This Is Spinal Tap Turns 25

Tough day, the other day. Needed a laugh. Been thinking about Spinal Tap lately, so…

I Google “This Is Spinal Tap” and land on imbd (Internet Movie Database) and read:

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 Saint 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.

Problem solved; in fact, I go straight from chuckle to snort, completely bypassing laughter, because it all comes back – the accents, the alternating earnest and vacant looks – just the sheer good goofiness of it all…

Too funny in general. Way funny if you’ve seen it. Beyond funny if you’ve worked in/around rock ‘n’ roll.


A couple more clicks and I land on the Wikipedia page about the movie, and am surprised to see that it was released 25 years ago. Huh? Wasn’t it 10 years… no, wait, more like 15… no, well, OK, I can see 20 years. But not 25…



And/or I’m getting older faster than I want…

But yes, indeed – March 2, 1984 is listed as the “official” release date to the U.S. market.


[Nigel is playing a soft piece on the piano]
Marty DiBergi: It’s very pretty.
Nigel Tufnel: Yeah, I’ve been fooling around with it for a few months.
Marty DiBergi: It’s a bit of a departure from what you normally play.
Nigel Tufnel: It’s part of a trilogy, a musical trilogy I’m working on in D minor which is the saddest of all keys, I find. People weep instantly when they hear it, and I don’t know why.
Marty DiBergi: It’s very nice.
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”.

Are you reading it with Nigel’s inflection? Envisioning Marty’s skeptical/bemused look? “Mach piece”? And that title…

Wicked humor. Genius humor. .

But 25 years?


I’ve seen Spinal Tap at least 10 times, many of you probably more. The last time, I introduced it to my teenage son, and he “gets it” as well. In fact, he and I may well watch it again this weekend.

And maybe that’s why it’s hard to believe that Spinal Tap has been around for a quarter of a century. Since it was introduced, a good many of us have seen it often, frequently even, and so much enjoy seeing it yet again when we show it to others…


Because it’s hilarious, and because it’s timeless. And because while it has a rock ‘n’ roll backdrop and hits all the right notes in that regard, it’s also about us. People, and our egos, cluelessness, self-involvement…


Derek Smalls: We’re lucky.
David St. Hubbins: Yeah.
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.

If, by some remote chance, you’re reading this and haven’t seen This Is Spinal Tap, by all means buy it, rent it, borrow it, whatever. It’s the best money you’ll ever spend in a tough economy, because you can’t put a price on true, honest, can’t stop laughter.

And those of you who are ready for yet another revisit to the world of David, Nigel and Derek, of drummers that spontaneously combust and metal detectors that work all too well, of Stonehenge and the Druids… you know exactly what I’m saying.

Video Fun From This Is Spinal Tap:
Love Pump
Derek Trapped

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