Friday September 12, 2008
Today's Friday Flashback is brought to you by a lumbar puncture, cerebrospinal fluid and satirical heavy metal. Because This Is [a] Spinal Tap.
Spinal Tap is a make-believe heavy metal band created for the spectural mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap. David St Hubbins was lead vocalist and played rhythm guitar (in real life he is Michael McKean). Derek Smalls played bass and perfected the lamb chop (Harry Shearer). Nigel Tuftnel (pronounced Nijoh) played lead guitar, sported purple eye shadow and wiggled his spandex dipped bum. (Nigel was the performance of mockumentary mastermind Christopher Guest). The drummer? Well... the drummers kept dying. Seems there was a curse on drummers for this band.
In the film, director Rob Reiner follows Spinal Tap around to produce a documentary of the 1984 heavy metal lifestyle. Technically the film was written by Reiner, but the best moments came from the actors and a free-for-all ad lib. Rumor has it that Reiner took 4 1/2 hours of footage and had to pare it down to just 90 minutes.
Music made for the film is original and surprisingly good. There is depth and guitar solos and catchy choruses. If it weren't for the lyrical lampoonery, you'd think Spinal Tap to be a classic ranked among Cinderella. Or Quiet Riot. Or maybe even Poison.
In the beginning, Spinal Tap performs large arena shows complete with lighting and special effects. They are shown snubbing the food brought in by the venue (because the bread pieces are too small and won't hold the meat) and pulling attitude with the record company. By the end, Spinal Tap is lucky to play a high school prom. This is Spinal Tap is about the demise of the popular.
Very funny stuff. I suggest you give it a try. (In order to prevent disappointment, I will cease to reveal more).
Hits include: Stonehenge - Listen To The Flower People - Gimme Some Money - Big Bottom - The Majesty of Rock