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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com