This Is Spinal Tap (Marty DiBergi, 1984)

“Have a good time, all the time.” — Viv Savage

viv zombie

Much has been written about the career of Spinal Tap, the second greatest rock band to ever come out of England, apologies to The Rolling Stones. The longevity of the band, their expert songwriting, and their general loudness have all become the gold standard for nearly every musician that has followed in their wake. Often referred to as “Heavy Metal’s Susan Lucci”, Spinal Tap’s annual snubbing by the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame is a travesty of monumental proportions,¬†especially considering the band has written two of the very best songs with the Hall’s name in the title, Rock ‘n’ Rolls “Creation” and “Nightmare”.

While the core personnel has been the same since the 1960s, and principal songwriters David St. Hubbins and Nigel Tufnel have a relationship going “all the way home” back to childhood, one of the most famous elements of the band is their constant retinue of replacement players. Drummers in particular. And while these performers have ranged from the perfunctory (“Gimme Some Money” percussionist John “Stumpy” Pepys) to the incongruously virtuosic (Nigel’s temporary replacement, Ricky, “the hottest lead guitarist in San Francisco”), some of these musicians made lasting contributions with the band and they deserve to be remembered. None more so than keyboardist Viv Savage.

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