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SPINAL TAP (1964 - ?): Veteran hard-rock
unit noted for their high-volume assault and dogged persistence.
David St. Hubbins (g) and Nigel Tufnel (lead g) formed nucleus
of band, THE ORIGINALS, Squatney, East London, 1964.
Late 1964 founded THAMESMEN with Ronnie Puddings
(bs, ex-CHEAP DATES), and John (Stumpy) Pepys (drms, ex-LESLIE,
CHESWICK SOUL EXPLOSION, see Cheswick: Les & Mary). Released
Gimme Some Money b/w Cups and Cakes (Abbey, 1965). Toured extensively
in Benelux nations, with Jan van der Kvelk (kybds).
Returned in UK as DUTCHMEN. Period of intense
personnel turnover followed, accompanied by wholesale name changes
including: RAVEBREAKERS, DOPPEL GANG, SILVER SERVICE, BISQUITS,
LOVE BISQUITS, TUFNEL-ST. HUBBINS GROUP. A-Side of first Spinal
Tap single (Listen to the) Flower People: b/w Rainy Day Sun (Megaphone,
1965) penned by Pudding, who left band to form PUDDING PEOPLE,
releasing single I Am the Music and album I Am More Music (Megaphone,
With replacement Derek Smalls (ex-pioneer all-white
Jamaican band, SKAFACE), band recorded first album Spinal Tap
(released in U.S. as Spinal Tap Sings (Listen to the) Flower
People And Other Favorites), went gold in U.K. Sales of follow-up
album We Are All Flower People were disappointing. Tap toured
Europe in support of then-hot Matchstick Men, developing harder
twin- guitar style.
Live recording of landmark appearance at Electric
Zoo, Wimpton, U.K. produced third album, Silent But Deadly. Pepys,
suddenly dead in tragedy, replaced by Eric "Stumpy Joe"
Childs (ex-WOOLCAVE). Albums recorded by this lineup included:
Brainhammer, Blood To Let, Nerve Damage, and Intravenous deMilo.
For ambitiously flawed concept LP The Sun Never Sweats, Tap hired
Ross MacLochness (kybds, ex-KILT KIDS) and replaced "Stumpy
Joe," dead in sudden tragedy, with session drummer Peter
James Bond. This lineup toured Far East in 1975, released second
live album Jap Habit. Mach Lochness, returned to missionary work
in Namibia, later released solo LP, Doesn't Anybody Here Speak
On Bent For The Rent, band's late-arriving glitter
attempt, Viv Savage (kybds, ex-AFTERTASTE) came aboard. Press
attention was momentarily attracted when band sued Megaphone
for back royalties, and label threatened to countersue, charging
"lack of talent." After Nice 'n Stinky from two-year-old
Habit became surprise American hit in 1977, Tap signed with Polymer
Records, replaced Bond, who had died with tragic suddenness,
with Mick Shrimpton (ex-Eurovision Song Contest house band),
released Shark Sandwich (1980) and Smell The Glove (1982).
Though neither a critics' nor a public favorite,
Spinal Tap continues to fill a much needed void.