And now, back to the countdown!
Here is my listing of the top 10 fictional rock band movies of all time. Let me give you the criteria. It has to be a movie about being in a band, and it has to be realistic. Also, I have to have seen the film. For example, Pink Floyd's The Wall won't be on the list because as great as it is, it isn't about a day in the life of a fictitious band. Its about the mental destruction of a rock star. Also, Rock of Ages won't be on this list either because while its a fun movie, it is simply a little too far fetched. Its supposed to be based on the scene in the 80's along the strip in LA in the 80's, and the Whiskey a Go Go. Instead, we get the notion that pipe dreams do come true, and everyone lives happily ever after. Well, that ain't reality. The reality is that being in a band from the local level up is dirty, time consuming, and often, not very rewarding. The movies on this list show that. Oh, and by the way...Rock Star will not be on the list. Rock Star was supposed to be the story of Ripper Owens and Judas Priest, until Hollywood wanted to turn it into a chick flick. Also, Almost Famous won't be on the list. While it is a great movie, the story is about the kid, not the band.
So, here we go:
#5 The Rocker A teenager's band loses their drummer. However, the nerdy keyboard player's uncle is the original drummer from a now legendary hair metal band. He was screwed out of the band when the they got signed. He never recovered. The keyboard player asks him to join his band. He does, and through an accidental gimmick that gets posted online, the band gets signed. They go on tour, and the drummer tries to live the decadent 80's metal band touring stereotype, but finds out he is just too old and his body can't take that kind of a pounding anymore. The band gets selected to open for none other than the drummer's first band, and winds up upstaging them.
There are lots of real moments in this movie. Particularly when the drummer gets screwed when the band gets signed. That happens more often than you might think. The record company doesn't like one band member in particular, and wants him replaced. That's what happened with Pete Best and The Beatles. In fact, Pete makes a cameo in the movie as himself. Everything in the movie either does happen, or could happen...except for an emo/alternative band being selected to open for a metal band, then upstaging them. That would never happen, but a new metal band could and has upstaged a veteran band. Happens alot in fact. It needs to be said that if this movie had featured a metal band instead of the alternative band, it would be number 2. But the fact that it is still in the list despite the glaring bit of non reality says alot about this movie.
#4 Airheads Proof that a good gimmick will get you anywhere. A local LA rock band can't get any airplay, or noticed by any record company, so using fake guns, they hijack a radio station. But the reason they can't get noticed is because they really aren't that good. After a standoff with the police that becomes national news, they finally surrender, but while they are in prison, they preform and release a live album that becomes a super hit.
The radio station's DJ is excellent in this movie. This has never happened before, but if it were to happen, the band would likely get signed just because of the stunt. It should be noted that the program director in this movie who is about as un metal as you can get is also the star of our number one movie. (no skipping ahead if you don't know!)
#3 Eddie and the Cruisers and sequel, Eddie Lives The first one tells the story of a band who tore up the charts with their first album, but when they wanted to release their second album, the singer wanted to go in a completely different direction with a strange concept album. It shows it from the perspective of a reporter who picks up the story after the singer disappears. It shows the story as told by the surviving band members, who don't know what happened to Eddie, or where the studio recordings of the
second album are.
Eddie Lives is about a construction worker who decides to join a band as a singer. They work their way through the clubs, and wind up opening a large festival, where the singer reveals that he is in fact Eddie Wilson.
Both movies are VERY good, and do a very good job of showing the internal relationships of a band. These movies may very well be the most 'real' movies on the list.
#2 Get Him To the Greek A very funny movie, yet pretty damn accurate. A struggling record company do
boy gets assigned to pick up a washed up British rock legend, who the record company wants to play a show at the Greek Theater in LA to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of his iconic performance there. What could go wrong?
Alot. This washed up British rock legend still has a very active drug habit, and this trip from London to New York to LA winds up taking lots of detours, and hilarity ensues. The writers of this movie (and frankly all of the movies on the list) have inside knowledge of just how crazy it can be when you're on the road with a rich, spoiled, selfish rock star. It even created its own buzz word and phrase. (When life slips you a Jeffery, you stroke the furry wall)
And, the Number 1 Fictional Rock Band Movie is:
|Drummers are an endangered species in this movie.|
The movie that coined the phrase 'Rockumentary.' The movie that launched MANY buzz words that turned out to be timeless like 'Turn it up to 11' and 'HELLO Cleveland!' Their all black album cover even inspired Metallica to do the same. Not to mention when any rock/metal band local or pro has a show or incident where something crazy happens, it is always referred to as a 'Spinal Tap Moment.'
This is the story of a British metal band at the ends of their career, and they decide to do one final tour in the US to go out with a bang...Although, it didn't happen that way. Instead, we see a hilarious and super realistic depiction of a band trying desperately to keep momentum going for the tour, but they can't stay out of their own way.
Every rock/metal musician has seen this movie many times. The movie is a classic, and its even finding its way into the Blu Ray players and online streams of a new generation of musicians. This movie will still be talked about and shown long after the stars of the movie are dead and gone. This is why it is the number one, and it will never be topped. Any rock band related film that comes out now is measured against Spinal Tap and they all come up short.
|Look at the number dials from this major pizza chain's 'Hair Metal Tracker.'|
They go up to 11!
But this is more than just a movie. They have recorded albums and toured. They were not lip synching on the live shots of the movie. Those performances were recorded live. Plus, they toured in the 90s, and yours truly was one of the lucky ones who got to see them in concert. To this day, its one of the best concerts I've ever been to. A friend who was also there said being at that show was just as big as it would be to see the original lineup of Led Zeppelin in concert. I agree.
So, there you have it! This is my top 5. Did I miss a movie? Do you disagree with any? Should I have made this a top 10 list instead? Or maybe a top 11? Let me know!
Thanks for reading! I love you all! GOOD NIGHT!!!