Over the years, television has spawned some great- and not so great- made for TV rock bands. And while some of these “fake” bands went on to record real life number one records, others kept it to TV only. Here’s a rundown of the top fake rock bands in TV history.
The Monkees (The Monkees). These guys went on to record real life hits like “Daydream Believer”, “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” and “I’m a Believer”. But The Monkees was originally an assembled group created specifically for the 1966 television show of the same name. The band- Davy Jones, Mickey Dolenz, Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork- actually outlived the TV series and a 1980’s reunion tour garnered new fans for them.
Partridge Family (The Partridge Family). The fact that star David Cassidy could actually sing was a pleasant surprise for the producers of this 1970’s show about a rock and roll family. Cassidy was originally hired for his good looks and was expected to lip sync to the fake band’s bubblegum pop tunes. But Cassidy and real life step mom Shirley Jones ended up being the only “real” singers on the show. The backing vocals and instruments were performed by studio musicians. The Partridge Family recorded dozens of catchy tunes, including “I Think I Love You”, which hit #1 On the Billboard charts in 1970.
Jesse and the Rippers (Full House). While I’m not exactly sure who the Rippers are (The Beach Boys were featured in the fictional band’s “Forever” video), Full Houses’ John Stamos showed that he had some singing chops with his long-running band on this hit ABC show. Jesse’s shaggy mullet and even the sound of his voice were very reminiscent of David Cassidy’s.
The Archie’s (The Archie Comedy Hour). This band- based on the characters from the Archie comic book series- had an animated Saturday morning TV show and a number one hit under their belt. “Sugar Sugar” may have been recorded by studio musicians back in 1969, but the animated Archie, along with backup artists Reggie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica, got all the credit.
Frozen Embryos (My So Called Life). Bad boy Jordan Catalano (Jared Leto) lived for his band, The Frozen Embryos. And even though band in-fighting ensued (Tino quit the band- who was Tino anyway?), when Jordan performed the song “Red” for the smitten Angela (Clare Danes) she was touched that he wrote a song about her. Until he told her the song was about his car.
Dylan’s band (Modern Family). I have no idea what the name of Dylan’s band is on Modern Family, but this dim, teenaged lead singer is on to something. Girlfriend Haley Dunphy is mesmerized by the song Dylan wrote for her – it’s inanely titled “In the Moonlight (Do Me)” – while her clueless parents really don’t have a clue! If his band is still looking for a name I have a suggestion: Dylan and the Dimwits.
The Silver Platters (The Brady Bunch). Whether you knew them as The Silver Platters or The Brady 6, this band performed some of the most memorable variety-show type music of the 70’s (oh yeah, they did go on to star in The Brady Bunch Variety Hour later). From songs like “Time to Change” to “It’s a Sunshine Day” the Brady kids knew how to rock those fluorescent bellbottomed outfits.
Hep Alien (Gilmore Girls). Not only did Lane Kim’s band rock on the TV series Gilmore Girls, but the very entertaining, real life rocker- Skid Row front man, Sebastian Bach- was in the band.
Jem and the Holograms (Jem). She was truly outrageous and very 80’s! The animated group headed by Jerrica Benton featured big hair, catchy pop vocals and a nasty rival band, The Misfits.
Leather and the Suedes (Happy Days). Yeah, by the time Leather Tuscadero showed up, Happy Days had already jumped the shark. But this all-girl band still rocked! Hey, it beats Joanie and Chachi’s band, right?
Drive Shaft (Lost).This was character Charlie Place’s band on the TV series Lost, famous for their hit song “You All Everybody”. The fictional band Drive Shaft was heavily influenced by the real life rock band, Oasis.
Dingoes Ate My Baby (Buffy the Vampire Slayer). This TV band included Buffy characters Oz (Seth Green) and Devon (Jason hall) but it was real life band Four Star Mary that performed the songs behind the scenes.
Zack Attack (Saved By the Bell). This was Zack Morris’ (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) dreamy rock band, whose big “hit” was called “Friends Forever”. The whole SBTB gang was in this band, with Screech on keyboards.
Hannah Montana (Hannah Montana). Miley Cyrus played MIley Stewart and her alter ego Hannah Montana, and went on to record hit music under both Hannah’s name and her own name. Confusing stuff, especially if you went to one of her sold out concerts. Hint: when she’s wearing the wig she’s Hannah.