My Day with Spinal Tap

The thing I like about You Tube is that it's like an old trunk in the attic full of forgotten memories until you open it. Every now and then, an old video of mine will surface. Case in point: an MTV news story I shot about Spinal Tap. Check it out here and read my story of that day below.

I should have known something was up as my producer Nancy Stevens was wearing a slight mischevious smile. In those days, I was a video cameraman shooting rock star interviews and backstage stories for MTV News. I had seen my share of rising stars and fading glories so thought nothing of it when we met an aging band of hard rockers trying to hold onto their moment. Some washed-up actor had done a movie documentary about them which had premiered the night before. This morning, we were going to spend the day with them in a desperate attempt at promotion.

 

We waited for them in an empty ill-used theater in San Francisco's strip club district and suddely they strode in from the darkness all ego and serious self-importance. Here we go again, I thought, and dutifully went through the morning shooting interviews and cover shots. From my perch behind the lens, I was amused as they did and said the things every band does but somehow took it one step over the edge. These guys are really something, I thought and looked forward to lunch.

 

After lunch, the band came back in but now without their rock star make-up, costume and hairy wigs. Oh, man! It was that guy from Laverne and Shirley and Christopher Guest and that other sorta familiar actor. And the director of the film, the guy that we are now interviewing is Meathead from All In the Family. What the hell?

 

Nancy asked her first question," So the name of the film is This is Spinal Tap, a comedic take on an imaginary rock band, a mockumentary if you will. At first, it seems serious until the joke slowly dawns on the audience. How do you think people will feel once they realize they've been had?"

 

For the briefest of moments, Nancy turned to me and smiled.

 

 

Watch the video!

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