When ‘Spinal Tap’ came out in 1984, many didn’t understand what they were watching. Rob Reiner was still ‘Meathead’ from All in the Family in the minds of most of the movie going public. So ‘Meathead’ had made a documentary about a ridiculous band that no one had ever heard of.
Those people had obviously never seen the T.V. Show, which can be forgiven because almost no one saw it. It was a pilot for a sketch comedy show that never made it past a single episode. The cast and writers for Reiner’s show included Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, Martin Mull, Harry Shearer and Michael McKean. One of the sketches from the show was a performance of a song called “Rock N’ Roll Nightmare” by a band called “Spinal Tap”.
A few years later, Reiner and company revisited the idea and made a 20 minute demo to shop around. It took a few more years of shopping it around and having it rejected before they finally managed to get it made.
Somehow the tales of cancelled series, confused audiences and rejected pitches seem to fit nicely into what has become the legend of Spinal Tap.
In the videos below you can watch the performance from the TV Show as well as the 20 minute demo that would eventually lead to the film.