Why do musicians try and act? It’s so weird to see someone you hear on your iPod, or see on stage exuding musical talent, attempt to stumble through dialogue like it’s the 5th grade play. Very rarely is that person actually good at acting, and the results are always mixed. And yet, when I see a musician or a band on a television show or a movie, I enjoy it. It’s a little morsel of something different, a combination of my two interests shoved into one very weird moment. Even if it may be terrible, it’s still fun to watch. So I give you…
Weird band/musician cameos in movies and television
Please note: most of the clips below are pretty bad quality, but they’re still interesting to watch, if only to see Josh Homme in a fro wig.
— Ted Nugent in Undeclared
The Nuge is a mythical creature, appearing randomly throughout American culture, toting a gun and a guitar, playing “Stranglehold” loudly for all to hear. And it’s very odd to see him playing himself (aka a uber conservative hunter) on Undeclared because that show represents everything un-Nugent. Judd Apatow’s second failed sitcom, starring Jay Baruchel as a nerdy college freshman with no direction, featured Nugent in an alternate version of their second episode, properly titled “Full Bluntal Nugety.” In shining form, Ted Nugent berates Baruchel for having a small penis, being scrawny, and being impotent.
— Queens of the Stone Age in Hot Rod
I have bad, bad memories about this movie. I went with a group of people to see Hot Rod when it came out, one of which was an ex of mine who was still stringing me along. Needless to say, it was a confusing night.
But pushing that experience aside, the Lonely Island crew’s first (uncredited) feature film is absolutely terrible. It perpetuates the group’s goofy humor but, as we also saw in MacGruber, long form comedies aren’t really their strong suit. Queens of the Stone Age show up randomly towards the end of the film portraying a rock band called Gown, who play during Andy Samberg’s last jump. It’s the best part of the movie because it’s just so odd. Josh Homme is a pretty funny dude in real life and does weird songs like this all the time. But I kind of wish they saved something so over the top for a different movie.
— David Navarro and Mark McGrath in Uptown Girls
This movie isn’t very good (I’m starting to see a trend within this list), but I have a soft spot for Uptown Girls. Maybe it’s because Brittany Murphy is so cute in it. Maybe it’s because Dakota Fanning’s character has an adorable pet pig named Mu. But I think it’s mainly because Dave Navarro appears in the movie with Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath to commission Murphy for some custom clothing. DURING HER FATHER’S FUNERAL.
— Flea in Psycho
The Red Hot Chili Peppers bass player Flea (Michael Peter Balzary) has actually been in a lot of good movies such as The Big Lebowski, Back to the Future II and III, and My Own Private Idaho. His rockstar persona fits into these films and it’s a treat to see him outside of his band. But in Gus Van Sant’s remake of Psycho, Flea does not fit in. Well no one fits in to this movie. I’ll constantly be haunted by the scene where Vince Vaughn furiously masturbates while gazing upon Anne Heche showering in her hotel room. Flea just looks so…clean cut? Clueless? Like an over-aged stoner who gets drunk at the Pizza Hut on the weekends to stave off his complete and utter loneliness. That is so un-Flea.
— Maynard James Keenan in Crank 2
I am not ashamed of my love for Crank 2, or the Crank series. Those movies are seriously bad ass and I watch them all the time. Crank 2 has a lot of odd cameos, from Chester Bennington (singer of Linkin Park) to a gaggle of real life porn stars during a scene with an adult actors strike (seriously, just go see the movie). But the weirdest of them all is probably Maynard James Keenan, singer of Tool, only because…well it’s Maynard. The angry short man with the beautiful voice who makes wine now and is an ardent hater of very specific things. It’s like seeing Trent Reznor in some romantic comedy – the two shouldn’t be together. And yet there’s Maynard with Danny Lohner, a pretty big musician himself and former member of Nine Inch Nails, shocking a dog with an electrical collar.