Rob Reiner, Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest and Michael McKean, creators of the iconic mockumentary, This Is Spinal Tap, have set up a wholly-owned entity to manage the licensing of the film and all rights related to it.

With effect from 1st January 2021, the much-beloved movie and all featured characters, trademarks and associated rights will be licensed via Authorized Spinal Tap LLC. Together, the four creators intend to ensure the film continues to be available for existing and future Spinal Tap fans for years to come. Band members David St Hubbins, Nigel Tufnel and Derek Smalls were unavailable for comment.

All inquiries related to licensing the film and any new Tap-related projects should be addressed to enquiries@harcourt.global

Background Statement

The motion picture, This is Spinal Tap has become a cult classic since its first theatrical run over 35 years ago. The film was produced independently on a shoestring budget of (US) $2.25 million, by a company owned by the four creators, Reiner, Guest, McKean and Shearer. Two years in production, the film was released in 1984.

It soon became a cult favourite and spawned a genre that has come to be known as “mockumentary,” inspiring many subsequent filmmakers.  Phrases from the film’s script have entered the general lexicon (including “none more black”, “it goes to 11”), the latter phrase exemplified by the Tesla car, whose audio system’s volume control goes to 11, as does that on the BBC’s iPlayer.

Its reputation as one of the 20th Century’s most enduring comedies has increased exponentially in the ensuing years.  The film has garnered international praise and acclaim, having been included in “best ever” lists such as The New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made; Total Film’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time list; Entertainment Weekly’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time where it appeared on the “Just Too Beloved to Ignore” list; and achieving the coveted Number One spot on Time Out London’s 100 Best Comedy Movies list.

In 2002, the film’s lasting appeal led the US Library of Congress (the world’s largest cultural collection), to designate it as a culturally, historically or aesthetically significant film.

Although This Is Spinal Tap was first released in 1984 in the US and UK, the band “Spinal Tap” was actually created in the late 1970s. The band’s rock musician characters “Nigel Tufnel” and “David St. Hubbins” were created by Christopher Guest and Michael McKean with Harry Shearer creating bassist “Derek Smalls.” Spinal Tap’s comedic sole claim to fame was as “one of England’s loudest bands.”  Performing as their beloved stage personae in the company of a rotating cast of percussionists willing to risk the kit (as so many of their predecessors have been accident prone), Spinal Tap has toured the world multiple times since the film’s release. Hundreds of thousands of Spinal Tap sound recordings have been sold over the ensuing decades and the film has been released on scores of video formats through the years.

In 2019, the band’s creators concluded a new agreement with Universal Music Group.  The band’s recording of a full-length Spinal Tap album featuring songs from the film is still available for physical sale, download and streaming today from UMG.

Any inquiries related to licensing the film or proposals for any new Spinal Tap-related projects should be directed to enquiries@harcourt.global

  • Fairness Rocks news

    SOURCE: Fairness Rocks

    Date: Dec 29, 2020

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  • Spinal Tap’s Fairness Rocks platform has been renewed as a Campaign

    To coincide with World Intellectual Property Day (Thurs 26th April), Spinal Tap’s Fairness Rocks platform has been renewed as a Campaign, with the launch of its website today.

    As Amanda Harcourt, the architect of the Campaign and independent adviser to authors and performers in the creative industry on their intellectual property rights, explains:

    “The Fairness Rocks campaign was born out of the Spinal Tap creators’ knowing that they were not singled out for special treatment. In fact, only a select few highly successful creators actually receive a fair share of the benefits arising from the exploitation of their work.


    Fans and audiences may not realise the economic truth behind the music and film industries. If consumers are repelled by T-shirts manufactured by exploited labour in the developing world, it struck us that, when informed of the commercial realities, audiences may similarly disapprove of the lack of fair treatment the talent receives at the hands of corporations exploiting their music and films.


    To make matters worse, the practices of powerful tech companies have devastated the incomes of writers, composers, performers, and film makers right across the world.


    The truth is that both power and financial imbalances, between the talent and corporations, have persisted for too long. Individually, the talent has a weak bargaining position; often creators are required to sign contracts that fly in the face of the fundamental principles of laws designed to protect them.


    At Fairness Rocks it is our intention to shine a light on some of these unfair practices, to help educate the public, and to inform young creators beginning their careers in music and film. We want to highlight the work of the talent advocacy organisations and to be a place where useful, up-to-date information can be found for media, moviemaker and musician alike.


    Most importantly, we hope that filmmakers, songwriters, musicians and actors of all stripes will join Fairness Rocks and help us give them a unified voice. We want to provide a platform for the talent to speak openly and share their experiences of their industries.


    Put simply, all the talent should be receiving a fair share of the fruits of their work.


    Sunlight is a great disinfectant – so if the transparency of the Fairness Rocks campaign can help change some deeply-entrenched industry norms, the creative industry’s future will look a little bit brighter.”

  • Fairness Rocks news

    SOURCE: Fairness Rocks

    Date: April, 2018

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