Q: I was watching "Austin Powers" the other day and started wondering about the music video that plays in the credits. It appears to feature Austin himself as the singer. Is he playing with a real band?

« Back to Q & A

Adam Thomlison / TV Media

Actually, Ming Tea is a real band, and it's where Austin Powers got his start.

OK, sure, we all know that's comedian Mike Myers in an outlandish faux-British Invasion getup, and we know Austin Powers is just a character he created. But he created him, initially, to front that band.

Ming Tea, who perform their song "BBC" at the end of 1997's "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery" and have songs on the soundtracks of the sequels, formed in the mid-'90s. The band was started by Myers, Susanna Hoffs of '80s hit-makers The Bangles, and '90s indie-rock sensation Matthew Sweet.

All of them had goofy fake British identities: Hoffs called herself Jillian Shagwell, Sweet was Sid Belvedere, and, of course, Myers was Austin Powers.

They formed the band for fun shortly after Myers left "Saturday Night Live" in 1995. As the story goes, Myers' wife at the time, Robin Ruzan, heard them performing and encouraged her husband to write a movie based on the Austin Powers character.

Presumably, Myers chose to include the band in the films as a nod to Austin's roots -- and because they do indeed seem to be having a lot of fun.

By the way, the band's name is itself a nod to swinging '60s pop culture: Ming Tea is the name of a fictional company in the 1965 Ursula Andress action-romance film "The 10th Victim."


Have a question? Email us at questions@tvtabloid.com. Please include your name and town. Personal replies will not be provided.