The Friday Morning Listen: This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

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I swear ta gawd, the guy behind me at the theatre said something like “They should have made a movie about a good rock band.” It capped off the experience of seeing This Is Spinal Tap, one of my favorite rock films. Rob Reiner and his cast got just about everything right in that terrific send up of rock band buffoonery. There were just so many perfect moments, from the airport security/cucumber in the pants scene, to the cold sores that changed location from scene to scene, to the boneheaded song lyrics, to the dwarves and Stonehenge.

Everybody has their favorite scenes, but Nigel Tufnel’s explanation of how his custom Marshall amp goes to 11 was always my favorite. First you get to see Nigel’s collection of guitars (one of which can never be played…or even looked at for that matter) and then there’s the amp that goes to 11. Totally classic.

Of course, Reiner’s well-executed “mockumentary” had an endless supply of rock stupidity to work with. Heck, I think of some of the things I’ve seen at show: Angel “materializing” on stage, Blue Oyster Cult and their laser lights, KISS. And then there’s the offstage stuff, from Van Halen and the brown M&M’s to Gene Simmons and his shameless merchandising (I may or may not have purchased one of their comic books back in the day. C’mon, it had real blood in the ink!), it’s all so much silly fun.

Just in case you weren’t aware of it, it is my solemn duty to remind you that today is Nigel Tufnel Day, it being the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year of this century. So remember, at 11:11AM, turn your music player of choice up to 11.

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Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mark Saleski
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