Spinal Tap Quotes

Friday, April 29 by Adam Williamson

There is a good chance that you know a few Spinal Tap quotes, even if you have never seen the film. For a parody, it says almost everything that was needed to be said about the music scene of the 1980's. With a great band, a fun soundtrack, and one of the better selections of quotes ever put to film, this movie is a must see for any fan of good cinema. 

  1. “It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.” The documentary walks this line quite carefully, though the characters easily jumped over it. Nothing says more about Spinal Tap than this quote, especially for those that hate the film. For those that love it, though, it is clear exactly where the film stands.
  2. As long as there's sex and drugs, I can do without rock and roll.” A rare Shrimpton quote. This is likely the attitude of most of the band, and a fair number of real musicians that they parodied. This quote should likely be on the back of the next DVD release.
  3. “The answer is none.  None more black.” In response to their black album cover. It really could not be any more black. Nor could the band be any more stupid. 
  4. “Yeah, well, it's part of a trilogy, a musical trilogy that I'm doing in D minor, which I always find is really the saddest of all keys, really.” If you know anyone that took a music composition class, you have likely heard something similar. This is one of the few moments in which Nigel actually acts like a real musician.  Pretentious, sure, but realistic.
  5. “These go to eleven.” No line from the film is quoted more often. Especially by novice guitarists. Of course, the entire bit of dialog does deserve the same respect but few remember it all.
  6. “I'm really influenced by Mozart and Bach, and it's sort of in between those, really. It's like a Mach piece, really. It's sort of.” “What do you call this?” “Well, this piece is called ‘Lick My Love Pump.’”  Marty rarely seemed to be impressed with the band, and this bit of dialog likely shows why.  Nigel keeps the audience strung along for quite a bit while playing this beautiful piece. In the end, though, Spinal Tap craziness wins out.
  7. The review for "Shark Sandwich" was merely a two word review which simply read "Shit Sandwich." One of the best quotes from Marty, and it sums up the band quite nicely. This is one of the best quotes that lets us know exactly where the band stands. It sets the tone for the rest of the film.
  8. “I don't hear anything.” “Well you would though, if it were playing.” The interplay between the straight man Marty and totally insane Nigel is at the heart of the film. This particular quote is perhaps the most typical of their relationship. Nigel makes no sense, but Marty seems to be humoring him.
  9. “Making a big thing out of it would have been a good idea.” Derek Smalls is likely the least quoted member of the band, but this one liner was perfect. Referring to the tiny Stonehenge, he drives home the point of how asinine the mistake was. Plus, good word play should always be rewarded.
  10. “Dozens of people spontaneously combust each year. It's just not really widely reported.” One of the more utterly surreal moments of the film has to do with the always dying drummers. The band, for whatever reason, seems utterly unaffected by the fate of their various percussionists. This quote is too odd to leave off the list.

-Adam Williamson

Do you like this story?