A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

This is Spinal Tap

April 30, 2010

This Is Spinal Tap

I’ve always regretted that I didn’t get a chance to see Spinal Tap in concert. They were touring in 1990 to promote their “Break Like the Wind” album and I just never got my act together enough to go see them. But I’d characterize myself as a fan of the band and their music. I had the so called “black album” when I was in college and listened to it all the time. So I’m of two minds about this movie. On the one hand I totally agree with the band in their commentary track on this DVD that Marty DiBergi, the director of this documentary, almost ridicules the band with his treatment. It’s during the “Rock and Roll Creation” number that they point out that DiBergi doesn’t show any of the many times that Derek’s pod DID open. Clearly this tour was a very difficult time for the band, and yet DiBergi chose to highlight all these moments that went almost comically wrong for them.

On the other hand it was through this movie that I discovered Spinal Tap and their music, so it’s not all bad. For all the bits that go wrong for the band there are still some great performances captured here. Sure I’ll admit that when I first saw the eighteen inch high Stonehenge monument flying in from the rafters I laughed my ass off, but the actual number is pretty cool to listen to. It’s amazing number one hit after number one hit. Big Bottoms. Sex Farm. Hell Hole. (Indeed this DVD has the very eighties music video for Hell Hole as a bonus item. It makes me grin.)

It’s also nice to see all these candid moments with the band. It really humanizes them. I mean, you could be intimidated by these people. They’re monsters of heavy metal who have been around since the sixties. Nigel Tufnel. David S. Hubbins. Derek Smalls was even paid tribute to in the liner notes for Jethro Tull’s Thick as a Brick. And of course there’s their frighteningly tight trousers and their enormous contents. So it’s nice to have this look inside their lives and see what drives the band as real people.

The film may be a joke on the whole, but the band… the band goes to eleven.

April 30, 2010 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , ,

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