‘Bill & Ted Face the Music’: How the Director ‘Frankensteined’ Several Songs Into One Epic Song

Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) have been prophesied to write the song that saves the universe since 1989. In Bill & Ted Face the Music, they still haven’t written that song. However, the third film climax with the prophesied song. 

[Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for Bill & Ted Face the Music.]

Bill & Ted Face the Music
L-R: Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter | Patti Perret/Orion Pictures

Winter, director Dean Parisot and producer Scott Kroopf spoke to Showbiz Cheat Sheet via Zoom about the music in Bill & Ted Face the Music. Here’s how they composed the prophesied song, and others in the film. Bill & Ted Face the Music is now playing in select theaters and drive-ins, and available for rent or purchase on VOD.

Neither KISS nor ‘Those Who Rock’ saved the universe in ‘Bill & Ted Face the Music’

Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey ended with Bill and Ted playing “God Gave Rock and Roll To You II”. In Face the Music, their one hit was “Those Who Rock.” Neither were the song that save the universe, and “Those Who Rock” isn’t even on the film’s soundtrack.

“I don’t think it was one of the Wyld Stallyns’s better songs,” Winter lamented.

“Those Who Rock” is kinda catchy though, especially when they play it to an empty bar two years in the future. 

“It is really quite fantastic in the movie,” Kroopf said. “I will say pretty much an earbug because once you get it into your mind, it just won’t leave.”

Unfortunately, Winter and Reeves never recorded a proper version of “Those Who Rock.”

Bill & Ted Face the Music
L-R: Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves | Patti Perret/Orion Pictures

The song as written is quite beautiful. We were taught the song by the artist who wrote it and she came out to New Orleans and taught us how to play it. The song as she wrote it is actually quite beautiful but the whole point of the way we recorded it was that we were at our nadir and we’re sad. This song is played sad and it’s all kind of a mess. We never recorded the great anthemic version of the song that would’ve been a hit at any given point. We should have done that probably. 

Alex Winter, interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, 8/19/2020

‘Face the Music’ was not composed when they filmed ‘Bill & Ted Face the Music’

“Face the Music” is the song that Bill and Ted, their daughters and everyone throughout time and space plays at the end of Bill & Ted Face the Music. Parisot said the song was not written when they filmed the climactic concert scene.

“I’ll admit that we didn’t have the song when we shot it and we used ‘Ob-La-Fi’ as playback,” Parisot said.

‘Face the Music’ is actually more than one song

“Face the Music” is even credited in the film as “The Song that Unites the Universe.” That’s a tough act to live to up. It could say that in the script, but eventually someone had to write the song. 

“I said ‘This song has to be great’ for the seven years I was attached to the movie,” Parisot said. “Saying it has to be great and actually getting the song are two different things. When we started shooting, we still didn’t have it. We had attempts at it and we had a terrific music supervisor, Jonathan Leahy, nd he kept trying to get different people to write the song.

Bill & Ted Face the Music
L-R: Samara Weaving, Bridgette Ludy-Paine, Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter | Patti Perret/Orion Pictures

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Ultimately Heavy Duty’s Sean Fitzgerald and C.A. Gabriel have writing credits, and Heavy Duty, Joshua Ray Gooch and Cory Churko join Wyld Stallyns and their daughters in performing it. That’s because Parisot spliced multiple songs together. 

“Eventually, we Frankensteined a version together in post that we just loved,” Parisot said. “It was the result of not being able to do anything else, given the pandemic, in post. And yet, for us anyway, it worked really, really better than we ever expected.”