There’s a long tradition of Eraserhead-inspired art.
Poet and author Charles Bukowski referenced the film when interviewed on the subject of cable television. Bukowski said, “We got cable TV here, and the first thing we switched on happened to be Eraserhead. I said, ‘What’s this?’ I didn’t know what it was. It was so great. I said, ‘Oh, this cable TV has opened up a whole new world. We’re gonna be sitting in front of this thing for centuries. What next? So starting with Eraserhead we sit here, click, click, click — nothing.”
A number of rock bands take their name from the film: the 1980s London punk rock group Erazerhead; the Northern California band Eraserhead, and The Eraserheads, a rock band from the Philippines. The band Henry Spencer take their name from the main character.
Apartment 26 are named after Henry’s address and they feature a sample from the Lady in the Radiator’s In Heaven at the end of their song, Heaven. The 1980s London indie rock band Henry’s Final Dream also owe their name to this film.
In Heaven, the song sung by the Lady in the Radiator, has been covered by, Bauhaus, Devo, Miranda Sex Garden, Tuxedomoon, The Danse Society, Pankow, Pixies, Desolation Yes, Bang Gang, Zola Jesus and Forgotten Sunrise. Indie rockers Modest Mouse borrowed lines from In Heaven for Workin’ on Leavin’ the Livin’, as did the anarcho-punk band Rubella Ballet for their song Slant and Slide. TheDead Kennedys reference the film in the song Too Drunk to Fuck in the line “You bawl like the baby in Eraserhead”. An Eraserhead T-shirt was available from the band’s label Alternative Tentacles for some years, and even the official soundtrack.
Eraserhead, along with five other low-budget films from the 1960s and 1970s (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Pink Flamingos, El Topo, The Harder They Come and Night of the Living Dead), was the subject of a 2005 documentary, Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream. Lynch was interviewed for the documentary.