15 Things You Might Not Know About This Is Spinal Tap

Can you believe it’s been 30 years since This Is Spinal Tap was released? Many folks just did not understand the movie at first, because it was very much like actual documentaries on the rock bands that played at big stadiums throughout the 1970s, yet the faces were somewhat familiar: Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer. The subtle humor mocked the excess and cluelessness of real rock stars so well that many thought they were a real band. And then they became an actual band, releasing albums and going on concert tours, which didn’t help the misunderstanding.

7. THE FILM HIT TOO CLOSE TO HOME FOR MANY FAMOUS MUSICIANS.

“We do love that, the musicians who have said, ‘Man, I can't watch Spinal Tap, it’s too much like my life,’” Harry Shearer says in John Kenneth Muir’s book, Best in Show: The Films of Christopher Guest and Company. “That's the highest compliment of all. It beats all the Oscar nominations we never got.” It’s a compliment the movie’s cast and crew hear quite often. Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, Eddie Vedder, and Dee Snider are just a few of the musicians who have referenced similarities between their own lives and the movie’s plot.

8. IT MADE TOM WAITS AND THE EDGE CRY.

Tom Waits once said that when he watched the film for the first time, he cried because of its realism. The Edge shared a similar sentiment in 2005, when U2 was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: “It's so hard to keep things fresh, and not to become a parody of yourself,” the legendary guitarist told the crowd of onlookers. “And if you've ever seen that movie Spinal Tap, you will know how easy it is to parody what we all do. The first time I ever saw it, I didn't laugh. I wept. I wept because I recognized so much and so many of those scenes.”

But the film grew over the years, and is now a fan favorite. Read all 15 things at mental_floss.    


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