A Musical Post – Fictional Bands That Weren’t

Over the years, I’ve listened to a lot of music.  My tastes range from classical all the way to heavy metal, with stops in between.  What I like at any particular moment depends on a number of factors, but I’ve  mostly used the criterion of “I know what I like” when it comes to a given song or musical style.   A while ago, I was browsing over on YouTube, and one of the “similar videos” that popped up was from a band I’d really liked a while back.  The thing about them?  They were a fictional band,  one that had been created for television, movies, or by accident.   Which led me to think about other fictional  bands I’ve liked over the years.  What do they have in common?  Besides being fictional constructs,  they really could play, sing, and perform as a band.    The band turned into a success totally outside of the original purpose.   So, let me introduce you to some of them.

Back in the sixties, the music scene was dominated by the “British Invasion,” and in particular, The Beatles.  A television producer had the bright idea to put together a group to “compete” with them, and after a series of auditions, cast four young actors to be the new band – The Monkees.

and yes, they still get together now and then and do concert tours.

In the 80’s, heavy metal and “hair bands” were becoming popular, and a comedy film … a “mockumentary” … was made about the comeback and tour of England’s loudest band:  Spinal Tap.

and over twenty-five years and several albums later, they can still pack an arena

In the ’90’s, a well-known singer was working on his new album, and his producer asked to use a private studio.   The studio owner had some friends stop by, and a jam session resulted, which led them to an idea.  An unknown family band who toured around looking for a break… the Traveling Wilbury Brothers.

(Official version here)

Unfortunately, one of the brothers passed away shortly afterwards, leading to this subtle tribute to him

(official version here)

Hope you like them as much as I do.



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9 responses to “A Musical Post – Fictional Bands That Weren’t

  1. I was a junior in high school. My grandmother loved the Monkeys! She thought they were hysterical. I never missed a show if I could help it, with my grandmother. 😀

    I read somewhere that John Lennon thought they were the funniest group since the Marx Brothers and always watched their show, too.

    And…. Howdy, Norbrook! 😀

    • Hi yourself! 😀 Looking back at the Monkees made me realize that they really pioneered the music video. That, and as people realized almost 20 years afterwards when the show was being re-run on cable, that they were actually very talented musicians and although they were a “knockoff” of the Beatles, they were a good knockoff. 😆

  2. LOL! Spinal Tap! I haven’t thought of that film in years but I did enjoy it so much. Thank you for lightening the mood around these here blogs. Laughter is the best medicine. I can’t remember who said that first but it is the truth!

    I also remember the Monkees “I’m a believer” I always did like that song ♥

    • It goes to 11. 😀 I have the DVD, and it was one of those great movies that had so many fun parts. The interesting part is that the music was actually good, and it’s been something that has kept on.

    • trs

      Useless trivia: “I’m A Believer,” and several other Monkees songs were written by Neil Diamond. What can I say, I’m a music geek.

  3. sjterrid

    Thanks Norbrook. I remember watching the monkees on TV. I.’m a believer was one of my favorites, too. I thought they deserved more credit. I remember in Spinal Tap how they would emphasize how all their drummers died.
    I loved the Traveling Wilburys. I remember watching them on MTV, they played that video a lot. It was great seeing all these great musicians playing together. It was really sad when Roy Oberson? died.

    • You’re welcome. 🙂 The drummer “curse” was one of several great bits in the movie. “Freak gardening accident,” and “spontaneous human combustion?” 😆 What was great about the Wilburys was that they developed this whole story around them, and it wasn’t until they made the video that everyone “got” the joke. Mostly what they’d done was to record a jam session, and then go “hey, this is pretty good.” Like it could have been bad. 🙄

      • trs

        I was a Wilburys fan – I’m a huge fan of the two musicians in the group that are no longer with us – Roy Orbison and George Harrison. I was working in radio and on the air the night Orbison died. Needless to say, the rest of my midnight shift was peppered with Orbison tributes, and deservedly so.

        Another ‘fictional band’ that might fit into this is the Notting Hillbillies, formed by Mark Knopfler and Guy Fletcher of Dire Straits, with some other great musicians.

        • Oh, I was – and am – a huge Wilburys fan. It always amused me that they were so diffident about it , hiding who were “the brothers.” You can tell from the video that they’re having a lot of fun doing it.

          I also considered another fictional band… Jake and Elwood. The Blues Brothers. 😆