From the California Raisins to the Banana Splits, rock's hall of fake bands

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The Independent Culture

You haven't bought the album. You haven't been to the concerts. You haven't joined the fan club. You may not have heard of the musicians. The reason is that they don't exist. But that hasn't stopped the publication of Rocklopedia Fakebandica, an encyclopedia of fake bands.

You haven't bought the album. You haven't been to the concerts. You haven't joined the fan club. You may not have heard of the musicians. The reason is that they don't exist. But that hasn't stopped the publication of Rocklopedia Fakebandica, an encyclopedia of fake bands.

The book is the first survey of hundreds of not actually real pop stars and bands from film, television and books. Entries date back to the first movie talkie, 1927's The Jazz Singer, and take in the famous antics of the Blues Brothers, the Partridge Family and the Commitments. But the book is full of obscure make-believe hit-makers as well as more memorable acts such as the Chipmunks, Brady Kids, California Raisins, Banana Splits, Miss Piggy, Josie and the Pussycats and Jessica Rabbit.

These fictional bands and artists have often enjoyed more success than the "real" variety. The Monkees, who get a listing, were an invention of American television executives keen to cash in on the success of the Beatles. After the phenomenal success of the show they mounted a series of sellout concerts, billing themselves as a real band.

American reviewers of the book have found it "scarily obsessive" and described the Rocklopedia website as "one of the most refreshing online wastes of time since the birth of the web".

The author Mike Childs has been compiling the list for four years. He is amazed at how popular his site had become, although the process has not been without incident. "We had a minor scandal when I found out that three entries were real bands."

But he feels the undertaking has been worthwhile.

"I've held a succession of tedious jobs that afforded me the time to compile this book. I'm pleasantly surprised that English people are taking an interest in it. I do include British shows like Father Ted and Monty Python. My message to England is to keep on rocking in the fake world. Buy two copies as it's quite small."

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