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The 7 Greatest Rock Performances in Movies

14 Mar, 2010 Music

Earlier today I was listening to some old Yardbirds albums, which reminded me of their awesome cameo in the 1966 British-Italian film Blowup. Blowup tells the story of a photographer’s accidental and incidental involvement with a murder, and one of its iconic scenes features The Yardbirds performing “Stroll On”. On a side note, their appearance in Blowup came after The Who declined and The Velvet Underground were unable to acquire UK work permits.

Anyway, this sparked the idea of creating this countdown. Here’s my top 7.

7. The Yardbirds in The Blowup

6. The Ramones in Rock n Roll High School

When Miss Togar and a group of parents attempt to burn a pile of rock records at Vince Lombardi High School, the students take over the high school, joined by the Ramones, who are made honorary students. When the police are summoned and demand that the students evacuate the building, they do so, which leads to a quite literal explosive finale.

5. Soundgarden performing “Birth Ritual” in Singles

The Singles soundtrack is considered to have helped open the door to the explosive popularity of Seattle grunge in the early 1990s. Steve Huey of Allmusic put it best: “Singles helped crystallize the idea of the ‘Seattle scene’ in the mainstream public’s mind, and it was also one of the first big-selling ’90s movie soundtracks (it went platinum and reached the Top Ten) to feature largely new work from contemporary artists…it’s a milestone in the breakthrough of alternative rock into mainstream popular culture, neatly and effectively packaging the Seattle phenomenon for the wider national consciousness.” The movie features acting cameos by Chris Cornell and Pearl Jam.

4. Burt Bacharach in Austin Powers

Sorry had to throw it in. Personal fave. This narrowly beat out Aersomith in Wayne’s World 2.

3. Cannibal Corpse in Ace Ventura

Excuse me is Greg here? . . . . . Thank You!

2. Digital Underground & Tupac in Nothing But Trouble

The Golden Raspberry Awards, called the Razzies for short, is an annual award ceremony held in Los Angeles to recognize the worst in film. In 1992, Nothing But Trouble was nominated for a Razzie in Worst Picture, Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay. But nothing’s bad about this cameo . . .

1. Twisted Sister in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure

Don’t f*ck with Pee Wee. You steal his bike, he’s gonna infiltrate a movie set dressed as a nun, and get his bike back. The getaway scene is action packed, filled with explosions, Godzilla, and most notably Dee Snider and Twisted Sister. Blame it on nostalgia, but it doesnt get better than this which is why I’m ranking this #1.



  1. dude, definitely need aerosmith in waynes world. ps nothing but trouble was horrrible, but great tupac cameo

  2. solid list. agree with #1. dee sniders out of his mind

  3. snoop dogg in old school. add it

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