Make-Believe Maestros: 12 Movie Bands We Wish Were Real


Movies feature original music from fictional bands more often than you may realize. Some on-screen bands are so good that they trick us into thinking we can snag some tickets to their next show. I'd endure Ticketmaster's fees and insane pricing if it meant I could see these musical acts. 

1. Marvin Berry and the Starlighters from Back to the Future (1985)

Harry Waters, Jr. as lead singer of the Marvin Berry and the Starlighters band.
Image Credit: Universal Studios.

Believe it or not, the headliners for the Enchantment Under the Sea dance are not a real band. Marvin Berry and the Starlighters belted out a perfectly in-tune version of “Earth Angel,” but that’s as far as their musical history goes. What’s wild to think about is how pivotal the band is to George and Lorraine, kindling their love on that faithful November evening in 1955. Without Marvin Berry and the Starlighters, Marty wouldn’t exist, and that alone is worth some praise.

2. The Lone Rangers from Airheads (1994)

Chazz, Rex, and Pip discuss their options
Image Credit: Island World.

Chazz Darby, Rex, and Pip may have a radical approach to getting their music played on the radio, but who can blame them for being passionate about their craft? Even if you’re not a fan of their hard rock sound, you’ll definitely fall in love with their charisma and charm. Also, who wouldn’t want to see Brendan Fraser, Steve Buscemi, and Adam Sandler reprise their roles and take to the stage for a reprisal performance?

3. Pink Slip from Freaky Friday (2003)

Freaky Friday
Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.

I have strong memories of little me singing along to the fictional band Pink Slip's catchy song “Take Me Away” from the movie Freaky Friday. You can't deny that it's a jam! Pink Slip was the band created by Lindsay Lohan's character in this popular coming-of-age dramedy. The song they perform at the House of Blues is a cover of a song by Australian alt-rock band Lash.

4. Sing Street from Sing Street (2016)

Sing Street
Image Street: The Weinstein Company.

Sing Street follows a group of high school students in Ireland from the 1980s who form the movie's namesake band. The film has an excellent soundtrack, with hits from bands like Hall & Oates, Duran Duran, and The Cure.

On top of hits from famous real-life bands, the original music from the fictional band Sing Street is applauded by fans. 

5. Spinal Tap from This is Spinal Tap (1984)

This is Spinal Tap
Image Credit: Embassy Pictures.

As one of Christopher Guest's hilarious mockumentaries, This is Spinal Tap follows a fictional British metal band on tour. While the band isn't super successful or well-received by other characters in the film, fans of the movie have found a soft spot for Spinal Tap's music.

6. The Soggy Bottom Boys from O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.

One of the most famous on-screen musical talents is the Soggy Bottom Boys from the Coen brothersO Brother, Where Art Thou? While George Clooney doesn't actually sing the lead vocals, the music is excellent and catchy, and many fans wish the band existed in real life. They have a folksy sound that's fun and danceable, and if you ask me, they're all quite bona fide. 

7. Stillwater from Almost Famous (2000)

Almost Famous
Image Credit: DreamWorks Distribution, LLC.

Almost Famous follows a fifteen-year-old with big dreams and confidence who meets a popular band called Stillwater when writing a feature about them for Rolling Stone. Soon, the kid travels with the band on their tour, and we get to listen to some fantastic original songs sung by the fictitious band, like the hit “Fever Dog.”

8. The Hex Girls from Scooby Doo and the Witch's Ghost (1999)

Scooby Doo and the Witch's Ghost, The Hex Girls
Image Credit: Warner Home Video.

The Hex Girls are not only the prime suspects in a Scooby Doo classic but also create some fantastic original music as a band that Scooby Doo fans keep on their must-listen playlists. The three band members are played by Jennifer Hale, Jane Wielden, and Kimberly Brooks, who co-wrote the music for the film.

9. Josie and the Pussycats from Josie and the Pussycats (2001)

Josie and the Pussycats
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

This hilarious and insightful musical teen dramedy is about three young women in a band who desperately want to make it big. But are they desperate enough to exchange their morals for fame?

Throughout the film, the fictional band with the same name as the movie releases banger after banger, from “You're A Star” to “You Don't See Me” to “Real Wild Child.”

10. The Ain't Rights from Green Room (2015)

Green Room
Image Credit: A24.

The Ain't Rights are hailed as the most accurate depiction of a DIY punk band portrayed on the big screen. The horror film Green Room examines just how far hate can go, and viewers who love The Ain't Right's music vibes may not be happy to see what happens once their show ends.

11. No Vacancy from School of Rock (2003)

School of Rock
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

School of Rock is famous for its excellence as an inclusive movie about finding a passion for music and for Jack Black's iconic performance as Guitarist-turned-substitute teacher Dewey Finn. On top of that, Dewey's rivals, his ex-band No Vacancy, perform their song “Heal Me” in the movie that School of Rock fans love to listen to.

12. The Commitments from The Commitments (1991)

The Commitments
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

This Irish dramedy follows an R&B band that rises to fame in Dublin and chronicles the band members' relationships with each other and with fame. And at the same time, the band performs many songs that fans of the film love. Their covers of “Mustang Sally” and “Try a Little Tenderness” are fan favorites.

Author: Maya Capasso

Title: Freelance Entertainment Journalist

Expertise: Entertainment, LGBTQ+, TV, Movies, Games, Lifestyle


Maya Capasso is a passionate journalist and content writer with over 3 years of experience writing in the entertainment, lifestyle, and culture space, currently serving as an Entertainment Journalist and Trending Topics Writer for Wealth of Geeks. Maya's BAs in History and Women's & Gender Studies gave her research chops and a discerning eye for social commentary.