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Posts Tagged ‘Spinal Tap

“Don’t trust anyone over 30″*…

In 1984 Bruce Springsteen released his best-selling album, a twelve-track masterpiece in which seven songs were released as singles, including the mega-hits “Dancing in the Dark,” “Born in the U.S.A.,” “I’m on Fire,” and “Glory Days.” Rolling Stone called Springsteen the “voice of a decade,” and wrote, “It’s as if Springsteen were saying that life is made to endure and that we all make peace with private suffering and shared sorrow as best we can.”

Although the song “Born in the U.S.A.” had a cultural impact, the most lasting legacy of the album might be “Dancing in the Dark,” an upbeat pop song with oddly grim lyrics, and a classic video featuring a young Courteney Cox dancing onstage…

With Tetris, TED, and This is Spinal Tap, one of “30 Things Turning 30 in 2014.”

* variously attributed to Bob Dylan, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, and The Beatles, all of whom said it; but it’s likely that they all got it from Jack Weinberger, a free speech activist, who was quoted with the phrase in 1964, in the San Francisco Chronicle.


As we age gracefully, we might recall that it was also 30 years ago– on this date in 1984– that Michael Jackson’s Thriller became the best-selling album ever.  Released in 1982, Thriller spawned seven singles, all of which charted, and several seminal music videos (e.g., “Billie Jean,” Human Nature,” Thriller”); it won 8 Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year.  As of 2010, Thriller had sold a certified 42.4 million copies (and had an estimated total of 51-65 million).  The runner-up, Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon (released a decade earlier), had sold 27.2 million.


Written by LW

January 12, 2014 at 1:01 am

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 LW

May 6, 2013 at 1:01 am

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