This article originally appeared in 2016. As the new Bill & Ted quickly approaches and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World celebrates its 10th anniversary, we thought we’d revisit this bit of fun.
Fake movie bands are a funny thing. All too often you spend a great amount of time watching this fictional outfit struggling and surviving together, and that conflict insists upon your own feelings of hope and admiration. Which makes you essentially a temporary fan of a collection of musicians who don’t actually exist, but who write music that’s technically real, only it’s rooted in a world that’s purely celluloid.
It’s weird, right?
Yet this curious relationship has been a part of our culture for as long as music and film have been married together. The Jazz Singer? This is Spinal Tap? School of Rock? Hell, this month alone we’ve seen two more fictional acts added to that endless bill: The Ain’t Rights from Jeremy Saulnier’s punk rock thriller Green Room and Sing Street from John Carney’s coming-of-age musical of the same name.
Both films feature original music by their respective bands, which only adds a surreal cinéma vérité to the proceedings. Granted, Sing Street singer-turned-actor Ferdia Walsh-Peelo and guitarist-turned-actor Mark McKenna have been performing the songs acoustically at various screenings, but it’s still a weird feeling obsessing over the soundtrack’s collection of ’80s new wave anthems knowing it’s fictional.
Which got us thinking, What if we could see our favorite fake bands live? How would that feel? What would the tour announcements even look like? Naturally, we reached for the closest pad of paper and started jotting down names from cinema past, specifically the outfits we’d want to steal from the silver screen and place on stage — sort of like in Last Action Hero or The Purple Rose of Cairo.
To go one further, we decided to excuse the fake movie bands that have actually toured or performed multiple times, which canceled out legendary acts like Spinal Tap, The Commitments, The School of Rock, and The Blues Brothers. We also stuck specifically to film and planet Earth; in other words, you won’t find The Beets, The Nasty Bits, or the Cantina Band from Star Wars. Rest assured, this left us plenty to choose from.
So, click ahead and don’t forget your imagination…
10. The Lone Rangers from Airheads (1994)
Listen up, guppies. Legendary LA disc jockey Ian the Shark, formerly of KPPX (Rebel Radio, not The Rain), is back and does he have a surprise for you! Palatine Records artist The Lone Rangers (wait, can you pluralize that?) — the biggest arena rock band in the world — are returning to their penitentiary roots for a run of exclusive, inmate-only prison dates.
“You’ll want to go out and get arrested,” says Palatine executive Jimmie “Super Duper” Wing, “just so you can tell people that you were there.”
You may recall that singer/guitarist Chester “Chazz Darvey” Ogilvie and sibling rhythm section Oedipus Rex (bass) and Pip (drums) crashed the scene in the mid-’90s when they broke into the KPPX radio station and took hostages, demanding at toy gunpoint that the demo for their eventual multi-platinum single, “Degenerated”, be played on air. Not only did that chaotic night reveal that Lemmy was editor of his school magazine, but it also directly led to a three-month prison stint for the band, which they parlayed into their triple-platinum debut, Live in Prison.
“Look, we ain’t pulling pud,” says Darvey. “Prison was the most rock-and-roll time of our lives. The conjugal visits from Kayla and Suzzi (with two Z’s) were great; I penned the hits “Generated” and “Regenerated” for Kayla in my bunk; and Pip inadvertently started a prison riot when he tried to sit at the black lunch table and talk hip-hop.”
“Yeah, prison was great,” adds Rex. “I got to call the warden a dicksmoke, half a butt puppet, and Rudolph Redpecker — and that was just on the first day. Frankly, I was willing to actually get arrested again, but we have people for that now.”
His brother is no less enthusiastic. “Playing the penal circuit again is a soggy dream come true,” says Pip. “They may even let me fart on a snare drum for an encore.”
Ian the Shark, now the band’s manager, promises set lists of 10-12 songs, possibly 14 or 15 with good behavior, and a rocking reminder that “if it’s too loud, you’re too old.”
Bea Arthur. Outstanding.
The Lone Rangers 2016 Tour Dates:
09/15 – Queens, NY @ Rikers Island ^
09/16 – Ossining, NY @ Sing, Sing ^
09/17 – Attica, NY @ Attica Correctional Facility ^
09/20 – Leavenworth, KS @ Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary ^
09/22 – Folsom, CA @ Folsom State Prison ^
09/23 – Attica, NY @ Attica Correctional Facility ^
09/24 – Marin County, CA @ San Quentin State Prison ^
^ = w/ Sons of Thunder
09. The Wonders from That Thing You Do! (1996)
“Ain’t no way to keep a band together. Bands come and go. You got to keep on playin’, no matter with who!” While these are certainly wise words from jazz legend Dell Paxton, it looks like The Wonders just couldn’t stop doing that thing they do.
That’s right, the Pennsylvanian boys are back, ladies and gentleman, touring with Diane Dane and “Mr. Downtown” himself — Freddie Fredrickson!
Proceeds from the tour go to my father’s local business, Patterson Electronics — we’re no longer just appliances!” says drummer Guy “Shades” Patterson. “The band and I couldn’t let that store leave my hometown community. They know customer service, and come on, I heard our #1 single, “That Thing You Do”, for the first time there. My shades missed looking and working with Jimmy Mattingly, too. So glad we got him out of his sandbox and away from his solo work.”
While there is no official word yet, sources report that The Wonders are recording new material. With frontman and head songwriter Mattingly back, we’re excited for anything these one-hit “Oneders” cook up.
The Wonders 2016 Tour Dates:
07/11 – Erie, Pennsylvania @ Villapiano’s ^
07/17 – Playtone Festival 2016 ^
08/01 – Greenwich Village, NY @ Blue Note ^
08/10 – East Village, NY @ IBeam Brookyln ^
09/02 – Chicago, IL @ Kingston Mines ^
^ = w/ Diane Dane + Freddie Fredrickson
08. Josie and the Pussycats from Josie and the Pussycats (2001)
No subliminal messages here: This summer, Josie McCoy and her Pussycats will hit the road for the first time in 15 years to rock arenas from Riverdale to New York City on their Decide for Yourself 2016 Tour. The pop-punk power trio have largely avoided the spotlight since their sold-out pay-per-view concert in 2001, which was critically acclaimed but mysteriously resulted in their immediate departure from MegaRecords.
McCoy will be joined onstage by the other two original Pussycats, bassist Valerie Brown and drummer Melody Valentine. Though they’ve kept a low profile, the band have stayed busy in the years since their final NYC concert, producing five full-length albums and releasing them on McCoy’s own Riverdale Records, which she founded in 2002. Though the band now have an extensive back catalog to draw on, their set is expected to lean heavily on early mega hits such as “Pretend to Be Nice”, “3 Small Words”, and “Spin Around”.
The Pussycats will get some help this time out from singer-songwriter (and McCoy’s husband) Alan M., who will be opening the show and filling in as the band’s backup guitarist. Other bands on the bill include popular ‘90s boy band Du Jour and the newly retooled Blink-182, who will also join the Pussycats for a brief stint on this summer’s Warped Tour.
Check out the full list of tour dates below.
Josie and the Pussycats 2016 Tour Dates:
06/10 – Riverdale, IA @ The Riverplex ^
06/11 – New York City, NY @ Madison Square Garden #
06/12 – Boston, MA @ Agganis Arena #
06/13 – Chicago, IL @ Allstate Arena #
06/17 – Seattle, WA @ Key Arena %
06/18 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore %
06/19 – Irvine, CA @ Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre %
07/03 – West Palm Beach, FL @ Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre $
07/05 – Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion $
07/06 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheatre $
07/07 – Syracuse, NY @ Lakeview Amphitheatre $
^ = w/ Alan M.
# = w/ Alan M. and DuJour
% = w/ Alan M., DuJour, and Blink-182
$ = Warped Tour
07. Barry Jive & the Uptown Five from High Fidelity (2000)
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and scarcity makes a concert ticket a must-have. Just when you thought Kathleen Turner Overdrive couldn’t be a more boring and obvious festival headliner, frontman Barry Judd went in an entirely different direction by announcing that his band will be performing at this summer’s festivals not as KTO but as Barry Jive & the Uptown Five — the second incarnation of his beloved band (originally Sonic Death Monkey).
Longtime KTO fans might remember that the band played only once as Barry Jive & the Uptown Five back in 2000 at a record release party for The Kinky Wizards. The bootleg of the show, which features Judd performing one of the all-time great renditions of “Let’s Get It On”, has become the holy grail for KTO diehards.
“Some people have asked why the change from Kathleen Turner Overdrive,” comments Judd. “They say I owe it to myself, to my friends, to my parents to keep KTO going, but I think I owe it to myself to go right to the edge. And Barry Jive does exactly that — over the edge, in fact. We want a reaction, and if lawyer bourgeois fans can’t take it, fuck them. Let ’em riot. We can take it. We’re fucking Barry Jive & the Uptown Five.”
With The Kinky Wizards also slated to play Bonnaroo this summer and DJ Rob Gordon’s traveling Dance Music for Old People tent paying a visit to the Farm, it seems almost inevitable that a Barry Jive-led superjam will break out at some point. Let’s get it on, shooga.
Barry Jive & the Uptown Five 2016 Festival Dates:
05/29 – George, WA @ Sasquatch!
06/04 – Philadelphia, PA @ Roots Picnic
06/05 – New York, NY @ Governors Ball Music Festival
06/11 – Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Music Festival
06/23 – Detroit, MI @ Mo Pop Festival
07/30 – Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
08/28 – Los Angeles, CA @ FYF Fest
Note: Most festival posters were released with Kathleen Turner Overdrive still appearing as the headliner. Those same headlining spots will now be filled by Barry Jive & the Uptown Five. Plan your itineraries accordingly.
06. The Weird Sisters from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Accio Rock! Strange powers have colluded to bring the legendary Weird Sisters back together for a string of shows taking place in both the muggle and wizarding worlds. The Sisters’ Toil & Trouble tour kicks off this summer and will take them from London to Hogwarts. In a tip of the wand to Johnny Cash’s famed 1969 show at San Quentin, the tour will also feature a history-making stop at Azkaban, marking the first ever musical performance in the magical prison’s 400-year history.
Fronted by enigmatic vocalist Myron Wagtail, the Weird Sisters have not appeared in public since their breakup at Hogwarts’ 2006 Yule Ball, when Wagtail got into a scuffle with guitarist Kirley Duke on stage and used a hex to turn Duke’s fingers into worms. It took the band 10 years to mend fences and find a wizard powerful enough to break the hex, but they will finally return to cast their spell on audiences throughout the UK, performing hit songs such as “Do the Hippogriff” and “Magic Works”.
The band will be supported by wizard rockers Harry and the Potters and The Parselmouths. Wagtail’s half-brother, Jarvis Cocker, will also appear on select dates.
Check out the full tour itinerary below.
Weird Sisters 2016 Tour Dates:
07/05 – Edinburgh, UK @ The Elephant House ^
07/06 – London, UK @ Diagon Alley Amphitheatre ^
07/07 – London, UK @ Royal Albert Hall #
07/10 – Azkaban, ? @ Mess Hall #
12/25 – Hogwarts, UK @ Yule Ball #
^ = w/ Harry and the Potters, The Parselmouths
# = w/ Harry and the Potters, The Parselmouths, Jarvis Cocker (solo)