Join us for this weeks Midweek Mention as we follow legendary rock band Spinal Tap, on the cusp of releasing their 15th album in 17 years and about to start their comeback tour. Director Marty DiBergi provides a peak behind the curtain at the real life machinations of one of Englands loudest bands.
We also prove it's hard to find interesting things to say about this fantastic movie other than repeating some of the brilliantly improvised dialogue and explaining the jokes that even those people who haven't seen the film probably know off by heart: the ill-fated drummers, the tiny Stonehenge model that descends from the rafters, the gentle piano piece named Lick My Love Pump, the guitar amplifier that goes up to 11.
Dan picked this one because Peter Andre hadn't seen it however he's not here this week, but fear not: Howie joins us and he hadn't seen it either! A virgin the band would be proud to deflower.
This is Spinal Tap
Reegs: So it was your pick Daniel
Reegs: and you went for,
Dan: Said that it never seen it. And I thought we've got to put that right. And
Reegs: it was as simple as that,
Dan: it was, it was, I had something that was planned, but when I found out Pete had not seen, this is spinal tap. It had to be
Sidey: you had to write that you have to write that wrong.
Dan: We had to wait that long and I've just found out how we sure.
Your debut as well.
Howie: never seen it either.
Reegs: This is spinal tap. Exclamation, mark Virgin.
Howie: Part of that is true.
Reegs: And Peter presumably is still because he's
Reegs: here tonight.
no, he's he wouldn't have it would have probably gone over his head. It'd be watching a Pat's to the new route. Yeah. Well this is spinal tap. Was it? 84.
Dan: And it's the only film on I M DB to be rated out of 11.
Reegs: I see, really? I didn't see that. That's brilliant. What did he get out of
Dan: He got 7.9 out of
Reegs: 7.9 out of 11. That's great.
Sidey: I was surprised. I thought it would be higher, but it
Howie: it's in the hall of records is an institution the important film in
Sidey: in America,
Howie: Congress film records.
Sidey: it's like that bridge from Institute equivalent. only. not as good.
Howie: just shitter.
Dan: So for those of you who are wondering, what the fuck are they talking about? It is a a film based on the legendary English heavy metal band, spinal tap, tap spinal temp,
Reegs: spinal top as he calls it later in the movie.
Dan: And it's. It's followed by an American comeback tour and a filmmaker fan who wants to make a documentary
Reegs: Yeah, well, that's that's Rob Reiner, the director of the movie playing the director, Marty.
Dan: who also of course did standby. big, big, fiber over the bucket list. The princess bride, I mean this guy's
Howie: princess bride is worth it.
Dan: Yes. It's really good. And I'm
Reegs: The band on the cusp of releasing their 15th album
Dan: that's it?
Reegs: in 17
Dan: Smell the glove.
the latest album that they're promoting features an obscene cover it's
Sidey: it's the strokes. Is, it?
Reegs: yeah exactly. Yeah.
I mean, this is a classic.
Sidey: Even if people haven't seen this. You probably will be aware of quite a few of the set pieces that happen in the front because they are so
especially you Daniel already referenced the 11 one.
And we'll get, we'll go through them all, but
I think everyone will have, how did you have some sort of awareness of it? before?
Howie: Do you know, all I knew was it was a mock Q mentoree, Rocky mentoree, and I was aware of power up to 11 and that was it. That was genuinely it. And I, but I was aware of the other thing was, is it Harry Shearer is from the Simpsons
Reegs: Allen's brother
Sidey: when I was at
probably left school actually but probably 18, 19. I used to read, I think it was select magazine and a friend of mine entered a competition. So I don't really like a band The Pixies. The bass player from the Pixies was in another band.
The breeders. She spent off from that and made, started a band called the amps.
And there was a giveaway for a minute. Sure. like fender amp and they all went up to 11.
all the controls on it. So that
Dan: inspired by this which we can.
Sidey: he did win it.
Dan: wow. Okay. Is he still got it?
Sidey: You might imagine. So
Reegs: we see the band come out on stage. Don't we? And they shout we're spinal tap from the UK. You must be the USA.
Dan: Yeah. I mean, it's, it's just filled with, it's not like jokes you get out of airplane or one of those you know, machine gun kind of fide movie as that there's lots of.
But it's just funny
Reegs: Well it's mainly
Sidey: it's almost all improvised, I guess the songs lyrics weren't but the, yeah, the actual conversational pieces are all almost exclusively improvised and the gags in it are really more
Reegs: Michael McKean. So I think he's Michael McKean
Sidey: but there's not a lot of hugely visual jokes. There are some, but
Reegs: there's memorably one, right at the, sort of the climax of the movie, the the Stonehenge sequence, obviously.
But yeah, no, I it's mostly improvised humor.
Sidey: song lyrics. So really,
Reegs: That sort of reality vibe, the office
and that sort
of thing. Also had
Dan: A lot of the, I watched a, a little program about the making of the film afterwards, and a lot of their takes were the first takes because they didn't tell them what was coming like. Describing the band covers and
Dan: the critics reviews of their
Reegs: Yeah. So you get that great reaction to the shit sandwich review and you get my comic kit. He's like, no that's impossible or something. brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Genuine reactions because they were playing it through first time. Yeah.
Howie: did the actors actually play the instruments as well. Yeah, because that was the thing I was like, fuck it. They're not just taking the pest. They're all accomplished
Sidey: that's one of the songs One, of the songs. And I can't remember when it was that all playing a bass guitar. I wanted them.
to one of those
double guitars, but it's for bass players. Fuck.
Dan: Yeah, it's just turning it all up. So, I mean, the first gig is a huge success selling out a New York Madison square garden. But as the tour goes on, they find themselves feeling less and less stadiums
Sidey: and, canceled
Dan: or just cancel it altogether. And they, they become this kind of, bit of a joke really towards the end.
But they're walking rolled away for.
Reegs: the core of the band, I would say is the sort of long standing. Th there has been between Michael McCain's character and NA and Christopher guests there.
That's Davidson Hubbins isn't it Nigel Tufnell.
Reegs: And you've but you've got the third member of the band is Derek smalls, is it?
And that is
that's how he
Howie: That's our share yet.
Reegs: But what we haven't mentioned is the drama.
Howie: Could you explain all of this? Because I was, obviously I did watch it in the most glued in situation. I was occasionally looking away if some seemed like he was just missing
Sidey: well, they have, they've had
Sidey: drummers, so they die. Wasn't they'd all dies. Yeah. and
they S they say, they say one about,
Dan: thing accident,
Sidey: oh, so-and-so yeah, he choked on his he choked on vomit, but not wasn't his, and you can't dusk performance.
is the calculus.
Reegs: It was based on a real thing. Wasn't it? That I can't remember which band it was, but they had drunk.
Dan: AC DC or someone
Sidey: Well, I think
Rock band Folklore drummers are pretty wild. generally, but I did read that there was
a specific band who'd won their fifth drama
And they said it was all
spinal tap. You know, it becomes the adjective that you say,
Reegs: well, at one point, Michael McKean says there's been 37 people in this.
Sidey: slept before.
Howie: It couldn't be more different. So the recent Rocky manchey that both Dan and I've watched, which was about the Beatles, but ah,
Sidey: I finished the first part of that
Howie: okay. Okay, cool.
this is not
that they drinking tea a lot And sitting down
chatting and this is, this is wild They go there. So we follow them through their American tour and they go to meet the the PR lady who's played by Fran Drescher. You remember her?
from the nanny? She's hot. And Patrick McNeil is the. labor had his really posh English, dude.
Who's obviously hopelessly out of touch with like rock bands and whatever, but. they've got to play the game, but they start to take offense to the album Cover is one of the, one of the running themes through the,
Reegs: a bit me too.
Doesn't it? She says to him, we don't have this mentality anymore.
Dan: And he says, what? It's not 1982. He goes, no, he's
Reegs: then he said to you, you should have seen what they originally wanted.
wasn't act glove. Yeah.
Sidey: They're also like,
This is one of the things that I really like. They described as one of English, loudest bands.
So it's a. You know, there's like little throwaway comments that they just get you off to.
Reegs: It's a difficult movie to review, isn't it? Because you end up just kind of explaining the jokes, which are really funny and there's endless ones of them.
Dan: Mean, they move through the American tour.
At one point they were in a, in a taxi cab with the guy, I think he was out of Donnie Brasco
Howie: yeah, he is. He's
Dan: a play that
Reegs: he's talking about the rat pack
Dan: Frank. So we're going to laugh a lot way foodist because there are so many great lines that you do just have to watch for yourself and see if the humor tickles you. It really did for me.
Yeah. I mean, I've watched this probably seven, eight times at least, and each time. I still laugh at the same jokes. So I will see new things and throw away lines that I haven't laughed at before. But there's a few classic points. The favorite part for me, the bit that I always remember about this film is when they're reviewing the, the albums and they all just sat around, outside in a garden.
And the documentary Mike is just showing them their album covers and he goes, what about this one, a shark sandwich. One of you has your shit sandwich and it's.
Eh, the reactions of the band, because they say they haven't heard this.
Reegs: actually based. Apparently I've got it here on happy Mondays album. Yes, please.
Howie: When you're talking about it, you have, you could end up, as you said, rigs, just going through the jokes one after another, but it's really good. I think we forget I take it. This was the first of its kind in a way. So like you said, it spawn, you asked right at the start and it spawned a lot of other films.
Like the offices, the biggest
Reegs: Well, he also did Rob Brian, I think it was Rob Bryanna.
Did best in show. Have you seen that one? The dog one. That's really funny as well. Yeah. What I noticed this time watching it was it's really quite a sweet. Bromance basically between Nigel and David. And,
Howie: at the end.
Reegs: and it's hard when who is it? She what's her name? Jeanine comes into the band. Doesn't she?
The Yoko. Yeah. And, and. I don't know, it's not an actual romantic crushes. It it's a fraternal brotherly thing that he's devastated by her and her meddling in the band. And it, yeah, that, that was one of the things I noticed, but it sets up the, the great set piece at the end.
Howie: and Japan with
Dan: Well, there's lots of, as you say, lots of little bits at one point there's a girl with herpes and the whole band ends up having herpes kind of insinuating.
They've all had had it off with her at some point. They go into a pay tribute to Elvis Presley, state making a stop at Graceland and a singing hop, white coat. Although, none of them can remember the words that we're singing the harmony, which is trying is fantastic.
Reegs: A couple of bits of like connected trivia for you that might be interested. Tony Hendra Ian faith, the manager, he looks like tubes from soccer and um
Howie: of him
Reegs: he was a writer on Playboy after dark, the TV series, which is cool. And he started, yeah, exactly. And he started jumping Jack flash. I can't remember which character is, but June Chadwick who played Janine in this, the conniving Yoko, she was also in jumping Jack flash as well as the TV series fi
Didn't you talk about that on the pod before
Sidey: Elizabeth people.
Howie: I, I have to say, I really liked the way that they did the sort of cutaway.
So you mentioned.
Sort of angry. He was resentful of her coming into the band as Yoko. And they did the little cutaway of just every so often. He just cut Tim and he's like, see thing, you know, face was dropping and see. And I really enjoyed the, the little cutaway interviews that they did with him, especially when he said, when he played the piano and he played a beautiful piece of music and he goes, where's your inspiration lights between Mozart and bark.
Dan: I'm somewhere in between. I'm somewhere in between.
Howie: And he goes, what would you call that? And he said, oh, I love pump
Dan: Here's your beautiful piece of music now, some of their music actually is their lyrics in that. Absolutely fantastic. I mean, we've got big bottom that that's that's a classic. So I dunno if we can splice it a clipping of, of the actual
Sidey: sounds like.
Dan: And that's just tremendous, you know, I mean the bigger, the cushion, the sweet or the push-in, that's what I said. I'm the style in which they sing it, just so walking well, and it's actually one of the things I miss this genre, really the eighties
Sidey: so hair metal,
Dan: kind of
Sidey: well damn
Dan: got into it at a time
Sidey: recommendation for you. And that's probably what brings about say stilts. unreal.
Reegs: don't know. Steel pan for gamble was still.
Sidey: fucking loud is fucking gold.
Dan: jotting that down.
Sidey: I'll give you the
Reegs: they basically living this life,
They are genuinely brilliant musicians, but the songs are also fucking funny
Reegs: The guitarist is called satchel and he's just like the most incredible
Sidey: balls of steel, I think is the one.
to start with It's got just like tiger words, and seven, 17 girls in a row, stuff like that
Reegs: What did we get told off? For
Sidey: some guy, we were playing it we were doing some chores.
around a MIGS. GAFA where we were blasting out loud and it's like, just like really, really obscene.
And we've got some guys shadow thing.
You turn that fucking shit.
Howie: Okay. I,
Reegs: Still Panther. Michael McKean for me is the one he's the star in the movie. I think it gets the best performance and he was a brilliant as Chuck.
In better call Saul. Did
Dan: Oh right. Yeah. I've watched part of it. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I do like that actually. Yeah.
Reegs: And share it as the Simpsons and some other
Dan: Yeah, they went on to have other kind of careers, but there's a real cult following with this film and I've seen on YouTube and how many times they've got together to discuss the film, to go to fan conventions and things. It's, you're going to love it or hate it, I think kind of movie,
Sidey: got to love this.
Dan: you should
Sidey: the me, this is like almost universal because it doesn't matter about the matter whether you're into the mountain or it's The comedy is like timeless. It's fucking brilliant, but you're right. It did take a little bit of while to
gain some traction, It costs two and a half million to put this together, but only took four.
Point seven at the box office.
So modest return. But I think since then, Word of mouth DVD, stuff like that. It's been a big hit. but just took a little while for it.
Dan: Well, the one scene where there he's showing off his, all his guitars and
Sidey: I listened to the sustain on that. Don't even look at it. Don't look at it.
Dan: And he's talking about turning the most amps go up to 10, but ours is 11.
Sidey: did he just make 10 louder.
Dan: He just stays in there
Sidey: know, you guys actually live it
Sidey: There's also a
scene where they they're trying to find their way to the stage. And they're there in the bowels of where the venue is and they see this, they seen this or janitor guy
and he's like, oh, you have to go down there. Right. The next. Right. And then you just go through the curtains you're on And they. Traipse around a bit
then they just walk down this corridor and
they just see him again. And he's like, you got lost again. I don't know. And then Jimmy page, Robert plant, Jerry Cantrell, Dee Snider, and Ozzy Osborne said that they've all done that. that's happened to them. So for a lot of musicians, when they watched this, it wasn't as funny because they. were just. This is real. This is
it's actually like.
Dan: Well, what boy in a, got a camera man who records lots of documentaries for what bands and things. And.
Filming it, he wanted that
Dan: but the camera and said, I don't get it. What's funny about it. Like, because he had just seen all this as well.
Reegs: I dunno, it's difficult to say anything. Interesting. I think about this movie just trivia is good.
I've got the back catalog of their albums. If you want. We got the debut was the incredible flight of Icarus P anybody beat anybody? Should I try that
Sidey: again? Yeah.
Reegs: The incredible flight of Icarus P anybody number two was silent, but deadly number three, brain hammer intravenous DeMilo. Yeah. Tap, dancing, smell the glove, obviously brake light the way.
It was released in 1992, before 2008. So back from the dead. So, and they have taught this stuff extensively as well. So it's real money spinning for him. Good on them.
Dan: Good on them. Yeah. And hopefully this will find new fans through this podcast because it deserves it.
Sidey: check out steel Panther.