Big News this week is that Tenacious D are making a follow up to their 2006 cult-classic comedy Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny movie which (like their song ‘Tribute‘ dictated), told the origin story of the band and how they managed to beat the devil in a musical showdown… There’s also shitloads of musical cameos from the likes of Dave Grohl, Ben Stiller, Ronnie James Dio, Meat Loaf (pre-AFL Grand Final), Tim Robbins, John C. Reilly and more… seriously if you haven’t seen it you’ve been missing out.
Now, frontmen Jack Black and Kyle Gass just revealed they’re working on a sequel and it’s scheduled to get released this October (no word on who’s behind making it, but after the unfortunate box office flopping of the original, we’d put money on Netflix or something similar), but that’s not to say the first movie was bad, it was just misunderstood. And it actually spawned some incredibly awesome original songs like ‘Kickapoo‘, ‘The Metal‘ and it’s titular offering ‘POD‘. But the news got us all thinking at Wall of Sound HQ about all the other movies out based upon bands (fact or fiction) and their impacts on our lives, so we’re counting down The Top 7 Rock Band Related Movies…
#7 – Metallica: Through The Never 3D (2013)
Is there anything Metallica hasn’t done yet to cash in on their success that’s been, well, unsuccessful? If you answered yes you’re probably wrong because fans in their hoards will jump on anything/everything this band produces, including their 2013 Movie/Concert experience featuring actor Dean DeHaan running off from one of their shows to get something from a broken down equipment truck and encountering a post-apocalyptic world where everyone is out to get him. If you expect plot or dialogue, you’re gonna have a bad time. If you expect one of the best and loudest heavy metal experiences you can have in 3D then check this bad boy out if you haven’t already.
#6 – The Runaways (2010)
Ignore the fact that this stars the chick who had to pick between necophilia or bestiality in the Twilight series and you can appreciate this story about the formation and dissolving of the first ever, all-female punk band The Runaways featuring the iconic Joan Jett and Cherie Curry. The movie didn’t do too well at the box office, mainly because Kristen Stewart‘s fanbase from Twilight wouldn’t have had any idea who The Runaways were and a severe lack of promotion which impacted the amount of people who knew this movie even existed. Dakota Fanning‘s portrayal of Cherie Currie was top notch and deserves more appraisal than anything she’s done in the past.
#5 – Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979)
If you were a teenager during the late 1970’s, chances are you went along to catch this movie primarily because The Ramones featured heavily throughout it… and if you loved the music behind it you definitely owned the soundtrack too featuring Devo, Alice Cooper, Chuck Berry and more. Simple premise, a teenage student wants to meet The Ramones, but adult authority figures in her life prevent that from happening, so said teenager teams up with best friend and The Ramones (Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Marky) to make it shit happen. Spoiler Alert: They blow up the school.
#4 – Almost Famous (2000)
If you’re a music journalist or someone who appreciates someone else’s words about music, then chances are your love, appreciation and passion came about after watching Almost Famous. The story about William Miller, a budding rock journo who first sets off to review a Black Sabbath concert, only to be pulled into the wonderful (and frightening) world of the music industry by groupie/band-aid Penny Lane (Kate Hudson) and lead guitarist of the fictitious band Stillwater, Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup). The movie is based upon director/writer Cameron Crowe‘s real-life period writing for Rolling Stone back in the day and takes inspiration from his experiences with bands like Poco, The Allman Brothers, Led Zeppelin, Eagles and Lynyrd Skynyrd. The movie also stars Jimmy Fallon, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Anna Paquin, Jason Lee and Frances McDormand as William’s strict AF mother.
#3 – Detroit Rock City (1999)
This KISS based coming-of-age comedy can definitely be considered a reboot/re-telling of the before mentioned Rock ‘n’ Roll High School classic, for a new generation, however both movies have different plots and are about different bands, so that’s where the similarities will end and if you have a problem with it, fight me. Jam Bruce‘s mother hates rock and roll. She thinks it’s the devil’s music, so when she finds tickets to a KISS concert that Jam and his mates Hawk, Lex and Trip were planning on going to, she sets them on fire and uses them to light her cigarette. Following this, the boys embark on an adventure to secure four more tickets by any way, shape or form, including through a radio station competition, convenient store robbery and also attempting to beat up a younger fan before the show, all with hilarious consequences. With cheeky cameos from Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons and Paul Criss, if you’re part of the KISS Army and haven’t seen this yet, hand in your resignation.
#2 – School of Rock (2003)
Jack Black hijacks a classroom without a blue card and teaches a new generation of kids about ROCK. And I’m talking everything from heavy metal, to prog, to punk and grunge, you name it he covered it and even managed to put on one hell of a show featuring the above-mentioned kids and over 2000 attendees (which has now become a meme of itself).
The movie was so popular around the world, it even created a wave of Schools of Rock where kids can go along and learn how to play the best music in the world that has no barriers, discrimination or pre-requisites to enjoy. We even featured one of the Australian franchises not too long ago to explain how it all works, check that out here then settle in for movie night with your young ones and show them how they’re going to make you rich… oops I mean make it big as one of the next generations of rock musicians.
and the winner is
#1 – This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
If you haven’t seen this film yet it’s probably because you never owned a VHS, DVD, BluRay player or have had no contact with the outside world in your entire life EVER! This Is Spinal Tap is without a doubt the greatest mock-rockumentary ever made, this movie that goes to 11 takes out the number one position. So if you are the aforementioned cave dweller here’s why there’s none more better: Way back in 1984 director Rob Reiner created something exceptional, something timeless, a movie that is arguably one of the most quoted of all time. Gareth is guilty of unashamedly slipping a Spinal Tap reference into the odd album or gig review.
The story of Spinal Tap the band made up of lead singer/guitarist David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean), lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest) and bassist Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer) as they tour across the United States trying to become relevant again and encounter quite a few hilarious run-ins along the way. The movie is a mockumentary of life in a traveling, has-been band back in the 80’s, but because of its highly acclaimed reception, the “band” went on to make real-life appearances on The Simpsons (Fun Fact: Harry Shearer also voices Principal Skinner, Mr. Burns and Ned Flanders) and various talk shows.
But This is Spinal Tap did more than just become another quotable part of pop culture, years after the release of the movie, certain moments from the flick made their way into rock music’s everyday life. One example of many is the scene where Nigel Tufnel and Marty Di Bergi (played by Rob Reiner) are discussing gear and set-up. Most notably his custom Marshall stack where the volume didn’t stop at the usual 10, it goes one more. After Nigel delivered the famous line “it goes to 11” the great Eddie Van Halen called up Marshall and asked them to make his Amps go to 11. There are dozens more examples and I’d be here all day recounting each one.
At its core the movie is real life in a rock band regardless of how ridiculous the situation – a foil wrapped zucchini down the pants, getting stuck in a giant plastic cocoon, or an 18 inch Stonehenge stage set. Everything that befell the hapless band has some basis in fact. But there’s also a kick arse soundtrack. Who can forget classic songs like ‘Big Bottom’, ‘Rock and Roll Creation’ or for the more sophisticated ‘Sex Farm’. This Is Spinal Tap will always be the greatest movie of it’s genre, if you haven’t seen it, give yourself an uppercut and wrap you eyes and ears around the full colour and Dubly sound.
How’d we go? Anything missing that NEEDED to be in the list? Honourable mentions to Airheads for just missing out on the cut and if American Satan featured better acting, better filming and Black Veil Brides frontman Andy Black‘s actual voice, it may have just made it into the list. Seriously, that movie had so much potential to be relevant to today’s hardcore music scene, but fell flat due to those unfortunate studio conflicts which resulted in a fill-in vocalist singing Andy’s parts.
Bring on the new Tenacious D movie though, that’s going to rule.