I’d Like to Write a Screenplay

I often think that I would like to write a screenplay. Nothing major, but something to augment the other forms of writing I already have in my portfolio. Just as a programmer sets out to learn a new coding language, so too do I find that only through continuous expansion of my writing skills will I be able to best serve myself in life, both personally and professionally.

Yet inasmuch as I would like to take a week and put pen to paper (or keyboard, as the case my be), I nonetheless find myself somewhat shy about attacking a new form of communication and expression that I have no experience in. This is what confuses me greatly.

I should have no hesitation in it—after all I’m quite comfortable writing poetry or short stories, things which others might never dream of spending their free time doing. But just as learning a new language (programming or otherwise) is daunting in the beginning, so too do I look up at the precipice above me and wonder how I could ever make it to the top and master such a craft. Yet in the end, I still force myself to produce a few words, even if they’ll be gone in the morning. The sheer act of being able to produce something—if only for a time being—is something that spurs me on to continue to hone new crafts.

(Almost) Every Rock Poster, Sticker, Reference, and List in “School of Rock”

School of Rock promotional poster

School of Rock promotional poster

School of Rock (2003) is one of my favorite music movies, and was on my previously published list of 30 Music Movies You Need to See Right Now. It contains a staggering amount of references to well-known rock bands through the decades. But it also contains a surprising amount of small nods to lesser known artists—the kind you would only catch if you already loved those bands. So I did my best to catalogue what we have going on in the movie. Most of the references have some pretty interesting explanations, and the stickers that show up throughout the film span now only the decades, but numerous genres as well.

As it’s called the School of Rock, I only put time into doing my best to catalogue the rock artists and references, though during the “backboard scene,” labels like “R&B,” “Blues,” and “Hip-Hop” are clearly visible. I highly recommend checking out some (all) of these artists. I might be slightly obsessive, but I just like to think of myself as a music addict ;D I wanted to include as many pictures as I could, but since there are so many, I had to choose just a few. I left out album covers since those are easily recognizable, but grabbed a few screenshots of the awesome blackboard tree and a bunch of the stickers. Enjoy!


Poster Collage

Posters from Dewey’s room; clockwise: Sex Pistols, The Who, Ramones



sticker collage

Stickers from Dewey’s room and public telephone; clockwise: (First panel) AC/DC, Lunachicks, Nine Inch Nails, Beastie Boys, White Zombie, Voivod, Red Hot Cili Peppers, L.A. Guns; (Second panel) Ratt, Fugazi, Cannibal Corpse, The Chemical Brothers; (Third panel) Godflesh, M.O.D.



  • Jimi Hendrix – (when Dewey is trying to sell his guitar)
  • Led Zeppelin – (when Dewey references bands that rock!)
  • Black Sabbath – (when Dewey references bands that rock!)
  • AC/DC – (when Dewey references bands that rock!)
  • Motörhead – (when Dewey references bands that rock!)
  • Spice Girls – (Dewey refers to Katie as “Posh Spice” when assigning band positions)
  • Blondie – (Dewey refers to blonde girl Marta as Blondie when assigning band positions)
  • Neil Peart (Rush – drummer) – (Dewey refers to Peart when handing Freddie the album 2112)
  • The White Stripes/Meg White – (Freddie refers to White when discussing “great chick drummers”)
  • Glam rock/metal – (Billy refers to glam fashion when making the band’s costumes)
  • Kurt Cobain (Nirvana – vocalist/guitarist) – (Dewey calls Zack Kurt Cobain when asking to hear the song he wrote)
  • “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)” by AC/DC – (lyrics recited by Dewey in his speech to class the night before the Battle of the Bands performance
  • AC/DC – (No Vacancy bassist’s shirt during Battle of the Bands)
  • Angus Young (AC/DC – lead guitarist) – (Dewey’s schoolboy uniform during the final Battle of the Bands performance is a direct reference to the schoolboy uniform Young is famous for wearing onstage; his burgundy Gibson SG model guitar is also the same model as Young plays)
  • Sex Pistols – (referenced by Freddie when he notes “Sex Pistols never won anything” after the Battle of the Bands show)
  • Ramones – (Zack wears a Ramones shirt during the credits scene)
  • Green Day – (Freddie wears a Warning shirt during the credits scene)
  • “Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)” by Pink Floyd (lyrics referenced on video/DVD release cover)
  • “Cum on Feel the Noize” by Quiet Riot (covering Slade) (lyrics referenced on video/DVD release cover)


Video collage; clockwise: Pete Townshend (The Who), Angus Young (AC/DC), Jimi Hendrix

Video collage; clockwise: Pete Townshend (The Who), Angus Young (AC/DC), Jimi Hendrix


Slideshow of artists; clockwise: Iggy Pop, Kurt Cobain (Nirvana), The Clash

Slideshow of artists; clockwise: Iggy Pop, Kurt Cobain (Nirvana), The Clash

Riffs Played by Students:

  • “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath (played by Zack on guitar)
  • “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple (played by Zack on guitar)
  • “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC (played by Zack on guitar)
  • “Tough Me” by The Doors (played by Lawrence on keyboard)



Collage of artists and music movements, part 1

Collage of artists and music movements, part 1

Collage of artists and music movements, part 2

Collage of artists and music movements, part 2

Soundtrack (songs from well-known artists, not songs only in the movie):

  • “Substitute” by The Who
  • “Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream
  • “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin (this track is surprising since Led Zeppelin is famous for never letting any of their songs appear in film or on television)
  • “Set You Free” by The Black Keys
  • “Edge of Seventeen” by Stevie Nicks
  • “My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg)” by Ramones
  • “Growing on Me” by The Darkness
  • “Ballrooms of Mars” by T. Rex
  • “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll) by AC/DC – (played by students at the end of the movie as the credits start)

Featured Songs Not on Soundtrack (songs from well-known artists, not songs only in the movie):

Everyone Wants to Be a Rock Star

Yesterday I posted a list of music-centered movies that were some of my favorites and which I thought everyone should see at least once. While I will undoubtedly be adding to the list, I thought it would be a good idea to go into each one a little deeper and explain why I love it so much. As a lot of these flicks have inside jokes all the way through, I’m excited to point out just why some of them are so funny.

Up first, the incredibly underrated movie Rock Star (2001), starring Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston, among other recognizable names. While I quite like Wahlberg’s performance and Aniston is good as always (and is it just me, or does she just seem to be in everything?), one of the coolest things about this film is the laundry list of actual rockstars that are in it: Jason Bonham (Led Zeppelin/UFO/Foreigner), Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne/Black Label Society), Jeff Pilson (Dokken), and Stephen Jenkins (Third Eye Blind). Frankly I’d watch it just to see those people in the cast.

(And I promise not to give away anything that’s not in the promotional trailer).

Rock Star; 2001

Rock Star; 2001

The plot itself is a nod to the real-life story of Tim “Ripper” Owens, a Judas Priest fan who ascended to become the new singer of Priest when Rob Halford left to explore his solo project (1996-2003). The movie mirrors Owens’ life so closely, in fact, that the beginning of the film finds Chris “Izzy” Cole (Wahlberg) as the singer of Blood Pollution, a Steel Dragon tribute band (in real life, Owens was the lead singer of British Steel, a Judas Priest tribute band). (Though his part is minor, it’s still really awesome to see Jenkins play the rival singer from the other Steel Dragon tribute band). With his business manager/girlfriend Emily (Aniston) by his side, Cole gets kicked out of his band amid internal conflicts, only to find himself in an audition for the real Steel Dragon following the departure of their original singer.

While Cole explores the trappings and excesses of the late 1980’s hair metal scene in L.A., he soon finds that his Steel Dragon bandmates (played by Bonham, Pilson, and Wylde) don’t exactly view him as an equal, stunting his artistic (and personal) growth. It’s not long before Cole is consumed by the excess and decadence of the glam metal scene, and Emily voices a desire to leave and open a business with her roommate in Seattle (foreshadowing anyone??).

I won’t give too much away, but I will say that the end of the film is a clear nod to the death of the glam metal scene, and the rise of grunge. Without describing too much, pay close attention to Cole’s dress towards the end, and see if he reminds you of anyone (if you’re a music history fan, you should figure it out in about ten seconds).

All in all, Rock Star is just one of my favorite music movies because it’s got a good, simple message, and it’s entertaining to watch. The laundry list of real rockstars in it would give any music addict aneurysms, and the history that’s commented on beneath the surface is pretty cool to see. Not a blockbuster, but still a great film in my opinion.

30 Music Movies You Need to See Right Now

While racing my brain today for a topic to blog about, I found my mind wandering to the music-centered movies that I wanted to watch this weekend. After some listing in my head, that seemed like a cool topic in and of itself, since I find that so many of my favorite music movies go under the radar. As it’s been a while since I last posted a list at all, I figured that today seemed an ideal time to put up a new one. So here are some of the best music movies in my opinion—docu-/rockumentaries, mockumentaries, and just plain good flicks. These are just some of my favorites based on my taste—there are a ton of other amazing music-centered movies out there (in no particular order). Check ’em out:


  1. This Is Spinal Tap – 1984


  1. About a Son – 2006
  2. 1991: The Year Punk Broke – 1992
  3. Hype! – 1996
  4. PJ20 -2011
  5. LoudQuietLoud: A Film About The Pixies – 2006
  6. The Decline of Western Civilization – 1981
  7. The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years – 1988
  8. The Decline of Western Civilization III – 1998
  9. The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights – 2009
  10. Some Kind of Monster – 2004
  11. Anvil: The Story of Anvil -2008
  12. A Band Called Death – 2012
  13. Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage – 2010
  14. It Might Get Loud – 2008
  15. Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey – 2005


  1. 8 Mile – 2002
  2. Walk the Line – 2005
  3. Ray – 2004
  4. The Runaways – 2010
  5. Hysteria: The Def Leppard Story – 2001
  6. What We Do Is Secret – 2008


  1. School of Rock – 2003
  2. Rock Star – 2001
  3. Empire Records – 1995
  4. That Thing You Do! – 1996
  5. The Blues Brothers – 1980
  6. High Fidelity – 2000
  7. Almost Famous – 2000
  8. Tommy – 1975