Spinal Tap A to Zed

Drummers: Tap has a notorious reputation for changing drummers, usually after sudden deaths. Derek: "When we realized it was a curse, we changed out attitude." (RL) David: "Most of them died peacefully in their sleep, while playing." Derek: "For drummers, it's a bit of an extreme sport, to play with us." (NPR) In 1991, before its triumphant return to the road to support "Break Like the Wind," Tap placed a classified ad in Daily Variety and the Hollywood Reporter announcing auditions: "Drummer died, need new one. Must have no immediate family. Auditions October 31 L.A. Coliseum. RSVP." Four hundred drummers phoned about the ad and 50 auditioned, including Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees, Mick Fleetwood (wearing a fire-retardant suit), Debbie Peterson of the Bangles, Stephen Perkins of Jane's Addiction and Gina Schock of the Go-Gos. (MST; TS) As to why Ric Shrimpton won the seat rather than Fleetwood, David explained, "Mick showed fear. You can't have that." (RL). Until it exploded, a computerized drug machine was used to record some songs on "Break Like the Wind." (BB) During a 10-day tour in early 1992, the band held auditions in Norway, Sweden, Germany and Australia for back-up drummers in case anything happened to Ric. David: "The most ironic thing would be if we all dropped dead one day on stage, except for the drummer." (NPR) See Besser, Joe "Mama"; Bond, Peter "James"; Childs, Eric "Stumpy Joe"; Pepys, John "Stumpy"; Punctuality; Reality Shows; Savage, Viv; Shrimpton, Mick; Shrimpton, Ric; Virtual Reality.

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