Today I wanted to write about five movies that the general public might consider funny or good, but for those readers who play (or have played) in a rock band, are, in my opinion, essential. They are…
5. School of Rock.
This simple comedy, maybe the less “essential” movie in this list, provides probably the best acting work ever made by Jack Black. We can’t help but like the looser he’s playing in this film because of the energy and passion he shows when he speaks about rock. If his lessons don’t make you feel like playing live with your band then you should quit right now, because rock is just not for you.
4. This is Spinal Tap
A great mockumentary made in a year (1984) in which there were almost no examples of this kind of comedy (Woody Allen had begun to make it famous with “Zelig” less than one year before). This film was the first one to parody all the Hard Rock and Heavy Metal setereotypes, and got to become a cult movie a few years later. Its “black album” gave Metallica the idea of their best selling album cover, and the speakers with a volume that reaches eleven are as funny nowadays as they were in the eighties. I recommend it if you need to learn not to take your arguments with your band mates too seriously.
3. Still Crazy
Another good comedy, this one is about the stories that some old rockers get involved in when they try to reunite the band they used to play in, to go back to the old success and glory. Old fights that come back, old rockers who never grow up, fights about who and how should sing a song, and trying to get new people into the band. Many issues that someone with a young band should take a good look at, to learn from this old character’s experience, so funny but also so real.
2. Almost Famous
The most succesful movie in this list (best screenplay Oscar winner in 2001) and maybe the best one. All the fights between the members of a band that’s just about to become really famous are very interesting if you play in band. However, I’m not putting this one in the first place because the main characters in this film are not the musicians but the young jounalist and the groupie. That’s why I think that the main place in this list should be for…
1. Rock Star
The first act shows some scenes that everyone who played in a band for a long time knows very well. That obsession about every detail of your band’s sound, the fights with your band mates before an important gig, those stars you worship and want to be like, and the big fights that leads someone to leave the band. The rest of the movie is a story that many of us have dreamed about, and that will teach the main character a lesson that many of us could also learn about. Good songs, good story and, overall, a movie that you can enjoy and think over.
How about you, do you know more good movies about rock bands? Would you change any of the ones included in this post?
- UPDATE: if you’d rather watch non-fiction, I recommend the real documentary “Anvil! The story of Anvil“. It’s impossilbe not to feel sympathy for these old rockers who were about to be really succesfull and had to start again from nothing.