Derek Smalls, the massively muttonchopped bassist for Spinal Tap, just released a solo album titled Smalls Change (Meditations On Aging), in which he ponders the fate of bands that stay together too long: “the drummer OD’d; lead singer got fat; bass player’s on IV, he likes it like that.” Other songs are titled “Hell Toupee” and “MRI” (“50 years of rock-n-roll fun, now I’ve got a bad limp and can’t feel my bum”).
Ok, so clearly the blokes of Spinal Tap—including Harry Shearer, who plays Derek Smalls and went on to Simpsons characters like Mr. Burns and Ned Skinner— are getting up there (and we’re not talking about turning it up to 11). This coming March, This Is Spinal Tap will turn 35. To celebrate, the Tribeca Film Festival will screen the seminal mockumentary and host a q&a and a performance by stars Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, and director Rob Reiner. Clearly, this is not to be missed; the band’s last shows of note were in 2009, for their Back From the Dead album.
The festival runs April 24 to May 5. Hopefully no one spontaneously combusts before then.
Tribeca’s announcement comes just days after Spinal Tap’s stars agreed to mediation in a $400 million fraud suit they brought against production company Vivendi, which is accused of withholding money owed on music and merchandising.
Tribeca will also screen another comedy classic— Ben Stiller’s Reality Bites, the quintessential ’90s hipster dramedy with the rockin’ soundtrack (or was thatSingles?)— on the occasion of its 25th anniversary, with a discussion to follow.
Venues for the anniversary screenings have yet to be announced and tickets are expected to go on sale in late February or early March; keep an eye on Tribeca’s website for more info.