In case you haven’t seen This Is Spinal Tap, it’s a mockumentary about a heavy metal band and their downward descent. It’s not merely a satire about bands, but about documentaries themselves.
It was so different and groundbreaking, fans and bands alike thought it was about a real band and believed this was an actual documentary.
Many bands and musicians can identify with This Is Spinal Tap, like, way too much.
This Is Spinal Tap wasn’t popular at first, but since has grown into a cult sensation.
Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer did their own music. In the decades since, they’ve released albums as Spinal Tap.
Guest, McKean, and Shearer received writing credit with Rob Reiner because they ad-libbed most of the movie.
Christopher Guest is actually a British peer, the 5th Baron Hadon-Guest. Brilliant in Waiting For Guffman. Tragically exceptional in The Princess Bride.
Michael McKean, best known for playing Lenny on Laverne & Shirley. Former SNL alum, also in Clue, A Mighty Wind, American Dad, my fav is still when he changed X-Files.
You may know Harry Shearer as Mr. Burns, Smithers, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, etc. on The Simpsons. Did you know he’s 70? That he was mentored by Mel Blanc? And also on SNL and Laverne & Shirley?
Rob Reiner is best known for his amazing writing and directing, but has appeared in many films and TV series, the most obvious as Michael “Meathead” on All In The Family.
There is a legend told of 4½ hour bootleg version of This Is Spinal Tap, traded among fans and collectors for years.
Do you know at least one of the original names of the band, Spinal Tap? And how many members they’ve had?
Some bands actually believed the writers of This Is Spinal Tap had bugged their tour buses and hotel rooms because parts of it were so familiar.
Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler wasn’t pleased with the movie. Gee, was it because Rock in a Hard Place had Stonehenge on its cover?
Many people believe the tiny Stonehenge was a parody of Black Sabbath’s too-large-to-fit-on-stage-monument during their 1983 Born Again tour, yet this Spinal Tap joke was actually first filmed in 1982 as a 20-minute short. Life imitating art?
Cherie Currie (The Runaways) appeared as the singer of The Dose, sadly, by the release her whole character lay on the cutting room floor until deleted scenes became en vogue.
A running gag during the film was bizarre drummer deaths, including a gardening accident. Strangely enough, drummers from ABBA and Toto died in bizarre gardening accidents within a few years of the film.
Jamie Lee Curtis allegedly fell in love with Christopher Guest after seeing him as Nigel. She said she was going to marry him. She did. They’ve been married 30 years.
Many movie sites that usually rate movies out of 10, rated This Is Spinal Tap out of 11. Of course.
Spinal Tap attempting to sing Heartbreak Hotel when they visit Graceland is still one of my fav scenes.
I made not one, but two cheese Stonehenges for gigs when a band I knew were doing a Spinal Tap cover band many years ago. I wish I had taken pictures, then again maybe they weren’t as good as I remember, er, the Stonehenges that is.
I could go on and on and on and on about this movie. Really.
30 years later and this documentary is just as hilarious and as realistic as ever.
19 thoughts on “THIS IS SPINAL TAP”
Okay, I haven’t seen the movie – you taught me so much today – had no clue it was a mockumetary, or that the band Spinal Tap is only a result of the movie… This kinda makes the world make sense now… LOL
I’m glad to be of service and even more pleased I could kinda makes the world make sense…lol I hope you get a chance to watch it, you won’t be sorry. 🙂
LOVE, “This is Spinal Tap”! We quote the movie all the time! Thanks for a great post as always! Cher xo
I get that Cher, I don’t even know why I watch it, since it’s in my mind forever. Thanks for dropping by, you’re such a dear. 🙂
*LOL* Well it is one of those shows that you either love or utterly loathe! Awh, bless! Well I told you I was looking forward to reading your work!!! Cher xo
Thank you Cher. As I do yours. 🙂
Thank you, Donna! That makes me smile! 🙂
THIS IS SPINAL TAP
This is such an excellent show… I have it and watch it over
and over again….Excellent stars, Micheal McKean and Christopher Guest
and Rob Reiner are doing this great show….
One of my fave movies of all time. I just saw them on Comedy at an old Just For Laughs doing ‘Stonehenge’. Stands the test of time. In a big way.
Very true. 🙂
Still an all time favorite of mine!
Me too. 🙂
I saw this movie when it was new. Me and a buddy went back 5 or 6 times to see it again (this was pre- DVD, blueray, streaming video etc.). My copy of the 4.5 hour “bootleg” (more accurately a “workprint”) is still one of my treasured possessions.
Yes, I remember the days of seeing things at the theater a bunch of times, I kind of miss that. I bet it is treasured, guard it well. 😉
One of my favorite movies. My copy of the 4.5 hour bootleg is still one of my most prized possessions!
Yes, I’m sure it is. 🙂
Other interesting facts about Harry Shearer: He was a child actor who got his first role on the old Jack Benny radio show (where he met Mel Blanc); his parents turned down a role for him as a regular on the Leave It To Beaver series because they wanted him to have a normal life (series regulars had to drop out of school and were tutored on set); and he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame–as a radio personality.