Top 35 Fictional Music Acts

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Inspired by, and resourced by an excellent website Fakebands. Reference to this website was found at PaulKatcher.com.

From the Fakeband site;

"This is a list of fictional bands from movies and TV shows ONLY, with the occasional good exception. Granted, we had a minor scandal when I found out that three entries were real bands. Ooops! I shall do my homework from here on out. "

Here is my personal list of top 35 Fake musical acts. I've called it that instead of rock bands because it is a better description of the entries on both my list and their site. Have fun.

The normal font is descriptions provided by the fakebands website, while the bold comments are my additional comments.


Top 35 Fictional Musical Acts



1.      Scum of the Earth - Self described "hoodlum rock" band from a 1978 episode of the TV show WKRP in Cinncinnati. One member was named "Dog" (Michael Des Barres). Others were Blood (Peter Elbling) and Sir Nigel Weatherbee (Jim Henderson). Their music ("Got Enough Love") was by Michael Des Barres' real band, Detective. This episode along with the drinking test and falling turkeys were the best of the WKRP IMHO.


2.      Blues Brothers, The - John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd were Joilet Jake and Elwood Blues. First, on Saturday Night Live (1975), then on a concert tour (1979), then in their own movie (1980). There was also a book based on the movie. They released 2 or 3 albums, plus a "best of" compilation. Their back up band was a veritable who's who of R&B session men. What can you say about one of the greatest comedies of all time. The music was hit and miss but the movie was great.


3.      Strange Fruit - Seventies British "classic" rock band that reunites after 20 years in the 1998 movie Still Crazy. Lineup: Tony Costello (Stephen Rea), Les Wickes (Jimmy Nail), drummer David 'Beano' Baggot (Timothy Spall), and vocalist Ray Simms (Bill Nighy). I wonder if they were supposed to be named after the Billie Holliday song? Okay I have to admit that I haven't seen Spinal Tap yet. Sorry. But I really enjoyed this movie Still Crazy, it was understated and full of heart. Excellent movie.


4.      Eddie and the Cruisers - The subject of not one, but two movies; 1983's Eddie and the Cruisers and 1989's Eddie and the Cruisers II: Eddie Lives! Both featured the music of the otherwise unknown John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band. The Eddie in question was Eddie Wilson (Michael Paré), a way ahead-of-his-time late '50s/early '60s rocker who fakes his own death. The song "On The Dark Side" actually hit #7 on 09/15/84. Sounded a lot like Bruce Springsteen or even Manfred Mann to me. I wasn't all that crazy about the movies, but the music was good.


5.      Steel Dragon - The focal point of 2001 movie Rock Star. Lead singer Bobby Beers (Jason Flemyng) gets the boot from this loud, '80's metal band. The band members replace him with Chris Cole (Mark Wahlberg), the lead singer of Blood Pollution, a small-time Steel Dragon tribute band. The plot is a fictionalized version of how Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford was replaced by "Ripper" Owens. Beers' singing voice was Jeff Scott Soto (Yngwie J. Malmsteen's lead singer) and/or Mike Matijevic (Steelheart vocalist). Most of the rest of the band was played by various real rockers from the '80's: Kirk Cuddy (Dominic West) on guitar, A.C. (Jason Bonham, Led Zep's John Bonham's son) on drums, Ghode (Zakk Wylde, Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist) on guitar, and Jorgen (Jeff Pilson of Dokken) on bass. (See also Blood Pollution). A decent enough movie, and without even knowing the background story about Rob Halford I caught the similarities to Judas Priest.


6.      Cotton Candy - From the tepid 1978 made-for-tv movie of the same name. Directed by Ron Howard, the plot concerns George Smalley (Charles Martin Smith) starting a high school band with a bubble gum sound that goes up against the obligatory evil hard rock band in the also obligatory "Battle of the Bands." Ron Howard's brother, Clint (who also co-wrote the movie), plays Corky Macpherson, the band's manager. Thanks to Chris Boznos for this one. (see also Rapid Fire). Yes the movie, and the band was bubble gum rock at its finest/worst. But I saw it when I was younger and really enjoyed it. Ron Howard I understand refuses to let this movie see the light of day any longer. I still remember the best line in the movie; after rival band Rapid Fire begins to sing "I Shot the Sherriff" at the battle of the bands finals, the viewers begin to wonder why they only sing the one song. Finally someone from the band Cotton Candy pipes up, "Not this song again".


7.      Rabinovitch, Yussel - In the 1980 remake of The Jazz Singer, Yussel Rabinovitch (Neil Diamond) defies his cantor father (Laurence Olivier) to become, well not a jazz singer, but a pop singer. There's a great scene where he plays his slow tender ballad "Love on the Rocks" to a Billy Idol-like rocker, who then turns it into a sneering punk rock song. Somebody find out that character's name! (see also Jack Robin and Jerry Golding). This movie was as cliche as they come, and Neil Diamond is sappy, but for some reason it really clicked with me. Coming to America was performed excellent in this movie, along with Love on the Rocks.


8.      Marvin Berry and the Starlighters - This is the all black band that played the 1955 high school prom in the 1985 movie Back to the Future and the 1989's Back to the Future II. Marvin (Harry Waters Jr.), the guitarist, cuts his hand getting time-traveling Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) out of the trunk of a car and can't play, so Marty has to fill in for him. Marty plays a few numbers straight, then plays "Johnny B. Goode," a song that hasn't been written yet. Excited, Marvin immediately phones his cousin Chuck Berry so he can hear this "new sound," thus insinuating that Marty was responsible for the invention of rock 'n' roll. The Starlighters were played by Tommy Thomas, Granville 'Danny' Young, David Harold Brown, and Lloyd L. Tolbert. The soundtrack album features them singing "Night Train" and The Penguins' "Earth Angel," as well the Marty McFly version of "Johnny B. Goode." (see also The Pinheads). Well its my favorite movie of all time, and my favorite version of Johnny B Goode so it had to rate high on the list.


9.      Otis Day and the Knights - All black late fifties/early sixties rock 'n' roll/r'n'b band from 1978's Animal House. They played "Shout" at the fraternity toga party and "Shama Lama Ding Dong" at the all black Dexter Lakes Club. Actor DeWayne Jessie played Otis Day (lipsyncing to the singing of Lloyd Williams). After the movie, DeWayne kept some version of the band alive, touring and releasing albums and a 1986 concert video, Otis, My Man! Trivia Time! The on screen band included blues/jazz guitarist Robert Cray as the bass player, believe it or not. The rest of the band was Robert Bailey, Sonny King, Tommy Smith, and Juan Steen. I would never have guessed that this was not a real band. Loved the movie.


10.  Chesterfields, The - One of the artifacts of the 70's fad for the 50's was the 1978 flick, American Hot Wax, which dramatized real-life Cleveland DJ Alan Freed's championing of rock and roll. Real rockers Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, and Screamin' Jay Hawkins appeared as themselves, but for some reason, fictionalized versions of other real groups were created like this Frankie Lyman and the Teenagers stand-in. See also Delights, The, Clark Otis, Professor LaPlano and the Planotones, Timmy and the Tulips. Again never would have guessed it wasn't a real band. This is an excellent movie, by itself, but also because of early career roles of Jay Leno and Fran Drescher (The Nanny). A must see movie.


11.  Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem - Extremely groovy rock band from The Muppet Show, various muppet movies and random muppet TV specials. Lineup: Laid back Dr. Teeth (keyboards), valley girl Janice (guitar), man of few words Zoot (tenor sax), the comically violent Animal (drums) and scruffy Floyd Pepper (bass). I'll bet you didn't know Floyd had a last name, did you? I'll also bet you didn't know that both Janet and Floyd play left-handed, didja? Didja didja didja? The band was created for the 1975 Muppet Show pilot, Sex and Violence. Jim Henson based Dr. Teeth on New Orleans ivory tickler Dr. John. The rest of the band were designed by muppeteer Michael Frith. This fan page is far superior to most real bands' pages. I bow before it. (See also Miss Piggy, Rowlf the Dog). Manamana, mamananana...manamana, mamamana...


12.  Roberts, Bob - Folksinging evil right-wing Senate candidate from Pennsylvania portrayed by Tim Robbins in the 1992 movie Bob Roberts. All his albums were parodies of Bob Dylan album titles (The Freewheelin' Bob Roberts [1987], The Times They Are A-Changin' Back [1988], and Bob on Bob [1990]). Personally, I think it's crime there was no soundtrack released for this movie, but apparently Tim Robbins had an ethical problem with the possibility of people singing along to the right-wing songs and forbade it. The songs were written by Robbins and his brother David. When Tim Robbins appeared on Saturday Night Live (10/03/92), he performed in a sketch as Bob Roberts, which brought it all full circle, since the character originated in a short film Tim Robbins did for SNL in 1986. Hilarious role, in a very subdued movie well worth seeing.


13.  Leather and the Suedes - Oh those tuff Tuscadero sisters from Happy Days! Roz Kelly was Pinky Tuscadero. Real life rocker Suzi Quatro played her sister, reform school graduate Leather Tuscadero, who fronted her own band. The Suedes were originally Bertie and Gertie, but in a later episode are Millie and Jillie, although in one episode, Joanie Cunningham (Erin Moran) becomes a Suede, or at least tries to. (see also Freddie and the Red Hots). I always had a thing for rough chicks in leather.


14.  Three Do's and A Don't - From the TV show Welcome Back Kotter (). The Sweathogs form this vocal group to compete in a school talent show. Vinnie Barbarino (John Travolta) is the"Don't." In the two part episode "Barbarino in Love" (11/10/77 and 11/17/77), Barbarino falls for Cassy (Amy Johnston) who is also competing, when he should be practicing. He quits rather than compete against her, but changes his mind and rejoins. They both lose to a kid who does bird calls. Loved the swerve ending with the bird call kid winning. Great episode from one of the best shows ever.


15.  Chandler, Dusty – From the movie “Pure Country”  played by real life Country superstar George Strait. Great soundtrack as well.


16.  Rapid Fire - Evil high school rock band in the 1978 made-for-tv movie Cotton Candy, an early, no-so-good directorial work of Ron Howard. They cover Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sherif." Very badly. Thanks to Chris Boznos for this one. (see also Cotton Candy)


17.  Rivers, Nick - None other than Val Kilmer played this late 50's/early 60's style teen rock idol in the 1984 Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker comedy Top Secret! He actually sang the songs on the soundtrack as well: the Beach Boys parody "Skeet Surfing," a parody of "Are You Lonesome Tonight," and the period-type songs "How Silly Can You Get," "Straighten The Rug," "Spend This Night With Me" and a straightforward cover of "Tutti Frutti." This humble six song cassette is one of my prized possessions. Not one of my favorite movies, not one of my favorite genres (slapstick), but you cant go wrong with Val Kilmer (unless you are casting Batman of course).


18.  Barbusters, The - Hard-rockin' bar band from the 1987 movie Light of Day. Bruce Springsteen wrote the title track. Real rocker Joan Jett and Michael J. Fox played brother and sister band members. Go figure. Bad movie, but Joan Jett is very cool.


19.  Catwalk - From the TV show Catwalk (1992-1994). Neve Campbell made her debut on this Canadian series. Bad show but Neve Campbell is a Canadian sweetheart, so good for her.


20.  Hart, Robert J. "Robbie" - Adam Sandler forgoes his usual drillin' for crude in the tasteful 1998 attempt at romantic comedy, The Wedding Singer. Set deep in the mid 1980's, he fronts a nameless wedding band playing the hits of the day. But when his own bride-to-be Linda (Angela Featherstone) leaves him at the altar, he stops singing. He sinks into depression, only to fall for Julia Sullivan (Drew Barrymore), as he helps her plan her wedding to cheatin' preppie scum Glen Gulia (Matthew Glave). Briefly mentioned is Robbie's former rock band Final Warning, which he fronted in spandex pants and silk shirt, "licking the microphone like David Lee Roth." Billy Idol, looking only slightly embalmed, makes a cameo as himself, encouraging Robbie to take his terrific songs to Los Angeles and to become a big star. Teddy Castellucci, Randy Razz, and John Vana played the rest of Robbie's band. See also Jimmy Moore and David Veltri. Excellent movie, often listed by people as their favorite comedy. The cameo by Billy Idol was fun as well.


21.  Dunne, Ciji - From the TV show Knotts Landing (1982-83). Singer played by Lisa Hartman from 1982-1983, She was managed by show regular and A&R man Kenny Ward (James Houghton), that is, until her character got murdered the day her album came out. Then Lisa Hartman went on to play a lookalike character who was ALSO a singer, Cathy Geary! More info here. Thanks to Gene Sculatti for this one. See also Cathy Geary. Knots Landing was much watch televison for about 3 seasons around my house, and Lisa Hartman was pretty darn foxy.


22.  Cantina Band From the movie Star Wars. Not really named but part of movie folklore none the less.


23.  Way-Outs, The - Or maybe The Wayouts, I've seen it both ways. Animated English band masquerading as outer space aliens for a gimmick in "The Masquerade Party" (11/26/00) episode of The Flintstones. They masquerade a little too well, sparking a public panic. The voices of the band were played by John Stephenson, Allen Melvin and Don Messick. Flintstones had many fictional bands, most direct parodies of modern acts. This one stood out the most for me.


24.  Kenosha Kickers, The - Gus Polinski (John Candy) is the shuttle chief of this midwest polka band from Home Alone (1990) He accidentally left his kid alone overnight at a funeral parlor, so Kate McCallister (Catherine O'Hara) doesn't feel quite so bad about accidentally leaving her kid Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) behind on a family Christmas trip, as she rides with the band to get back home. The rest of the band was played by real polka band Eddie Korosa and the Boys (Edward Bruzan, Frank Cernugel, Eddie Korosa, John Hardy, Robert Okrzesik, Leo Perion, and Vince Waidzulis). Trivia Time! Those of you with long memories might remember John Candy's stint in another fictional polka band, SCTV's The Happy Wanderers. The scene in the back of the moving truck was hilarious.


25.  Moore, Jimmy - In Adam Sandler's 1998 romantic comedy, The Wedding Singer, an uncredited Jon Lovitz has a brief cameo as a wedding singer, er, that is, not the one of the title. Another one. In his precious few minutes onscreen, he manages to create a character that's sleazy, full-of-himself, arrogant, unpleasant, pathetic AND a bad singer. Bravo, Mr. Lovitz! The members of Jimmy Moore's band were played by: Mike Thompson, Michael Jay, John Sawaski, Christopher Alan,Kimberly Schwartz, and Sanetta Y. Gipson. See also Robbie Hart and David Veltri.


26.  Pinheads, The - Marty McFly's (Michael J. Fox) band from the beginning of Back to the Future. They audition to play the school prom, but are turned down for being "just too darn loud." The other, unnamed Pinheads were played by Paul Hanson, Lee Brownfield and Robert DeLapp. Trivia Time! The judge who turns them down is an uncredited Huey Lewis, of Huey Lewis and the News. (see also Marvin Berry and the Starlighters)


27.  Frog, Michigan J. - From the classic Warner Bros. cartoon, One Froggy Evening (1955), and recently resurrected as the mascot of the WB tv network. This memorable one-shot character is hidden in a box in a cornerstone of a building being demolished. Discovered by a construction worker, he bursts into toe-tapping, roaring twenties-style song and dance numbers- but only when alone with the worker, frustrating the worker's attempts to get rich off him. He's only referred to in the cartoon as the singing frog, the "Michigan J. Frog" name musta come later. Singing voice by Bill Roberts.


28.  Parks, Bud - From the movie Falling from Grace (1992). Thanks to Galen Black for this one. A very underated movie staring John Mellencamp in the lead role. Often dark, with imperfect characters, and often unpredicatable and even unsettling. This movie was a great diamond in the rough.


29.  Zit Remedy, The - See The Zits.

Zits, The - Joey Jeremiah (Pat Mastroianni) on vocals and kybds, Archie 'Snake' Simpson (Stefan Brogren) on guitar, and Derek 'Wheels' Wheeler (Neil Hope) on bass, form the new wave-y trio The Zit Remedy in the low budget, Canadian-produced, coming-of-age show Degrassi Junior High (1986-1989). They had only one damn song, "Everybody Wants Something," available on their 1988 homemade album (or cassingle, to be more accurate), The Zit Remedy: LIVE! After Wheels' parents' tragic death, he drifted in and out of the band and was briefly semi-replaced on bass by Simon Dexter (Michael Carry). Eventually Wheels sold his bass and it seemed the band was dead. But when the show changed its name and setting to Degrassi High (1989-1991), the boys resurrected the band, decided a new, more mature moniker was needed, and so changed their name to The Zits. Much more mature. They tried to get their song on radio station CRAZ, got shot down, made a music video, and other such antics until the writers ran out of stereotypical high school band plots and the band faded from the show. Fan site here. Thanks to: Joey deVilla, Kael Driscoll, Bene Jenner, Kirby McKinley, and The Confused Muse. (See also Gourmet Scum, The Savages)


30.  Rabbit, Jessica - Animated human female with a Veronica Lake hairdo and physics-defying anatomy in Disney's (well, Touchstone/Amblin) 1988 Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Wife of Maroon Cartoons star Roger Rabbit (I wonder what her maiden name was?), she was voiced by an uncredited Kathleen Turner. She sang "Why Don't You Do Right?" backed by a band of nameless cartoon crows at The Ink and Paint Club, a disreputable "strictly humans only" joint with a "toon revue." She sings as sexy as she looks, too. Jessica's singing voice was actually Amy Irving, executive producer Steven Spielberg's then wife. Jessica also popped up in minor roles in the three subsequent animated Roger Rabbit shorts that fronted the theatrical release of various Disney movies: 1989's Tummy Trouble (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids), 1990's Roller Coaster Rabbit (Dick Tracy), and 1993 Trail Mix-Up (A Far Off Place).


31.  Radolini, Bruno - In the hour long 1988 HBO special The Return of Bruno, Bruce Willis rips off Spinal Tap in this fluffy mockumentary, that hmmm, coincided with the release of Bruce Willis' actual (crappy) album of the same name- coincidence? Bruno careens recklessly from style to style, but is never popular because he's always a few years ahead of his time. Bruce does Spinal Tap one better and less funnier by cramming in cameos of big names in rock. It's a shame only the crappier songs from the TV special are on the album as some of the period songs are much more entertaining than Willis' original lame-ass pop. But then so is a high colonic. I don't remember there being a special, I just remember the pretty lame song, and the pool hall video for the Return of Bruno.



32.  Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (I) - In the 1968 animated movie Yellow Submarine, four old fashioned string quartet or brass band or whatever musicians play on a gazebo in Pepperland spreading peace, love and all that bullshit. Then the Blue Meanies attack and it all hits the crapper. The Beatles are immediately called in (of course) to save the day. Forced to impersonate the band, they turn out to be dead ringers for 'em. What are the odds!? Trivia Time! The roles of the Beatles were not voiced by the Beatles. What a freaking ripoff. Paul Angelis did Ringo's voice; John Clive, John; Geoffrey Hughes, Paul; and Peter Batten, George

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (II) - Dear God in heaven. There are bad movies, but 1978's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was a cinematic black hole that marked an end or severe downturn in the careers of almost everyone who appeared in it. In the movie, the original brass band of the title has magical instruments that makes the soldiers lay down their arms to listen and hence ends WWI. Why they then waste them merely entertaining troops in WWII while Europe and Indochina burn and Hitler slaughters six million Jews is quickly glossed over. Anyway, last surviving member, the old Sgt. Pepper himself (Woody Chambliss), finally keels over dead on August 10, 1958. A new version of the band is needed and his grandson, Billy Shears (Peter Frampton) becomes the new Sgt. Pepper and he drafts his three friends, the Henderson brothers, Mark (Barry Gibb), Dave (Robin Gibb), and Bob (Maurice Gibb) to fill out the band. Frampton fronting the BeeGees- it's a 70's nightmare come all too true. The plot, such as it is, leisurely creaks into gear and they all go to Hollywood to become big debauched, drug 'n' booze addled rock stars. Meanwhile, bad guys steal the magic instruments, the band tries to get them back and it all leads into a nonclimactic confrontation with Future Villian Band (Aerosmith) and the only scene even mildly worth seeing, Peter Frampton fighting to the death with Steve Tyler. Then Sgt. Pepper magically appears, only NOW he's a totally different guy who's black [?!] (Billy Preston), and he makes everything all better. Robert Stigwood, the man behind this fiasco, has earned a special place in many peoples' private hell, if not the real one. See also Lucy and the Diamonds, Future Villian  Well you can rip on the movies as much as you like but the actual song is one of my favorite Beatles songs of all time.


33.  Wyld Stallyns - Cheesy metal garage band of the main characters from the 1989's Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and the 1991 sequel, Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey. Keanu Reeves played Ted "Theodore" Logan and Alex Winter played Bill S. Preston, and they both played guitar. The second movie is more band-centric as Bill and Ted must triumph over space, time, and Death Himself to win the San Dimas Battle of the Bands. The band's music and lyrics lead all humanity to live together in peace and prosperity in the future. At least according to George Carlin. Very small part in the movies, but pretty darn good movies.



34.  School of Rock - From the movie School of Rock (2003). A very overated movie to me. Seemed so formula driven that the only way you could like it is if you had seen less then 50 movies in your lifetime. But somehow viewers at IMDB.com give it an excellent rating.


35.  Jimmy Ellis - credited as the singer of the closing theme for WKRP in Cincinnati. Not sure tht he is actually a fictional act, but the folklore for years before the internet about what the lyrics were in the closing song (which actually kicks ass!) when in fact it was just gibberish earns him a spot in my list.


If you would like to add your own list or your comments they are welcome at the following e-mail address