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British Rockstar

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"You wot m8? I canear ya."

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, who 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!).


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The English dub of Excel♡Saga gives the punk band that appears briefly in episode 21 comically British accents and mannerisms (one of them even calls another one "you wanker").
  • In Hetalia: Axis Powers, 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. Just look at the front cover of his Character CD.
  • Shy has one in the form of Stardust, a middle-aged British superhero based off of David Bowie that also pursued a rock career among other things.
  • Zack from Beyblade Burst has a British accent in the English dub and dresses in a rocker fashion.

    Comic Books 

    Film — Animation 

    Film — Live Action 
  • 24-Hour Party People is based on the true story of Factory Records, and Happy Mondays fits the trope to a tee, as they did in real life. At the lowest point, the band is sent to Barbados to record an album and get off heroin, but they in turn start smoking crack and end up selling the studio equipment, and when returning home, Shaun Ryder keeps the masters hostage, however after a gun point negotiation with the label owner Tony Wilson, agrees to hand them over for for £50.
  • Very early example — the American International Pictures movie Bikini Beach (1964) had Frankie Avalon playing pop star Potato Bug (a Shallow Parody of The British Invasion rockers) in very cringe-worthy I Am Very British mode (apparently all Britons acted like Terry-Thomas at the time.)
  • 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. Cockney? Check. Excessive drug and alcohol consumption? Check, although Forgetting Sarah Marshall is during a clean period. 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 his actor, Russell Brand.
  • Get Crazy — among the players at a New Year's Eve show at a venerable ballroom venue is jaded Mick Jagger expy Reggie Wanker, played by Malcolm McDowell.
  • Nighy took on a strikingly similar role to the above in the better known Love Actually as Billy Mack.
  • Steel Dragon from Rock Star, albeit a band hiring an American singer to act as a Suspiciously Similar Substitute.
  • Still Crazy: The story concerns Strange Fruit, a fictional British rock band led by Bill Nighy.
  • Ben Sergeant and his band in Tamara Drewe.
  • The titular band from This is Spın̈al Tap provides the page image. It doesn't help that the film captures them in their decline, as they struggle with the release of their latest album and a concert tour that eventually sees them get second-billed to a theme park puppet show.
  • 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).

    Live-Action TV 
  • Laverne & Shirley nearly get into a marriage of convenience to two British Invasion rockers (Eric Idle and Peter Noone).
  • Bones: Dr. Gordon Wyatt once performed as Ziggy Stardust-expy "Noddy Comet", "a bisexual spaceman with a taste for glitter, lycra and an exhibitionist's disdain for underwear".
  • The 4400: In "The Ballad of Kevin and Tess", Shawn befriends a British musician named Nick Crowley, whose music he loves, when he heals him in the aftermath of his drug and alcohol-fueled binge. When Nick has a similar episode the next day, he insists on being brought to the 4400 Center instead of a hospital so that Shawn can heal him again. Nick invites Shawn to come on tour with him so that he can heal him every time that this happens, but Shawn declines, as he thinks that his ability was meant for something better than continually bringing a rock star back from the brink of death.
  • Derek Jupiter, the lead singer of Iron Weasel from I'm in the Band.
  • 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. He eventually recalls that she's "that crazy bird what shagged our bass player" while drunk/stoned out of her mind. She's appalled to learn this.
  • Principal Mitchell from Kirby Buckets is practically British rock star turned Stern Principal.
  • Charlie on Lost was one in his back-story. Along with his brother, to push the Oasis analogy further.
  • The inclusion of Davy Jones in The Monkees.
  • 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).
  • Saturday Night Live:
    • The 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.
  • SCTV "Mel's Rock Pile" has punk band The Queen Haters playing "I Hate the Bloody Queen", which underwhelms the American Bandstand style audience.
  • Henry Mallett in Spirited, whose appearance appears to have been based on a combination of Adam Ant and Keith Richards.
  • 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.
  • 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!.

  • 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.

  • Murdoc Niccals of Gorillaz fame. 2D as well, but Murdoc fits the persona, whereas 2D is just The Ditz.

    Music Video 

    Video Games 
  • Naturally a few of these turn up in Brütal Legend, like the Guardian of Metal (voiced by Ozzy Osbourne) and the Kill Master (voiced by Lemmy Kilmister).
  • 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 (admittedly, it's not that much of a stretch). 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.
  • 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 the city, along with their manager Kent Paul.
    • In San Andreas, you meet up with Maccer, the frontman of a band called The Gurning Chimps who are largely parodies of this trope, though their style leans more towards proto-Britpop, like The Stone Roses, Suede, and Happy Mondays (he even wears a Reni hat). Kent Paul has moved on to managing him since Love Fist burned out. To truly hammer the point home: Maccer is voiced by Shaun Ryder, the lead singer of the Happy Mondays.
    • Liberty City Stories has Crow, an ahead-of-his-time, egotistical humanitarian crusader who serves as a thinly-veiled parody of Sting from The Police.
  • Axl Low, the time-travelling goofball of the Guilty Gear games is designed after this whole aesthetic (Guilty Gear being an Animesque fighting game chock full of rock/metal references), although it's only in Xrd he really gets his British accent, despite him being based off an American rockstar.
  • Death Metal from No More Heroes was one of these before he became the 10th ranked assassin in the UAA.
  • Pokémon Sword and Shield has Piers, a rock star Gym Leader of the Galar Region (the setting's version of England) who has massive hair, overstylized clothes and is even written to have what seems to be a Northern accent in the localization. While he's not nearly as wild as other examples due to the kid-friendly nature of the series he is however a Dark Type Trainer and the leader of Team Yell, who are his Gym Trainers that he sent out to support his sister Marnie.
  • 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 (and sometimes Fake Charities such as the Nuke Your Granny Society.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Double Homework, Morgan’s uncle, Tommy, used to be in a band, and he likes reminding everyone of that.

    Web Original 
  • 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.

    Western Animation 
  • On the California Raisins TV specials, the Raisins' main rival is a Mick Jagger-esque rocker named Lick Broccoli.
  • The Jimmy Neutron episode where Jimmy, Sheen, and Carl start a rock band has Carl adopting a fake British accent at one point.
    Carl: [Accent] Hey what’s this? I have to share a blooming dressing room with you two blokes.
    Jimmy: Carl, why are you talking like that?
  • 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.
  • Jetta, the later addition to The Misfits on Jem. She's apparently not popular in her home turf but is a part of one of the most popular bands in America. Jetta honestly doesn't like going back to Britain either. This was an enforced trope. Originally, she was going to be a black American woman, however Executive Meddling didn't want a black villain (the show later had a black villain in one episode though). It was decided that she could be either white and British or white and Australian. The comic reboot changed her to be a half-Japanese and half-black Brit.
  • Luna from The Loud House is American however she admires many British rockstars. She often puts on a British accent.
  • Jagged Stone of Miraculous Ladybug is Marinette and Adrian's favourite rock star, and he has a British accent in the English dub. He is also Thomas Astruc's favourite character. This isn't the case in the original French, where he has an American accent instead.
  • Jinky from Mixels is a former heavy metal star that has mellowed out and left the industry, with tendencies to relapse into his old persona if cornered (at least, so says his bio). He has a thick Liverpudlian accent to compliment this.
  • 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
  • In The Simpsons episode "The Otto Show", the B-plot has Bart — notably inspired by his trip to a Spinal Tap concert (see Film — Live-Action above) — get a guitar. He has an Imagine Spot where he becomes one of these:
    I'd loik to play me latest chaht-toppah. It's called, "Me Fans Are Stupid Pigs."
  • Teen Titans:
    • Punk Rocket, 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."