Jeff Bridges - Jeff Bridges

Top Ten: music-making Hollywood stars

Published on July 22nd, 2011 | Jonny Abrams

Listen and download

Marge: “You know, Homer, it’s easy to criticise.”

Homer: “Fun, too!”

Yes, it’s so easy to cower behind our laptops while taking pot shots at the rich and successful for their every indiscretion, but it’s so endlessly entertaining trying to conjure up invective at once colourful and barbed enough to make your wholly insignificant point seem worthwhile that…ah heck, you know what we’re talking about.

For, much like farting or laughing at society’s weakest at the behest of a ‘controversial’ stand-up comedian, we are all guilty of it. With this in mind, it was with great relish that Rocksucker took receipt of a press release detailing the September 5th release of Jeff Bridges’ eponymous debut album. Why, check out the trailer above.

Now, we’re prepared to cut old Jeff more than his fair share of slack, if just for The Dude alone. Besides, there’s nothing overtly offensive about the music previewed within; it’s even quite charming in a pipe ‘n’ slippers kind of way.

Other Hollywood stars, however, have seen fit to unleash music upon us that only Satan himself could possibly have given the green light to. Join us in pointing and laughing in vain at some of these depressingly thriving individuals – as well as giving credit to some of those who bridged the actor/musician divide with more distinction – as we list Rocksucker’s Top Ten music-making Hollywood stars…

1. Russell Crowe – Born in New Zealand in ’64, a hot-headed youngster named Russell Crowe assumed the curious nom de plume of Rus le Roq and recorded a tune called “I Want to Be Like Marlon Brando”. Well, if the bloated, undignified mess of his music is anything to go by, Crowe paid fitting if unwitting tribute to the great man’s latter years.

Alongside his friend Billy Dean Cochrane, Crowe formed eighties band Roman Antix – yes, we know – which evolved into the better-known Australian rock band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, a phrase which could also provide an apt description of his acting career thus far condensed into film reel. In 2002, a live performance of Crowe’s music led to the suicide of his best friend Tugger, emotional scars which no doubt resurfaced in such haunting laments as “One Good Year”, featuring the seminal opening gambit “It’s New Year’s Day / Just like the day before”…

In May, plans were announced for a new tour and a new recording with his current band Russell Crowe & The Ordinary Fear of God. Might we suggest that he take his tour, um, “rahnd the world?”

2. Keanu Reeves – Since securing for himself deep reserves of goodwill for playing Ted in the classic Bill & Ted films, Reeves has forged a highly lucrative career out of his satirical take on acting, which eschews any semblance of emotion or indeed talent to quite hilarious effect.

His role as bassist with shiny grunt-rockers Dogstar is every bit as spellbindingly subversive, not least the presumably snarky emoting of “Oh baby, baby, baby, baby, baby / I love you / I really do” in stadium rock pastiche “Superstar”. Reeves – no relative of Vic – later played with a band called Becky, whom we are certain were every bit as awe-inspiringly brilliant as you could possibly imagine.

3. Bruce Willis – Ever doubted that Bruce Willis is the coolest man in the world? Well, not only did he record two albums in the eighties [The Return of Bruno and If It Don’t Kill You, It Just Makes You Stronger] but this video was in fact captured on hidden camera as Willis was merely going about his day as per usual…

Oh and it seems he had his own blues band as well. Never has the word ‘authentic’ done such a runner as on this borderline offensive imitation pissdrizzle…

4. Jared Leto – Not content with appearing in films such as Fight Club, American Psycho and Requiem for a Dream, Leto started a band called 30 Seconds to Mars – you might have heard of them – in order to prove that he was just as adept at writing and performing vomitously polished emo guff incorporating every sickly teen cliché imaginable (not bad for a man about to turn forty) and set to promo videos, such as this one, which only just stop short of pronouncing him the Lord God Almighty Himself. If the word ‘douche’ had a soundtrack, then 30 Seconds to Mars would figure prominently on it.

5. Minnie Driver – Apparently, early in her career the Good Will Hunting star was signed to Island Records as part of a band called Puff, Rocks and Brown, which, as allusions go, is really quite impressive in its brazen disregard for subtlety. However, just as Bill Hicks implored anti-drugs campaigners to go home and burn all their Beatles records, so we would suggest that any further musical venture of Driver’s be invested with one or all of those titular narcotics on the off chance that it might resultant in something vaguely interesting…

And now for five who got it right… 

6. Scarlett Johansson – Her voice might have the whiff of ‘bad Nico’ about it but Johansson has performed with The Jesus and Mary Chain, released an album of Tom Waits covers and recorded with Pete Yorn a collection of songs inspired by Serge Gainsbourg’s duets with Brigitte Bardot…and these revelations of actual discernment will do for us.

7. Johnny Depp – Hollywood’s most eminent Keith Richards impersonator has also done well to keep things both sporadic and tasteful, performing alongside the likes of Shane MacGowan, Nick Cave, Oasis, Chrissie Hynde, Mick Jones and Bobby Gillespie in various projects and combinations. As far as we know, he is yet to inflict upon us any abysmal soft-rock ballads about how money ain’t worth jack if you ain’t got love and, again, that’ll do for us.

8. Juliette Lewis – Having garnered widespread acclaim for her performances in films such as Cape Fear and Natural Born Killers, Lewis formed the band Juliette and the Licks as an outlet for the garage rock wild child inside her. There’s nothing particularly innovative or inspiring about the resultant three albums’ worth of material but at least Lewis invests it with the kind of personality and chutzpah so missing from other A-listers’ attempts at crossing over and…well, you know the rest.

9. William Shatner – Are you a famous actor with no discernible musical talent whatsoever? Well, there’s a way around it: just play it for laughs! Shatner may be unlikely to ever match whichever particular classic he’s reimagining in his inimitable spoken word format but his versions are invariably so much gosh darn fun that there will always be a place for them…

10. Steven Seagal – You’ve been blown away by his acting, now prepare to be blown away by his music! The music is plastic eighties perfection, the lyrics sheer poetry, the various solos not at all grating-beyond-words; the man can do no wrong…

Honorary mention – Blimey, we almost forgot…

Have Rocksucker’s selections caused you to shake your head disapprovingly and mutter obscenities such as “balderdash” and “by Lucifer’s beard!”? Well, have your say in the comments section at the bottom of the page…

Artists: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.