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8 years after the film, Spinal Tap appeared on US TV and were fantastic all over again

Spinal Tap on the set of Good Morning America
(Image credit: ABC News)

Of all the great British rock legends, none have had a career like Spinal Tap. While many fans got their first taste of the band through the legendary This Is Spinal Tap film, released in 1984, the band had been ploughing a singularly explosive furrow since the early 1960s.

They're still at it. Last month director Rob Reiner revealed that a second Spinal Tap movie is on the way, giving the band the chance to right the wrongs thrown up by the original film.

"The band was upset with the first film," confirmed Reiner. "They thought I did a hatchet job and this is a chance to redeem myself."

In reality, Spinal Tap have never really been away. As recently as 2009 they released the short film Stonehenge: 'Tis a Magical Place to celebrating the 25th anniversary of the film, just months after headlining London's 12,000-capacity Wembley Arena. 

And back in 1992 the band undertook an unprecedented tour of Canada, crossing five time-zones to play sets in St. John's, Barrie and Vancouver in just 24 hours. At each show, the band's iconic Stonehenge set was delivered onstage in a courier envelope.

The same year, the band also appeared on ABC's Good Morning America, the network's flagship news show, where they were interviewed by straight-faced host Charles Gibson. Right off the bat, with guitarist Nigel Tufnell and bassist Derek Smalls in the studio and frontman David St. Hubbins joining in via satellite from Los Angeles, it's clear that the band's famous chemistry is still intact. 

Gibson: You haven't been around – is that right – since 1984? 

Tufnell: 84, yeah.

Gibson: Did the world really want you to come back?  

Smalls: We haven't asked them.

Tufnell: Yeah, we're not taking a vote.

St. Hubbins: This is pure capitalism.

And so it proceeds. Tufnell reveals that in the eight years since the movie he's been "doing some inventing", while Smalls bemoans his time spent with Christian rock outfit Lamb's Blood.

The band then go on to complain about the original film, once again calling it "a hatchet job." They single Reiner out for criticism for having an "agenda to grind" and choosing to only show "the stupid parts of the tour." And they say they'll never work with him again.

"He's doing dog food commercials," says Smalls, dismissively. 

Sprinkled throughout are pearls of Tap wisdom that deserve their place in the rock'n'roll lexicon alongside "You can't dust for vomit", "It’s such a fine line between stupid and clever" and "None more black".

"We got married in The States thinking it would make us both citizens." 

"She sells Irish clothing at a store called Potato Republic."

"I've invented a folding wineglass."

This Is Spinal Tap II is due for release on March 19, 2024, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the original film. Bring it on.

Fraser Lewry
Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 36 years in music industry, online for 23. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.