Access To Rock

Access To Rock

Adam Sadler has become one of the most recognizable actors in Hollywood over the past 30 years.

He rose up the ranks with unforgettable Saturday Night Live skits like “Opera Man” and “Gap Girls” before classic comedies like Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison made it to the big screen.

He’ll make his way to Philadelphia for a comedy show at the Well Fargo Center on Friday, April 14.

Some of Adam Sandler’s most outrageous comedies came at the beginning of his career, and most of them had a very specific similarity: at least one scene (usually more) with an excellent classic rock song.

The best movies are the ones with the best soundtracks, and Sandler certainly understands that.

Whether it was Happy Gilmore waving to Chubbs (and the dead gator) in Heaven with some Lynyrd Skynyrd blasting in the background or Deeds’ spontaneous David Bowie solo, Adam Sandler classic rock scenes proved as timeless as his comedy.

  • Billy Madison (1995)- "Renegade" and "Stroke Me"

    After Eric’s trick to sabotage Billy’s chances of graduating high school, it didn’t seem like there was any reason for Billy to go to school anymore. It set up a hilarious scene when he picks up where he left off sipping drinks by the pool and chasing invisible penguins.

    “Renegade” by Styx was the perfect song to play while Billy held an empty keg over his head with his pants draped over him (for some reason).

    Billy also blasts “Stroke Me” by Billy Squire in his car when he tries to impress the other students on his first day of high school. 

  • Happy Gilmore (1996)- "Tuesday's Gone" and "Carry On My Wayward Son"

    The opening and closing scenes of Happy Gilmore feature “Tuesday’s Gone” by Lynyrd Skynyrd with the perfect use of the guitar riff. The song creates a feel-good vibe to complement outrageous comedy scenes like the Mista, Mista lady and a fight with Bob Barker.

    “Carry On My Wayward Son” by Kansas also plays in a transition leading into a scene when Happy wears an AC/DC t-shirt to a golf event.

  • The Wedding Singer (1998)- Tribute to the 1980s

    The Wedding Singer uses excellent touches of ’80s culture, including some of the best music of the decade.

    The heart-to-heart between Robbie and Sammy in the bar before Julia’s wedding leads into “Hungry Heart” by Bruce Springsteen in a perfect way to mix in the love story with the comedy.

    Billy Idol also made an unforgettable cameo. “White Wedding,” “Don’t Stop Believin’,” and many other ’80s hits of all different genres were used in the movie. 

  • The Waterboy (1998)- Southern Flavor

    A movie set in Louisiana set Sandler up to use some of the best Rock & Roll songs that reference the south.

    The Waterboy includes scenes with “Born on the Bayou” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, “House of the Rising Sun” by the Animals, and “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” by the Charlie Daniels Band.

  • Big Daddy (1999)- Crank up the Styx!

    All his friends know Sonny Koufax as the biggest Styx fan in the world, until he meets his new girlfriend Layla (and he likes her song). Big Daddy mixes in “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)” with consistent Styx references throughout the movie. 

    Julian even makes a bold statement for a five-year-old when he calls Styx “one of the greatest American rock bands” on the stand at the court hearing.

    Big Daddy also includes two versions of “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” a hilarious answering machine message to the tune of “Jump” by Van Halen, and a heartfelt montage of the best times between Julian and Sonny with “Growin’ Up” by Bruce Springsteen as the background music. 

  • Little Nicky (2000)- "Runnin' with the Devil" and "Highway to Hell"

    The main character in Little Nicky is the son of Satan, so Adam Sandler couldn’t resist using “Runnin’ with the Devil” by Van Halen and “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC.

    “Mama, I’m Coming Home” by Ozzy Osbourne and “Saturday in the Park” by Chicago were also used in the movie.

  • Mr. Deeds (2002)- Ground Control to Major Tom

    Deeds sings David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” when he rides in his uncle’s helicopter on the way to New York City. His “Ground Control to Major Tom” jokes set up his character as someone who won’t fit in well with the rich businessmen from his uncle’s company.

    The scene is followed up with a quick cut from “I’ve Seen All Good People” by Yes. “The Sweetest Thing’ by U2 also plays during Deeds’ date with Pam Dawson in Central Park.

  • The Longest Yard (2005)- "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" and "Thunderstruck"

    The remake of The Longest Yard meshed classic rock songs well with the football scenes. 

    The most memorable was the cons’ final practice before the big game against the guards. The warden floods their football field to ruin their practice, but they storm the field for a game of rumble fumble while “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” by CCR plays in the background.

    “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC also provides the perfect mood for the opening kickoff to the big game.

  • Grown Ups (2010)- Arrow Roulette

    Sandler teamed up with Chris Rock, Kevin James, Rob Schneider, and David Spade in Grown Ups. The five comedy legends of the 1990s/early 2000s play a group of reunited childhood friends who played on a basketball team together in the 1970s, and the movie represents the golden era of Rock & Roll in a big way.

    For a scene when the group plays a game of Arrow Roulette by shooting an arrow in the air and seeing who can wait the longest before it comes down, they chose “Walk All Over You” by AC/DC to play during a mad scramble to get away from the arrow.

    A loaded soundtrack includes songs from J. Geils Band, Aerosmith, Joe Walsh, Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, REO Speedwagon, Bad Company, Cheap Trick, Journey, the Kinks, Jefferson Starship, and Paul McCartney.

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