August 4, 2009
25th Anniversary of This Is Spinal Tap
In 1984, This Is Spinal Tap did “for rock and roll what The Sound of Music did for hills” (a tagline from the film). This is one of the greatest mockumentaries of all time. Though there is still a cult following, and I will hear occasional references to it, the movie is still way too underrepresented in the pop culture world.
Written by Christopher Guest (genius), Rob Reiner, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer (who you may know as the voice of Mr. Burns and Principal Skinner on The Simpsons), this film is a mixture of serious and parodied portrayals of a heavy metal rock band. Though really, so much of the movie was ad-libbed that a lot of the dialogue was most likely never written down. But, it is serious because Spinal Tap is, in fact, a fully-functional rock band, and has released several albums since the 1980s. It is a parody because it is ridiculous and hilarious. One word: Stonehenge.
The whole film is in the style of a documentary, but is satirical. In the movie, the British rock band has a new album out, Smell the Glove, and is in the United States to promote the record and to go on a concert tour. Conflicts arise due to poor ticket sales, cover artwork controversy, girls, and personality clashes between the bandmates. They have to deal with these issues along with their rise and fall of fame. Eventually the band breaks up and then gets back together to experience success overseas (on a Japanese tour).
With such classic songs as “Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight” and “Big Bottom” (which, by the way, I have on my iPod), you can’t go wrong with Spinal Tap. As a celebration of the film’s 25th year anniversary, Spinal Tap is releasing a collector’s package, including a new album (Back from the Dead) and a DVD with track-by-track video commentary from the band members. Shockingly, they all look great for being 25 years older, too! Check out the album, and definitely check out the movie. It’s a classic.
Posted by Shaane at 10:08 am