This Is Spinal Tap [1is an American rock-mockumentary from 1984, directed by Rob Reiner. He also played one of the lead roles. Other film stars Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer.

The mockumentary about the ups and downs of the fictional heavy metal/hard rock band Spinal Tap. The film contains a lot of satire on the wild behavior of hard rock bands. The (American) actors talking to semi-British accents.


[hide]*1 Story


The film is shown in the style of a documentary filmed and directed by the fictional Marty DiBergi (Rob Reiner). The documentary follows Spinal Tap during a concert tour of the United States for the promotion of their new album Smell the Glove. Through interviews with the band members the Group's past is revealed.

The band was founded in the 1960s by the childhood friends David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean) and Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest). Originally they called themselves "The Originals", but this soon changed to "The New Originals" to distinguish themselves from the already existing group with that name. This name also was quickly rejected, and the band continued under The name "The Thamesmen". Under this name they had success with their skiffle/R & Bhit, "Gimme Some Money". They changed their name to "Spinal Tap", and had limited success with their flowerpower-song "Listen to the Flower People". After some experiments with other music styles the band eventually decided to focus on heavy metal. They produced several albums, including Shark Sandwich, Intra venus de Milo, and The Gospel according to Spinal Tap. The Group was eventually expanded to include bassist Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer), keyboardist Viv Savage (David Kaff), and a number of drummers, who all lost their lives under mysterious circumstances.

Dibergi interviews with St. Hubbins and Tufnel reveal that although they are good they are composers and musicians, and immature.

When the tour of the group begins, are more and more concerts canceled due to low ticket sales. The tensions running high when some large record stores refuse to sellSmell the Glove because of its sexist cover and because of the manager of the group, Ian Faith (Tony Hendra). Then dives also unexpectedly St. Hubbins ' girlfriend Jeanine (June Chadwick) — a yogaand Astrology fanatic — on. She joins the Group and begins interfering with their appearances and clothing. The band's record label, Polymer Records, decides to "Smell the Glove" with an entirely black cover without first consulting the band. The sale of the album does not draw enough fans to meetings with the album signs. Therefore, to further promote the album still Tufnel decision with a performance of the song "Stonehenge"; an epic song that normally only is performed under the guidance of a stage show. He asks Ian to a hugestone Stonehenge-to order for decoration for the performance. He orders however accidentally a miniature version. Tufnel accuses Faith of bad management. St. Hubbins suggests Jeanine should be co-manager of the band, on which Faith evil departs.

While the tour goes, the performances ever smaller. So join them on at a base of the United States Air Force and an amphitheatre in a theme park. Tufnel can't take any more, and left the band in the middle of a show. He does his instruments. As a result, the remaining two members are forced to switch to experimental fusion music.

During the last show of the tour returns Tufnel back stating that, although the Group has lost its popularity in America, they are still very popular in Japan. Faith would like to arrange a new tour for the group in that country. The group in this idea, and let Tufnel back into the band for their last performance. Despite the fact that their drummer dies by an explosion, is the Japanese tour a great success.

Division Of Roles[Edit]Edit



Although Reiner and the three main characters on the end credits are listed as writers of the film, the script is largely improvised. Even before Reiner concern themselves with the mockumentary went there was several hours of footage included. This was shortened to 84 minutes by Reiner. However, there is also a 4.5-hour unofficial Edition of the film, which is distributed among fans and collectors for years. [2]


This is Spinal Tap contains many parodies of rock bands such as:

  • Spinal Taps original name, "The New Originals," is supposedly a reference to Led Zeppelin's original name, "The New Yardbirds."
  • The name is officially spelled as Spın̈al Tap, without dot on the i and the n with Diaeresis on a useless. This is a parody of the so-called metal umlaut in names of metal groups such as Motörhead.
  • The changes in the music style of Spinal Tap are reminiscent of similar changes of real bands, such as Pink Floyd (originally a psychedelic rock group), Status QuoBlack Sabbath (first a blues/psychedelic band) and The Sweet.
  • Spinal Taps career similar to that of The Beatles until 1970; they were originally a skiffle band founded by a group of friends. The name "The Thamesmen" is a reference to The Beatles ' original name "The Quarrymen".
  • The fact that the band ever loses his drummers is a reference to several bands: John Bonham and Keith Moon died years earlier, while Judas Priest by the time the movie came out all six times by drummer had changed.
  • The character Jeanine is based on, among other things, Yoko OnoLinda McCartney and Nancy Spungen as an inexperienced woman who is with the music of the band of her friend is going interfere.
  • During the guitar solos of Tufnel one sees him play guitar with his feet. This is a parody of Jimi Hendrix' habit to play guitar with his teeth. Later, he plays the guitar with a violin. This is a parody of Jimmy Pagesusing a bow for playing the guitar during his guitar solo in 'Dazed and Confused'.
  • Derek Smalls beard is based on the beard by Lemmy Kilmister, lead singer/bassist of Motörhead.
  • The Stonehenge-incident in the film is based on a legendary blunder by Black Sabbath, during Ian Gillans short period as a singer. The band ordered to perform a stage set that looked like Stonehenge, but this turned out to be much larger than planned. This forced the band unexpectedly rent a larger room where the decor in paste.
  • The Stonehenge-scene is possibly based on Led Zeppelin's Day on the Green concerts on 23 and 24 July 1977. Hereby they made use of a Stonehenge set.
  • The incident with the shell is based on a similar incident of the band Yes. During one of their concerts was drummer Alan White stuck in a similar decor piece. [3]


This Is Spinal Tap at the original edition was a qualified success. The film had among other things to suffer from the fact that many viewers first not figured out that it is not a real documentary was. However, after the film on video Edition a lot more successful, and achieved a cult status.

The movie turned out at some points very close to the life of real artists. So gave Robert PlantDee Snider and Ozzy Osbourne admitted that they, like Spinal Tap in the movie, all once were lost behind the stage because of the confusing hallways. [4[5Eddie van Halen claimed that he at the sight of the film as some in the audience could not laugh as he recognized in himself all too often what was experiencing Spinal Tap. Dokken's George Lynch also recognized many of his group in the film. [6]

The documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil from 2009 is often the "real version of Spinal Tap" called. [7[8[9In 2000 took out the film the 29th place on AFI's 100 Years ... 100 Laughs.

Awards and nominations[Edit]Edit

In 2001 won "This is Spinal Tap" the Video Premiere Award for Best DVD Audio Commentary. The same year, the fim also nominated in the categories Best DVD Menu Design and Best Overall DVD Original Supplemental Material.

In 2002 This Is Spinal Tap was elected for a spot in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. Because of the cultural, historical an aesthetic significance.

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