesy anti-authority lyrics, the goofy outfits, the infectious melody, and the fact that the twelve-year-old musicians really can shred.

3) N.W.H., Fear of a Black Hat

Less known but far funnier than Chris Rock's rap parody CB4 is this Spinal Tap-esque 1994 classic, in which a group of early gangsta rappers continually ascribe political significance to their misogynistic songs (on a track called "Booty Juice": "The butt represents society...") Not only are N.W.H.'s rationalizations hilarious, their songs are actually pretty infectious; "Guerillas in the Midst" holds its own with most of what N.W.A. and Public Enemy were putting out at the time.

4) Marvin Berry and the Starlighters, Back To The Future

Some might view this scene as a little offensive, considering the whole "re-appropriation of the birth of rock n' roll thing." That said, it's well done, it's funny, the song is awesome (as it always has been), and who wouldn't want to see Michael J. Fox shredding with the Starlighters? It's Eddie Van Halen meets the earliest days of rock.

5) The Commitments, The Commitments

A group of working-class Dubliners playing soul music shouldn't work in theory, but The Commitments prove otherwise: "The Irish are the blacks of Europe," says manager Jimmy Rabbitte. "And Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland. And the Northside Dubliners are the blacks of Dublin. So say it once, say it loud: I'm black and I'm proud." Every cover they do, including songs by Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and Aretha Franklin, is worth checking out, but their version of James Carr's "Dark End of The Street" takes the cake.

6) Stillwater, Almost Famous

With hyper-sexualized lyrics, an abundance of moaning and groaning, and a down-tempo groove accented by thunderous drums and excessive guitar solos, Stillwater's "Fever Dog" mimics the '70s rock aesthetic perfectly. In other words, it's awesome.

7) The Soggy Bottom Boys, O Brother, Where Art Thou?

While The Soggy Bottom Boys only perform in two or three scenes in O Brother, their story is fairly significant. In the Coen Brothers' whimsical history, they signal a shift in American music from regional popularity, to widespread recognition, not to mention an early combination of Delta blues with traditional folk music. And unsurprisingly, George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson can put on a pretty great show, fake beards and all.

8) Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Theatricality has always been a core component of glam rock, so it only makes sense that eventually someone really smart would combine the genre with musical theater directly. That's what John Cameron Mitchell did with Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The band's music combines a glam-rock sound with the graceful storytelling of so many great musicals.

9) The New Main Street Singers, A Mighty Wind

Like Stillwater, The New Main Street Singers send up the cliches of their genre perfectly. They look exactly like the kind of group you'd expect to see on PBS between 1 and 4 a.m. Plus, Jane Lynch! Everyone loves Jane Lynch.

10) The Oneders, That Thing You Do!

The real life of a one-hit wonder is tough. You're on top of the world, and then it's all gone. But here's the good part: the song is pretty much always great. The same goes for fake one-hit wonders — "That Thing You Do" is a perfectly crafted pop song that sounds like every other early Beatles rip-off, which is by no means a bad thing. The Oneders would never have to make another record; we'd always love them for that one perfect song.

Commentarium (86 Comments)

Aug 16 10 - 12:11am
Matt

Funny thing is the band that inspired this list is a heck of a lot more interesting than any of them on it. Sex Bob-omb rules.

Aug 16 10 - 12:51am
lp

Hedwig and the Angry Inch is pretty great, but I'm in lesbians with Sex Bob-omb.

Aug 16 10 - 2:51am
nv

Sex Bob-Omb is all love from me.
Even Clash at the Demonhead is pretty awesome

Aug 16 10 - 2:55am
Jeffey Dahmer

Where the **** is Dewey Cox?! Or for that matter Steel Dragon?! Crap list is craptacular!

Aug 16 10 - 6:58am
Dagny T

No Maxwell Demon or Flaming Creatures from Velvet Goldmine?? For shame!!!!!

Aug 16 10 - 9:41am
Ariel

Something needs to be said for Wyld Stallyns.

Aug 16 10 - 9:50am
scram

I vote for Hedwig and the Oneders. I have more of a thing for TV bands though I realize. The Studz from Degrassi (and every other Degrassi band), The Beets, Driveshaft, and so on.

Aug 16 10 - 9:51am
noodles

driveshaft 4eva

Aug 16 10 - 10:09am
Winnie

Hedwig.

Aug 16 10 - 10:42am
C02

HAL 9000 was a solo artist, but he was still representin' even while The Man was takin' him down.

Aug 16 10 - 12:00pm
Sudsy

Wylad Stallions is a great call

Aug 16 10 - 1:52pm
Laura

Steel Dragon is definitely missing from this list.

Aug 16 10 - 1:56pm
SeeingI

I wish Dr Teeth & the Electric Mayhem were a real band. "Can you picture that?"

Aug 16 10 - 4:11pm
Stephen Stills

The Clash at Demonhead isn’t that great (yes it is).

Aug 16 10 - 4:31pm
Tigerhead

Eddie and the Cruisers!

Jun 11 12 - 9:58am
Suz

Agreed!!! I can't believe they are not on the list!!

Aug 16 10 - 4:32pm
No Wyld Stallyns???

really?

Aug 16 10 - 4:33pm
and...

no eddie and the cruisers???

Aug 16 10 - 4:34pm
JSR

All those bands, Dr. Teeth, Wyld Stallyns and especially the bands from Velvet Goldmine ("The Rats" and "Maxwell Demon" I think...) should be in there - but what about Sexual Chocolate!!? Sexual Chocolate!!!!!

Aug 16 10 - 4:44pm
Val

Whither Josie and the Pussycats?

Aug 16 10 - 4:48pm
Scott

The Commitments actually did tour. -1 Nerve.

Aug 16 10 - 4:48pm
BillandTed4LIFE!

Ummm....Wyld Stallyns?!?!?

Aug 16 10 - 4:50pm
meeya

WYLD STALLYNS

Aug 16 10 - 4:52pm
Queens

Sexual Chocolate!!!

Aug 16 10 - 4:53pm
Becca

No Spinal Tap?

Aug 16 10 - 5:12pm
Nic

Spinal Tap toured and released albums, so NO.

Aug 16 10 - 6:05pm
WmJeHall

Jefferson Heights' own Randy Watson and Sexual Chocolate!

Aug 16 10 - 6:12pm
Gate

You forget Airheads..

Aug 16 10 - 6:15pm
lowellnav

idiots forgot Munchausen By Proxy

Aug 16 10 - 6:24pm
kel

otis day and the knights from animal house!

Aug 16 10 - 7:24pm
yeeeah...

I agree in the comments regarding Wyld Stallyns, The Lone Rangers and Jefferson Heights' own RANDY WATSON and his band Sexual Chocolate!, but Eddie and the Cruisers (aka John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band) toured and made a few albums not related to the movie. Also, they made music for other movies as well (see Rocky IV and Cobra), and of course..."You all everybody!" - Driveshaft...duh!

Aug 16 10 - 7:41pm
SARSly

This is the worst thing. No Sex Bob-Omb? You sicken me, list-maker.

Aug 16 10 - 7:59pm
liam

what no weird sisters? two members of pulp and two of radiohead in a harry potter movie! for shame, internets.

Aug 16 10 - 8:07pm
stupid list as usual

no Wyld Stallyns = invalid list.

also Hard Core Logo.

Aug 16 10 - 8:07pm
Davey

No Ming Tea from Austin Powers?

Aug 16 10 - 8:10pm
hyjer

no blues brothers???

Aug 16 10 - 8:35pm
Lebow

Driveshaft isn't a movie band. But "You Are Everybody" would be a hit song if it were real.

Aug 16 10 - 8:52pm
John

Oh come on! Yes to Sex Bob-omb and a big Hell yes to Wyld Stallyns, but no one mentioning A.D.D. from The Rocker?! They were awesome!

Aug 16 10 - 9:48pm
CaptainXenu

The Commitments toured, and still do tour. Hell, I thought they were a real band because of that fact.

Aug 16 10 - 10:25pm
Queens

Am I the only one who remembers that all-girl band from Satisfaction, The Mystery? Justine Bateman rocking out on cowbell...

Aug 16 10 - 10:26pm
N83

The Guys All Star Shoe Band, from the "Prairie Home Companion" movie, is in something of a grey area here. They have not toured or recorded on their own, so perhaps they're not 'real'? But they were, and continue to be, the 'house band' on the PHC radio show.

Aug 16 10 - 10:43pm
mdnphoto

Gotta have Sexual Chocolate on there.

Aug 16 10 - 11:04pm
sarah

I have to say I would love to see Driveshaft and The Beets from Doug on this list!

Aug 16 10 - 11:35pm
JfrmMI

Infant Sorrow isn't on this list, why?

Aug 17 10 - 12:09am
jd

I'm glad NWH made the list - I've got the soundtrack & it's pretty damn good (and a great movie). I had forgotten about Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem (possibly the best band name ever)

Aug 17 10 - 12:48am
Sarah

According to my mom, The Wonders were a real band. She kept insisting to me that she remembered them. Even after I told her that Tom Hanks made them up.

Aug 17 10 - 1:26am
mosec

I know this is from tv as opposed to movies, but how's about the Mosquitos from Gilligan's Island?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fK_jq-Obv8s

Aug 17 10 - 1:37am
bearman33

Lane's prostitute looked kind of like Peggy. That weirded me out.

Aug 17 10 - 1:45am
mosec

This band (from Mad Monster Party) is pretty damn cool too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfDPcqGw14E&feature=related

Aug 17 10 - 1:53am
Petey Podge

What about Eddie and The Cruisers?!

Aug 17 10 - 7:50am
Brothajohn

SWANKY MODES!!!!

Aug 17 10 - 11:28am
bry peps

hang on! a list on the internet about fake bands you wish were real and there is no mention of the cantina band or sy snootles and the rebo band. Call yourselves nerds? you should all be ashamed.

Aug 17 10 - 11:43am
rgp

"where's fluffy?" from nick and norah's infinite playlist

Aug 17 10 - 11:58am
bearman33

Val, Josie and the Pusscats? Really?

Aug 17 10 - 12:21pm
Legitimate

Black stones. [nana]

Aug 17 10 - 1:09pm
Val

Fuck yeah, Josie and the Pussycats, bearman33. Have you seen the movie? The songs were catchy. The film slid in some astute cultural commentary while still adhering to the genre conventions that it sought to parody. It had campy performances from Parker Posey, Alan Cummings, and Carson Daly. Everybody looked great and very much "of-the-times." If you didn't like it, it's 'cause you're just jealous.

Aug 17 10 - 1:32pm
Ted

The Fabulous Stains. And movie version of The Professionals with Ray Winstone might meet the criteria. Maybe.

Aug 17 10 - 2:37pm
Steve

Thunderlips from Serial Mom...

Aug 17 10 - 4:41pm
B90

@Hyjer - The Blues Brothers was a real band before they were in the film, and they continue to be active today, albeit with different personnel. The original lineup recorded only 1 album, but "Briefcase full of blues" is seriously FTW.

Aug 17 10 - 5:47pm
kat

Maybe this should have been a list of Twenty?

Aug 17 10 - 8:21pm
LS

Sexual Chocolate?

Aug 18 10 - 10:23pm
justin.

i'm in lesbians with sex bob-ombs, crash and the boys, and clash at the demonhead. the jerk offs are good too.

Aug 19 10 - 10:04am
unicorn master

I think Sir Smoka Lot from Half Baked for sure

Aug 19 10 - 11:11am
The Law

Citizen Dick? How could you turn down a single called, "Touch Me, I'm Dick"?

Aug 19 10 - 11:59am
Fever Dog

Jogging through my neighborhood (Athens, GA) one weekend I heard a garage band - literally,a band playing in a garage - doing a very sexy cover of Fever Dog. Made me smile all day.

Aug 19 10 - 1:54pm
RR

damn dude, you forgot about the band from "tapeheads," that awesome movie where tim robbins and john cusack play struggling video artists that shoot bad music videos for little to no pay.

Aug 19 10 - 7:43pm
GeeBee

Eddie and the Cruisers was the first band that sprung to mind when I saw the headline. I have the soundtrack to that movie and its sequel.

Aug 19 10 - 11:24pm
Kiki

I know its not a movie but what about Mouse Rat from P&R?

Actually why not make a list for the top tv bands...like Jesse and the Rippers.

Aug 20 10 - 1:52am
Eleanor

A really good list but I would like to mention one more, though not a true "band": Lisa Bonet as "Marie DeSalle" in High Fidelity. Just solidly GOOD.

Aug 20 10 - 2:30pm
McNerd

Buckaroo Banzai and the Hong Kong Cavaliers

Aug 20 10 - 8:18pm
harry krishna

this sux. watch "eddie and the cruisers".

Aug 21 10 - 11:51am
Mike K

The real cake from The Comittments is their version of "Try A Little Tenderness."

Aug 22 10 - 1:54pm
Nikki

Where is Infant Sorrow??

Aug 22 10 - 2:12pm
Aaron

Steel Dragon FTW!!

Aug 22 10 - 3:14pm
Leah

I believe Josie and the Pussycats released records years ago, so they don't count.

Aug 22 10 - 3:39pm
Ivy

DRIVE SHAFT!!! DRIVE SHAFT!!! DRIVE SHAFT!!!!!!

Aug 22 10 - 6:30pm
RUready41

Eddie and the crusiers for sure....but what about the international silive strings submarine band from the little rascals...and The Way Outs from the flintstones...and whatever band Michelle Pfiefer was in laying on that piano with Jeff Bridge..making whoopie

Aug 22 10 - 9:31pm
dude

"The Juicy Fruits" from Phantom of the Paradise.

Aug 22 10 - 9:51pm
Myk

I would love it if The River Bottom Nightmare Band were real.

Aug 23 10 - 1:06am
kjdean

But, what about Citizen Dick?

Aug 23 10 - 3:28pm
Junkie 1

Sex Bob-Omb is pretty awesome, but we have to give it up for Munchhausen By Proxy from Yes Man!

Aug 24 10 - 7:42am
zippy72

Er, hate to mention this, but The Commitments (or at least, the stars of the film) are a real band these days - not only have I seen them 4 times, my ex sang on stage with them, and they signed their most recent live album for us last time we saw them :)

Aug 24 10 - 1:25pm
DaMatt

What about the Lambda, Lambda, Lambda electro-pop performance for the talent show at the end of Revenge of The Nerds. Classic!

Aug 28 10 - 2:45pm
tt

JOSIE and the goddamn Pussy Cats. Those songs were super fucking catchy and theyre just too cute.

Sep 05 10 - 10:34pm
Cates

48 Hours, Torchy's Saloon, Torchey's Boogie

Sep 27 10 - 8:56pm
AM

Ahhhh Maxwell Demon and Curt Wilde are indeed missing from the list.