Don’t you ever just sit and wonder, “What ever happened to Jesse and the Rippers?” No? That’s just me? Oh well. One can argue that what has been noticeably absent from today’s pop culture is the appearance of fictional bands like the aforementioned Rippers. Think about it. There are very few lingering memories from the movie Eurotrip outside of Matt Damon screaming, “Scotty doesn’t know, Scotty doesn’t know, don’t tell Scotty!”
These fictitious musicians transcend the way we experience the medium, often allowing us to take it from the screen to our iPods for lasting enjoyment. Let’s be honest, wouldn’t “Star Trek: Into Darkness” be so much better if Benedict Cumberbatch’s Khan had moonlighted as a deeply-troubled, grunge rocker? And how much more inherently awesome would The Blacklist be if James Spader wasn’t just a cold-blooded criminal, but also a wonderful pianist? All jokes aside, these are the things that separate the good from the pretty great. Here is a list of some of TV and movie’s best fictional bands.
Jesse and the Rippers
Have mercy! While he’s currently showcasing his terrible parenting skills on FOX’s Grandfathered, Stamos got his big break on Full House playing the character of rocker Jesse Katsopolis, a.k.a. Uncle Jesse. His band was Jesse and the Rippers and they really shook up the scene from their covers of ’60s Doo Wop hits to their frequent collaborations with the Beach Boys. Sure, Bob Dylan was great, but did he ever serenade his wife with the most intensely, romantic music video just mere minutes before their wedding day? I think not.
The Cantina Band in Star Wars
Who doesn’t remember that jazzy song playing when Obi Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker walk into Mos Eisley Cantina in Star Wars: A New Hope? Its fun, peppy tone and tropical vibe made it instantly recognizable. Sure, it helps that the band is comprised of hairless aliens with dome-shaped heads, but once you hear the song written by legend John Williams, it is sure to be on your mind for the next several weeks. *The Cantina Band recently made a triumphant return in the latest installment of the Star Wars franchise, The Force Awakens.
Tom Hanks’ directorial debut of “That Thing You Do” might not have been a financial success, but it was a critical darling that introduced us to The Wonders. Creating a story about a band that has a one-hit wonder is tough, but writing that one hit has to be even more difficult. The song, named after the movie, is played seemingly hundreds of times throughout the blockbuster, yet it never really gets old. “That Thing You Do” was penned by Fountains of Wayne bassist Adam Schlesinger, who also wrote and produced the three main songs in Hugh Grant’s Music & Lyrics. The song truly was a hit, even if, spoiler alert, the band was not.
The School of Rock
Before Boyhood, Director Richard Linklater gave us School of Rock, which not only solidified Jack Black as a star, but probably gave us the only successful band comprised of children between the ages of 9 and 15. With such classic hits as “Teacher’s Pet” and “Math is a Wonderful Thing,” it’s a shame the band couldn’t keep the magic going any longer. However, it seems like most of them found their way in the world just fine.
1984’s This is Spinal Tap led the way for shows like The Office and Modern Family by putting mockumentary’s on the map. From the brilliant minds of Christopher Guest and Rob Reiner came a band called Spinal Tap, which gave its audience a satirical scope of the English heavy metal and rock scene. If it wasn’t “Listen to the Flower People,” it was “Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You” that made every single person watching want to turn their volume up to 11.