The Defining Beauty of Parody…Thoughts on Spinal Tap and Rock Music

Cover of "This is Spinal Tap (Special Edi...
Cover of This is Spinal Tap (Special Edition)


When Spinal Tap was released in 1984, it signaled the end of a golden age in rock music. We did not realize it at the time because we were too busy enjoying it.

Around the corner, Hip hop was a baby and quickly growing and “file sharing” was ready to pounce and dismantle the whole industry. Like the dinosaurs who once wondered what those weird soft squishy things underfoot called mammals were all about.

And what are the chances of a meteor hitting the earth?

Rock music was about to be unceremoniously dethroned.

These go to 11

“Why not just make 10 louder and keep that the biggest number?”

“These go to 11”


“That is pretty, a real departure from your other stuff”

Thanks, it’s in the sad key of D-minor, I call it “Lick my Love Pump”

Maybe the funniest thing was the bit about books on tape, which was the most perfect joke since it actually happened.

I am not saying “rock is dead” and I am not saying that there is not great music out there today.


What I am saying is that once it ruled the earth as the dominant species and that did not last forever. Once we waited in line all night to get tickets to shows, because if we didn’t –we would not get a ticket. There was no V.I.P experience that could be bought by anyone with enough money. There were no rock fantasy camps! Rock music was not a video game where you got to match colors with buttons on a little plastic guitar!!! Guitars were both worshipped and smashed (a fate that has befallen false deities, rambunctious gods and statues of fanatical leaders since the beginning of time!)

Stonehenge was in danger of being trampled by dwarfs!”

Believe it or not kids-Once we were in a hurry to see stars before they ODed so we could say that we saw them instead of rushing to see them now before they go of natural causes.

“The Puppet Show gets higher billing than us! We are opening for a puppet show”

I am good with YouTube to allow access to any music of any genre at any time. I am good with bringing music with me and listening to anything I want without upsetting anyone else. If I want to crank up Lemmy and the boys doing “Ace of Spades” while mowing the lawn- in this day and age…no one can stop me.

I am also good with Pandora picking music that I don’t like based on music I like. And who can hate being able to make perfect copies of music tracks to enjoy responsibly? I am glad that we are in a different place and have no desire to return to the old days.

We can always learn to sell hats or maybe get reborn with a tour of Japan.

That was the Rock n’ Roll Dream of Spinal Tap

 Instead of playing rehashed hits with one or two original members in an obsessive gluttony of nostalgia in front of fans that wish they still could be as stupid as they once were.

“We now begin a new stage in our music development- Enjoy Spinal Tap mach 2! A jazz odyssey”

We all have to grow up and looking back at yourself and having a good laugh is a good place to start.

Thank you to Nigel, Derek, David and a spontaneously combusting drummer for showing us that.