Moviegoers would often prefer to live in the world they see on screen than the one that awaits them outside the theater. They would rather have Dirty Harry Callahan keeping the streets safe than the real police force, and they sometimes long for a superhero to swoop down and solve some of society’s problems. On the other hand, bands portrayed in the movies are usually a poor substitute for the real thing. However, there are exceptions.
Spinal Tap first appeared on TV in the pilot episode of “The T.V. Show” on ABC. The show was not a success, but the parody heavy metal band was. The Mockumentary “This is Spinal Tap” was a huge hit with both the public and music business insiders. The film was so popular that the fictional band actually went on tour and has played venues including Wembley Arena and the Glastonbury Festival.
The Blues Brothers
The Blues Brothers are another band that got their start on television. The group was a regular feature on “Saturday Night Live” before their big screen debut in 1980. Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi were great comedians but not so great vocalists, but a backup band studded with blues legends made sure that the sound was good.
Former Monty Python front man Eric Idle was looking for a social icon to send up and found the Beatles irresistible. The Rutles had a career much like Spinal Tap. A short sketch on TV proved popular enough to warrant a mockumentary film, and “All You Need is Cash” had audiences rolling. The group’s album featured send ups of popular Beatles hits and won a Grammy. It also incurred the wrath of ATV Music who owned the real Fab Four’s catalog.
Eddie and the Cruisers
The band portrayed in “Eddie and the Cruisers” were not played for a laugh. They were a talented group that would have benefitted greatly from Sonicbids if it had been around in 1983. The film was ranked as the year’s best by Roger Ebert, and the soundtrack went quadruple platinum. The main song in the film “On the Dark Side” also reached number 1 on the Billboard charts.
Another critically acclaimed film featuring a great movie band was “Almost famous” which was released in 2000. The movie told the story of a band called Stillwater and won the Academy Award for best screenplay. The band was actually pretty good and earned a cut on the Grammy winning soundtrack album. Nancy Wilson, formerly of Heart, wrote “Fever Dog”, which the band played in the style of the Eagles.
Article Written by Guest Blogger Kandace Heller.