Home > In consideration > A brief history of pinball machines based on bands written entirely with stolen content

A brief history of pinball machines based on bands written entirely with stolen content


Can we get a little love for the noble art of pinball up amongst the ILB readership? Like many a working class yoot with a little bit of cash to spare since graduating, ILB has, over the course of its lifetime, placed more cash into fruit machine note slots than it has the palms of Tesco checkout counter workers, and we’ve so much time on quiz machines that we can actually answer Hex Appeal questions before any clue has come on screen. We’re that damn good. But the triumphant reigns of these two behemoths of the shiny light/loud noise circuit have led to the OG of them, the pinball machine, being ignored by bars and pub UK-wide. Possibly because it’s much harder to smash someone’s face into an Itbox than it is a pinball machine, I dunno. We at ILB want to change that. We want to bring them back. And what better way of doing it than by going over to the Internet Pinball Database, stealing a bunch of photos about pinball machines based on bands (this is nominally a music blog, remember), and then passing that off as content? Sounds good to me.

The world of licensed pinball is probably long and varied, I dunno, I don’t know anything about pinball, but at least most of us can remember shoving £3 into the Addams Family machine at a Megabowl in 1997. And what better way to pair the thrills of hitting a ball with a paddle with the glamour of Hollywood than by making pinball machines based on Johnny Mnemonic and that one remake of Maverick they did with Mel Gibson which was a pretty big deal at the time if I remember . Happy days. However, musicians love whoring out there image as much as anyone, so let’s pay attention to their wares:


kiss pinball

Oh no, really, a variant of cheap shoddy merchandise intended to fleece money out of gullible fanboys has a Kiss logo on it? I’m stunned. Kiss Pinball was released in 1978, and had its launch at Gene Simmons 57th birthday party that year. Let’s see what IPDB user “pinballman” has to say about it:

I played this game years and years ago. I knew it was a rock group, but I didn’t remember their songs till a year later or so.



retarded elvis pinball

I think I’ve lost more money on Elvis-themed video slots than any other kind, with the exception of Rainbow fucking Riches, so it kinda excites me to know there’s some Elvis entertainment out there where a bad session will only lose me £2, rather than that month’s rent. Really, what else can you say here other than “What the fuck is that supposed to be?” Marty Feldman with Rick Astley’s hair and Shakin’ Stevens’ personal shopper?

The Rolling Stones

rolling stones

Do you think Mick Jagger ever gets radge that annoying not-stylish-enough-to-be-arty-yet-still-vaguely-alternative-in-a-dull-way broads are all currently opting to frig themselves off over David Bowie rather than him? Or do you think he’s pretty much at peace with himself in 2009?  I actually downloaded the manual for this to see if there’s anything funny you can say about it, and no, the answer is no you can’t create lulz out of the manual for a 30-year-old pinball machine.

Guns N Roses

guns n roses pinball

The World’s Most Dangerous Group That Didn’t Have Any Members With AIDS Or A Future In Family Comedies. “Guns N’ Roses + Data East Pinball = PLATINUM PROFIT!! During Riot play, all switches award platinum points!” said the machine’s slogan which, as catchy as it undoubtedly is, it’s perhaps not the smartest one considering, you know, those two guys who died in riots during Guns N Roses’s 1988 Monsters of Rock performance. But hey! Platinum Profit!

Dolly Parton

dolly parton pinball

I honestly don’t know what to say. So here’s Dolly Parton marrying Hulk Hogan instead:

Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy

elton john pinbal

I kinda love this for a number of reasons, not least of which is the fact that in the drawing on the front panel, Elton looks exactly like his Viz magazine caricature. Also, if you’re gonna base a pinball machine around Elton John, why wouldn’t you do it around his actual song that he did that was a hit about pinball? Rather than an album that nobody knows any songs from. Fun trivia fact: the only single from said album, “Somebody Saved My Life Tonight”, details how “Long” John Baldry convinced a pre-fame Elton to not commit suicide in the late 60s. Baldry later went on to provide the voice of Dr Robotnik in the Sonic The Cartoon TV series. Never say that this blog doesn’t teach you anything.

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  1. January 19, 2010 at 12:48 am

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