From Stage to Screen: Best and Worst Rock Star Cameo’s

THE WORST


1. David Bowie

He’s afraid of Americans. I’m afraid of him. David Bowie is at his creepy best in Jim Henson’s Labyrinth playing the evil 80’s glam Goblin King. Bowie co-stars with scary Muppets, singing songs (like “Magic Dance”) while trying out some lanky dance moves and trying to seduce a 16 year-old Jennifer Connelly. I know its only Muppets and the Thin White Duke, but to this day I still can’t watch that movie.
2. Ringo Starr
As the pocket-sized conductor/song-smith on Shining Time Station, Ringo Starr took over the role from the equally as improbable casting choice, foul-mouthed comedian George Carlin. Maybe it was his drowsy Liverpoolean accent but Starr always seemed kind of stoned, and either way, for the man with the All Star Band it seemed like a sideways career move.
3. Keith Richards
It was either the ultimate pirate joke or the most redundant move ever. Over the past several years Keith Richards has started to look more and more like a swashbuckler. Due to drug use, non-stop partying for the last 49 years and the passing of time, Richard’s once sweet, boyish face has become grizzled and his hair a rat’s nest, unkempt with hanging bits and pieces. So does Richard’s cameo as Jack Sparrow’s (played by Johnny Depp) father in Pirates of Caribbean: At World’s End, mean the joke’s on us now?

4. Bob Dylan

With a hard to follow plot, some revolution is taking place in some totalitarian run government somewhere in the Southwest; Masked and Anonymous stars Bob Dylan as a washed up rock idol that comes out of exile to headline a benefit concert. Confused yet? Dylan doesn’t act, so much as look pensive and occasionally say things in his weathered voice, but he does perform some amazing new versions of songs like “Cold Irons Bound.” The perfect name for the film, Masked and Anonymous is just as mysterious as Dylan himself.
THE BEST
1. Pearl Jam
Cameron Crowe’s 1992 film, Singles, is as much about dating as it is Seattle’s grunge rock scene, and as itss crowning jewel, features cameos by Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam. Not only does Pearl Jam perform in the film but they act, playing Matt Dillon’s band Citizen Dick, with drummer Eddie Vedder.

2. Iggy Pop
With jet black hair and even darker eyeliner, Iggy Pop is the greasiest of the greasers. As Uncle Ricketts in John Water’s wonderfully quirky and cult-status-worthy Cry Baby, Pop’s lip curling acting style manages to convey his own unique lust for life.

3. Placebo
Velvet Goldmine, the glittering film that pays tribute to 70’s glam rock, features a small musical and acting cameo by Placebo as The Flaming Creatures, a Roxy Music/Brian Eno-like band. Preferring impressions to ideas and dressed in leather underwear and sparkle eye shadow, lead singer Brian Molko performs an awesome cover of T. Rex’s 20th Century Boy.

4. Elvis Costello

About a group of people on the way to a New Year’s Eve soiree “trying to find love, happiness and cigarettes (IMDB),” 200 Cigarettes captures the journey to the most epic (and first) party of the year. And how better to start off 1981, but with a cameo by famous party guest Elvis Costello!?

5. Bob Dylan

With a hard to follow plot, some revolution in taking place is some totalitarian run government somewhere in the Southwest; Masked and Anonymous stars Bob Dylan as a washed up rock idol that comes out of exile to headline a benefit concert. Confused yet? Dylan doesn’t act, so much as look pensive and occasionally say thing in his weathered voice, but he does perform some amazing new versions of songs like “Cold Irons Bound.” The perfect name for the film, Masked and Anonymous is just as mysterious as Dylan himself. (Come on, it’s Bob freakin’ Dylan!)
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Top 5: Music Icons That We Love/Hate

1. Sting
Moms love Sting. If I could poll all the mothers of the world, I would prove it. My own mom loves Sting. She loves him so much that she spent $26 to purchase his book, “Broken Music”. I decided to borrow it, because I like Sting (although I’m not a Mom). I like his music (The Police and his solo stuff), I like his style (Sting loves yoga, chess, and is a vegetarian), and so far, I like his book too. Allie, on the other hand, has no love for Sting. Shocked as I was, it got me thinking of our personal agendas with music icons. Allie, for instance, thinks Sting is creepy. Part of it is probably the whole tantric sex thing. Personally, I don’t mind Sting’s affinity for tantric sex. Neither do most Moms. They think Sting is hot.

2. Bono
Most dads love Bono, although arguably not as much as moms love Sting. This is mostly because they think he looks cool with his perpetual sunglasses and he still rocks out even though he’s almost 50. They secretly want to be him. I hope I don’t get crucified here, but I don’t really like Bono. I think those sunglasses make him seem arrogant (Yes, you too, Kanye), even if he says it’s because his eyes are very sensitive to light. I’m sorry, but I’m not buying it. Although Bono is well known for his humanitarian work, it doesn’t come without controversy. His 2006 Vertigo Tour proved to be the second-most profitable tour of all time, grossing $389 million in ticket receipts alone. He promoted his ONE campaign, but according to Billboard, the revenue went to companies in Ireland with the intention of minimizing taxes. Questionable. Focus on the music.

3. Bob Dylan
Although Laurie has probably killed most of these heretics already, there are still some people out there who don’t fully appreciate Bob Dylan. Some accept that his songs are sheer brilliance, but do not believe that his voice lives up to them. Others put certain songs on such a pedestal that other creations of his could never live up to them and most of them shouldn’t. On top of this, he has aggravated countless interviewers and has had more split personalities than Sally Fields in “Sybil”. In a sense, Robert Zimmerman has deceived us all. Details! I still think he’s a musical genius.

4. Lou Reed
Much of the same can be said about Lou Reed, a principal member of one of the most influential bands of his time, The Velvet Underground. I love Lou Reed more than most. My dad even told him this when he met him at a concert, but I will try to keep an open mind. Lou is mean. You will know this is you’ve read any interview he’s ever done. I blame it on all the drugs. He also doesn’t have the most beautiful and melodious of voices. Okay, it’s downright gritty, but it matches the tonality of the music. You can’t have pretty harmonies when your subject matter is heroin. You just can’t.

5. Oasis
They claim to be bigger than the Beatles, and in terms of sales, they actually are, ever since “Morning Glory” beat out “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. Yet, we also must take their shenanigans into account. Drug abuse and constant fighting in the public eye? Guilty as charged. The dueling Gallagher brothers are both amusing and annoying. The question is, which are they more of?