DailyView: Day 200, Movie 283
Day 200 starts off with a TV movie that I found while looking through Robin Williams’s IMDB page. I love Spinal Tap and the various members of the loudest rock band in history and I was unaware of this TV movie/special that aired on New Years Eve in 1992. When I found this, I went searching for the TV movie on the streaming services. I found it on YouTube.
First, a little background info on my introduction to Spinal Tap. I knew of a few of their songs from the Dr. Demento show (particularly Big Bottom). I saw the movie This is Spinal Tap for the first time with my roommate Andy at the University of Iowa Union at a special screening. This was actually a few years after the film flopped in the theaters and as it was becoming a cult hit. I was enraptured by This is Spinal Tap, bought the soundtrack and played it consistently.
In 1992, there was great news. The fictional band Spinal Tap was releasing a very non-fictional album called Break Like the Wind, filled with all new songs from the band. This is the emphasis of the special, playing many of the new songs from the album.
The thee members of Spinal Tap are amazing. David St. Hubbins is portrayed by Michael McKeon, Nigel Tufnel is played by Christopher Guest and Derek Smalls is in reality Harry Shearer. The three of them are talented musicians as well as great improv actors. They wrote all of their own songs and perform their greatest hits in the special.
There were a bunch of special stars appearing in the special. I will say the Robin Williams cameo was a little disturbing because of the ultimate fate of the actor. We saw Mel Torme singing a bit of Sex Farm, a picture with moving lips of Cher singing her duet with Tap, Just Begin Again, Martin Short telling a story about other Tap fans, Jamie Lee Curtis (the wife of Christopher Guest) talking about her lack of memory about her own Spinal Tap experience, Kenny Rogers teaching David St. Hubbins how to golf among others.
MTV personality Martha Quinn hosted the show like she was reporting on Spinal Tap, who was playing the Royal Albert Hall in London. It was billed as Spinal Tap returning home to England where the band was supposedly originally from.
There were several cameos from people who also appeared in This is Spinal Tap playing their same characters. These cameos included Paul Schaffer, Fred Willard, Rob Reiner, and June Chadwick (who plays Jeanine Pettibone-St. Hubbins).
But as with any Spinal Tap show, the music is center stage, and the band brings their best. There are a couple of cameos of the Folksmen (another fictional band created by Michael McKeon, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer, who are part of the Chris Guest film A Mighty Wind) who were meant to open the show for Spinal Tap. This joke came from a couple of real times when they donned the Folksmen outfit to play some folk music ahead of Spinal Tap and the crowds nearly booed them off the stage. Ironic, huh?
This special was a lot of fun and it certainly cemented the legacy of the loudest band ever. I would be curious to know how much of the comedy bits were improvised as much of the actual film was. I am pleased to have found this and enjoyed it tremendously.