Throughout both Bill and Ted movies, the titular teenage metalheads are presented as little more than dim slackers barely able to play their instruments, even though we learn they’ll one day make music so righteous that it will put an end to famine and war, uniting the planet and ushering in a new utopia for mankind. We never hear a note of this actual music until the very end of 1991’s Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey – when our heroes return from “16 months of intensive guitar training” to finally play one of these magical songs we’ve heard so much about.
They then break out Kiss’ cover of Argent’s 1973 tune “God Gave Rock and Roll To You” with a new guitar solo by Steve Vai. Kiss modified the lyrics to the point where they felt compelled to change the title to “God Gave Rock ‘N’ Roll To You II,” but the message of rock music as a unifying force remains. It was the most attention a new Kiss song had gotten in quite some time, but it came at a very dark time for the band. Drummer Eric Carr was deathly ill from heart cancer when they recorded it, and was only able to contribute backing vocals. He plays drums in the video (which you can watch here), but passed away at age 41 just a few months later. It’s one of the few post-makeup songs that Kiss play in their live show today, and one of the only Kiss songs featuring both Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley on lead vocals.
The big performance in Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey seemed to wrap up the movie series quite nicely, but Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter (now an accomplished documentary filmmaker) have been pushing for a third move for years. “Basically, they’re supposed to write a song to save the world and they haven’t done that,” Reeves said last year. “The pressure of having to save the world, their marriages are falling apart, their kids are kind of mad at them, and then someone comes from the future and tells them if they don’t write the song it’s just not the world, it’s the universe. So they have to save the universe because time is breaking apart.”
This comes up in interviews every time Reeves is promoting a new movie, and a third Bill and Ted film always seems to be just a year or so away from going into production, but we’ve been hearing that for a good decade now. It seems like no studio is willing to bankroll this idea, and not without good reason. Sequels from long-dormant franchises have a very dicey history. Look no further than Dumb and Dumber To and Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles if you don’t believe us.
But we think that Bill and Ted 3 will be different. Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey is one of the only comedy sequels in history that live up to the originals. These are iconic characters that paved the way for Wayne and Garth and Beavis and Butt-head. They deserve a conclusion to their trilogy. Hollywood, don’t give us another John Wick movie. Give us Bill and Ted 3. While you’re at it, make sure Death (aka the Grim Reaper) has a large role. He’s the best part of the second one. And when the time comes, maybe have Kiss cover another Argent song, perhaps “Hold Your Head Up” this time.