Rocker Dewey Finn has been fired by his band, the band that HE formed and was the frontman. He has no money, his roommate and best friend threatened to evict him if he doesn't pay his share of rent. He's already several months behind.
He needs to put a band together fast so they can compete in the battle of the bands where first prize is $10,000. The money will get him out of debt and the win might lead to a record deal. Unfortunately, none of the local musicians want to work with him they think he's a washed up loser.
So to earn some money he impersonates a substitute teacher and takes a job at an exclusive private school. That's where he meets the members of his new band.
Jack Black is Dewey Finn rocker extraordinaire; Mike White the best friend and roommate; Sarah Silverman judgmental and disapproving girlfriend of the roommate; Joan Cusack wound too tight principal of the private school.
Joey Gaydos, Jr. (Zack/guitar); Robert Tsai (Lawrence/keyboards); Kevin Clark (Freddy/drums); Rebecca Brown (Katie/bass); Miranda Cosgrove (Summer/band manager). Then there are the backup singers Aleisha Allen (Alicia); Caitlin Hale(Marta) and Maryam Hassan (Tomika).
The band is comprised of students at the private school, and Dewey Finn, substitute teacher imposter, transforms them into battle of the bands material. He's looking over his shoulder though because he knows it's just a matter of time before the truth comes out that he is not a teacher at all.
This is the first time Led Zeppelin gave permission to use one of their songs in a movie.