Spinal Tap, the rock band, consists of a core of singer/guitarist David St. Hubbins, lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel, and bassist Derek Smalls, with lots of other people, especially keyboardists and drummers, who have been in the band for shorter periods. (Tap's drummers have a history of dying oddly -- bizarre gardening accidents, choking on someone else's vomit, spontaneously combusting on stage, etc.) A list on the fan site at www.chiprowe.com/tap has documented these members (including during Tap's earlier incarnations as the Thamesmen):

  • Adams, Jimmy (horn) 1965-66
  • Apso, Lhasa (vocals) 1965-66
  • Besser, Joe "Mama" (drums) 1982
  • Bond, Peter "James" (drums) 1974-77
  • Brixton, Tony (keyboards) 1965-66
  • Childs, Eric "Stumpy Joe" (drums) 1969-74
  • Clovington, Geoff (horn) 1965-66
  • Laine, Dicky (keyboards) 1965-66
  • MacLochness, Ross (keyboards), 1974-75
  • Pepys, John "Stumpy" (drums) 1964-69
  • Pettibone, Jeanine (tambourine), 1982
  • Pudding, Ronnie (bass), 1966-67
  • "Ricky from San Francisco" (guitar), 1982
  • Savage, Viv (keyboards), 1975-82
  • Schindler, Little Danny (harmonica, vocals), 1965-66
  • Scrubbs-Martin, Julie (vocals), 1965-66
  • Shrimpton, Mick (drums), 1977-82
  • Shrimpton, Ric (drums), 1992-
  • Smalls, Derek (bass), 1967-
  • St. Hubbins, David (guitar), 1966-
  • Tufnel, Nigel (guitar), 1966-
  • Upham, Denny (keyboards), 1966-68
  • van der Kvelk, Jan (keyboards), 1965
  • Vanston, C.J. (keyboards), 1992-
  • Wax, Nick (keyboards), 1965-66
While David tells Marty DiBergi during the 1982 filming of This Is Spinal Tap that there had been 37 people in the band, only 20 have been documented. The lost 17 likely were short-term hires during the turbulent years of 1965 and 1966. In a 1992 interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Nigel mentioned that 12 drummers had preceded Ric Shrimpton, meaning that seven of the missing 17 were drummers. The current total stands at 42.

Spinal Tap was formed in 1964 by David St. Hubbins and Nigel Tufnel. Prior to 1964, Nigel was in a band called "The Lovely Lads". David was in a band called "The Creatures". They met while jamming outside a London subway station. They called their band "The Originals". However, they quickly discovered there was already a band on London's east end calling themsevles that. So they renamed their band "The New Originals". Shortly after changing their name, the original The Originals changed their name to The Regulars. The New Originals, unable to get signed, fell apart. Before David and Nigel could part ways, a band called the Johnny Goodshow Revue hired them to tour English sea-side resorts. They toured as The Thamesmen. In 1965 they got a gig touring the Benelux nations and changed their name to The Dutchmen. After the tour, they went on a name changing orgy. They changed their band name to:
  • Rave Breakers
  • Hellcats
  • Flamin' Daemons
  • Shiners
  • Mondos
  • The Doppel Gang
  • The Peoples
  • Loose Lips
  • Waffle
  • Hot Waffles
  • Silver Service
  • Love Bisquits
  • Bisquits
  • The Mud Below
  • The Tufnel-St. Hubbins Group

In December 1966 they settled on Spinal Tap, which they assumed was a misspelling of "Spynal Tap". It was fashionable in the mid-'60s to name bands with cute missepllings. For example The Bee(a)tles. However, only later did the band find out, according to bass player Derek Smalls "we spelled it right by mistake."

In the '70s, the band had to temporarliy change its name to Anthem and The Cadburys due to legal troubles with its record label. In 1982, Nigel quit the band and Spinal Tap was forced to call themselves Spinal Tap Mark II. Nigel quitting allowed them to explore freeform jazz. Nigel had long prevented the band from experimenting with jazz because a) jazz guitarists don't play loud b) he believed jazz was "just a series of mistakes without the 'oops.'".


1967 - Spinal Tap Sings (Listen to the) Flower People and Other Favorites (included the songs "Flower People" and "Have a Nice Death")

1968 - We Are All Flower People (included the songs "We Are All Flower People" and "The Incredible Flight of Icarus P. Anybody")

1969 - Silent But Deadly (a live concert album that included the songs "Breakfast of Evil" and "Silent But Deadly")

1970 - Brainhammer (included the songs "Big Bottom" and "Swallow My Love")

1971 - Nerve Damage (song list unknown)

1972 - Blood to Let (included the song "Blood to Let")

1974 - Intravenus de Milo (included the songs "Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight" and "Saliva of the Fittest")

1975 - The Sun Never Sweats (included the songs "The Sun Never Sweats" and "Stonehenge")

1975 - Jap Habit (a live triple album that included the songs "Nice 'N Stinky" and "Nocturnal Mission")

1976 - Bent for the Rent (included the songs "When a Man Looks Like a Woman" and "Heavy Duty")

1976 - Tap Dancing (song list unknown)

1977 - Rock 'N Roll Creation aka The Gospel According to Spinal Tap (included the songs "Young, Smug and Famous" and "Rock 'N Roll Creation")

1980 - Shark Sandwich (included the songs "Throb Detector" and "Sex Farm")

1982 - Smell The Glove (included the song "Hell Hole") Note: originally this album featured a chained and bound woman being forced to smell a glove, however protest from retailers forced Spinal Tap to change the cover to pure black. It became known as "the black album". An idea later stolen by in real life by Metallica.

1983 - Heavy Metal Memories (a best of album)

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