There are a few actors that are partial to shredding the metaphorical axe. Some are better than others, but here are nine actors that are awesome guitarists.
1. Jack Black
Ok, let’s get one of the most obvious ones out of the way first. Being one half of Tenacious D means Jack is slick on the guitar. Yes, it’s acoustic with Tenacious D, but remember School of Rock? The musical comedy is now iconic. It features Jack as a failed musician who lands a supply teacher job after posing as his teacher friend. He certainly shows off his skills in that film. He got his big break in the Jim Carrey film Cable Guy but has been wowing us with his acting and guitar skills ever since.
2. Tim Robbins
Actor Tim Robbins was one of the main guys in one of the greatest films ever made. In my humble opinion. The Shawshank Redemption was released to critical acclaim in 1994. And along with Morgan Freeman, Robbins delivered a superb performance. In addition to his acting skills, he’s also an accomplished guitarist. In fact, he’s a songwriter and respected folk artist. His band, The Rogues Gallery Band, have played to many sold-out crowds in recent years. Check him out online, it may just surprise you.
3. Hugh Laurie
As one of Britain’s finest actors, there isn’t much that Hugh Laurie hasn’t done. He’s had a professional partnership with Stephen Fry and was part of the comedy series Blackadder. But he’s also famous for the cynical doctor House, and he does it all with aplomb. But he’s also a fantastic singer/songwriter. With two blues albums under his belt, he plays festivals all around the globe. And he has a superb voice to go with it. Not to mention his obvious ability on the guitar. He has quite the collection of guitars as well, including a Gibson Flying V. I bet you weren’t expecting that. He is also competent on piano, drums, and saxophone.
4. Ricky Gervais
The comedian behind The Office, Extras and Afterlife is also an excellent guitarist. Those of you who are fans of his David Brent character would have seen his guitar skills in the recent film. He’s done a host of tutorials on YouTube as David Brent. He also had an early brush with fame in the early 80s in a New Wave pop-duo called Seona Dancing. Releasing two singles that flopped they quickly disbanded. Although one of the tracks became huge in the Philippines. Strange how life goes!
5. Adam Sandler
Adam Sandler has a long history of combining his talents on guitar and vocals with his comedy movies. His guitar has accompanied him on many movies over the years. Even his stand-up routines had a guitar nearby. If you’re not convinced of his six-string abilities, then check out a recent jam on American talk show Conan. He shreds through the solo of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven. Another one worth checking out is a jam session he did with Don Cheadle. He can certainly make both the acoustic and electric guitars sing.
6. Kevin Bacon
Another actor who featured in one of my favourite films of all time, Tremors. He’s had a glittering film career over the past few decades, including many blockbusters. But did you know that he’s in a musical duo with his brother, Michael? They have the rather unoriginal name The Bacon Brothers, but there’s nothing unoriginal about the music they make. It’s a mixture of blues, folk, and bluegrass, and it’s rather good. Not only does Kevin have a great voice, but he also has the chops on the guitar. Check out the myriad of videos that are available online of their gigs. Those boys have talent.
7. Kevin Costner
I must admit, this one was a surprise. Who knew that Robin Hood could play the guitar, and play it very well? He’s won Oscars and has made a host of blockbusting films. But since 2007, he’s fronted his own country-rock band, Kevin Costner and the Modern West. As the genre suggests, its country-influenced soft rock, but don’t let that put you off. It’s rather good. The band have released four albums so far. 2012’s ‘Famous for Killing Each Other’ even made the top fifteen of the Billboard Country charts. Their song ‘Outlaws and Legends’ shows off Kevin’s vocal and guitar abilities perfectly.
8. Johnny Depp
Now, if you were going to pick an actor who would be a guitarist in a hard rock band, it would be Johnny Depp. He certainly looks the part. And who better than to form a band with than Alice Cooper and Joe Perry? They even managed to come up with a suitably evil name – Hollywood Vampires. Unlike Keanu Reeve’s band Dogstar (who were terrible), Hollywood Vampires have released one album since their inception in 2015. They’ve even played the Grammy awards. Apparently, Depp is that good on guitar that Joe Perry asked him for some lessons. Check the video on YouTube of him soloing with Alice Cooper. He’s got the skill on the strings.
9. Steve Martin
Ok, so this one is a bit tenuous as comedy acting legend Steve Martin plays the banjo. They can still have six strings, so he makes our list. Steve’s been making comedy albums for years. He’s also won Grammy awards for his bluegrass albums and co-wrote a musical that ended up on Broadway. That’s no mean feat. Check out the videos of him playing the banjo online. He has some serious picking skills that would be worthy of any guitar.
That’s our list of nine famous actors who are excellent guitarists, did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below.
Read about nine drummers who became lead singers HERE.
9 Bands You Forgot Played Themselves In Movies
There are more bands than you think that played themselves on the big screen. Here are nine bands you might’ve forgotten appeared in movies.
1. Alice Cooper – Wayne’s World (1992)
Being a teenager in the nineties was great for many reasons. Two of those being the release of the Wayne’s World movies. The genius that is Mike Myers created one of the best music-based films of all time. Plus, he convinced one of the greatest rock musicians of all time to be in it. If you’re not a geek like me, you may have forgotten that Alice Cooper was featured in the film. It had the iconic scene of Wayne and Garth meeting, Alice, backstage on bent knees. We’re not worthy, indeed. Alice himself pulls off the diva Rockstar brilliantly, even though he’s a genuine, down-to-earth guy who plays a lot of golf.
2. Primus – Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)
Let’s try and erase the recent Bill & Ted movie from our memory and head back to 1991 for their bogus journey. They come from the future to kill the non-robot versions of themselves and ruin their performance at a Battle of the Bands competition. What’s cool is the band who are playing before them. Californian alt-metal kings Primus. Although the clip is only short, they play themselves and sound as you would expect. Epic.
3. Fall Out Boy – Sex Drive (2008)
You’d be forgiven for forgetting about this one. The teen sex comedy from 2008 is forgettable and won’t really appeal to anyone apart from its teen target audience. If you can sit through all the cringe-inducing moments, you will spot pop-rockers Fall Out Boy. They are performing in a barn in front of some drunk Amish teenagers. There’s a reason for that, but I won’t bore you with it here. What is good, is the soundtrack of the film. As well as Fall Out Boy, it features Airbourne, AC/DC and weirdly, Kenny Loggins.
4. Twisted Sister – Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
Paul Reuben’s character Pee Wee Herman made his big-screen outing in 1985. The children’s show star had a scene where he is being chased through a studio parking lot. Unbeknown to him, glam rockers Twisted Sister are recording a music video on a car. Lead singer Dee Snider is always up for a laugh, so it’s no surprise they’re featured. The clip is brilliant. Pee Wee’s prop-laden bike is just about to crash into Twisted Sister and the look on Dee’s face is genius. Go check out the clip.
5. David Bowie – Zoolander (2001)
Who can forget the brilliant Zoolander? Starring Ben Stiller as the dippy model, it’s one of the funniest comedies ever made. One of the best scenes of the film is the walk-off. This involved Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson’s characters doing a catwalk-off. Of sorts. Can you remember who refereed it? The legend himself, David Bowie. It’s not the first time Bowie was in a movie – remember Labyrinth? But this time, he plays himself. And does it with all the cool swagger you would expect.
6. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Clueless (1995)
I can’t say that I was a massive fan of this teen comedy at the time. The plot revolves around Alicia Silverstone’s character giving her friend a makeover. The premise doesn’t sound like it lends itself to a cool band cameo. You’d be wrong, though. There’s a scene where the lead characters go watch a gig. The band that are playing are The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. The Boston ska-punk legends are only on stage for a moment, but it’s a slick clip. It certainly brings the film up a level on the cool stakes.
7. Daft Punk – Tron: Legacy (2010)
This sequel to the original sci-fi classic is a cracking movie. The visuals and effects are stunning, as is the atmosphere of the film. The music to the film is also rather special. A futuristic and dystopian movie could only have one act doing the score, and that’s Daft Punk. It works a treat. The music is intertwined into the movie and becomes a part of it. The delicious electronica is the perfect complement to the visuals. The French electronic masters also have a cameo at the end of the movie. They’re spinning the decks in a blink-and-you-miss-it scene.
8. Aerosmith – Wayne’s World (1993)
We’ve already had an appearance from the first film further up our list, and the second doesn’t disappoint either. The plot revolves around Wayne and Garth putting on their own music festival. Book them and they will come, is the advice given. And they certainly did. The headline band for the festival were none other than Aerosmith themselves. They do a sterling effort on stage as performers. And Steven Tyler also shows that he can handle his own on the acting front too.
9. Reel Big Fish – BASEketball (1998)
Trey Parker and Matt Stone star in this bizarre and hilarious sports comedy. Written by the king of spoof David Zucker, it’s become a cult classic. The soundtrack heavily features ska-punkers Reel Big Fish. They do a brilliant rendition of A-HA’s Take on Me, which they also perform in the movie. The band are the entertainment at the stadium where Parker and Stone are competing. You can tell by the footage that the band are clearly enjoying themselves. They add a touch more fun to an already hugely funny film.
That’s our list of nine bands who played themselves in movies. Did we miss any of your favourites? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out our list of actors in bands HERE.
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