This Is Spinal Tap

Synopsis: In 1982 legendary British heavy metal band Spinal Tap attempt an American comeback tour accompanied by a fan who is also a film-maker. The resulting documentary, interspersed with powerful performances of Tap's pivotal music and profound lyrics, candidly follows a rock group heading towards crisis, culminating in the infamous affair of the eighteen-inch-high Stonehenge stage prop.
Genre: Comedy, Music
Director(s): Rob Reiner
Production: MGM
  2 wins & 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
82 min

Hello. My name is Marty DiBergi.

I'm a filmmaker.

I make a lot of commercials.

That dog that chases the covered wagon

underneath the sink? That was mine.

In 1966,

I went down to Greenwich Village

to a rock club called The Electric Banana.

Don't look for it. It's not there any more.

But that night, I heard a band

that, for me,

redefined the word "rock'n'roll".

I remember being knocked out by their...

their exuberance, their raw power,

and their punctuality.

That band was Britain's

now legendary Spinal Tap.

Spinal Tap is still going strong.

And they've earned a place in rock history

as one of England's loudest bands.

So in the late fall of 1982,

when I heard that Tap was releasing

a new album called Smell The Glove

and was planning a tour of the US

to promote that album,

I jumped at the chance

to make the documentary,

the, if you will, rockumentary

that you're about to see.

I wanted to capture the sights,

the sounds, the smells

of a hard-working rock band on the road.

And I got that.

But I got more.

A lot more.

But enough of my yakkin'.

Whaddaya say? Let's boogie.

Gives me energy. Makes me happy.

Heavy metal's deep.

The way they dress, the leather.

- Is this La Guardia?

- No, this is JFK. New York, New York.

Watch its mouth!

It's like you become one with the guys

in the band. I mean, there's no division.

You just...

The music just unites people...

with the players.

Comin' live, direct from hell... Spinal Tap!

You're hot, you take all we've got.

Not a dry seat in the house

Next day we'll be on our way

- But tonight I'm gonna rock you

- Tonight I'm gonna rock you

- Yeah, tonight I'm gonna rock you

- Tonight I'm gonna rock you


We are Spinal Tap from the UK!

You must be the USA!


Lead Guitar


Lead Guitar







Little girl, it's a great big world

but there's only one of


Let's talk about your history.

Nigel, you and David originally started

the band back in... when was it, 1964?

Before that I was in a group

called The Creatures-a skiffle group.

I was in Lovely Lads,

and then we looked at each other

and said we might as well join up,

you know?

So we became The Originals.

And we had to change our name.

There was another group

called The Originals

- And we had to rename ourselves.

- The New Originals.

- Then they became...

- They changed back to The Regulars,

so we could've been The Originals,

but what's the point?

We became

The Thames Men at that point.

Stop wastin' my time


(British TV - 1965)

You know what I want

You know what I need

Or maybe you don't

Do I have to come right flat out

and tell you everythin'?

Gimme some money

Gimme some money

Your first drummer was...

- The Peeper.

- John "Stumpy" Pepys. Great, great...

Tall, blond geek with glasses.

- Good drummer.

- Great look. Good drummer.

- What happened to him?

- He died.

He died in a bizarre gardening accident

some years back.

It was one of those things.

It was... the authorities said

best leave it, you know, unsolved,

really, you know?

- And he was replaced by?

- Stumpy Joe. Eric "Stumpy Joe" Childs.

And what happened to Stumpy Joe?

Well, it's not a very pleasant story.

- But, er... he died.

- He passed on.

He choked on... The official explanation

was he choked on vomit.

- And he passed away.

- It was actually someone else's vomit.

There's no real...

They can't prove whose vomit it was.

They don't have facilities

in Scotland Yard.

You can't really dust for vomit.

Here we go.

- SoHo, they call this. SoHo.

- So-what?


New York City

How are you?!

lan... Hi, fellas!

How ya doin'?

I want you to meet everybody.

- Bobbi Flekman.

- Who's that?

- Bobbi Flekman.

- Who is it? With the record company?

Yes, Bobbi Flekman!

The hostess with the mostest!

You know! You know!

Hi, handsome. How ya doin'?

I want you to all meet Sir Denis

Eton-Hogg. He's the head of Polymer.

You don't talk so much.

Just smile and look smart.

Denis, come here! Come here.

I want you to meet Spinal Tap,

our guests of honour.

- How very nice to meet you.

- This is Sir Denis Eton-Hogg.

- This is Nigel.

- Thanks a lot for letting us... er...

Let's go over here

and we'll take a picture.

Where's my photographer? Come here,

honey. What's your name? Christine?

OK, right over here.

Good! Good!

- He's not into Negro music.

- No, it's not Negro.

Guys, you look fantastic.

You would never know you're almost 40.

If I looked this good

from the stage, too-it's amazing.

- I did the bird.

- Do the dead bird.

Get the dwarf cannolies.

- I did the bird.

- Don't talk back. Mime is money. Move it!

Now, we here at Polymer,

we're all looking forward to a long

and fruitful relationship with Spinal Tap.

We wish them great success

on their North American tour.

And so say all of us - Tap into America!

Excuse me.

Are you reading Yes, I Can?

- Yeah. Have you read it?

- Yeah. By Sammy Davis, Jr?


You know what the title

of that book should be?

Yes, I Can... If Frank Sinatra Says It's OK.

Cos Frank calls the shots

for all those guys.

Did you get to the part yet where

Sammy's comin' outta The Copa,

and it's about three o'clock

in the morning, and he sees Frank.

Frank's walkin' down Broadway

by himself...

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Christopher Guest

Christopher Haden-Guest, 5th Baron Haden-Guest (born February 5, 1948), usually simply known as Christopher Guest, is a British-American screenwriter, composer, musician, director, actor, and comedian who holds dual British and American citizenship. Guest is most widely known in Hollywood for having written, directed and starred in his series of comedy films shot in mock-documentary (mockumentary) style. Many scenes and character backgrounds in Guest's films are written and directed, although actors have no rehearsal time and the ensemble improvise scenes while filming them. The series of films began with This Is Spinal Tap (directed by Rob Reiner), and continued with Waiting for Guffman, Best In Show, A Mighty Wind, For Your Consideration, and Mascots. Guest holds a hereditary British peerage as the 5th Baron Haden-Guest, and has publicly expressed a desire to see the House of Lords reformed as a democratically elected chamber. Though he was initially active in the Lords, his career there was cut short by the House of Lords Act 1999, which removed the right of most hereditary peers to a seat in the parliament. When using his title, he is normally styled as Lord Haden-Guest. Guest is married to the actress and author Jamie Lee Curtis. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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