Today is the 25th anniversary of Wayne’s World hitting cinemas. To celebrate this momentous occasion, we’ve rounded up 25 music facts about the seminal movie.
1) Freddie Mercury loved the famous ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ scene. The movie hit cinemas three months after Freddie’s untimely death, however, Brian May explains he showed a “really sick” Freddie a preview tape. “Mike (Myers) gave me a tape which I took 'round to Freddie and played to him,” Brian told Rolling Stone. “Freddie loved it. He just laughed and thought it was great, this little video. The funny thing was, we always regarded the song as tongue in cheek ourselves. If it would come on the radio, we would all be headbanging when it came to the heavy bit as well, us as a group. It was very close to our sense of humour.”
2) Director Penelope Spheeris and producer Lorne Michaels originally wanted the Guns N’ Roses – one of the biggest bands in the world in 1992 - for the iconic headbanging scene in Garth Algar's AMC Pacer but Mike Myers snubbed the idea in favour of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ claiming there wasn’t anything comedic about Axl Rose and co.’s music.
3) Our very own Alice Cooper didn’t want to sing Mike Myers’ suggestions of ‘Schools Out’ or ‘I’m Eighteen’ in the movie, instead opting for brand new song ‘Feed My Frankenstein.’ “It was the right song for that generation, very heavy. ‘School’s Out’ would have taken it back to the '70s, whereas this was early '90s, so I thought something more current was better,” he tells Billboard.
4) Mike Myers was mortified when a new version of the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ video was released interspersing clips of Wayne’s World with the original promo saying “they just whizzed on a Picasso.” He sent an apology to Queen but in typically gracious style they responded saying “Thank you for using our song.”
5) Dana Carvey (Garth Algar) and Mike Myers had to resort to Advil painkillers while filming the Bohemian Rhapsody scene as they had to headbang for four hours. “I was 36 at the time, so doing that for four hours, it was brutal!,” Carvey told Rolling Stone.
6) Aerosmith were Mike Myers’ first choice for the performance band in the movie. However, in a poor move from Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and co. they refused the opportunity. Unsurprisingly, they jumped at the chance to appear in Wayne’s World 2 the following year.
7) Although Wayne wears his trademark black top throughout, Garth wears a variety of band t-shirts. They include two Van Halen t-shirts including their 1988 album ‘OU812’, a Mötley Crüe ‘Dr Feelgood’ top and an Aerosmith ‘Aero Force One’ fanclub t-shirt.
8) The Wayne’s World reworking of the Bohemian Rhapsody video won Queen their one and only MTV Video Music Award for Best Video from a Film in 1992. Highly emotional while accepting the gong at the Pauley Pavilion ceremony in Los Angeles, Brian May told the audience “Freddie would be tickled.”
9) No Stairway, denied. Fans will remember that Wayne picks up his dream guitar in a music shop and starts to play the opening notes of Led Zeppelin’s signature anthem, but gets stopped by the sales assistant who points out a sign which says 'No Stairway to Heaven' – implying the staff are sick of hearing the track being butchered daily by every aspiring guitar player who pops in. The scene was altered to a generic riff for the home release as using the song came with exorbitant fees.
10) In fact, according to director Penelope Spheeris the studios were told they would have to stump up $100,000 (£80,000) to play more than two notes of ‘Stairway To Heaven’. Spheeris says: “To sell that (Wayne is) gonna play "Stairway to Heaven" in two notes is pretty difficult.”
No Stairway, original theatre release:
No Stairway, home release:
11) Drafted in at short notice, Alice Cooper’s extremely articulate lines about the history of Milwaukee in the movie were thrown to him on the day of filming. Director Penelope Spheeris tells Billboard: “I do remember thinking how amazed I was that he could spit out those lines so effortlessly. It was so unexpected for the rocker, who you’d think would know nothing historically about geography, to have so much quirky information. It got a great reaction.”
12) Alice Cooper says shouts of “We’re not worthy!” follow him around to this very day in homage to Wayne’s World – especially, for some reason, in airports. “I always try to let them think it’s the first time anybody’s ever done that. And they’re so clever,” Alice tells Billboard. “After about the fourth time a day I put my hand out like, "Kiss my ring," like I do in the movie, and they all love to do that. I give them the credit for getting down on their knees and doing the whole thing, because it is a bit embarrassing on their part, so if they wanna go through with it, I say fine.”
13) Mike Myers threatened to quit the movie if ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ wasn’t included. “At one point I said to everybody, ‘I'm out. I don't want to make this movie if it's not Bohemian Rhapsody’,” Mike told Rolling Stone. “I just love the song. It's ballsy that it's that long. It's ballsy that it's two songs in one, that's it's opera. Then when it kicks in, it's just such a fantastic release. I didn't think of another possibility.”
14) Mike Myers and Dana Carvey’s “We’re not worthy!” chants went on for “five or six minutes” as they futilely attempted to make Alice Cooper laugh. Alice tells Billboard: “If you would have seen the outtakes of "We’re not worthy, we’re scum," it goes on for like five or six minutes. And it just gets vile. Whoever owns those outtakes owns a little treasure.”
15) Tia Carrere who plays Cassandra Wong has won more Grammy Awards than Alice Cooper and Queen combined. Tia has won the Best Hawaiian Music Album twice in 2009 and 2011, while Queen and Alice Cooper incredibly haven’t won any. The only nods from the Recording Academy for Queen are two Hall of Fame inductions for ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ in 2009 and 2004 respectively.
16) The classic scene where Garth dances to Jimi Hendrix - 'Foxy Lady' in the diner was improvised. Director Penelope Spheeris says: "They [Myers and Carvey] were always trying to one-up each other. Well, that dance was not in the script. It was just: He sat on the stool, he looked over at [Donna Dixon] — she’s doing what she’s doing — and then we zoom in on his face. He goes, “How about if I do this?” And it got goofier and goofier. He’s so bad at being sexy that it’s hilarious."
17) Alice Cooper’s band in Wayne’s World consists of current Black Star Riders drummer Jimmy DeGrasso, guitarist Stef Burns, guitarist Pete Friesen, bassist Greg Smith and Black Country Communion’s Derek Sherinian.
18) Gary Wright re-recorded his 1975 smash ‘Dream Weaver’ especially for Wayne’s World. The song is heard whenever Wayne lays his eyes on Cassandra.
19. Tia Carrere sang all her own vocals on the songs she performed in the film, including a cover of Sweet’s ‘The Ballroom Blitz’. Despite never playing bass guitar before, she had to learn four songs on the instrument in just three weeks. “I was dreadful, but at least my fingers moved in the right way. I never played bass again. I had much respect for Sting after that,” she comments.
20) Dana Carvey really is an accomplished musician. In the music store scene Garth launches into a killer drum solo – and yes, that really was him playing the drums. He also exhibited his drumming skills in his short-lived TV sketch show The Dana Carvey Show in 1996.
21) When Wayne is waxing lyrical about Cassandra’s band Crucial Taunt, he describes them as Double Live Gonzo!, Intensities in Ten Cities, Live at Budokan – the titles of two Ted Nugent live records and a Cheap Trick live album.
22) Dana Carvey reportedly didn’t learn the lyrics of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ ahead of the 10-hour shoot – hence why he seemingly randomly moves his mouth while ‘singing’ along. Others have suggested that this could just be part of Garth’s awkward persona, however.
23) The ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ scene was directly influenced by Mike Myers’ childhood. He tells Rolling Stone: “Me and my brother, our friends' car was a powder blue Dodge Dart Swinger that had a vomit stain on the side of it that someone chiselled in the shape of Elvis Presley. We'd drive down the Don Valley Parkway, listening to Bohemian Rhapsody. We would time it to enter the Toronto city limits when the rocking part would kick in. I was ‘Galileo!’ three of five. If I took somebody else's "Galileo!" or somebody took mine, a fight would ensue.”
24) Despite starring in the movie and both performing music, Alice Cooper and Tia Carrere never met once on set.
25) Black Sabbath’s ‘Time Machine’ from their 1992 album ‘Dehumanizer’ was used to soundtrack the Terminator 2: Judgment Day parody scene with Robert Patrick reprising his role as the T-1000. Somewhat aptly, ‘Dehumanizer’ features artwork of a Terminator Endoskeleton dressed like the grim reaper.