Television and music go hand in hand, but sometimes the music played by the characters on certain TV shows is just plain embarrassing. Here are a few television bands that have stood out to me over time as the worst.
ZACK ATTACK – FRIENDS FOREVER
Here’s a television band that, in a dream sequence, miraculously sells out a “reunion show” in a later episode of Saved By The Bell. Lisa Turtle can be seen rocking out a headless Steinberger bass guitar, Zack Morris rocking a Les Paul and singing like one of the New Kids on the Block while shredding a feel-good power solo, Screech on keys, Kelly on back up vocals, and Slater on Drums. I’m pretty sure the only actor who actually plays an instrument well is Mario Lopez’s character, A. C. Slater…and it’s still tough to watch.
FULL HOUSE – JESSE AND THE RIPPERS
As if Full House wasn’t a complete brain drain of a show to begin with, consider Uncle Jesse’s band, “Jesse and the Rippers,” as another reason to more deeply dislike the show. John Stamos’ “Gonna make it as a rock star” character on the show that ruined real life aspirations (don’t forget what it did to Dave “Uncle Joey” Coulier’s comedy career) makes me cringe when he and his sitcom band cover and destroy classic songs. This brief partial-cover of Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys are Back in Town” makes my skin crawl. If I wanted to feel this uncomfortable, I’d ask my mother to belt out her best Phil Lynott.
WONDER YEARS – ELECTRIC SHOES
In all fairness, this is by far the best concept for a band out of the list of horrible TV bands. “Electric Shoes” could’ve been the name of a real garage band in the late 60’s for all we know—there were countless groups imitating the sounds of the British Invasion and that combo of irrelevant words was bound to pop up somewhere. Synopsis: Kevin Arnold meets the new cool kid and, becoming suddenly fascinated with the electric guitar, he makes the clout-boosting move to join the group Electric Shoes. With the support of some kid who looks five years old on the drums and Sky Saxon Jr. on bass, the aforementioned mess is born. Luckily, since The Wonder Years possessed that magical sitcom excuse to resolve all outrageous situations in their sitcom world back to zero by the end of each episode, Electric Shoes was over and never spoken about 22 minutes and half a dozen commercials later.
FAMILY TIES – PERMANENT WAVES
If you had the luxury of catching episodes of this wholesome sitcom and didn’t think Jennifer Keaton’s career-ending abrupt puberty spurt was of the most offensive moments on the show, check out her attempt at music. From the episode “Band on the Run,” heartthrob Jennifer tries her take at a pop new-wave group “Permanent Waves.” She gets Christina Applegate on keys and some other random, funky girls to pretend play to what sounds like a mid-80’s Casio keyboard demo fronted by the vocals of Madonna’s estranged cousin. If there were two words of advice that I could have given this group, they would have been 1) Really play or at least make the move to be a believable all-synthesizer band and 2) Don’t ever have your entire group’s performance dependent on one isolated outlet (see 0:55).
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