Spinal Tap is a parody fictional heavy metal band that first appeared on a failed 1979 ABC TV sketch comedy pilot called "The T.V. Show", starring Rob Reiner. The sketch, actually a mock promotional video for the song "Rock and Roll Nightmare", was written by Reiner and the band, and included songwriter/performer Loudon Wainwright III on keyboards.
Reiner later made the band the fictional subject of his 1984 rockumentary/mockumentary film This Is Spinal Tap with the band members being portrayed by Michael McKean (as David St. Hubbins), Christopher Guest (as Nigel Tufnel) and Harry Shearer (as Derek Smalls).
Though in the film they are supposed to all be from the United Kingdom, the actors (who are all also the actual musicians) are all Americans. (Technically, Christopher Guest is English/American - English father and American mother, dual citizenship, and a title of nobility, Baron Haden-Guest.)
The band of three went through many names and incarnations prior to Spinal Tap including (in approximate order) The Originals, the New Originals, the Thamesmen, the Rave Breakers, Hellcats, Flamin’ Daemons, Shiners, Mondos, the Doppel Gang, the Peoples, Loose Lips, Waffles, Hot Waffles, Love Bisquits, Bisquits, Silver Service, the Mud Below and the Tufnel-St. Hubbins Group, Anthem and the Cadburys.
The film's soundtrack album was also well received in its own right and the fictional band has taken to the road for real for several concert tours.
Guest, McKean, and Shearer toured in the U.S. in 2009 and performed as Spinal Tap in a "One Night Only World Tour" on 30 June 2009 at Wembley Arena in London.
The three performers have also played concerts and been on film as another fictitious band - the folk trio The Folksmen. This second fictitious group is an American folk music trio created in 1984 for a TV comedy sketch. The Folksmen had occasional appearances over the years that followed and then emerged again in the mockumentary film A Mighty Wind in 2003.
Spinal Tap and The Folksmen have even appeared on the same bills performing or in close time proximity.
Spinal Tap's official spelling is "Spın̈al Tap", with a "heavy metal umlaut" over the letter n and a dotless letter i.
Wikipedia Information on the Current Band Members
- David St. Hubbins (portrayed by Michael McKean) – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar (1964–present)
- Nigel Tufnel (portrayed by Christopher Guest) – lead guitar, backing & lead vocals, acoustic guitar, mandolin, violin, violin bow, harmonica, keyboards, piano (1964–1982, 1982–present)
- Derek Smalls (portrayed by Harry Shearer) – bass guitar, backing & lead vocals, acoustic bass guitar (1967–present)
- "Caucasian" Jeffery Vanston (portrayed by C. J. Vanston) – keyboards, backing vocals
- Gregg Bissonette (as himself) – drums, percussion
Return of Spinal Tap
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