This Is Spinal Tap by Rob Reiner, Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest & Michael McKean

[An online friend recently mentioned Spinal Tap to me, and I remembered I'd once written something about Spinal Tap, so I revisited what I'd written (nearly a year ago, last summer) and heavily amended, revised, edited and added to it. May you gag, should you read it.  May you smell the glove. Pray you break like the wind. . . ]

Before VH1s Behind The Music; before YouTube; before Borat and Bruno; before Heavy: The Story of Metal; but not before The Jerk or Airplane! or SNL, but before In Living Color and Dumb and Dumber, but not before Monty Python or Anaconda....what I mean to say is, In The Beginning, before Wholly Moses or Holy Moses, but not after Armageddon, either, there were the legendary British mock stars, Spinal Tap, a band of spectacular mini-Stonehenge proportions, both sonically and stuffed-sock-in-crotchily, and it was rad, and it was bad, and it was bitchen, and it was unquestionably clear their artistic intentions, when they opened with, Tonight We're Gonna Rock You, Tonight. Tonight We're Gonna Rock You, Tonight, brought new, profound meaning and depth of insight to the oft-redundant (and more often than not, banal) realm of heavy metal lyrics. But there's nothing banal about Spinal Tap's music, or their movie, or their music. If by Tonight We're Gonna Rock You, Tonight, Spinal Tap set out to rock you, tonight well then, hells bells if they did not indeed rock you tonight like you'd never been rocked tonight either that night or any night since!

True, Queen gave the world Fat Bottomed Girls in 1978, but Spinal Tap, ever aspiring to outclass the oftentimes raunchy and debauched competition of late 70s/early 80s heavy metal and hard rock music, in 1982 (the movie wasn't released until 1984) countered Queen's crass and pejoratively deplorable objectification of a singular asspect of the glorious and wondrous female anatomy (awesome!) with a tribute to rotund derriers uniquely its own, Big Bottoms. Hold your Sweet Honey close and listen to (or merely read, if you're not illeterate) the lyrics below. Make a romantic evening of it, admiring the subtlety and complexity of Spinal Tap's nuanced word play and puns from a Big Bottoms excerpt, as featured in the film, This Is Spinal Tap.

My baby fits me like a flesh tuxedo
I'd like to sink her with my pink torpedo

Big bottoms, big bottoms
Talk about bum cakes, my girl's got 'em
Big bottoms drive me out of my mind
How could I leave this behind?

Ahhh. They sure don't write sensitive love ballads like that anymore, do they? Certainly not in heavy metal. And if you call in the next 6.66 seconds, we'll send you Spinal Tap's classic follow up albums - Break Like the Wind and Smell the Glove for FREE!

This Is Spinal Tap is even better than a double-enema or a robust and blustery bowel movement after an unduly, days long, bout of constipation. Better than a transesophagealechocardiogram, for my money. Watch This Is Spinal Tap, and you may not need that extra-strength laxative.

The writers, Rob Reiner, Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest, and Michael McKean, tapped in oh so sublimely (if not so spinally), with satiric precision, as they pierced the bloated, bombastic heavy metal bubble of that time, and let out in whoopee-cushioned-flatulent-fashion, as they pricked, with their monumentally phallic, mockumentary flick, all that heavy metal hot air and excess. Think Screaming For Vengeance era Judas Priest -- studs and black leather -- without a doubt, the model of a classic heavy metal band that Spinal Tap mercilessly mocked (or maybe 1983s Accept, and their Balls to the Wall master(bation) piece, down to the last malfunctioning Alienesque-pod-prop detail. Or think Herman Rarebell (his real name, and not a Spinal Tap invention), the drummer for the then hugely popular, Scorpions, who was quoted saying, after watching the film, This Is Spinal Tap, how offensive he thought it was. Offensive because he felt people would see the movie and then not be as likely to take their music -- the Scorpions' in particular and heavy metal in general -- as seriously as they once did. And he was serious!

Spinal Tap, as a band, moreover, was strangely prescient when it came to crafting en vouge album covers, having just released their own "black" album long before Metallica's classic "black" album broke all heavy metal sales records a decade later; though at the time, they were poking fun, of course, at AC/DCs uber-successful, Back in Black, completely black album cover.

Spinal Tap was louder than most heavy metal bands as well, because their guitar amps went to ... eleven! instead of ten. Imagine if that type of guitar amplification technology and sound innovation had existed for Pete Townshend in his Who's Next to Quadrophenia prime? -- how many more than 120 Guinness-Book-of-World-Records-decibels would have been recorded at that May 31st, 1976 WHO concert in Charlton, South London? Undoubtedly, at least eleven more decibels would have been recorded.

Famous rock critic, Reginald Yardcoch, in his seminal heavy metal treatise, first published in the fanzine, Play Metal, Boys!, entitled, "How Spinal Tap Reshaped Metal The Way Silicone Reshaped Breasts," said a Spinal Tap gig "made him gag for all the right reasons."

May watching This Is Spinal Tap make you gag (assuming you get it, the movie, I mean) in a good way too!


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