19 surprising musician cameos in movies

August 28, 2014

The cross-pollination between music and movies is well-documented, and plenty of musicians are also accomplished actors. Of course, not all bands land starring roles in movies—but even in supporting roles, we love these 19 musical cameos in film. Warning: Many of these clips occur at high school dances, because OBVIOUSLY.

Blink-182 in American Pie

Sometime after his regrettable dreadlocked period, a purple-haired Travis Barker, along with bandmates Tom Delong and Mark Hoppus, made a sophomorically perfect appearance in American Pie. And naturally, they watch Jason Biggs make a mess of his pants.

Mighty Mighty Bosstones in Clueless

Alicia Silverstone, Staci Dash, Paul Rudd, Donald Faison, and… Dicky Barrett? Dare to believe, friends, as the Mighty Mighty Bosstones played a high school dance in this Jane Austen-inspired classic.

Bruce Springsteen in High Fidelity

High Fidelity is a classic among love-lorn, overdramatic music nerds. And naturally, Bruce Springsteen—playing his iconic Telecaster—is the film’s patron saint, doling out plot-changing life advice to John Cusack. Nick Hornby wouldn’t have it any other way.

Alice in Chains in Singles

Released in 1992, the Cameron Crowe-written (and Bridget Fonda-starring) Singles was the grunge romcom du jour, and included a fictional, excellent-titled band called Citizen Dick. It also starred a real grunge band, namely Alice in Chains—from back when Layne Staley was still among their ranks.

Gwar in Empire Records


Gwar often feels like the product of a ’90s teenage fever dream, and evidently, the folks behind Empire Records agree. Watch a slackjawed Ethan Embry (wearing an Adidas tee that would make Hayden swoon) play with Oderus Urungus and co., before Gwar decides to kill him. It only makes sense, right?

Usher in She’s All That

At this point, we might as well call Usher an actor-musician—he’s been in plenty of movies dating back to the ’90s, including The Internship and The Hangover. But our favourite appearance? His dance sequence on She’s All That.

Rush in I Love You, Man

Is there a better band to bro down to than Rush? Rashida Jones knows what’s up.

Alice Cooper in Wayne’s World


Also, was there a better icon of early-’90s hesherdom than Alice Cooper? A near-full performance of “Feed My Frankenstein” in Wayne’s World should answer that question.

Reel Big Fish in Baseketball

Baseketball was Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s attempt at a sports film, detailing a mashup of—wait for it—basketball and baseball. Even in the film, the sport was painted as a laughable fad, so who better to star in the film that ska-punk jokesters Reel Big Fish?

Fall Out Boy in Sex Drive

Sex Drive was a 2008 film that had Josh Zuckerman travelling across the country to meet a girl he met online. (Oh, the days of Myspace.) Part teen comedy, part travel flick, Zuckerman met plenty of characters along the way—including, oddly, Pete Wentz in Amish country. We don’t get it, either.

Cannibal Corpse in Ace Ventura

Alice Cooper playing a concert for Wayne and Garth made sense, but you know what was far more confusing? That Cannibal Corpse—already death metal legends—performed in Ace Ventura. And heck, Jim Carrey even joined them onstage!

Smash Mouth in Rat Race

Smash Mouth’s biggest single was “All Star,” mostly because of its inclusion on the Shrek soundtrack. (Sorry, “Walking on the Sun,” no one remembers you.) The song was double-dipped for Rat Race, a film starring Mr. Bean (a.k.a. Rowan Atkinson) himself, with one key exception: The band actually performed in the film.

White Zombie in Airheads

What is it with ’90s comedies and metal acts? Airheads was the essential hesher comedy of the era (starring, of all people, Brendan Fraser and Steve Buscemi as ‘bangers), so it was only logical that the film had a White Zombie appearance long before Rob Zombie became an acclaimed horror director.

Kanye West in the Love Guru

Like God himself, Kanye West is a Leafs fan. And he proved it, by appearing alongside good ole’ Scarborough boy Mike Myers in the Love Guru.

Snoop Dogg in Half Baked

When we saw this scene in theatres—portraying Snoop Dogg as a scavenger smoker—the red-eyed, cotton-mouthed dude sitting behind me laughed so hard, I was picking popcorn out of my hair for days.

The Ramones in Rock ‘n’ Roll High School

The Ramones live in a perpetual state of adolescence. And that’s partially because of their appearance in Rock ‘n’ Roll High School, which essentially dropped a Ramones video right into the film.

Tom Jones in Mars Attacks

Mars Attacks was an essential sci-fi comedy from the ’90s, and one of its most famous scenes involved Danny Devito harrassing Tom Jones for an autograph while embroiled in a Martian invasion. No, we didn’t make that up.

The Offspring in Idle Hands

The Addams Family-referencing Idle Hands, which featured a disembodied hand as its killer, famously starred the Offspring. Watch Dexter Holland get scalped—yes, scalped—above.

Primus in Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey

People being sacrificially hung in the middle of a Les Claypool bass solo? Yep, sounds like a Primus concert.

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