This Is Spinal Tap

The greatest movie about the greatest and loudest rock and roll band that ever existed...sort of.

They're Spinal Tap from the UK! You must be the USA!

Clearly he's a fan.

Let's rock and roll!

Just The Facts

  1. Directed by Rob Reiner a.k.a. Marti Dibergi
  2. The entire script was almost completely improvised, so now you're aware that everything everyone has said and done is absolute magic. Whether it's black magic or not is debatable.
  3. According to the experts (i.e. Nigel Tufnel), tuna has no bones

Cracked on "This is Spinal Tap"

This is Spinal Tap is a rock mockumentary that follows Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest), David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean), and Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer) through the ups and downs (but mostly downs) of their Smell the Glove tour.

Is a kilt an "up" or a "down"? We're gonna go with "up."

The film begins with the already saddening notion that the band isn't doing so well. Several of their albums have very poor reviews (one of them, Shark Sandwich, was considered a "Shit Sandwich" by one reviewer), and their newest one has been pulled off the shelves for their sexist album cover. The tour continues to spiral downhill as their audience and their venues become smaller and smaller, and the already-high tensions of the band continue to grow.

The non-sexist album cover of Smell the Glove.

Their image has changed continuously, from Beatles-like, to hippie, to the heavy-metal rockers seen now. The band also has a history of drummers dying mysterious(ly hilarious) deaths, such as having a "bizzare gardening accident", choking on another person's vomit, and exploding into a cloud of green dust. So in a sense, you're just waiting to see what eventually happens to Mick the drummer. Hint: he dies in the end.

The remnants of Mick Shrimpton.

Early in the movie you realize the band members aren't very bright and they show it with vigor throughout. They make sad, beautiful songs about licking "love pumps", they turn Stonehenge into something dwarfs can trample on, they're totally amused with the amp knobs going up to 11, they turn astrology-obsessed girlfriends into band managers, make musicals about serial killers, and play free-form jazz explorations. Eventually, after a fight, a break-up, and a make-up, they end up touring and becoming popular in Japan, like everything else that's weird and wacky.

They also hate it when you point.

Other major players include: Marty Dibergi (Rob Reiner), director of the documentary; Ian Faith (Tony Hendra), manager of Spinal Tap; Jeanine Pettibone (June Chadwick), St. Hubbins' girlfriend and later Spinal Tap manager; Viv Savage (David Kaff), keyboardist; and Mick Shrimpton (R.J. Parnell), drummer. A ton of well-known actors also did cameos, including Billy Crystal, Angelica Huston, Fran Drescher, and Fred Willard.

Oh yeah, and that Garth guy.

While this all might seem highly depressing, it really isn't. This ain't no ordinary movie about no ordinary band. Sure you got your drugs and your women and your rock, but what's it all good for if you don't have Spinal Tap to laugh at on the way? Besides, would you have ever known or remembered what the hell Stonehenge was after you learned it in (slept through) high school, and that the Druids once resided there? Would you have even considered ever applying for a job at the sex farm down the road? Would you have had that same appreciation for big bottoms you do now? Would you have had more concern for your drummer's well being during your on-stage and backstage shenanigans? We're guessing not.

Then again, you probably didn't have much concern for your drummer to begin with.

Life Lessons "This is Spinal Tap" Can Teach Us

Cricket is fun!

Especially when smashing televisions with the bat.

The metal detector will detect aluminum.

So guys, make sure to cover up those cucumbers in your pants with something a little less metallic, like plastic wrap. Or cheesecloth. That way you'll look bigger and won't have homeland security on your ass. Probably in more ways than one.

Take a map with you.

If you prefer a GPS system or a socially-acceptable direction-finder website thingy of your choice, that's great. You can even bring along one of those old sheets of paper, the ones with the different-colored veiny lines and the exes and such explorers of antiquity would use (i.e. about 6+ years ago). What matters is that you bring them along whenever necessary, because you'll never know when you'll need it (See map at the top of this page for reference).

Your bones really are green!

Kind of like how blood is blue when it's inside you, right? It's all medically accurate.

Bizarre accidents happen. A lot. Especially to drummers.

So if you're a drummer and you're looking to join a band out there with a history of drummers dying violent and rather odd deaths, such as choking on a champagne bottle top or drowning in someone's toilet after a night of bingeing, it's probably best to stay away.

Know your measurements.

If you're going to use a replica of a famous monolith, be sure to get the primes correct (those are the lines you put next to your number when you want to talk about inches and feet, kids) - one prime for feet ('), double prime for inches ("). It makes the difference between this

and this.

If you're gonna show off, make sure you can get back up again.

Totally the opposite of this.

And finally...

"10" is for pussies.

Do you want to be a loud number, or a really loud, bigger number?

Always go one louder.

Got an important presentation at the office? Include some sock puppets - covered in fire no doubt - to make your point loud and clear. Gonna go shirtless? Go the extra mile and pull off those shorts. Don't worry, nobody will laugh at your tiny penis.