Brian Johnson, Zakk Wylde + More Share Their Favorite ‘Spinal Tap’ Scenes
30 years on, the escapades of ‘This Is Spinal Tap‘ still resonate loudly with many rock and rollers. The fake documentary, or, if you prefer, mockumentary, has spawned a sub-culture of its own including not only recitation of many of the film’s classic lines, but also high anxiety for many real-life rockers.
“When I first saw ‘Spinal Tap,’ I was not in a band so it was nothing more to me than a very, very funny movie,” Rob Zombie told Yeah!. ” Now, having been in a rock band for the last 29 years, ‘Spinal Tap’ is like a painfully true documentary of my life.”
This, it turns out, is a common take among musicians. That fine line between parody and reality that ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ blurs so well, as guitarist Zakk Wylde recalls, “I definitely thought it was funny. But the more years I’ve spent in the music business with managers, promoters, etc., it’s even funnier every time I watch it. Because it’s all true.”
AC/DC‘s Brian Johnson called it, “The best documentary I have ever watched,” and noted that Peter Mensch, AC/DC’s manager at the time, was an adviser on the movie. “I have always thought the ‘Black Album’ in the movie was modeled on our own ‘Back in Black’ album,” he added. “It is almost the true story of every rock band,” said Meat Loaf, who added that the Stonehenge scene is something he still cries over.
The appeal of ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ seems universal to most bands who have ever ventured beyond their garage, and, not unexpectedly, many rockers have their own real-life Spinal Tap stories, some of which rival those in the film. This may in part be due to the less-than rigid filming process. “There was no script, but a 27-page outline and everything we said was improvised,” said actress Fran Drescher, who played the character of Bobbi Flekman.