The unbelievable true story of one man, one movement, the music and madness that was… Manchester. 24 Hour Party People is an exhilarating portrait of the 80s and 90s Manchester music scene viewed through the drug-glazed eyes of Tony Wilson: founder of one of the most important recording companies in history, Factory Records. Signing up bands such as Joy Division, Happy Mondays and New Order, Wilson famously went broke doling out artistic freedom, refusing to tie artists down with contracts, and reveling in the birth of rave culture in his commercially doomed, world-famous nightclub The Hacienda.
Charting the history of music during the 80s and 90s, 24 Hour Party People features cameos from a host of influential figures involved in the ‘Madchester’ music scene and beyond including The Fall’s Mark E. Smith, Mani from The Stone Roses, Paul Ryder and Rowetta from the Happy Mondays and of course the man himself, Tony Wilson.
So in celebration of the new special edition release Blu-ray and DVD release hitting shelves soon, we’re taking a look at some of the best music cameos in film.
BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985)
Heading back in time to 1984 and watching Marty McFly take a trip to the past in Back to the Future just wouldn’t be the same without Huey Lewis and the News’ hit The Power of Love providing a fist-pumping soundtrack to the adventure. Huey and the boys were riding high in the charts after the release of their best-selling 1983 album Sports when they were asked to pen a theme song by the film’s score composer Alan Silvestri. While the studio couldn’t argue with the song’s appeal, they would have preferred the film’s title was mentioned in the lyrics and made sure all radio stations got the memo – mention the movie! Not only providing a great song, Huey himself made a tongue-in-cheek cameo in the film, as a buttoned-up Battle of the Bands judge who rejects Marty’s band, The Pinheads, after they tear through a rendition of The Power of Love. Rejecting your own song? Great Scott!
WAYNE’S WORLD (1992)
Revolving around the lives and loves of metalheads Wayne and Garth as they attempt to make it big with their much-loved basement rock show, Wayne’s World, Mike Myers hit comedy is packed with classic rock anthems. From Sweet’s Ballroom Blitz, as performed by actress Tia Carrere, to the unforgettable rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, the film is filled with hilarious music moments. For Wayne and Garth, no moment is bigger than when they get to meet their idol Alice Cooper after scoring backstage passes to his concert. After seeing the shock-rocker on stage and navigating security, they find their hero who, dressed in black leather and heavy gothic makeup, proceeds to eloquently deliver a history lesson on the city of Milwaukee. We’re not worthy!
Kevin Smith’s satirical comedy Dogma was met with some controversy on its initial release in 1999, coming under fire for blasphemy from the Catholic Church. The movie starred Ben Affleck and Matt Damon as two fallen angels attempting to re-enter Heaven, after finding a loop-hole in the church’s dogma. Enter Alanis Morisette as… God! The Canadian singer was originally meant to have a more central role in the film but wasn’t able to due to a world tour at the time of production, so was offered the role of the Almighty One for a few minutes towards the end of the film. Her costume was designed by fashion designer Christian Lacroix making it the most expensive outfit in the movie. Praise the Lord for Alanis!
HIGH FIDELITY (2000)
Another film following the life of a music fanatic, High Fidelity finds 30-something vinyl hipster Rob looking for direction after his latest breakup. Rob, played by John Cusack with his usual everyman charm, works in a record shop where he passes the time making Top 5 song lists with his co-workers, one of which is actor and real-life rock star Jack Black in an early scene-stealing performance. One evening, while ruminating on his Top 5 break-ups, Rob imagines rock ‘n’ roll legend Bruce Springsteen, strumming a guitar and doling out relationship advice. What better way to get over a breakup than a visit from a man who’s sung about love and heartbreak across hundreds of songs? Thank Boss!
Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson strut their stuff in the supremely silly but hilarious 2001 comedy Zoolander. The stars play Derek Zoolaner (Stiller) and Hansel McDonald (Wilson), two vain and self-absorbed models competing in a ruthless fashion industry spear-headed by comedy legend Will Ferrel as designer Jacobim Mugatu. Although packed full side-splitting poses and highly quotable scenes, one sequence starring the late, great David Bowie steals the show. Starring as himself and appearing from the crowd to judge a strut-off between the two models, the one and only Bowie gives his verdict on Wilson and Stiller’s crazy shape-throwing. Throughout his incredible career the musician starred in films such as Labyrinth, The Man Who Fell to Earth and The Prestige, but this just might be his most hilarious scene.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END (2007)
In the third installment of Disney’s blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean franchise audiences met Captain Teague, the father of the series’ intoxicated hero Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). Captain Teague (like his son) is a drunken but legendary pirate… and he’s played by none other than rock ‘n’ roll legend Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones! Then, just when you thought it couldn’t get any weirder, Captain Teague whips out a guitar. Richards picked up the Best Celebrity Cameo Award at the 2007 Spike Horror Awards, and would later reprise the role in the franchise’s fourth installment Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Depp is said to have based his portrayal of Jack Sparrow on Richards’ rockstar persona, so it only seems fitting for the guitarist to make an appearance in the movies. This is one cameo that’s bound to give you satisfaction!