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Spinal Tap A to ZedThis is the Spinal Tap Zine: An A to Zed Guide to One of England's Loudest Bands
by Chip Rowe (2011, ISBN 9780983736837, $2.99)
First published in 1995 as a paper fanzine, the fifth update and revision of this comprehensive guide, compiled by the creator of this site, is available for the Kindle, the Kindle UK, the Nook, the iPad or iPhone or at Kobo for a variety of platforms. It contains more than 550 entries about the international recording stars Spinal Tap, including favorites such as Dubly, Stonehenge and Zucchini and obscurities such as Butt Casts, Goat Boy and Meconium. The 2002 PDF version is available as a free download or you can view it online.


Inside Spinal TapInside Spinal Tap
by Peter Occhiogrosso, published in the U.S. by Timbre Books, Arbor House, softcover, 95 pages, 1985, $12.95. ISBN 0-8779-5-697-9. Published in Great Britain by Abacus, a division of Little Brown, 8 1/2 by 11 inches, 111 pages, softcover, 1992. (both editions out of print)
In 1985, rock journalist Peter Occhiogrosso published this authorized band biography, complete with two inserts with 38 color photographs. In 1992, on the eve of Tap's triumphant return, Occhiogrosso updated the book with more than 30 pages of new material and photographs. He wrote me: "I did some reporting on Tap for Entertainment Weekly, and expanded versions of the stories appear in the revised British edition as part of a section about the band in New Orleans. In many ways, the scene there, all quite real, was as surreal as anything out of the movie, and much of those stories as they appear actually happened. The band was promised a late-night sound check that kept getting pushed back and back to the wee hours. I crashed around 2 a.m. and they hadn't done their check yet, which I understand happened around 4 or 5. They then had to play a breakfast concert at 11 a.m.or some ungodly hour. They twitted the organizers by playing the gig in their pajamas, probably because they had stayed up all night, with or without artificial stimulation, I don't know. The show wasn't bad, just way too loud — but not, of course, for one of Britain's loudest band."
The 113-page book includes magazine articles about Tap reprinted in their entirety from the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties, definitive bios, transcripts of several television appearances, news clippings, and fan letters (click here to read the table of contents). The book is out of print but you can usually find a copy via Amazon.


Official CompanionThis is Spinal Tap: The Official Companion
by Karl French (2000, Bloomsbury, $19.95 ISBN 1582341257 or £16.99 ISBN 074754218X)
This guide contains a transcript of the film, song lyrics, the discography and timeline you'll find here on the Tap fan site, an introduction by someone named Michael McKean, 24 pages of color photos (including a great one of Marty DiBergi testing the metal detector on Derek at the airport) and an A to Zed guide that has strange entries such as Reiner, Rob. The U.S. edition is paperback and the U.K. edition is hardcover. Both have all-black covers. The U.S. edition is paperback, and the Canada and U.K. editions are hardcover. You can buy it at Amazon, Amazon Canada or Amazon UK.


CultographiesCultographies: This Is Spinal Tap
by Ethan De Seife (2007, Wallflower Press, £10.00 ISBN 190567449X)
Ethan De Seife, a visiting professor of film at Gettsyburg College whose writings on Tap first appeared on this site, offers a sustained critical appraisal of the film's success as cult cinema. The small volume (130 pages), part of a series of books that examines films that have achieved cult status, is meticulously footnoted and expertly argued. In the introduction Ethan recalls how he first saw the film with his mother in Harrison, New York in 1984, with just four other people in the theater. "I remember a general sense of confusion when it was over," he writes. He recounts the production, promotion and initial reception to the film and the audience and critical reaction before getting to the meat of the matter, which is his stellar analysis of the film and why it has remained so popular over the decades. The book is a must-have for any dedicated Taphead. You can buy it at Amazon, Amazon Canada or Amazon UK.


Music on FilmThis is Spinal Tap: Music on Film Series
by John Kenneth Muir (2010, Limelight Editions, $12.99 ISBN 0879103779)
Critic John Kenneth Muir, an expert on cult films and TV series, discusses how TIST was made and marketed; its initial audience reception; why it later gained popularity; its influence on the rockumentary genre; and its impact on pop culture. The book originally had been scheduled for publication in 2006 by Emmis Books as Behind the Screen: This is Spinal Tap but was shelved when the publisher had financial difficulties. You can buy it at Amazon, Amazon Canada or Amazon UK.


Spinal Tap: The Book
by Elizabeth Bibb (1985, Proteus Pub. Co., $5.95 ISBN 086276291X)
This book never appeared in stores, and may never actually have been printed. I spoke with Elizabeth Bibb, who said she had been contracted by the band to write the book and did complete it, but she had moved several times and no longer had the manuscript or source material. So I asked Peter Occhiogrosso about it, and he wrote: "When I first asked the band to cooperate with me in 1984 to write Inside Spinal Tap, they told me that another book had already been approved to come from Proteus, an imprint then basically doing rock fan books. My recollection is that the book was to be done by a Variety reporter who had covered the punk rock scene. The existing book deal was for a biographical approach that would have tracked the band members from childhood on and delved into their personal lives in great detail. I pitched my take on the mock-fanzine shape of the book, with lots of archival material, but all strongly focused on the band's musical rather than personal history. They dug it. I later heard that the Proteus book had been canned before a manuscript was delivered, but I'm not sure how Elizabeth Bibb got involved, or if she was in fact the original author and I just had faulty info about the Variety cat."


Director's Notes (aka The Script)
A paper version of the This is Spinal Tap continuity script is available, although it's also included in the CD-ROM and laser disc retrospectives. You can download a transcript (it's a rockumentary, after all) from the articles section of this site, but if you'd like a keepsake, the script is available for $19.95 plus $5.50 shipping from Script City, 8033 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90046 (check or money order, or order with a credit card at 800-676-2522).

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