Pop & Hiss

The L.A. Times music blog

« Previous Post | Pop & Hiss Home | Next Post »

Spinal Tap shows heavy mettle after 25 years

June 21, 2009 |  4:10 pm

The faux metal band that sprung forth from Rob Reiner's 1984 'mockumentary' is back with a new album (its first in 17 years) and a one-off 'world tour.'


The rock stars in the room have been at this all day. Since 11 a.m., the laughable, mostly fictional heavy-metal trio Spinal Tap has been hard at work, making the usual wig adjustments and celebrating the release of the band's first album in 17 years.

First there was a live performance and some preposterous chitchat on "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien" and now more interviews and a quick nighttime photo shoot. The photographer observes the musicians' scowling, mildly bewildered faces as they pose at a Universal City hotel.

"Nice," he says approvingly.

"We don't do nice," says the tall singer with a British accent, who calls himself David St. Hubbins (more commonly known as American actor Michael McKean). "Nice is for the Jonas Brothers."

Bassist Derek Smalls (a.k.a. Harry Shearer) raises a triumphant heavy-metal fist toward the lens, and lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest) watches blankly in his leather jacket and shiny red sneakers. The day isn't over.

"If I could get a rubber doughnut to sit on," says St. Hubbins, looking at his chair, "that would be great."

"You mean," Tufnel asks, "besides the one in your trousers?"