I had not seen or even heard of Spinal Tap when I was asked to photograph three actors who had come over to London from the US to publicize their spoof movie of a rock band on the road. When they arrived at the offices of City Limits where I was working I was somewhat underwhelmed by (l-r) Michael McKean, Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest. They were quiet, serious, unassuming people whose personalities changed as soon as they donned their wigs and stage clothes. Suddenly they were a trio of gormless heavy metal musicians with an attitude, mockney accents and hysterically funny.
The movie ‘This is Spinal Tap’ became a cult phenomenon. The dialogue was largely ad-libbed and although not a huge success at the box office, after its video release it gained the attention it deserved and has been acclaimed by many rock musicians as being exactly like the real thing. In 2002 the US Library of Congress went so far as to hail it as being ‘culturally, historically and aesthetically significant and was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. The band have gone on tour performing at the Royal Albert Hall, Glastonbury Festival and throughout the US.