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Our 10 Favorite Real Band Performances In Movies

"Better Off Dead"

Over the weekend, I went to a brunch screening of the John Cusack classic “Better Off Dead.” I’ve seen it about a zillion times before — isn’t it the best? — but I’d forgotten about the New Year’s Eve dance scene. In it, Cusack and pals go to a school dance where E.G. Daily sings the titular song. E.G. Daily, you might recall, is also in the movie “Valley Girl,” and is just the best. Her performance reminded me of several other of my favorite real bands and singers performing in movies. Click through to see 9 more faves…








Song: Josie Cotton — “He Could Be The One”
Movie:
“Valley Girl”

Josie also sings “Johnny Are You Queer?” in this scene, which is supposed to take place at the valley girl high school.

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Band: Primus, “Tommy The Cat”
Movie:
“Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey”

We’re somehow supposed to believe that slap bass Primus would appear at a local battle of the bands — and also that they would lose to Bill & Ted.

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Band: The Plimsouls “A Million Miles Away”
Movie:
“Valley Girl”

The Plimsouls perform their one hit at a the downtown Hollywood club that Nic Cage (one of the dreamiest boyfriends of the ’80s) and his friends take the Valley girls. It’s a super cute song, and I don’t know why the girls are complaining that the music is “noise.” So intolerant! I went to a screening of the movie that Deborah Foreman attended (she plays Julie), and she said that Nic Cage was living out of his car at the time, and gifted her with a poem at the end of filming.

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Band: The Yardbirds
Movie:
“Blow Up”

If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend watching “Blow Up,” which is considered something of a mod/swinging London classic. It’s about a photographer who thinks he’s witnessed a murder. Or has he?

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Band: Alice in Chains, “Would”
Movie: “Singles”

“Singles” is the ultimate grunge movie, so it makes sense that Alice in Chains would actually perform in it, while Matt Dillon’s character waxes philosophical about his faux band, Citizen Dick.

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Band: Letters to Cleo, “Cruel To Be Kind”
Movie:
“10 Things I Hate About You”

Starring Julia “I’m the worst actress” Styles and baby Heath Ledger, “10 Things I Hate About You” is an updated adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The Taming Of The Shrew.” So of course it ends with a performance of ’90s babes Letters to Cleo singing “Cruel to be Kind.”

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Band: Ramones, “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School”
Movie:
“Rock ‘n’ Roll High School”

The Ramones show up in “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” to sing the titular song, just as the school gets blown up!








Band: Siouxsie Sioux, “Cities In Dust”
Movie: “Out of Bounds”

Hello, is Siouxsie’s make up amazing, or what?

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Band: 7 Year Bitch
Movie:
“Mad Love”

Watch Drew Barrymore totally rock out to 7 Year Bitch while some dude tries to chat her up. Remember when Drew Barrymore was in Hole for a hot second?

What’s your favorite band performance in a movie?

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