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The Fight at the Battle of the Bands

Second only to the scene where Bill & Ted face their fears, the original Battle of the Bands fight scene was the most notable omission and change to the final movie.  Originally the scene was much more complicated, with Good Robot Bill & Ted running away when ordered to "save the babes."  Bill & Ted must confront Evil Bill & Ted on their own with Death trying to entertain the audience.  Poor Bill & Ted are thrashed around by their evil robot counterparts until Bill strikes upon the idea of letting the robots kill them, which they do by smashing their heads with microphone stands.  But Bill & Ted beat Death at so many games they have won the right to come back to life several times, and so when Death reanimates them they are able to sneak up on the Evil Robots and pull their heads off.  De Nomolos arrives to kill Bill & Ted and shoots at them, but Bill and Ted are able to deflect the shots with the Evil Robot heads.  Bill and Ted then find self-destruct buttons on the robot heads and push them before lobbing them at De Nomolos, who is blown up.  And what about the good robot Bill & Ted and the Princesses?  Just as the princesses start to fall from the rafters  when their ropes break, good robot Bill & Ted burst through the back wall of the stadium and catch them!  They had to run clear around the world to build up enough momentum to break through the wall!

Some brief clips from these scenes actually made it into commercials for the movie:


Production storyboards also illustrate how this scene played out originally:



This scene was also included in the novelization as follows (the photos are not from the novel but included for illustrative purposes):

Good Bill, Good Ted, the Grim Reaper and Station clustered around the Good Bill and Ted robots.

"Well," said Ted, "this is it."

"Okay, robots," said Bill, like a coach prepping his team before the big game, "you know what you have to do."

"Saaave the baaabes," said the good robots.

"That?s right.  Station, think they?ll be able to pull it off?"

Station did his best to look confident.  "Station," he said.

"Yeah, I figured you might say that," said Ted.

"Good luck," said Bill.

"Yah," said Ted.  "Totally!"

"Go get ?em!" yelled Bill, like a starter beginning a pair of runners in a fast forty.

And then the robots were off, shooting away like bullets.  They took off incredibly fast, so fast that their long, awkward metal strides left fiery footprints smoking and glowing behind them in the parking lot asphalt.  They took off so fast, in fact, that it took a second or two for Bill and Ted to realize that the robots had made a terrible mistake.  Truly the bugs had not been worked out of their systems.

The robots had taken off in the wrong direction, running away from the auditorium instead of toward it.  In a flash they were gone - too late for Bill and Ted to stop them.

"Hey!" shouted Bill.  "Wait!"

"Where are they going?" yelled Ted.

But the good robots were covering so much ground so fast that they were out of earshot almost instantly.  Bill and Ted stared, dumbstruck, through the billowing smoke the good robots left in their wake.

"Back to the drawing board," said Ted, sadly.

"Station!  What?s going on dude?"

But Station had changed, too.  The calm, confident Station, the one who had built the malfunctioning robots, was gone, replaced with his old two selves.  But they seemed different, too - they were drained of energy, as if the effort of building the robots had been too much for them.

"Look," said Ted, "they are totally wiped out."

"Station," croaked the Stations dully, nodding in agreement.  Then they turned and, mustering what little energy they had left, pitter-pattered away, following in the footsteps of their good robot creations.

Bill, Ted and the Grim Reaper stared after them.  It seemed as if the plan was not going to work, that all the trouble and terror they had been through had been worth nothing.

"Now what do we do?" asked Ted.

"We still gotta stop them."

"Yah.  But how?  I mean, it was going to be hard enough to stop two evil robot dudes who had already killed us once even if we had help from good robots. But now . . . "

"Well, we still gotta try."

Ted?s jaw set in a determined line.  "You?re right, Bill.  It?s the least we can do."

They took off at a run for the auditorium, the Grim Reaper huffing and puffing along behind them.  The backstage entrance was marked, Artists Only.

"Artists," said Bill, "I like that."

The security guard on the door didn?t even bother to check their names on the master list of performers - all he had to do was take one look at the Grim Reaper, dressed as he was, to know that he had a heavy metal band on his hands.

The Grim Reaper might have gotten them in, but he was slowing them down.  He was a lot older than Bill and Ted - by about thirty thousand years - so he wasn?t as fast on his feet as he could be.  By the time he got backstage, he was sweating profusely and completely out of breath.

"Come on, dude!" yelled Ted.

"Hurry," urged Bill.

"I?m coming, I?m coming," panted the Grim Reaper.  "Give a guy a break."

"Death," said Bill urgently, "you gotta help us stall for time."

"Yah.  We gotta check things out.  Find the princesses.  Make a plan."

All this totally flustered the Grim Reaper - which puzzled Bill and Ted, as you would have thought that a guy in his line of work would be used to improvising in unusual situations.  They dragged him toward the wings.  The sound of the crowd was much louder now, a low roar like the breaking of surf on a beach.

"How?" stammered the Grim Reaper.  "I don?t understand . . . I?m not really prepared for . . . I mean, I haven?t worked up anything to say . . . I haven?t got a thing to wear . . . "

"This is important, dude," said Ted seriously.

"You gotta cover for us while we try to figure out what to do.  It?s a matter of life and, well, death."

Ted took the Grim Reaper by the shoulders and looked into his bloodshot old eyes.  "Death.  We need your help.  In the van I heard you telling Bill that you wanted to help us - well, here?s your big chance, dude."

"But . . . I am frightened," said the Grim Reaper unhappily.  "All these people . . . you know how I work, fellas.  I?m a lot better one on one."

Bill and Ted couldn?t waste any more time convincing the Grim Reaper.  They shoved him out on to the stage.  "You?re going out there, Death . . . "

"And you?re coming back a star," said Ted.

They shoved the Grim Reaper into the glare of the lights and left him to do his best.

Mrs. Wardroe was doing her thing at the microphone, ushering out the band that had just finished and preparing her introduction of Evil Bill and Evil Ted.

"Let?s give a big hand to the last band, Primus, weren?t they great?"  Actually, Mrs. Wardroe and the crowd knew that Primus wasn?t all that great, but she had to say something encouraging - it was only polite.  There was a spattering of applause from the audience, not exactly a ringing endorsement.  But Mrs. Wardroe couldn?t help thinking that if Wyld Stallyns got as good a response, Bill and Ted would be very, very lucky.

"And now for our final act of the evening . . .  Please give a warm welcome to Wyld Stallyns!"

Evil Bill and Evil Ted strode onto the stage, their guitars slung over their shoulders like weapons.  Both evil robots wore nasty little smirks, so delighted were they with the thought of the havoc they were about to wreak on Bill, Ted, the princesses, the Battle of the Bands and on history itself.  It was a great day to be in the business of doing total evil.

The crowd clapped, but not with a lot of enthusiasm.  If the Wyld Stallyns had achieved any measure of fame in San Dimas, it was as the worst garage band going, bar none.  Some of the audience groaned when they heard the band name, others started toward the exits.

Evil Bill stepped up to the microphone and looked with disgust at the entire audience.  "How?s it goin?, worms?"  His amplified voice boomed through the auditorium.  "I am Bill S. Preston, Esquire."

Evil Ted leaned into his mike.  "And I am Ted ?Theodore? Logan.  And we are . . . "

"Wyld Stallyns!"

"We know!" shouted one of the spectators down front right by the stage.

"Don?t remind us," yelled someone nearby.

Evil Bill and Evil Ted ignored this heckling - hurt feelings were not part of their programming.  Evil Bill shouted:

"And we?re hear to say . . . "

"All hail, Mr. De Nomolos," Evil Bill and Evil Ted yelled in unison.  They swung their guitars up and flailed wildly at the strings.  The manic thrashing at their instruments failed to demonstrate that Bill and Ted had improved in the music department.  Mrs. Wardroe covered her eyes with her hands.  More and more people started walking up the aisles toward the exits.  It looked like the Wyld Stallyns set was over before it had begun.

Then, strangely enough, the Wyld Stallyns? act took a sudden turn for the better.  The Grim Reaper tottered onto the stage, staring at the crowd, smiling nervously.  "Hi . . . ," he said with a wimpy little wave.  Then, overcome with fear, he fainted and smacked his head on the synthesizer keyboard.  A musical vamp started out of the machine.  The crowd that remained was curious now.  It wasn?t every band that managed to get a guest appearance by the Grim Reaper, even if it was a brief one.

The Evil Bill and Evil Ted caught sight of the real Bill and Ted entering from the wings.  The evil robots stopped banging away at their guitars and stared.  Somehow - and it did seem kind of improbable - Bill and Ted had managed to outwit Colonel Oates, the Easter Bunny and Granny S. Preston - and that was the most evil De Nomolos knew how to conjure up.  No wonder Evil Bill and Evil Ted were surprised.

Suddenly, the auditorium was very quiet.  The crowd was intrigued - maybe the Wyld Stallyns really sucked musically, but there was something to be said for their showmanship.  After all, two sets of identical musicians plus the prostrate figure of Death on the stage were out of the ordinary.

"It can?t be," said Evil Bill into his open microphone.

"No way," said Evil Ted.

"Yes way," insisted Good Ted.

"You totally killed us, you evil metal jerks," said Good Bill.

His words drew a measure of applause from the members of the audience who appreciated a little psychodrama with their music.  Everyone seemed to be holding his or her breath, wondering what was going to happen next.

Evil Bill and Evil Ted had recovered from their shock and surprise and were beginning to realize that they were going to have the fun of killing Good Bill and Good Ted all over again plus the charge of doing away with their girlfriends at the same time.  This would truly be a night that San Dimas would not forget in a long time.

"We killed you," said Evil Bill with a sneer, "and we?re gonna do it again."

"Yah!" said Evil Ted, "and we?re going to kill your girlfriends!"

Evil Ted pulled a long knife out of his belt and sliced through a thick rope tethered just offstage.  The princesses dropped from the catwalk above the stage, plummeting toward the hard floor.  Joanne and Elizabeth screamed, but just as it looked as if they were going to smash the the ground, the roped jerked them back and they hung suspended over the stage.

The crowd roared its approval of this truly excellent display of showmanship.  Maybe the Wyld Stallyns had improved.  Even Mrs. Wardroe looked mildly impressed.

But to Good Bill and Good Ted, this wasn?t a show, this was real life.  Seeing their girlfriends treated so roughly was more than they could stand.  With outraged screams, the two charged across the stage.

"Joanna!" yelled Good Bill.

"Elizabeth!" shouted Good Ted.

"We?ll save you, babes!" said Good Bill.

"Yah!  Hang on!" said Good Ted.  Good advice but under the circumstances, there was little else the princesses could do.

But Evil Bill and Evil Ted had other plans for Good Ted and Good Bill.  The robots fell on our heroes, grabbed them and tossed them into the back wall of the stage as if they were about as heavy as pillows.

Boom!  Bill and Ted smacked into the hard bricks and slid to the floor, stars dancing in front of their eyes.  They shook their heads like boxers trying to clear their brains after a savage right, but even in their befuddled state, Bill and Ted realized that they were not off to a good start.  De Nomolos may have created these robots in their image, but he had made a little improvement - like superior strength.

The crowd, however, was eating it up.  Other acts in the Battle of the Bands may have played better music, but no one put on a show like this.  Applause filled the auditorium to the rafters.

The Grim Reaper heard the clapping and the cheering and awoke from his daze.  He saw his friends lying sprawled at the base of the wall, and he took in Evil Bill and Evil Ted?s look of total triumph and figured he had to act, no matter how scared he was of appearing before big crowds.  He mustered all the confidence he had and stepped up to an open microphone.  Even before he opened his mouth, the Grim Reaper got a big hand and that made him feel better.

"Hello, San Dimas!" he said, his deep voice booming out through the auditorium.  The crowd roared back.  But they weren?t quite sure where they should be looking.  On the one hand you had a dude dressed - very convincingly - as Death at the mike, on the other you had two dudes beating up on two dudes who looked just like them.  Evil Bill and Evil Ted were advancing on Bill and Ted, coming in for the kill, cornering them against the back wall of the stage.

"Got you!" snarled Evil Bill, in triumph.

"Prepare to die.  Again!"

"You good-for-nothing, lesser-developed human prototype versions of us!"

"Guys . . . , " said Ted weakly.  "Let?s talk."

The Grim Reaper was totally getting into the acclaim he was getting from the crowd.  He started snapping his long, thin fingers and immediately improvised:

"I am Death. I come from beyond.  I reap each soul with my boney wand . . . "

Evil Bill and Evil Ted had gotten hold of Bill and Ted now and, with a cruel, inhuman surge of brute force, threw our hapless heroes across the stage, body-slamming them to the ground as if they were wrestlers - but this was for real.  The crowd was screaming now.  This was a show!  There was a triumphant fight going on, a rapping Grim Reaper, not to mention two truly resplendent babes suspended over the stage.

The Grim Reaper was steadily gaining in confidence.

"Behold before you, two Bills and two Teds.  These two are good and real . . . "  He pointed to the Good Bill and Good Ted sprawled on the stage.  "These two, true metal heads.  And so my good friends - Oomphf!"  Evil Ted pushed the Grim Reaper away from the microphone, sending Death flying.

"Shut up!" he ordered.  "I need this."  Evil Ted grabbed the mike stand and tossed the microphone away.  Holding it as if it were a club, he stalked toward Good Bill and Good Ted.  Evil Bill got the same idea, grabbed a heavy microphone stand and started toward his own victim.

Seeing this development, Good Bill and Good Ted were, as usual, in total agreement.  "Bogus," they moaned.

No one seemed to be paying much attention to the princesses, but they were in as mortal danger as Bill and Ted.  The ropes that bound their hands were beginning to fray, and they were just seconds away from plummeting to the floor of the stage.

"Bill, I think we are about to be dead.  Again."



"We gotta think, dude."

"Dude, I can?t think of anything right now except for maybe death."

Death, it seemed, was thinking of his newfound career in show business.  He moonwalked - badly, but he was new to the business - across the stage and took his place in front of another open microphone.

"Tonight you will witness their ultimate battle.  The winner will rightly mount the Wyld Stallyns saddle."

Okay, so it didn?t rhyme exactly, but it was close enough and the crowd was eating it up.

Bill had been thinking, and he wasn?t much better at it than Ted.  "Ted . . . there?s only one thing to do."

Saved, thought Ted.  "What?"

Evil Bill and Evil Ted were standing over them now, their microphone stands raised high over their heads.

"Don?t move," said Bill.

"What!  That?s it?  Don?t move?"

Evil Bill and Evil Ted swung, and the heavy mike stands caught Good Bill and Good Ted square in their temples.  Their eyes turned up in their heads and for a second everything was black.

"We got ?em," said Evil Bill.

"Totally.  Finally."

Indeed, it did look as if this were the end of Bill and Ted.  Their bodies were sprawled lifeless on the stage, not moving a muscle.  The crowd was real impressed, and even Mrs. Wardroe thought that the boys were doing an excellent job of acting.

The crowd was cheering wildly, stamping their feet and demanding more.  Evil Bill and Evil Ted faced their adoring public, drinking in the acclaim like champagne.

After a second or two, the spirits of Bill and Ted, looking just as they had the first time they died, rose out of their corpses and looked down at the bodies that had once been their mortal forms.

Ted did not look impressed.  "That was your idea?" he asked in disgust.  "Stand still?  We?re dead again, dude."

"Ted.  How many games did we beat the Grim Reaper at?"

It seemed like a long time ago.  "I dunno, four I guess - why?"

"And how many lives did we use to get back here?" asked Bill, as if patiently explaining an algebra problem to a student.

"Uh . . . two."  The full import of Bill?s plan sunk into Ted?s brain.  His eyes widened in delight.  "Whoa!  Yah!  The Grim Reaper still owes us two lives!"  He cupped his hands around his mouth and called over to the Grim Reaper, shouting to make himself heard above the thunderous applause.  "Hey, Death, you still owe us two lives, don?t you, dude?"

The Grim Reaper, though, was enjoying his moment in the spotlight, so into his own performance that he was oblivious to Bill and Ted?s predicament.

"Yo!  Death!" shouted Bill and Ted.

The Grim Reaper glared at them.  "Can?t you see that I?m performing?"

"But, dude . . . "

The Grim Reaper hated being annoyed, but he knew he had to honor his promise.  "Yes," he shouted over his shoulder.  "You can come back."

Bill and Ted jumped for joy and did a ghostly high five.

"Let?s get ?em, Ted!"

"Go for it, Bill!"

They dove back into their bodies and leaped to their feet.

Evil Bill and Evil Ted were facing the audience, unaware that Good Bill and Good Ted had come back to life and were out for revenge.

"Remember the name," Evil Bill was screaming at the crowd.  "Mr. Nomolos De Nomolos!"

"The Greatest Man in History!" shrieked Evil Ted.

The two evil robots turned to each other and high-fived.  "We?ve totally won, dude!"

But they hadn?t.  Good Bill and Good Ted came up behind them, grabbed the evil ones by the ears and yanked, pulling the robot heads from the robot bodies.

"No waaaay!" yelled the heads.

"Yes way, evil Bill and Ted heads!" responded Good Bill and Good Ted.

Without their powerful bodies, the robots were much easier to deal with.  The headless bodies staggered around the stage wondering where their heads were.  "Over here!" yelled Evil Bill?s head, but as the bodies approached, Bill and Ted struck out at them, kicking the flailing, hapless figures off the stage and into the audience.

Ted cocked his fist and punched the Evil Ted robot head hard and square in the jaw.  "Take that!"  Pow!  He slammed him again.  "And that!" Cracking him in the nose.

Bill readied his furious fist.  "Got any last words, malevolent pate?"

Evil Bill?s eyes flicked toward the rafters.  "Yah!  Check out your girlfriends!"

Bill looked up.  "What?  Oh no!"

The ropes that bound the princesses? wrists had just about frayed through.  In that instant, the strands gave way, Joanna and Elizabeth dropping in a sickening fall toward the stage and certain death.  All Bill and Ted could do was watch helplessly.

Then, suddenly, the back wall of the stage shattered in a shower of bricks and Good Robot Bill and Ted crashed through, running straight under the falling princesses, their metallic arms out as if they were wide receivers going out to catch a long, long bomb.


And save the babes, they did.  The robots judged the falling princesses perfectly and so - boom-boom - each landed right on target in the robots? outstretched arms.

"Whooooaaaaa!" said Bill and Ted in relief and admiration.  "Excellent!"

The Stations were not far behind the robots, and they were now climbing through the hole smashed by Good Robot Bill and Good Robot Ted.  The crowd was delirious now - there were two decapitated Bill and Teds, plus two kind of strange Bill and Teds, plus a set of normal Bill and Teds in the show.  Never mind the Grim Reaper and what appeared to be a pair of Martians.

Bill clapped the Stations on the shoulders.  "They did know what they were doing!"

"Yah!" shouted Ted.  "And they must have had to run around the whole world to get up enough momentum to burst through that wall."

Bill and Ted, the evil robot heads tucked under their arms, extended their free hands to the princesses.

"Ladies . . . "

Joanne and Elizabeth curtsied and took their fianc?s? hands, and together they stepped to the front of the stage to receive the applause and adulation of the crowd.

But then: the whole auditorium seemed to tremble, followed by a loud howl and a blinding flash of blue-white light.  Suddenly, crashing down onto the stage, came a time-traveling phone booth.  It landed in a shower of crackling, sizzling electricity.  The door slid open and there, robed in black, stood De Nomolos.  He did not look happy, but he managed a thin little smile when he caught sight of Bill and Ted.

"William S. Preston, Esquire?"

"Yah," said Bill.

"And Ted ?Theodore? Logan?"

"How?s it goin?, Circuits of Time-travelin?-dude?"

The crowd had gone very quiet all of a sudden, as if they were now witnesses to a scene of great drama.  They all knew that whoever the dude in the phone booth was, he was a dude to be reckoned with.

"Shut up," snapped De Nomolos.

"Who are you?" demanded Ted.

"Who am I?"  The question seemed to amuse De Nomolos.  In the future it would be a very silly question indeed.  "I am Nomolos De Nomolos."  He pointed to the evil robot heads.  "I am the master of those morons.  And I must see to it that you die."

Bill and Ted looked at each other.

"Die, dude," said Bill wearily.

"Again.  Don?t you dudes ever think of anything else, except trying to totally kill us?"

"No," said De Nomolos truthfully.  He swept aside his robe and pulled out a huge twenty-fifth-century-style handgun.

"Okay," said Ted.  "You?ve been trying to kill us for days now.  Maybe you?d like to tell us why."

"Yah," said Bill.  "Why, dude?"

"It is very simple," said De Nomolos.  "So that in my day - seven hundred years from now - I will rule.  All I need to do is kill you and return to the future.  When I arrive, I will be revered, am emperor.  A living god!"

"Oh," said Bill.

"Got you," said Ted.

"And now," said De Nomolos, "it is time . . . "  He cocked the huge weapon and aimed it straight out ahead of him, like a dueler.  He decided to kill Bill first, alphabetical order.

"Now what?" whispered Ted.  "Now we got no lives left."

Bill was fresh out of ideas.  All he could do was shrug.

"Gentlemen," shouted Mrs. Wardroe from the wings, "use your heads!"  She pointed to the robot heads still tucked under their arms. Evil Bill and Evil Ted were watching De Nomolos, and they were grinning expectantly.

De Nomolos fired twice, the big gun roaring and bucking in his hand.  Bill and Ted thrust the robot heads up, blocking the blast, the bullets ricocheting around the stage like hornets.  Then they cocked their arms back and rolled the heads toward De Nomolos, as if they were champion bowlers throwing perfect strikes.

De Nomolos gaped at the heads rolling toward him, the self-destruct buttons built into the robot crania having been activated by the force of the gun blast.

The evil genius could only smile feebly, weakly, as certain destruction rolled toward him.  "Guys . . . I was only joking . . . "

The two heads hit his legs and stopped.  There was a blinding flash and a sizzling zzzzzaaaaapppppp followed by three sheets of blue flame, and when that was gone, De Nomolos and the evil robot heads were gone.  In their place were three piles of smoking ash.

The crowd had never seen special effects like this before.  They were cheering, whistling, stamping their feet.  The applause was deafening.  To tell the truth, Bill and Ted had never seen anything like it before either.

"Dude," said Ted, awestruck, "where?d they go?"

"I dunno, dude."

The Grim Reaper brushed and buffed his fingernails and tried to look modest.  "Really, guys," he said, "I?m surprised you had to ask."

"They?ve been reaped?"

"Totally," said the Grim Reaper.

Bill pointed to the floor.  "So you?ll be seeing them later . . . down there."

"Yup," said Death.

"Well, let me give you a piece of advice, dude," said Ted.  "Don?t play Battleship with them.  It?s not your game."

"Don?t worry," said Death.

"So who was that guy?" asked Bill.

Mrs. Wardroe walked out onto the stage.  "Perhaps I can answer that question for you, gentlemen."

"Mrs. Wardroe . . . " said Bill.

"Thanks for the help," said Ted.

"Yah, we definitely ? "

"Whooooaaaa!" said Bill and Ted.  "Another one!"

Mrs. Wardroe was doing an Evil Bill and Evil Ted, totally tearing apart her body, but instead of yet another enemy emerging, a very friendly and welcome figure appeared.  Mrs. Wardroe?s face disappeared, and in her place was Rufus, cool Rufus, Bill and Ted?s mentor and guide in all things having to do with time travel.

"Rufus!" yelled Bill and Ted.

"Rufus!" yelled the princesses.

"Ruuuufusssss!" said Good Robot Bill and Good Robot Ted.

"Station!" said you-know-who.

"How long have you been here, dude?" asked Bill excitedly.

"I got here just in time for your audition, William."

"So you were Mrs. Wardroe all along?"

"That?s right."

"Then who?s this?" asked Ted, mystified.

Rufus pointed to the pile of dust that had once been De Nomolos.  "That, amigos, was Mr. De Nomolos . . . my old gym teacher and the sit-up champ of the twenty-seventh century.  A man whose ideals were so incongruous with the times that he had to force others to share his world view . . . but, fortunately, thanks to you, he has failed."

Bill looked at the pile of smoking ash and shook his head.  "A most ignoble ending, Mr. De Nomolos."

"But we?re glad you came to it," said Ted.

The comic book adaptation also included this scene:

Excerpts from this scene were also featured on the Pro Set trading cards:

Continue to Next Omitted Scene . . .