Home Movies Movie Lists

Tom Cruise, Def Leppard, Bret Michaels and More Celebrate ‘Rock of Ages’ Premiere

Movie cast, Eighties bands take over Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles

Rock of Ages Premiere

Frederic J. Brown/AFP/GettyImages

Were there any artists you looked at for inspiration?
I hadn't studied music in the way that I needed to play a musician, so I went back and studied it. Adam [Shankman] gave me a lot of books, and I also called Cameron Crowe and he gave me some biographies to look at, [including] one on Led Zeppelin. I looked at the Eighties, I looked at these guys, [but] I had to make the character my own. You look at the styles, [and] when you start working on something, you just kind of become something else. 

How nice is it be able to go to Cameron for advice on playing a musician?
He wasn't directing this film, but he and I were exchanging emails and I said, "Take a look at this stuff." And he was very encouraging. 

Kevin Cronin

Frederic J. Brown/AFP/GettyImages

Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon)

How was it to be in Rock of Ages and have "I Can't Fight This Feeling" featured in the movie?
When I did the cameo, the first thing Russell Brand says to me is, "Mate, I think we finally discovered the essence of what you wrote the song about." And of course it's him singing a love song to Alec Baldwin. Not precisely what I wrote it about, but it'll work. I never could quite have predicted this one. The first time I saw the Broadway show, I about shit myself. It was this combination of pride and horror at the same time, but it was great. 

How much fun is this for you?
It's very awesome. The Eighties had a lot of different kinds of music. There was us and this kind of thing, but there was also the parallel universe of U2, the Police and all that serious stuff. Our stuff is lighter and it's more, "Have a good time, put the top down and drink a beer." When you see the longevity of it, it does kind of make people kind of go, "You know what? REO Speedwagon didn't suck as much as I thought they did. They still suck, but not as much as I thought."

Lita Ford

Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Lita Ford

How much vindication is it to be here on Hollywood Boulevard?
It's really cool and I'm so glad because a lot of people miss this era in rock & roll. I think it's really missed because the music is so rocking. The music has changed along with that era in time too, so I just think people miss the arena rock.

Do you think the movie also points out the fun from the time?
It does. We were an absolute family, all of Hollywood Blvd., Sunset Blvd., Santa Monica Blvd. – we were all one big family. You'd wake up on somebody's floor the next day, "Where the hell am I? Whose house am I at?"

Show Comments