Are The Assassins A Real Band? These 'Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll' Rockers Take Cues From The Best

A theater and musical geek since, well, birth, I am more than happy to embrace any show that makes its own music — Nashville, Empire, My Crazy-Ex Girlfriend, and especially, Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll. It’s pretty much my perfect show, thanks to Denis Leary’s sarcasm and very dark wit combined with original music and awesome musicians. What’s not to like, if you’re into that sort of thing? And sure, they make the show rock, but are The Assassins on Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll a real band?

The first season of Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll saw Johnny (Leary) and the rest of The Heathens grappling with their plunge from success (25 years earlier, mind you) when Gigi (Liz Gillies), the daughter Johnny never knew he had, comes into his life and is intent on becoming a star. Luckily, girl can sing, and Johnny’s band quickly becomes Gigi’s band, Gigi & The Assassins. The season deals with Gigi grappling with stardom, Johnny grappling with the lack of it, and, oh yeah, the two of them trying to get to know each other, since they are daughter and father, respectively. Also, Kelly Bishop, aka Emily Gilmore, plays Johnny’s mother, and she sings. The true star is Gillies, though, and her vocals and chemistry with The Assassins make it seem like they’re a real band, even though they’re not. According to The Hollywood Reporter, John Corbett, who plays Flash, was in a band and actually plays guitar, but John Ales, who plays Rehab, lied about being able to play the bass (for what it's worth, Denis Leary said he would have done the same). For Leary, he wasn't worried about the actors (minus Gillies) being musical — "It would be great if they could play," he said, "but I'm not going to require it because I had a great technical team, and I knew we could make it work." Gillies can sure sing, though — check out a clip of her here.

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I mean, come on. Gigi is one hell of a front woman — here are some rock bands with leading ladies she could be channeling.


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Fun fact: Blondie refers to the whole band, and not just lead singer Debbie Harry, but it may as well have been just Harry — that 'tude and that bleached 'do catapulted Blondie to stardom along with hits like "Rapture," "Call Me", and "Heart Of Glass."


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Question — is there anyone on this planet that's cooler than Shirley Manson? The answer is no. With hits like "I Think I'm Paranoid" and "Only Happy When It Rains", Manson and her band ruled the second half of the 1990s, even earning a Grammy nomination for Album Of The Year for Version 2.0. The best part? Garbage is still going strong.

The Pretenders

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OK, when I asked that question about being cool — Chrissy Hynde is pretty cool, too. According to Billboard, from the years between 1979 and 2008, The Pretenders never went more than five years without new music. That's prolific and pretty impressive.


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Led by not one, but two rocking women, Heart dominated the 1970s and 1980s with hits like "Barracuda" and "Crazy On You." According to CBS News, Heart has sold more than 35 million records worldwide, and they're still touring today.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

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I like to think that Gigi channels "I Love Rock & Roll" or "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)" when she goes out to sing with The Assassins. Joan Jett is the ultimate badass.

Fleetwood Mac

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Songwriting duties were shared by everyone in Fleetwood Mac, but Stevie Nicks' and Christine McVie's songs were always my favorite. Since Gigi is sort of dating Flash, she should look to Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham's songs as inspiration after she and Flash inevitably break up.

I feel ready to rock now, don't you?

Images: Patrick Harbron/FX