It's the 1980s and film maker Marti DiBergi invites us to join the English rock group, Spinal Tap, as they fly to the US of A to begin a nationwide tour promoting their latest album "Smell the Glove". We follow Nigel Tufnel (lead guitar), David St Hubbins (vocals, guitar) (for those interested, St Hubbins is the patron saint of quality footwear), Derek Smalls (bass guitar), Mick Shrimpton (drums) and Viv Savage (keyboard) as they travel around the country, finding that some gigs have been cancelled, that some audiences didn't pay to watch the show and finding that finding the stage is not always as easy as it may seem.
Along the way, we are treated to moments of the band's illustrious past; their '60s hit "gimme some money" and the '70s song that made them world famous "(Listen to) the Flower People"; and to the tragedies that have plagued them - in particular the sad demise of several drummers, who have died in bizarre gardening accidents, choked on vomit and exploded on stage. Just for information, dozens of people spontaneously combust each year, it's just not widely reported.
At one point, the band's manager, Ian, is sacked and replaced by David's girlfriend, Janine, and Nigel quits (don't worry, he rejoins the band in the end)
And as if that wasn't enough, we find out that D minor is the saddest of all keys (people weep instantly when you play it).
Of course there's more to the film than this, but if I told you everything you wouldn't want to see it, would you?
Factual error: In the scene where Derek Smalls is having trouble with the airport security the gate only beeps when he walks 'in'. The gate would beep no matter what way he walked through it. (00:41:00)
Nigel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and...
Martin: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?
Martin: Does that mean it's louder? Is it any louder?
Nigel: Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?
Martin: I don't know.
Nigel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?
Martin: Put it up to eleven.
Nigel: Elevn. Exactly. One louder.
Martin: Why don't you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?
Nigel: These go to eleven.
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