Spinal Tap

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Spinal Tap


Genre(s) Rock
Label(s) Dry Clean Only; Polymer Records
Members David St. Hubbins, Nigel Tufnel, Derek Smalls, drummer
Former Members Enough drummers to start their own nation

“I loved Spinal Tap so much that I had reconstructive surgery on my face to look just like Derek Smalls”

~ Harry Shearer

“David St. Hubbins is a distant relative of mine. He lives in England, whereas I live in America, so that's how distant.”

~ Michael McKean

“He-Man may not have been part of "Tap", but I certainly was! You can see me in the back of many of their live videos during the 1980's!”

~ Skeletor

Spinal Tap is the ultimate British Heavy Metal band. They define Metal as no other band ever could. Indeed, their blood is the very essence of metal. Mercury, possibly. Some say Tap embody the worst of Metal clichés; in fact, they are Metal pioneers who invented all the worthwhile Metal clichés, and whose legacy continues to be felt across the whole spectrum of popular music. Their raw live power was captured for posterity by director Marty DiBergi in the rockumentary movie This Is Spinal Tap.

Hardly fictional[edit]

Since Spinal Tap were the focus group of some fat dude's documentary in 1982, many call it a "mockumentary" and insist that the group are purely fictional. However, Spinal Tap are as real as you and I, and Santa, and Michael Jackson being innocent of child molestation. Spinal Tap have inspired all the great metal bands, everyone from AC/DC to ZZ-Top.

"I am Adam, Princess of Eternia... also known as He-Man; and I am not David St. Hubbins, contrary to popular belief"
Skeletor seen in the background of this Spinal Tap video

Tap broke new wind molding what a true rock 'n' roll band is, and they go about it in their daily lives. It is a further rebuttal to claims that the band are fictional that they bear a striking resemblance to certain real-world actors.

Ripped-off pioneers of metal[edit]

Tap's lead guitarist, Nigel Tuffnel, invented many guitar techniques so far ahead of their time that people still haven't caught on and started using them, including the awesome idea of playing a guitar with a violin bow — something that Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin ripped off from Nigel after seeing Tap open for Black Sabbath in 1971.

Derek Smalls was also the first-ever schoolboy suit-wearing guitarist. Derek performed mind-blowing bass soloes while duck-walking across stage (as a tribute to Chuck Berry) before spinning around on the floor frantically — never missing a note. Derek claims Angus Young ripped that off from him, and the only reason Angus has been more known for it is because Derek cannot execute the move anymore since the time he spun himself entirely off the stage, injuring a popcorn salesman and two roadies, and leaving him with permanent injuries to his ear piercings.

David St. Hubbins was also the first man to cross-dress for a stage show. However, after every other band copied the idea, they dropped it in 1977 and just kept the long hair and makeup.


"Tap"... or at least we think it is?

Spinal Tap were originally called "The Flower People" when best friends Nigel (6 years old) and David (2 weeks old) formed the band. They wrote various commentaries on life in the 50's, such as "All The Way Home" and "Wanna See Something Swell, Baby?" Once they dropped out of grade school, they found a bass player (Derek) and recorded their first track together, "(Listen to) The Flower People", which was released to moderate success but became a #1 hit in Whales, where the band simply refused to tour.

The band changed their name to Spinal Tap in 1969, with a new musical direction that is now known as heavy metal. Their first album under the band's new name, Brain Hammer, attracted controversy as a group of long-haired men sang about sex, drugs and headbutting nails. American parents were outraged by the new sound for a new generation and labeled Spinal Tap as degenerate misfits of the devil's left testicle. This only made the band more popular with the kids.

Critics labeled Tap's next album, Nerve Damage, as "perfect" due to a mistake with the pressing of the album that dispatched 80,750,000 copies of the album around the world without holes punched into the middle of the record, leaving them unplayable.

Tap's 3rd album, Blood To Let, sent the group to the top of the charts with the single, "How Can I Tell You I Love You (When I can Hardly Breathe Down Here)". Over the next few years, Tap released numerous albums with hit singles such as "Working On A Sex Farm", "Stonehenge", "Tonight I'm Gonna Rock Ya Tonight", "Rock N Roll Creation", "Big Bottom", and "Hellhole".

In 1982, the band were followed around by some shmuck with a camera who made it look as though they were morons. Having access to over three years of footage, he used only the moments when things went wrong. The documentary, labeled a "mockumentry", was released in 1985, titled "This Is...Spinal Tap". The band sued the director for reputational damage and received $20 and a box of Cheerios.


Members of the Spinal Tap Tribute Band; Alice Cooper, James Hetfield & Joan Jett

In 1986, after their world tour of Japan, they broke up, or "disbanded" as Paul Gambaccini put it. Nigel went off to record his first solo album, consisting only of a 304-minute solo with no backing musicians, only 60 minutes of which could fit on the vinyl record. He had wanted to release it as a seven-volume anthology, but ultimately nothing was released, as he got drunk one night, mistook the vinyl records for licorice pizzas, and ate them all.

David St Hubbins and Derek Smalls started a jazz band called "David and Derek Have Started a Jazz Band". This group never finished their debut album either, as the curse of Spinal Tap followed them. They say their material made jazz sound so good that it would leave kids thinking rock 'n' roll and rap was lame, but during a recording session, their drummer exploded and burned down the entire studio.

On top of disbanding, they also stopped touring.

Tapping back[edit]

In 1988, Spinal Tap reformed after their unsuccessful solo careers, David and Derek needing cash to pay for the destruction of the recording studio. The group spent four years making the next album, Break Like the Wind, which featured Guns N Roses guitarist Slash, actually taking a slash on the amplifiers in the explosions heard during the track "Bitch School".

See also[edit]