The British Invasion
helped cement British artists as big players in the international market. As such many bands or singers found in American media will turn out British. They're generally of the Metal or Rock genre with horrible fashion sense, take lots of drugs, drink lots of booze
, have incredibly high sexual tallies
(often going for the weird stuff
, too), trash hotel rooms
and throw TVs out the window
, and are either indifferent or throwing themselves behind whatever good cause might be available
. Pierced nose and spiky mohawk optional.
One particular trait is that they're likely to avert I Am Very British
, opting for a cockney
or Northern accent
(usually Liverpudlian or Mancunian, thanks to the existence of famous rock bands from those cities).
A subtrope of The Rock Star
, who is usually a more positive, glamorous figure (and they can be British too!).
Anime and Manga
- In Axis Powers Hetalia, England invokes this trope in his character songs and versions of "Maru Kaite Chikyuu" and "Hatefutte Parade", all of which have distinctly rock feel to them.
- 2000 AD had Zenith, a British '80s superhero-cum-rockstar who fit almost all the negative aspects of this trope.
- The band from This Is Spinal Tap.
- Ben Sergeant and his band in Tamara Drewe.
- Aldous Snow in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek. Snow is interesting in that he combines exaggeration, subversion, and Self-Parody:
- Exaggeration, because he takes most of the elements in the trope description Up to Eleven. Cockney? Check. Drugs? Check.note Excessive drinking? Check.note Incredible amounts of sex? CHECK. Indifference or random causes? Both: "African Child" is an attempt to make a "cause" song that just proves he doesn't care. Horrible fashion sense? Well, it's highly eccentric. Take it or leave it.
- Subversion, because he is actually a Nice Guy, albeit one with serious problems.
- Self-parody, because when you substitute "comedian" for "rock star", a lot of Aldous Snow's character is like that of Russell Brand.
- Rock Star
- Stillwater in Almost Famous
- There may have been some British musicians in the film, but Stillwater were announced as being from Troy, Michigan.
- Very early example - the American International Pictures movie Bikini Beach (1964) had Frankie Avalon playing pop star Potato Bug in very cringe-worthy I Am Very British mode (apparently all Britons acted like Terry-Thomas at the time.)
- Get Crazy - among the players at a New Years Eve show at a venerable ballroom venue is jaded Mick Jagger expy Reggie Wanker, played by Malcolm Mc Dowell.
- Still Crazy: The story concerns Strange Fruit, a fictiobal British Rock band, led by Bill Nighy
- Bill Nighy took on a strikingly similar role to the above in the better known Love Actually as Billy Mack.
- Protozoa of the band Microbe in Zenon. Unfortunately, his lyrics are made up of Future Slang that seems to be a random mish-mash of unrelated scientific terms. Of course, he's wildly popular with the teenage girls in the movie, while the boys complain that his lyrics make too much sense (one wonders what sort of music they listen to).
- In the final season of Just Shoot Me! Nina has a washed up British pop-star as a boyfriend.
- An early episode had Maya interview a famous British rocker whose big hit was called "Nina in the Cantina". Everyone, including Nina, assumes the song is about her, but when the two meet, he doesn't have any idea who Nina is.
- Charlie on LOST was one in his back-story.
- Once on Quantum Leap Sam leaped into a British Rock Star, whose band had taken up KISSesque facial makeup as a gimmick. He has a stalker who claims to be his son from a tryst with his mother 16 years previous (which would make this band a popular British band in America pre-Beatles).
- WKRP in Cincinnati had an early episode where the station sponsored a concert with the British band, Scum of the Earth, who stress that they specialize in Hoodlum Rock. The difference from Punk Rock is that they dress in fine suits and ties, speak in erudite English and gleefully commit violent crimes on everyone, including their fans, whenever possible. Their leader is played by Michael Des Barres, a Real Life British rock star whose subsequent acting career would also take him to the above-mentioned "Nina in the Cantina" episode of Just Shoot Me!.
- Saturday Night Live sketch "Needs More Cowbell" has the British producer/rock star Bruce Dickinson (not to be confused with the real Bruce Dickinson, who is also British).
- SNL marked Margaret Thatcher's death with a sketch about Ian Rubbish, a fictional British punk rocker who confounded his bandmates by writing pro-Thatcher songs.
- In one episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway? Wayne plays a rock star in his hotel room in this round of Let's Make A Date. He automatically goes for a British accent.
- The inclusion of Davy Jones in The Monkees.
- SCTV "Mel's Rock Pile" has punk band The Queen Haters playing "I Hate the Bloody Queen", which underwhelms the American Bandstand style audience.
- Laverne and Shirley nearly get into a marriage of convenience to two British Invasion rockers (Eric Idle and Peter Noone).
- Henry Mallett in Spirited, whose appearance appears to have been based off a combination of Adam Ant and Keith Richards.
- Gary Bloke from Private Eye practically runs on this.
- There's also Spiggy Topes of Spiggy Topes and the Turds (later "Sir Spigismond Topes") who is essentially a combined parody of every fading sixties rock star. Unusual in that this Running Gag actually started at the time of the British Invasion itself, so it has carried on in real time with the real thing.
- The October 15, 2012 issue of The New Yorker featured an Eric Idle-penned piece, "In Me Own Words", told from the perspective of an egotistical, aging British rock star who is about to publish his (ghostwritten, and when one gets a load of his spelling one can see why) autobiography. It can be read here.
- There are several examples in the Grand Theft Auto series.
- In Vice City, you must escort Love Fist, a Scottish band that is very similar to Spinal Tap around.
- In San Andreas you meet up with two characters associated with a band who are largely parodies of this trope (though their style leans more towards pre-Britpop, like The Stone Roses, Suede and Happy Mondays). The lead singer's name is Maccer (he even wears a Reni hat).
- Liberty City Stories has Crow, an ahead-of-his-time, egotistical humanitarian crusader.
- Dead Rising 2 has heavy rockers named Jeanna Slick, Floyd Stone, and Allen Ash who are members of the band Angel Lust. The trio mistook the zombie horde for fans. Well it's not that much of a stretch to be fair. They had such lines as "Oi mate get off the bloody stage" and "Zombies? Blimey!" They even destroy a crowd of zombies through the Power of Rock.
- Death Metal from No More Heroes was one of these before he became the 10th ranked assassin in the UAA..
- Naturally a few of these turn up in Brutal Legend.
- Rock Star Ate My Hamster has the player assume the role of the sleazy manager of a British rock band, boosting its publicity by having the stars appear in noxious tabloid stories and accepting offers from dubious charities such as the Nuke Your Granny Society.
- Fred Armisen's Ian Rubbish of Ian and the Bizarros (Mentioned in Television above) has subsequently appeared in several web videos, released a few parody songs and interviewed The Clash.
- On The Simpsons when Bart gets a guitar he has an Imagine Spot where he becomes one of these.
- Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers: The episode "Risky Beesness" involved a British rock band who were locked in their room by the villainess who wore a bee costume, could command bees, and considered herself a musician. While in their dressing room, they spoke in received British pronunciation, had tea, and showed that the show's writers Did Not Do the Bloody Research regarding language in a children's show.
- The Jimmy Neutron episode where Jimmy, Sheen, and Carl start a rock band has Carl adopting a fake British accent at one point.
- On the California Raisins TV specials, the Raisins' main rival is a Mick Jagger-esque rocker named Lick Broccoli.
- In Regular Show, a future version of Mordecai and Rigby, who are famous rock stars, speak in vaguely Liverpudlian accents despite being American.
- It turns out that it's fake.
- Another episode features Ace Balthazar, a British heavy metal artist
- Murdoc Niccals of Gorillaz fame. 2D as well, but Murdoc fits the persona, whereas 2D is just The Ditz.
- Punk Rocket from Teen Titans, who was the villain in the Lost Episode.
- In another episode, Beast Boy is brainwashed into temporarily having a British accent, which Raven proceeds to snark about. He responds, "You're just jealous because I sound like a rock star."
- Jetta, the later addition to The Misfits on Jem.