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8 Unsung Heroes Of Spinal Tap

Goggle-Eyed Concierge

On the 25th anniversary of Rob Reiner's rockumentary (if you will), we salute the unsung heroes of the movie - the side characters who don't take centre-stage but play a major part in lubricating the laughs...

First up, this bottle bottom-bespectacled "twisted old fruit" painfully illustrates the slow crumbling of the band's rock 'n roll fantasy world.

Tap manager Ian Faith's anger at the clerk's reluctance to supply multi-suite luxury exposes his biggest fear - that his charges' appeal is "becoming more selective".

Mr Swimmy-Eyes offers a helpful dose of reality in response to Faith's slur: "I'm just as God made me, sir!"

Ditzy Blonde Fan

Guaranteed instant cheap comedy: vox-pop hardcore fans waiting to get into a gig on what they like about the band.

This vaguely tranny-ish girl feels like she's been beamed in from 1967 ("The music just unites people with the players!").

Reiner's camerawork is so wonderfully naturalistic, it seems like he's taken the interview from an actual talk with a fan outside, say, a Motley Crue gig and then used it as a cheaty splice-in.

Helpful Stage-Hand

Without this fella, the Tap would still be stumbling around the backstage bowels of the Xanadu Star Theater like candyfloss-wired children in a theme-park maze.

Thanks to the hatted Hand, though, Cleveland (eventually) get their hello...

In a deleted version of the scene, an inspired Nigel suggests he stays in one spot and acts like "a beacon" ("Hello, hello... Please find me!")

Military Base Stiff

Motormouth quipster colonel who welcomes the Tap to an ill-advised gig at a dinner-dance for military personnel at his sterile air-base.

"I'm a big fan of your music," he insists. "Not your music specifically but the general style..."

"I need a haircut myself," he joshes. "Better not get too close or they'll think I'm part of the band..."

But seriously, folks... He wonders if the band could maybe kick off with a couple of slow numbers so he can dance...

Cue 'Sex Farm'...


David St Hubbins' ditzy girlfriend plays the Yoko role beautifully, annoyingly, astrologically.

Janine's proposed star-sign redesign of the band's look is met with guffaws from a resentful Nigel ("Is this a joke?") while her opinion on a possible remixing of Smell The Glove is far from informed ("Let's do it in Dobly").

The Dobly thing has been adopted by studio engineers to tease artists who pretend to be au fait with the technical lingo. (Motorhead's roadies have famously induced Lemmy to enquire about the DFA* levels during a sound-check).

*Does Fuck All

Bobbi Flekman

Fag-chaining "hostess with the mostess" head of Artist Relations at Polymer.

Her nasal New Yoik drawl floods the room at the Atlanta industry party where she memorably insists to Tap manager Ian Faith that "money talks and bullshit walks".

Flekman also has a key clash with dumbass guitarist Nigel, loudly insisting that the original cover design for Smell The Glove ("a greased naked woman on all fours having a glove pushed into her face") is sexist. (Nigel: "What's wrong with being sexy?")

In a deleted scene, Nigel offers a frank opinion on Bobbi: "If she hadn't been a cheat, a liar and a bitch, she would have been a great girl."

Sinatra Chauffer

Tap limo driver and Frank Sinatra superbore Tommy Pishedda.

He bristles when the band blank his Frank-wank ("When you've loved and lost like Frank has, then you know what life's all about.")

Marti protests, insisting the kids can be moved by heavy metal just as much as Sinatra. Tommy is too much of a Frank-ophile to agree ("Don't say anything to 'em, but - this is a fad.")

Look out for Tommy in an early airport scene, where he fails to make a good impression with a misspelt call-card ('SPINAL PAP').

Artie Fufkin

"I'm not asking, I'm telling you - kick my ass!"

Artie is the Polymer Records Midwest promotions rep tasked with pushing The Tap in Chicago and Cleveland.

When literally no-one turns up to a Smell The Glove signing session, an embarrassed Artie invites the band to vent their frustration on his fundament.

"Kick my ass, for a man!"