This Is Spinal Tap, a 1984 mockumentary, is often considered one of the greatest films of all time. The film follows a fictional 80s hair metal band, the titular Spinal Tap, on a tour through America. It also featured a cast of the greatest comedians of the 80s, including its two leads, Christopher Guest and Michael McKean.
This Is Spinal Tap has become a multibillion-dollar part of pop culture, both for its comedy and music. However, the titular band''s lack of self-awareness is also used to harrow potential musical performers in real life. However, it''s difficult to not mention these moments from this iconic rock-umentary. It''s time to get back to the basics and think about it.
10 The Origin Of David''''s Name
Michael McKean, who is known for Saturday Night Live and Better Call Saul, plays David St. Hubbins, the band''s lead singer and guitarist, in a film. The film follows Marty Di Bergi, who plays the band on tour, and is played by director Rob Reiner. Predictably, the band has experienced some tenacity during this period.
After a clash between David and Spinal Tap''s lead guitarist, Nigel Tufnel, a reporter reveals the singer''s fate.
Well, I don''t think the end can be assessed as of itself as being the end because it''s like saying when you try to extrapolate the end of the universe, you say, if the universe is indeed infinite, then how does that mean? What''s the difference between, and how far is all the way, and then what''s stopping it, and what''s behind, too? So, what''s the end, you know, is my question to you.
9 Derek''''s Role In The Band
Derek Smalls, the bassist for Spinal Tap, is played by Harry Shearer, who is well known for voicework on The Simpsons. While David and Nigel are the main components of the band''s creativity, Derek''s role is more Ringo Starr-esque. He is mainly a supporting musician for the other two, which he doesn''t seem to mind.
Derek confesses how he truly felt about being overshadowed by David and Nigel during an interview with Rob Reiner''s character:
We''re fortunate in the sense that we have two visionaries in the band, you know, David and Nigel are both, like, poets, you know, like Shelley or Byron or people like that. They''re two completely different types of visionaries, basically, you see in ''em. I feel my role in the band is to be kind of in the center of that, kind of like lukewarm water.
8 Billy Crystal''''s Cameo Appearance
This Is Spinal Tap, which featured many different musical acts from the 1980s. One of them is Billy Crystal, who at the time was well-known for starring in Soap. Crystal, however, is still the subject of a few muddle waiters.
Crystal''s character slams a tense waiter played by Dana Carvey in one scene:
Don''t talk back, mime is money, come on, move it.
For a film with a whole improvised dialogue, that''s a line that could only come from Billy Crystal''s genius brain.
7 Nigel Complains About Their Album Cover
The controversial cover for the band''s new album, Smell The Glove, is woven in part in This Is Spinal Tap. As a result, their manager, Ian, is forced to think of a solution. The album is made with a completely black cover, mimicking the Beatles'' White Album.
While their manager defends the decision, the band cannot conceal their displeasure in the artwork. Nigel, who has the entirely black cover, tells the rest of the band:
There''s something about this that''s so black, it''s like how much more black might this be? The answer is none. None more black.
Little do they know that Metallica, Kanye West, and Prince will steal this idea.
6 A Gig At An Air Force Base
In this is the second half, a celebrity appearance in This Is Spinal Tap will feature a struggling group who is forced to play at a United States Air Force base after a gig falls through. They meet Lt. Bob Hookstratten, played by the uncomparably funny Fred Willard, who is a frequent collaborator of Christopher Guest.
While introducing himself, Hookstratten tries to appeal to the unenthused Spinal Tap:
Permit of giving you the feeling that we are to have you here, because we are so much fans of your music and all of your records. I''m not talking of yours personally, but of the whole genre of rock and roll, and so many things that are happening in music today.
5 The Loss Of Stumpy
Spinal Tap''s history is recounted in an early segment of the film, beginning as the Thamesmen. Upon completion, the band progressed on "flower power," with more profane and sexual lyrics.
During this time, the band suffers the loss of several drummers. One spontaneously combusts, while another chokes on vomit. Their first drummer, Stumpy Pepys, has a more bizarre and comedic fate:
Several years ago, he died in a bizarre gardening accident.
Nigel responds to an additional anecdote about Stumpy:
The authorities said, "Best leave it unsolved," and said, "One of these things was."
The Reputation of a Spinal Tap is ruined by 4 poor reviews.
The band''s albums have been criticized by many critics, including their 1974 release Intravenus de Milo. However, critics had much briefer information to say about their 1980 album, Shark Sandwich.
As Marty Di Bergi states,
Shark Sandwich''s review was merely a two-word review, but it just said: "S*** sandwich."
The review is humbling for the band, refusing to suspect that an actual newspaper printed it.
Three Nigels Takes Inspiration From Classical Music
Nigel Tufnel (played by Christopher Guest) is enthralling Marty Di Bergi with a piano composition in one scene. In line with the rest of the film''s absurd moments, Nigel''s playing is spectacular, unlike anything the band has actually created. Marty is somewhat irritated by the hidden compositions Nigel is capable of.
Nigel has to say that he is pressed about the piece:
Well, it''s part of a trilogy, a musical series I''m doing in D minor, and which I always find very painful of all keys, really, I don''t know why. It makes people cry instantly to play, and it''s kind of in between those, really. It''s like a Mach piece.
The kicker comes when Marty asks if the piece has a name, which Nigel replies:
This piece, called "Lick My Love Pump," is well-known.
2 David''''s Way Of Life
While the whole of This Is Spinal Tap is comedy gold, some of the best quotes come during the credits. As the cast and crew appear on the screen, several unused interview clips of the band play. One of the best quotes to come from this part of the film is David St. Hubbins.
It''s unknown what answer is causing this reply, but David admits this to Di Bergi''s film crew:
I am more of a selective person than anyone who doesn''t believe anything.
This may be one of the most interesting jokes in the film, but it''s a perfect moment from Michael McKean''s mind.
1 Nigel''''s Modified Amplifiers
This Is Spinal Tap is a game game set that may be one of the most famous books in cinematic history. Here, Nigel displays his collection of guitars, some he refuses to play or even examine. In addition, he shows off the band''s modified equipment.
Marty wonders why they don''t only make their amps louder at full volume after being pointed out that Spinal Tap''s amplifiers go to 11 instead of 10.
These are now available for eleven people.
It''s moments like these that prove that Guest''s films are unquestionably entertaining. The line has been ecstaticly quoted over the years, so far, "turning it up to eleven," a common colloquial term just 40 years after the film''s release.