10 Awesome Moments in Rock Movies
Over the years, countless movies and documentaries have been made about rock and metal bands, chronicling the tongue-in-cheek nature of the genre and some of the more serious aspects of the lifestyle. Some films are so transfixed into the subculture, that quotes and scenes have been cemented in the cultural canon.
Whether a movie depicts a fictitious band that winds up being a real band due to the success of the movie, or actual bands or just pays homage to rock ‘n’ roll in general, they all have their own moments that are held close in the hearts and minds of fans. Documentaries often depict more serious moments and help to shed light on what goes on backstage or even just lets viewers learn more about who the band members are as a person. The fictitious films highlight what we love so much about this music and induce high-fives and throwing our fists in the air. We’ve conveniently assembled these scenes so you can relive all of the big screen magic with 10 Awesome Moments in Rock Movies:
Sam Dunn’s spectacular documentary detailing the subculture of heavy metal has many high moments. One of the most memorable is when Dunn is interviewing then Gorgoroth frontman Gaahl. He asks Gaahl about his thoughts on Christianity and the church burnings in Norway in the early ‘90s. While most black metal may come off as cheesy, Gaahl is stone-faced and takes the ethos of black metal quite seriously. When asked what is the driving force and ideology behind Gorgoroth, Gaahl contemplates his answer, pausing for a while before responding. He then takes a sip of his glass of wine to put finality on his answer: Satan.
Although ‘Singles’ is a romantic comedy, there’s plenty of rock to justify making this list. Members of Seattle bands make various appearances in the film, one of them featuring Eddie Vedder, Jeff Ament, and Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam. They play the part as members of Cliff Poncier’s (Matt Dillon) band Citizen Dick. In the scene, the read a review trashing Poncier while praising the rest of the band, but Poncier says the negative energy only makes him stronger.
When the members of the Lone Rangers (“Shouldn’t you be the Three Rangers?") hijack a radio station to get their demo played, they make negotiations with the police, one of their demands being a record contract. A label representative is sent in, but the band members are skeptical that he is an undercover cop. They ask him what side he took in the David Lee Roth / Van Halen split. After his answer doesn’t agree with theirs, they decided to question him again. They ask him who would win in a wrestling match between Lemmy and God. What he didn’t know is it was a trick question because Lemmy is God!
‘Almost Famous’ follows a teenage music journalist, William Miller, who lands a gig writing for Rolling Stone. When sent to review a Black Sabbath concert, he meets the fictitious opening band Stillwater. He subsequently goes on tour with Stillwater and becomes close with the guitarist Russell Hammond. After an argument, Russell takes William to a teenage party. Russell climbs to the top of the roof and plans to jump in the pool. He is tripping on acid, screaming “I am a golden God!” and tells William to write down his last words, which are “I’m on drugs!”
We would all be lying if we said we have never been in a car with a group of friends and all sang along to Queen’s iconic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ When Wayne, Garth, and a couple of friends decided to hit the road for a night out on the town, Wayne puts on just the right song for the ride. They find their friend Phil sitting on a bench, about to pass out drunk. They take him with them and he is seated in the middle of the backseat. During the song he drunkenly exclaims “let me go!” wishing to get out of the car.
In the coming of age film ‘Detroit Rock City,’ a group of four kids attempt to get concert tickets by any means to see their favorite band KISS. One of the boys, Trip, plans to rob a convenience store with a Stretch Armstrong doll hidden under his clothing to look like a gun. An actual robber takes out a shotgun to rob the store, but Trip thwarts him. When Trip threatens the robber, he asks Trip “You and what army?” to which Trip replies “The KISS army!” and foils the robber’s plans, winning a reward from the cashier and a passionate kiss.
While it is rumored that this scene was staged, it is poignant nonetheless. Chris Holmes of W.A.S.P. is sitting in a pool with his mother watching, as he is asked questions about the touring lifestyle and his alcoholism. This speaks volumes about the downsides of the rock star life and opened eyes that being in a successful band was not just glamour and girls. Holmes slurs his speech, stating that he will probably be dead in 10 years, professing that he drinks five pints of vodka a day, and proceeds to empty half a bottle on his face.
JB and KG challenge Satan to a rock off challenge, which Satan must accept because of the Demon Code. The wager is if Tenacious D win, then Satan must pay their rent and return to Hell, but if Satan wins, then KG will return to Hell with him and become his sex slave. The duo duke it out with the devil, but ultimately lose. When Satan attempts to strike KG with a lightning bolt, JB leaps in front of it and it bounces of his guitar inlays, which in turn sends the bolt back and breaks off a piece of Satan’s horn. Satan is now incomplete again and is banished back to Hell.
Despite all of their major achievements, acquiring their own plane, dubbed 'Ed Force One,' might be the coolest thing Iron Maiden have ever done. Bruce Dickinson even goes as far as to fly the thing with all of the crew and gear. The plane is painted to reflect current tours and is booked as Flight 666 when arriving at airports, which must freak out those unaware. Having their own plane enables Maiden to route their tour in a way other bands are unable to due to the restriction of transporting all of their gear. This allows them to play wherever they want in the world and to do things on their own terms.
This scene epitomizes rock movies. Most films centered around a rock or metal band are fairly tongue-in-cheek and ‘This is Spinal Tap’ takes the gold. Here is the lovable buffoon Nigel Tufnel explaining why Spinal Tap use amps that go to 11 on the knobs, he says these go one louder. When asked why the volume can’t just be adjusted so that 10 is the loudest, Tufnel unabashedly responds, “These go to 11.”