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13 guitar hero Simpsons cameos

As Ricky Gervais will tell you, the only way to tell if you've truly made it is if you've been offered a guest slot on The Simpsons. The show's had more than its fair share of legendary guitar heroes over the years, so from Keef to Kirk, here's our 13 favourite guitar hero Simpsons cameos.

13. Keith Richards 

Chugging a fag and strumming Start Me Up on a Tele, the cartoon Keef looks marginally healthier with yellow skin. 

"Mick Jagger, he came in all business," recalls writer Matt Warburton. "The next day, we knew Keith Richards was coming in, and all he asked for was a two-litre bottle of orange and a bottle of vodka. He showed up and he hung out for hours."


12. Billy Corgan

The alt-rocker introduces himself as "Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins," backstage at 'Hullabalooza' only to receive the classic response: "Homer Simpson, smiling politely." 

Fair play to Corgan, who takes a slew of miserable-bastard jokes on the chin - but we're guessing he bullied the animators into drawing him with hair.


11. Tom Petty

The Simpsons How I Spent My Strummer Vacation episode is full of great cameos with musicians poking fun at their own image. Petty's is brief but one of the coolest of all.  


10. Nigel Tufnel

Considering Harry Shearer (Derek Smalls) voices several Simpson characters, it was inevitable David St. Hubbins and Nugel Tufnel would appear alongside him in Springfield at some point.

It finally came in episode 22 of season 3 (The Otto Show) where onstage calamities prompt a disgusted Tufnel to explain on the mic, "We are trying to put a tiny thrill into their grey little lives" before a lazer light blinds him.


9. Billy Joe Armstrong 

In fact all three of Green Day were involved here – and they even got to play the show's theme in front of a host of Springfield regulars. 

And it's all going well, before Armstrong gets preachy about the environment between songs and things take a Titanic turn for the worst. 


8. The Edge

Following Homer's memorable 'potato man' entrance, Edge loses his patience as the elder Simpson is encouraged by Bono to launch into a political speech to become Springfield sanitation commissioner. 

"Oh, here we go," the guitarist groans to Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. "What do you say we slip out to Moe's for a pint?"


7. Paul McCartney

Macca was happy to guest - with one proviso. "He made me promise to keep Lisa as a vegetarian [for the rest of the series]," says executive producer David Mirkin. 

"Every time I see him, he always checks, and he's always surrounded by nine or 10 lawyers, so it's quite frightening!"


6. Brian Setzer

The rockabilly cat agrees to give students at the Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy Camp a masterclass. "We're gonna start with the fundamentals," Setzer drawls. "Playing a flaming guitar with your teeth..."


5. Joe Perry

In 1991, Aerosmith were the first band to guest on the show. In the final scene, they're lured onstage at Moe's with the offer of free pickled eggs, only for Steven Tyler to fluff his intro: "Hello, St Louis!" Perry steps in: "Er, that's Springfield, Steven."


4. Peter Frampton

"And remember, don't trust anyone over 30!" shouts Homer from the stage in Homerpalooza , before bringing out the venerable dad-rocker. "It took all of 50 minutes to do," recalls Frampton. "But I was nothing to my kids until The Simpsons."


3. Elvis Costello (and Lenny Kravitz) 

In Elvis Costello's Instrument Shack, the speccy new-waver enrages Homer by suggesting a bass. "Out of our way, nerdlinger!" shouts Homer, cuffing off Costello's glasses as he leapfrogs the counter for a guitar. "My image!" cries Costello.

Then Mr Kravitz offers advice on "crotch stuffing"…


2. Jack White

You'd expect the Stripes man to turn down a Simpsons slot on the basis that it's not the kind of thing Blind Lemon Jefferson would have done, but he pops up in Series 18, when Bart's drum kit teleports across Springfield in a parody of The Hardest Button To Button video, and crashes into the blues-rock duo.


1. Metallica

When perma-stoned school bus driver Otto spots Metallica's broken-down tourbus, he offers to give them a ride, but the thrash-metallers are having none of it.

"Hey, loser, we got a ride from a real fan!" sneers the actually-nice-in-real-life Kirk Hammett, as the band depart the scene in the back of Hans Moleman's pickup truck, rocking the intro to Master Of Puppets.