As a musician’s career develops they start to dabble in other art forms which can give us something as awesome as David Bowie in Labyrinth or something slightly less awesome such as Sting deciding to play the lute.
Bigger bands and singers get used to being in front of the camera as much as being on stage so its not unusual to see rock stars popping up in the odd TV show or movie.
Here are 8 of our favourite musician cameos that might have gone under the radar, starting with a Red Hot Chili Peppers double whammy…
1. Anthony Kiedis – Point Break (1991)
By the time of Point Break’s release in 1991, the Red Hot Chili Peppers had yet to truly hit the big time despite being around for about 7 years.
A couple of months before RHCP’s breakout album Blood Sugar Sex Magik, lead singer Anthony Kiedis showed up in Kathryn Bigelow’s classic action film as Tone, a surfer who manages to get in a fight and delivers one solitary line.
2. Flea – The Big Lebowski (1998)
If you’ve already read our Back to the Future: Then and Now piece you’ll know that Flea appeared in Parts 2 and 3 of the hit series, but he plays a more obscure role in The Big Lebowski as one of the nihilists that break into the Dude’s apartment.
Flea’s also appeared as the voice of Donnie in the Wild Thornberrys and more recently in Joe Albany biopic Low Down, which he executive produced along with Anthony Kiedis.
3. Bruce Springsteen – Lilyhammer (2014)
For fans of the E Street Band it can be weird enough seeing Stevie van Zandt without his signature bandana in an acting role, like Silvio in The Sopranos or as Johnny Henriksen in the cult Norwegian comedy-drama Lilyhammer.
During the third season van Zandt’s boss Bruce Springsteen appears as Johnny’s older brother, Giuseppe ‘The Undertaker’ Tagliano, and was directed by van Zandt too.
4. George Harrison – Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979)
A bit more of a blink and you’ll miss it cameo this one, from the classic Monty Python’s Life of Brian. The story goes that after EMI pulled the funding from the project George Harrison steps in with a cool £3 million budget through his newly set up HandMade Films production company.
5. Ian Brown – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Offered a cameo role by Alfonso Cuarón, a friend of his wife, Ian Brown pops up during the third film.
The Stone Roses singer appears very briefly in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as a wizard during a scene in the Leaky Cauldron reading a copy of the Brief History of Time.
6. Phil Collins – Hook (1991)
There’s been a bit of a running theme so far of musician cameos coming about as favours to mates but this one seems to just be completely random.
During the live action Peter Pan adaptation Hook, prog-botherer Phil Collins appears as a police inspector investigating the kidnapping of Peter Banning’s children.
7. Blink-182 – American Pie (1999)
There are two appearances from Blink in American Pie, with their song Mutt on the film’s soundtrack and the three of them shown watching the webcam stream featuring the unlucky pastry fan Jim Levenstein.
Unfortunately for Travis Barker, not only was he mis-credited as previous drummer Scott Raynor during the cast list, his name was also misspelled as ‘Travis Barkor’ when Mutt was credited.
8. Dave Grohl – Tenacious D In The Pick Of Destiny (2006)
Grohl and Tenacious D have shown up in several of each other’s videos over the years (see Learn to Fly, Low etc.) but it’s from the video for Tribute that Grohl first makes an appearance as Satan, which he reprised in The Pick of Destiny.
Any glaringly obvious musician cameos you think we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments!
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