It’s a familiar cliché, but one that never seems to be slowed down by mileage: This Is Spinal Tap is about (insert band here) and (insert band name) thinks their life is exactly like Spinal Tap. Y’know, how your friends, co-workers and hangers-on would gush about how The Office was JUST LIKE THEIR OFFICE? Recording artists seem fond of doing the same thing.
Michael McKean (or the marvellously locked David St. Hubbins if you prefer) discussed this very topic on Tuesday night’s edition of The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. The Better Call Saul star dished a bit about his early days of doing semi-serious and semi-folky songs with frequent collaborator Christopher Guest under the name “Our Lady Of Food & Maritime.” Naturally, Spinal Tap came up and Fallon poked around a bit on the subject of band’s claiming the exploits in the film were based on them.
“In some cases, it was about them and it just hadn’t happened yet,” noted McKean like a veteran professor of rock buffoonery.
The 68-year-old actor revealed that there really was a band who had a bandmate’s girlfriend takeover for a fired manager and rerouted the tour using astrology. Here’s the kicker: This ridiculous scenario played out years after the movie was released.
As for getting lost backstage…
“I saw a film of Tom Petty and his band getting lost in this huge entertainment complex in Germany and they suddenly wind up on a tennis court. No audience there. And B.B. King’s 80th birthday at the Apollo, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton were both on the bill and they got lost under the stage at the Apollo. Jeff told me that it was a real Twilight Zone kinda moment. WE’RE IN THAT MOVIE!”
As long as you steer clear of the occasional freak gardening accident, it’s probably nice to have a Tap-indebted anecdote or two in your professional recording career.