Friday, March 2, 1984

This is Spinal Tap hit movie theaters: March 2, 1984

Originally posted March 2, 2012.

image from

Dave’s Music Database ranks This Is Spinal Tap as the #2 music movie of all time, second only to The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night. The hilarious mockumentary satirized rock documentaries and heavy metal bands by focusing on the fictional British heavy metal band Spinal Tap, comprised of singer David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean), guitarist Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest), and bassist Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer).

trailer for This Is Spinal Tap

Director Rob Reiner plays fictional documentary film maker Marty DiBergi. Seemingly oblivious to the lunacy surrounding him, DiBergi plays straight man to Spinal Tap’s “sublime idiocy” AZ as he follows the band on its first American tour in six years. As St. Hubbins and Tufnel say, “It’s such a fine line between stupid and clever.” Thankfully for audiences everywhere, Spinal Tap crossed the line over and over, resulting in “the funniest, and most truthful, look at rock culture ever filmed.” AZ

Among the movie’s iconic moments are the monumentally small Stonehenge stage prop, the amplifier which goes to 11, and the absurd stories about their series of drummers “spontaneously combusting on their stool, drowning in somebody else's vomit,” AZ or expiring in a bizarre gardening accident. Much of the dialogue was ad-libbed, giving the film a more authentic feeling.


Resources and Related Links: