I was reminded about a week ago that today, March 2nd, 2014 is the 30th anniversary of the theatrical release of one of my FAVORITE movies of all time, This Is Spinal Tap. So I wanted to make sure I take a few minutes to recognize this milestone and put all of my other upcoming postings on hold for now.
For me, Spinal Tap is a timeless classic that I can watch over and over again, right up there with the skateploitation classic Thrashin’ (which is a movie I should discuss at another time).
Director Rob Reiner packed so damn many laughs throughout the entire movie that it takes multiple viewings to catch all the subtleties of everything going on. And it takes age too, I think. Because when Spinal Tap came out I was in middle school and remember being a bit baffled at the marketing campaign they had back then. Were they a real band? If so, why had I never heard of them? Oh, they’ve been around since the early sixties? I remember seeing them on the cover of Billboard Magazine in the Spring of ’84 and assuming they must be real if they were on the cover of a magazine like that. But then I got confused because I recognized one of the band members as Lennie from the TV show Laverne and Shirley and I thought, wait, how is he in the band? I thought he was just an actor. Then someone called it a mockumentary and at the time I had no idea what that meant.
But I finally saw the movie a few years later, then a few years after that, then a friend of mine (Dave, RIP) got heavily into the movie in about 1990 or ’91 and so then I watched it many times with him and we both laughed our asses off and would casually quote the movie or, out of nowhere, sing Stonehenge or Listen To The Flower People or Sex Farm. Then some years later my brother bought me a Spinal Tap DVD for Christmas and it’s been viewed many times since then. Do they have midnight screenings of Spinal Tap? If so, I should probably go so I can sit in a room full of other fans who can quote in at will.
The trio of Michael McKean, Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest were/are just hilarious. They all went on to Saturday Night Live, but I remember the ’84-’85 season of SNL very fondly as Guest and Shearer were in the brilliant cast that season. But I think JUST that one season, along with Martin Short, Billy Crystal and many others.
Anyway, I could go on and on about Spinal Tap but I promised myself I would do a short posting and just quickly commemorate the 30th birthday and be done with it. So here’s to another 30 years of us treasuring Spinal Tap. The original movie, that is- I personally never got into any of the reunion stuff or live concerts of the band post-1984.
P.S. As usual, I have a lot of good music postings planned so stay tuned in the coming weeks for a new post of something somewhat obscure.