BLENDER Magazine Presents: The Best Simpsons Band Cameos Ever!

  1. Springfield rocks — literally. With apologies to Blink-182, the Who, U2, and others who didn’t make the cut, here are the show’s finest musical moments.
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    By Larry Dobrow, Mike Errico
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    Blender.com, July 2007

    14. Aerosmith
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    Episode: Flaming Moe's
    It’s difficult to remember the time when Aerosmith was one of the biggest and coolest bands in the U. S. of Rockin’ A., especially in the wake of the recent Joe Perry–Sanjaya A.I. collaboration. But yes, back in 1991, it was so, and all it took for Moe to lure the band onstage was the promise of pickled eggs.




    13. Smashing Pumpkins
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    Episode: Homerpalooza

    Give Mr. Dour some credit: Of all the guest “D’oh!s” in 400-plus episodes of the show, Billy Corgan's is the one that best approximates Homer’s timing. He also accepts Homer’s compliment ("Thanks to your gloomy music, my kids have finally stopped dreaming of a future I can’t possibly provide") with the gravitas we expect from our million-dollar rock stars: "Well, we try to make a difference."



    12. R.E.M.
    Episode: Homer the Moe
    Forget that the episode itself isn’t all that good — you still gotta love the false pretenses under which Homer lures the band to play in his new garage bar ("They think they’re saving the rain forest!") and his tweaked "It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" verse: "Leonardo What’s-His-Name/Herman Munster motorcade/Birthday party Cheetos/Pogo sticks and lemonade/Idiotic stupid jerk/That’s right Flanders/I am talking about YOU."



    11. Cypress Hill
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    Episode: Homerpalooza
    Marge is right: “Insane in the Brain” does sound better with nimble accompaniment by the London Symphony Orchestra.


     
  2. I feel like everywhere I go I see yellow people lol.
    Not that there's anything wrong with that!!
     
  3. 10. Red Hot Chili Peppers
    Episode: Krusty Gets Kancelled

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    Like the Doors on The Ed Sullivan Show, the band members were told that a certain lyric didn’t pass muster with the network censor. Thus “What I got you gotta get and put it in you,” from “Give It Away,” became “What I’d like is I’d like to hug and kiss you.” Quoth Flea: “Wow. That’s much better!”



    9. Metallica
    Episode: The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer

    Even though Otto's enthusiasm inspires guitarist Kirk Hammett to stay in the band, he learns the hard way that what constitutes a true Metallica fan is a) a ride, and b) a night of sweet, sweet lovemaking with Lars' grandmother. Hans Moleman, we salute you.



    8. Paul and Linda McCartney
    Episode: Lisa the Vegetarian

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    Lisa's tortured decision to run away from home and pursue a cruelty-free lifestyle leads her to Apu's "garden in the shade" and the outspoken vegetarians, who met the Kwik-E-Mart proprietor in India during the Maharishi days. Though Paul doesn't perform in this episode, he and Linda do speak in Beatles lyrics and snap along to the single greatest cover of "Sgt. Pepper" in the history of recorded music. Plus, we learn that if you play "Maybe I'm Amazed" backward you get a recipe for a really ripping lentil soup!



    7. Robert Goulet
    Episode: $pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)

    It takes a special kind of hepcat to win over a discerning tree-house casino audience, and yet Bob Goulet had them in the palm of his hand from the opening strains of "Jingle bells, Batman smells ..." In a move unbefitting a showman of his caliber, he botches the microphone-as-lasso bit when it connects with an audience member’s cranium. Poor, poor Milhouse.
     
  4. 6. The White Stripes
    Episode: Jazzy & the Pussycats

    This parody of the Michel Gondry–directed "Hardest Button to Button" video is notable in that it's the only time we have ever seen Meg White emote. After colliding multiplying drum kits with Bart, she breaks her Victoria Beckham–worthy gaze of apathy and pounds her fist, snarling, "Let's kick his ass!" The ensuing stop-motion chase scene poises the duo over an open drawbridge, and onto a departing garbage barge — it may be the only time Meg has upstaged Jack, Bart ... or anything.



    5. Sting
    Episode: Radio Bart

    With its EZ-listenin’ sway and willful schmaltz (“There’s a hole in my heart as deep as a well/For that poor little boy who’s stuck halfway to hell”), “We’re Sending Our Love Down the Well” kicks the crap out of any celebrities-pretend-they-care-about-unfortunate-people tune except “Sun City.” Better still is the footage from the recording session, which marks the first on-screen klatch between Sting, Dr. Marvin Monroe, and the Capital City Goofball. Goose bumps, dude. Goose bumps.



    4. The Ramones
    Episode: Rosebud

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    On the list of defunct bands we’d like to serenade us on our birthday, the Ramones rank way the hell ahead of, say, Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Alas, after the band’s pounding down-with-geezers rendition of “Happy Birthday,” Mr. Burns doesn’t necessarily agree, leading to the following exchange with faithful manservant Waylon Smithers:

    “Smithers, have the Rolling Stones killed.”
    “But, sir, they’re not ...”
    “Do as I say!”




    3. 'N Sync as Party Posse
    Episode: New Kids on the Blecch

    Are you adequately prepared to rock?! 'N Sync provides the voices for Milhouse, Bart, Nelson and Ralph Wiggum, the hot, new, inoffensive pop creation Party Posse, meant to stir Springfield's youth into a frenzy of excitement — and military recruitment. What pliant tweenager can resist a block-rockin' hook like, "YVAN EHT NIOJ"?
     
  5. 2. Barry White
    Episode: Whacking Day

    This just in: Barry White’s booming bass voice attracts serpents as well as señoritas. This also just in: We think it's even funnier in Spanish, although it doesn't stop Mayor Quimby from introducing him as “Larry” White. Uncool.



    NUMBER ONE

    Michael Jackson

    Episode: Stark Raving Dad

    Back in 1991, the casting of Michael Jackson as Leon Kompowsky, a bulky white mental patient who believes he is Michael Jackson seemed delightfully absurdist. In hindsight? Not so much. What a difference 16 years and several indictments can make. While Jackson voiced the character under the pseudonym of John Jay Smith, some dude named Kipp Lennon sang the bits from “Billie Jean” and “Ben,” as well as the original composition “Lisa, It’s Your Birthday.” The result is gooey pop genius coated in a cartoon shell of hilarity.