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SYFY WIRE Back to the Future

Wild Back to the Future Fan Theory Argues Marty McFly Invented Modern Pop Music

You know that new sound you been lookin' for? Well, listen to this!

By Josh Weiss
Michael J. Fox rocks out on a guitar with a band in Back To The Future (1985).

A highly diligent Back to the Future fan has taken one of the film's most iconic gags to the next level.

In a lengthy series of posts on Threads, user @podwore makes a rather persuasive case for the argument that young Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) was directly responsible for the rise of modern pop music once he gave Chucky Berry the idea for "Johnny B. Goode." For a fan theory, the reasoning is shockingly sound and will make you look at the 1985 time travel classic in a whole new light.


For More on Back to the Future:
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Did Marty Die (Twice?) in Back to the Future? TikTok Fan Theory Makes a Compelling Case
Tiny Back to the Future Easter Eggs You Almost Certainly Never Spotted Finally Revealed

Back to the Future Fan Theory Posits Marty McFly Invented Modern Pop Music

According to the theory, contemporary '80s music doesn't exist in the Original Timeline (i.e. before Marty goes back to 1955 and alters history). While "The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis and "Time Bomb Town” by Lindsey Buckingham do play over the soundtrack before the introduction of Doc Brown's nuclear-powered DeLorean, both are technically examples of non-diagetic music choices. In other words, they're not heard by the characters, meaning one could infer that neither track actually exists within the Original Timeline.

It might also explain why Marty and his band were immediately rejected during their Battle of the Bands audition. Their performance "is diagetic, and is contemporary pop, but is notably REJECTED by the committee for being 'too loud,'" @podwore muses. "Too loud, perhaps, because they had never heard such music before?"  

And who plays the head of this overseeing body? Why, it's Huey Lewis himself! The wild-yet-super-creative theory goes on to submit that this isn't just a fun cameo, but an alternate version of Lewis, who became a "grumpy school teacher" instead of a professional musician.

Everything returns to "normal" once Marty comes back from his adventure, which seems to imply the reality in which the protagonist grew up was, in truth, a parallel universe and not the 1985 of historical record.

The complete Back to the Future trilogy is now available to own from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment