Seven of the wierdest classic rock cameos in kids' media

Knitting Factory 10th Anniversary
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There are a million examples of classic rockers' cameos in kids' media, from Iron Maiden's Nicko McBrain losing in a drum off with a sock puppet teddy bear to Josh Homme reading bedtime stories. And while rock stars and kids' stuff are a weird juxtaposition, kids' media is fun; it's not that weird that anyone with the opportunity would get involved.

Out of the millions of examples, a few are not just cute, but totally weird. Here are seven of them, in no particular order.

David Bowie on Spongebob Squarepants

In the years between having a heart attack in 2004 and releasing his comeback album The Next Day in 2013, David Bowie was effectively retired, and highly reclusive. You could count on your fingers the number of appearances the once prolific Bowie made during those years: a guest appearance on an album here, a surprise TV cameo there, but possibly the biggest surprise was his 2007 appearance on Spongebob Squarepants. 

Bowie’s acting career was a bit of a strange proposition, because while he was an uncannily gifted actor who could disappear into whatever role he played, physically he never managed to not look like David Bowie. Animation was the perfect solution. Bowie played Lord Royal Highness, the king of Atlantis, who teaches Spongebob and his pals the meaning of art. The best part about Bowie’s Spongebob cameo is that kids didn’t need to know who Bowie was to laugh along.  LRH wore Ziggy Stardust-esque platform boots and a strawberry blonde mullet and had Bowie’s famous heterochromatic eyes, but aside from those visual references for grownups in the know, he was a purple jellybean with a transparent cranium and a silly voice. Not like Bowie at all. 

Bowie was so pleased with the experience that he gave the Spongebob people permission to use any of his songs. They took him up on that for the Spongebob Squarepants Broadway musical. Which David Bowie song do you think they used? One of his pre-fame novelty songs, or something from the mainstream pop period? Nope. It was “No Control,” from Outside, a dystopian concept album about a world where conceptual artists commit ritualistic murder as performance art. Songs from Outside were also used in the horror thrillers Lost Highway and Se7en.