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Something music fans can really tap into

They started life in London as The Originals.

They were threatened with a lawsuit by the East End Originals over the name, so they changed it to The New Originals.

When the East End Originals changed their name to the Regulars, the New Originals changed back to the Originals.

After a short break because they couldn’t get a record deal, they reformed as the Thamesmen. Their first single didn’t make immediate headway, so they drifted over the English Channel and started playing there. They returned to England as the Dutchmen, but when they found their old single was on the charts, they quickly switched back to the Thamesmen.

Eventually, after a series of horrible mishaps involving their drummers, they settled on the name Spinal Tap, and the rest (as they say) is history.

Anyone who has not watched the movie This is Spinal Tap cannot, in my opinion, call themselves a music fan. It is one of the best parody-documentaries ever made (possibly the first, actually) and led to Spinal Tap actually becoming a band and headlining shows at venues like Wembley in London.

If you had told the three Americans who became British heavy-metal musicians for the movie what it would all lead to, they would probably have said you were crazy. But one of the most important things that led to their success was that Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest and Michael McKean not only knew how to have fun with the whole concept, but they also wrote the music themselves and played their own instruments.

I have watched the movie a lot of times, but I have never dared to turn the volume on my TV up to 11 (another one of the great jokes in the movie and apparently, like so many of the others, totally unrehearsed). They were also probably the first band to have a Stonehenge model set on stage trampled by dwarves. It turned out the model was made a little bit too small, when one of the band members assumed 18’ meant 18 inches and not, as intended, 18 feet.

Strangely, when the concert film Return of Spinal Tap came out, the model of Stonehenge was too BIG to get on the stage.

If you have never seen This is Spinal Tap or Return of Spinal Tap, you have my pity.

If you have seen one or both, maybe haul them out one day and revel again in the history of one of “England’s loudest bands”.

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