(Roughly) Daily

Appeasing the Gods…


Earlier this spring, director Alex Cox (Repo Man, Sid and Nancy) made a pilgrimage to the Ft. Morgan, Colorado grave of Philip K. Dick and his twin sister Jane to leave an offering in hope of good fortune in Cox’s Kickstarter quest to fund Bill, the Galactic Hero, a feature comedy based on Harry Harrison’s classic anti-war science fiction novel…

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Cox’s prayers were answered:  Kickstarter members (your correspondent included) oversubscribed his goal. But it’s not too late for readers to get in on the action; Cox and his terrific team of fellow-travelers can use more support, so the campaign remains open.


As we get in touch with our inner mogul, we might recall that on this date in 1984, music history was made. As History reports,

Almost 20 years and who knows how many drummers into their unique career in rock, the surviving members of one of England’s loudest bands had reached yet another low point in the spring of 1984. Only two years removed from a disastrous 1982 world tour that not only failed to turn the album Smell The Glove into a comeback hit, but also led to the group’s breakup, Spinal Tap now had to suffer the indignity of seeing the Marty DiBergi-helmed behind-the-scenes film of that tour gain widespread theatrical release. Would the numerous embarrassments catalogued in the hard-hitting rockumentary This Is Spinal Tap provoke public sympathy for and renewed interest in the band that Nigel Tufnel, David St. Hubbins and Derek Smalls began back in 1964 as The Originals? Or would the group behind such familiar classic-rock hits as “Give Me Some Money” and “Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight” be consigned once and for all to obscurity? In this atmosphere of uncertainty, Spinal Tap elected to go back to their roots, kicking off a tour of small American rock clubs with an appearance at New York City’s legendary CBGB’s on May 6, 1984.

Of course, almost none of the above is true, strictly speaking. A group calling itself Spinal Tap did play CBGB’s on this day in 1984, but that group was the fictitious invention of director Rob Reiner and the comic actors Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer—St. Hubbins, Tufnel and Smalls, respectively. Reiner’s directorial debut was the aforementioned This Is Spinal Tap, a film that launched the mockumentary mini-genre as well as a thousand catchphrases, from “These go to 11” to “None more black.”

This, the band’s first public appearance, happened during the film’s first week of release; as one attendee recalled, it drew “every professional musician in the city of New York.”





Written by (Roughly) Daily

May 6, 2013 at 1:01 am

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