Spinal Tap are reuniting in 2019, but they won’t be coming to London
On the tenth anniversary of Spinal Tap’s One Night Only World Tour at London’s Wembley Arena, the unmistakable parody of the world’s heavy metal rock gods is to reunite in 2019. The world-renowned trio of David St Hubbins (Michael McKean), Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest) and Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer) is set to treat attendees to a “special musical performance” at the 35th-anniversary screening of This Is Spinal Tap at the upcoming 2019 Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
It is 40 years since the fictional band first appeared on our television screens, performing as part of a comedy sketch pilot on an ABC TV show starring Rob Reiner. They later were part of the tongue-in-cheek “rockumentary” film titled This Is Spinal Tap, released in 1984, directed and co-written by Reiner himself. The film received modest critical acclaim upon its release, with some declaring it the “funniest rock movie ever made”. However, it wasn’t until several years down the line that Spinal Tap would become global stars, following its release on VHS.
Cultural recognition for McKean, Guest and Shearer
In fact, the Library of Congress deemed This Is Spinal Tap to be “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” for preservation in the US National Film Registry, such is its accurate depiction of the roller-coaster lifestyle of rock stars. Spinal Tap had a transformative effect on some of the world’s biggest metal bands. Metallica dedicated their Black Album to Spinal Tap’s own Smell the Glove. The Spinal Tap brand has become synonymous worldwide, appearing in all kinds of media. The Simpsons made an episode about the band in 1992, titled The Otto Show. Meanwhile, the band has its own video game developed by Blueprint Gaming, sound-tracked by the band themselves. You can find this game, which captures the parody stylings of the film impressively, on several of the iGaming sites listed by CasinoWings.
A moment that will “define” Tribeca Film Festival 2019
Paula Weinstein, EVP of Tribeca Enterprises, could not hide her excitement at securing the booking of Spinal Tap at the Tribeca Film Festival, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Weinstein said that “This Is Spinal Tap and Reality Bites didn’t just capture the spirit of their respective times – they helped define them”. She added that bringing This Is Spinal Tap back to the big screen will not only be great for “existing fans”, it will also “introduce them to new audiences”. Since its inauguration in 2002, Tribeca has always been a festival geared to showcasing diversity, giving independent filmmakers a chance to spread their message to a broader audience. Their link-up with Spinal Tap is a good fit given that both aren’t afraid of being different.
Whisperings that Spinal Tap were thinking of reuniting for a special performance grew louder when Derek Smalls released his very own solo album, called Small Change (Meditations Upon Ageing) in April 2018 under the Twanky Records/BMG label. This too received critical acclaim, with Variety calling it “the hokiest album of 2018, and also maybe the most honest” in the way it touches upon the subject of getting old.
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Photo: Courtesy of Spinal Tap