Once again President Scott Olson served as guest DJ this fall for the Winona State University campus radio station KQAL. His playlist for the show, which is listed below, featured “Fake Bands” (bands that aren’t real but nevertheless have songs).

In his own words, President Olson explains how this might be his most interesting playlist yet:

“I became interested in how movies and television shows created imaginary bands to serve the needs of a fictional story, but then those stories needed actual songs for those fictional bands to sing, so these ‘fake’ bands became ‘real’ bands in a sense.


They had a song, so were they real?


In this media landscape, what makes something real or imaginary anyway?  The first band that really got me thinking about this was Harold and the Hang-Ups from HELLO DOWN THERE, a dolphin-infested underwater – rock & roll – family adventure that is mind-warpingly bizarre.


The most obvious fake bands are parodies, such as the way the Mosquitoes from GILLIGAN’S ISLAND or The Rutles from THE RUTLES spoof the Beatles.  Parody is a form of flattery. But some of these fake bands go beyond parody to homage and tribute: toward pure sincerity, bereft of irony.  The imaginary folk duo Mitch and Mickey from A MIGHTY WIND approach this status, and with Eddie and the Cruisers the filmmakers are all in that this imaginary thing is the thing itself, irony free but still fake.


Amazingly, some fake bands have had songs become hits on the pop charts, even though they don’t exist.  And today, fake bands are still being imagined. Now we have Josie and the Pussycats on RIVERDALE, not long ago we had Mouse Rat on PARKS AND RECREATION, and recently SOUTH PARK featured a new band called Stan Marsh and Crimson Dawn — fictional fourth graders performing death metal music.  The postmodern blurring of the real and the imaginary continues!”


– President Scott Olson

Don’t worry if you missed the original air time, you can listen anytime online.

Fake Bands Playlist

Fake Band Name Movie or TV Show of Origin Song
Harold and the Hang-Ups Hello Down There! Glub!
Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem The Muppets Can You Picture That?
Hedwig and the Angry Inch Hedwig and the Angry Inch Tear Me Down
Lenny and the Squigtones Laverne and Shirley Night After Night
The Partridge Family The Partridge Family Bandala
Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
Scrantonicity The Office Roxanne
Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes Star Wars Cantina Band Song
Eddie and the Cruisers Eddie and the Cruisers On the Dark Side
Hannah Montana Hannah Montana The Best of Both Worlds
Otis Day and the Knights Animal House Shama Lama Ding Dong
The Oneders (“Wonders”) That Thing You Do That Thing You Do
Drive Shaft Lost You All Everybody
Dingoes Ate My Baby Buffy the Vampire Slayer Shadows
Soggy Bottom Boys O Brother Where Art Thou? Man of Constant Sorrow
The Weird Sisters Harry Potter Do the Hippogriff
Blues Brothers Saturday Night Live Soul Man
Mouse Rat Parks and Recreation The Pit
The Silver Platters The Brady Bunch Sunshine Day
The Archies The Archie Show Sugar Sugar
The Banana Splits The Banana Splits Doin’ The Banana Split
Josie and the Pussycats Josie and the Pussycats (2001 Movie) Pretend to Be Nice
Bugaloos The Bugaloos Gna Gna Gna Gna Gna
The Mosquitos Gilligan’s Island Don’t Bug Me
The Honeybees Gilligan’s Island You Need Us
Candi Slice Saturday Night Live Gimme Mick
Rock Roll The Flintstones Bedrock Twitch
Hi-Fye The Flintstones Listen to the Rockin’ Bird
Bruce Stringbean and the S Street Band Sesame Street Born to Add
The Rutles The Rutles Cheese and Onions
Dr. Funke’s All-Natural Good-time Band Arrested Development Teamocil
Spinal Tap Spinal Tap Stonehenge
The Folksmen A Mighty Wind Never Did No Wanderin’
Mitch and Mickey A Mighty Wind Kiss At The End of the Rainbow
Mitch and Mickey A Mighty Wind When You’re Next To Me
The New Main Street Singers A Mighty Wind A Mighty Wind is Blowin’
Bruce Springstone Bruce Springstone Live at Bedrock Meet the Flintstones
Hep Alien Gilmore Girls Believe it Or Not
Lancelot Link & The Evolution Revolution Lancelot Link Secret Chimp Magic Feeling
Stan Marsh and Crimson Dawn South Park Living in the Country on a Farm
The Traveling Wilburys The Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 Handle with Care
Serpent Cathedral The X-Files
Carrot Hot Dog Iowa Campus Compact
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Dr. Scott R. Olson was appointed the 15th president of Winona State University on May 16, 2012. He has published two books, 30 book chapters and 22 journal articles in publications in the United States, Canada, China, Korea, Poland, Russia, and India. He has delivered over 100 papers at conferences in Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Korea, Poland, Taiwan and the United States. Through a $20 million gift from the Lilly Endowment he was able to create the Global Media Network (which won a national award from the American Council on Education) and the Center for Media Design.

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