Top 10 Rock Star Cameos on 'The Simpsons'

Those guys rock Springfield.

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Top 10 Rock Star Cameos on 'The Simpsons'

1. Ramones

New York City's original punk rockers perform at a special event in honor of Mr. Burns' umpteenth birthday. They start the set by screaming "I'd just like to say this gig sucks!" and end it with a warm and tender "Happy birthday, ya old bastard!"

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2. The White Stripes

In an episode called "Jazzy & The Pussycats," Bart is moved - literally - by the beat of The White Stripes' "The Hardest Button to Button" from the "Elephant" album.

When Bart and his drum kit ram into Jack and Meg White on a Springfield street corner, we expect the garage-rocking duo to be kind, friendly and forgiving toward the well-intentioned, pointy-haired youngster. Instead, Meg screams, "Let's kick his ass!"

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3. The Who

Alas, there is no available video from this often-shown-as-a-rerun-around-7 p.m. episode. It features The Who - Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle and a rarely seen (and never heard) drummer who looks like a young Keith Moon. Come to think of it, they all look like the mid-seventies versions of themselves in this episode from 2000.

The episode, "A Tale of Two Springfields," finds Homer trying to sabotage a Who concert in Olde Springfield. It features most of "Won't Get Fooled Again"; in fact, an A chord from the song destroys the wall between the two Springfields.

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4. Spinal Tap

"The Otto Show," Episode 57. From a third-season episode called "The Otto Show." After Otto kills Spinal Tap in a bus crash, we find out he doesn't even have a driver's license. He winds up losing his beloved job and reevaluating his life.

How does Spinal Tap fit in? Well, they don't, really - except that, before Otto kills them, they perform in Springfield, mispronouncing the town's name during the show and watching their gigantic Satan balloon deflate.

"We salute you, our half-inflated Dark Lord," chant the Tap, trying to make it look intentional. The role of Spinal Tap bassist Derek Smalls is, of course, played by Simpsons regular Harry Shearer, who voices Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Waylon Smithers and a million other people, regulars and transients alike.

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5. R.E.M.

"Homer the Moe," Episode 272. After Moe's Tavern is turned into a swanky, upscale nightclub by the Formico, the self-proclaimed "Dean of Design," Homer turns his basement into a bar with the help of Lenny, Carl and Barney. When Moe finally ventures over to see what all the fuss is about, he finds R.E.M. playing in Homer's basement.

The highlight of the episode is Homer trying and failing to sing along to "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)":

"Leonardo What's-His-Name, Herman Munster, motorcade /
birthday parties, Cheetos, pogo sticks and lemonade /
You symbiotic, stupid jerk / That's right, Flanders, I am talking about you."

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"The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer," Episode 379. Poor Otto.

When Springfield's hapless bus driver happened upon his favorite band's broken-down tour bus, all he wanted to do was help out and give them a ride to their show. But when he gets out to lend a hand, Bart takes advantage of the driverless school bus, stealing it while yelling, "Look at me, I'm Otto! I'm a hundred years old and I'm driving a school bus!"

If that wasn't embarrassing enough, the band get a ride from a "real" fan, the elderly Hans Moleman, who we find out slept with Lars' grandmother. Bassist Robert Trujillo tells Otto, "Never listen to our music again!" before the band drive away in Hans' pickup truck playing "Master of Puppets."

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7. Aerosmith

"Hello, St. Louis!" screams Steven Tyler to the Springfield audience. "Are you ready to rock?" The Moe's Tavern crowd is indeed ready to rock, and the band kicks into "Walk This Way" (as Joe Perry plays what looks like a five-string guitar, perhaps to go with the four fingers on his fretting hand).

Due to the success of a hot new drink invented by Homer (and allegedly stolen by Moe), Moe's Tavern has become such a happening place that the guys from Aerosmith are regulars. Should the drink be called the Flaming Moe or the Flaming Homer? That battle is still raging.

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8. Keith Richards, Mick Jagger

In a 2002 episode called "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation," Homer - and several other Springfield regulars including Chief Wiggum, Otto and Apu - attend a rock 'n' roll fantasy camp hosted by the heart and soul of The Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (who plays the opening riff to "Start Me Up" on a Telecaster that's not plugged in).

When the one-week-long camp is over, Homer - understandably - doesn't want to leave. So Jagger offers him a chance to perform at a benefit gig, the Concert for Planet Hollywood.

Among the camp instructors are Brian Setzer, Elvis Costello, Tom Petty and Lenny Kravitz, who deliver some great lessons and one-liners and add to the already-impressive star power of this episode.

Classic: Keith Richards announcing that he has to put up the storm windows. "Winter's coming," he adds.

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9. Green Day

When Springfield finally made it to the silver screen in 2007's "The Simpsons Movie," Green Day were one of the first in line to guest-voice. They are killed early on, when the polluted Lake Springfield corrodes the stage during their performance – but at least they got to record a version of the theme song, which was also released as a single.

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10. Red Hot Chili Peppers

All the way back in 1993, in "Krusty Gets Kancelled," when everyone's favourite chain-smoking clown has his show canned, Bart and Lisa help him arrange a comeback special, featuring the Red Hot Chili Peppers who sing "Give It Away" in their underwear – albeit it with lyrics coyly rewritten for a family audience rewritten for a family audience.

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29 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I thought Smashing Pumpkins' cameo was way better than the Metallica one. In fact, take your pick from Homerpalooza
    I liked the Cypress Hill appearance in that episode as well when they stole Peter Frampton's Strings section.
    Hellooooo? Did somebody order the London Symphony Orchestra??? Cypress Hill, I'm looking in your direction... Uh, yeah, we think we did. You guys know Insane in the Brain?
    Yeah, odd that none of the many cameos from that episode made this list. Peter Frampton: "Homer Simpson wrecks my pig, Cypress Hill steals my orchestra, and Sonic Youth's in my cooler! Get out of there, you kids!"
    Paul McCartney?
    Ringo and George too. Ringo in "Brush with Greatness." George in "Homer's Barbershop Quartet" which has a bunch of Beatles references, Barney's artsy Japanese girlfriend breaks up the band.
    I wish the Alice Cooper cameo had been mentioned, although it's in a comic book. Still Simpsons.