This Is Spinal Tap

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This is Spinal Tap is a 1984 "rockumentary" about the world's loudest band, the British heavy metal group Spinal Tap.

Directed by Rob Reiner and largely improvised by the main players Rob Reiner, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer.
Does for rock and roll what "The Sound of Music" did for hills

David St. Hubbins

  • Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation.
  • [Concerning his epitaph]: Here lies David St. Hubbins.... and why not?

Nigel Brian Emerson Tufnel

  • These go up to eleven.
  • You can't really dust for vomit.
  • They died. Nice person, really... He's dead, you know... Yeah, he died...
  • We've got armadillos in our trousers. It's really quite frightening.
  • It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.
  • It's like how much more black could this be? And the answer is none, none more black.
  • It's in D Minor, which i always find is the saddest of all keys really. I don't know why but it makes people weep instantly to hear it.
  • I'm really influenced by Mozart and Bach and its sort of in between really its a Mach piece really.
  • It's like space without the stars.
  • The Dukes of Rock rock.
  • Oh. This piece is called Lick My Love-Pump.
  • [when told their album cover was sexist] Well, what's wrong with being sexy?

Derek Smalls

  • (Concerning the cover of "Smell the Glove"): It's like a black mirror... you can see yourself... in both sides.
  • We do not strive for perfection, because "perfection is the destination, imperfection is the journey".
  • That's not to say I haven't had my visionary moments. I've taken acid seventy five, seventy-six times.
  • We're very lucky in the band in that we have two visionaries - David and Nigel. They're like poets, like Shelley and Byron. They're two distinct types of visionaries; it's like fire and ice, basically. I feel my role in the band is to be somewhere in the middle of that, kind of like lukewarm water.

Ian Faith

  • (Concerning Boston, MA): It's not a big college town.
  • Certainly, in the topsy-turvy world of heavy rock, having a good solid piece of wood in your hand is often useful.
  • I'm not co-managing this band with anyone. Especially not someone who dresses like an Australian hairdresser's nightmare.

Others

Marty DiBergi: Hello. My name is Marty DiBergi. I'm a film-maker. I make a lot of commercials. That little dog that chases the covered wagon underneath the sink? That was mine.
Artie Fufkin: Do me a favor. Just kick my ass, okay? Kick this ass for a man, that's all. Kick my ass. Enjoy. Come on. I'm not asking, I'm telling with this. Kick my ass.
Morty the Mime: It's a kick isn't it? Well, I used to be an actor but I could never remember my lines, so I thought 'just shut up,' you know? Don't say nothing.
Viv Savage: Have... a... good... time... all the time.
Viv Savage: Quite exciting, this computer magic.
Mick Shrimpton: I used to say "sex, drugs, and rock and roll" ...As long as there's sex and drugs, I can do without rock and roll.
Marty DiBergi: (To Derek Smalls) So you feel like a preserved moose on stage?

Dialogue

...
Marty: The last time Tap toured America, they where, uh, booked into 10,000 seat arenas, and 15,000 seat venues, and it seems that now, on their current tour they're being booked into 1,200 seat arenas, 1,500 seat arenas, and uh I was just wondering, does this mean uh...the popularity of the group is waning?
Ian: Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no...no, no, not at all. I, I, I just think that the.. uh.. their appeal is becoming more selective.
...
David St. Hubbins: They said the album cover is a bit sexist.
Nigel Tufnel: Well, so what? What's wrong with being sexy?
David St. Hubbins: Sexist, Nigel.
...
Nigel Tufnel: (holding up a guitar) The sustain, listen to it.
Marty DiBergi: I don't hear anything.
Nigel Tufnel: Well you would though, if it were playing.
...
(Nigel Tufnel plays the piano)
Marty DiBergi: It's pretty.
Nigel Tufnel: Yeah, I like it. I've been fooling around with it for a few months now. Very delicate.
Marty DiBergi: It's a bit of a departure from what you normally play.
Nigel Tufnel: Yeah, well, it's part of a trilogy, a musical trilogy that I'm doing in D [pause] minor, which, I always find is really the saddest of all keys, really, I don't know why; it makes people weep instantly to play (Nigel plays, and sings)
Nigel Tufnel: It's a horn part.
Marty DiBergi: It's very pretty.
Nigel Tufnel: You know, just simple lines intertwining, you know, very much like - I'm really influenced by Mozart and Bach, and it's sort of in between those, really. It's like a Mach piece, really. It's sort of...
Marty DiBergi: What do you call this?
Nigel Tufnel: Well, this piece is called "Lick My Love Pump".
...
Marty DiBergi: Why don't you make ten a little louder, make that the top number and make that a little louder?
Nigel Tufnel: (pause to think it over) These go to eleven.
...
Airport Security Officer: Do you have any artificial plates or limbs?
Derek Smalls: Er, not really.
...
Bobbi Flekman: Ian, you put a greased naked woman on all fours, with a dog collar around her neck and a leash, and a man's arm extended out up to here holding the leash, and pushing a black glove in her face to sniff it - you don't find that offensive? You don't find that sexist?
Ian Faith: No, I don't! This is 1982, for God's sake...
Bobbi Flekman: That's right it's 1982. Get out of the Sixties. We don't have this mentality any more.
Ian Faith: Well you should have seen the cover they wanted to do. It wasn't a glove, believe me.
...
Derek Smalls: I mean, people should be envying us, you know.
David St. Hubbins: I envy us.
Derek Smalls: Yeah.
David St. Hubbins: I do.
Derek Smalls: Me too.
...
[After Ian Faith has quit managing the band and stormed out]
Derek Smalls: Can I raise a practical question at this point?
David St. Hubbins: What?
Derek Smalls: Are we going to do "Stonehenge" tomorrow?
David St. Hubbins: No, we're not gonna fuckin' do "Stonehenge"!!!
...
Marty DiBergi: David St. Hubbins... I must admit I've never heard anybody with that name.
David St. Hubbins: It's an unusual name, well, he was an unusual saint, he's not a very well known saint.
Marty DiBergi: Oh, there actually is, uh... there was a St. Hubbins?
David St. Hubbins: That's right, yes.
Marty DiBergi: What was he the saint of?
David St. Hubbins: He was the patron saint of quality footwear.
...
[After the failed "Stonehenge" performance]
David St. Hubbins: I, for one, do not think the problem was that the band was down. I think that the problem may have been that there was a Stonehenge monument on the stage that was in danger of being crushed by a dwarf. That tended to understate the hugeness of the object.
Ian Faith: I think you guys are making too big a thing of this.
Derek Smalls: "Making a big thing of it" was kind of the whole idea.
Ian Faith: Nigel gave me a drawing that said 18 inches. Now, whether or not he knows the difference between feet and inches is not my problem. I do what I'm told.
David St. Hubbins: But you're not as confused as him, are you? I mean, it's not your job to be as confused as Nigel.
...
David St. Hubbins: We say, "Love your brother." We don't say it really, but -
Nigel Tufnel: We don't literally say it.
David St. Hubbins: No, we don't say it.
Nigel Tufnel: We don't really, literally mean it.
David St. Hubbins: No, we don't believe it either, but -
Nigel Tufnel: But we're not racists.
David St. Hubbins: But that message should be clear.

Songs and lyrics

Big Bottom: My baby fits me like a flesh tuxedo.

I love to sink her with my pink torpedo! Big bottom, big bottom, talk about bum-cakes ... my girl's got 'em. Big bottom drive me out of my mind, how can I leave this ... behind?

Sex Farm: Working on a sex farm, trying to raise some hard love. Getting out my pitch fork, poking your hay.
Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight: You're sweet but you're just four feet, and you still got your baby teeth. You're too young and I'm too well hung, Tonight I'm gonna rock you, Tonight I'm gonna rock you, Tonight!
Stonhenge; Stonehenge, where the demons dwell, where the banshees live and they do live well.

Reviews

The Gospel According to Spinal Tap: This pretentious, ponderous group of rock psalms prompts the question "On what day did God create Spinal Tap, and couldn't he have rested on that day too?"
Shark Sandwich
Marty Dibergi: The review you had on Shark Sandwich which was merely a two word review. Just said "Shit Sandwich."
David St. Hubbins: Where did they print that?
Derek Smalls: That's not real, is it?

Drummers

(From the "This Is Spinal Tap" DVD booklet, "Drummer Necrology")

Although the band arguably had 32 drummers during its history, these are the six that are mentioned by name:

  1. John "Stumpy" Pepys (1943-1969) Cause of death: Gardening accident.
  2. Eric "Stumpy Joe" Childs (1945-1974) Cause of death: Choked on vomit, although it was never determined whose vomit it was.
  3. Peter "James" Bond (1949-1977) Cause of death: Spontaneous combustion
  4. Mick Shrimpton (1948-1982) Cause of death: On-stage explosion.
  5. Joe "Mama" Besser (19??-1983) Cause of death: Missing, presumed dead, or playing jazz.
  6. Richard "Ric" Shrimpton (1948-?) Cause of death: No one knows what happened to Ric. None of the band members thought to ask each other. We've also heard that he sold his dialysis machine for drugs, and we assumed he died.

Cast

External links

Wikipedia
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