Spinal Tap A to Zed

Ian FaithFaith, Ian: Tap manager during much of the 1982 U.S. tour immortalized in "This is Spinal Tap." He had succeeded Evan MacGregor as Tap manager and was replaced himself briefly during the 1982 tour by Jeanine Pettibone after falling out over Tap's Stonehenge production. (The band later would suggest that Ian should have followed his nature and accepted her offer, then screwed her out of the deal.) Described his duties to band during a tense meeting late in the tour as chiefly finding lost luggage, locating mandolin strings in the middle of Austin, Texas, and collecting "rent from the local Hebrews." Nigel: "Did he ever give us good news? Ever?" David: "He told me one time, 'It's not my job to give you good news. You're rock and roll stars. That's the good news.' " Believed to have died at the Chelsea Hotel of a drug overdose on 12 November 1990. Tap members reported that they gleefully danced on his grave and flicked his nose at the Woodlawn, New York, funeral ("It still shook a bit," Nigel later told a reporter. "It wasn't rigor mortized"), saying he owed them "a great deal of money" and even went so far as the stick them with the $11,000 tab for the buffet at his wake. (As the first shovelful of dirt was thrown on the grave, Nigel was heard to yell: "Bye, Ian, come back as something I can eat!"). Faith would later claim that Nigel had once tried to kill him with rat poison, but "he used a bright-blue crystalline rat poison and put it on my salad. I mean, it shows up, blue does!") Derek: "David once said in a cruel moment that he died of an overdose of royalties." David: "I think there was a decent human being lurking very deep inside him, lurking in a place that you wouldn't want to go." Derek: "It would take very small boat and an oxygen mask to get there." The band attributed Ian's death to "a bubble of nastiness bursting in his brain" and "embezzlement." David: "His family consisted almost entirely of ex-wives. It's more of a coven than a family." (QM) Because the band members were the only revelers at the gravesite, they naturally began to talk. The joviality of the funeral reminded them how much fun rock 'n roll had been and inspired them to begin work on "Break Like the Wind." Derek: "It was destiny. And it was also because none of us were really making a great amount of money." (BB) Faith was still alive, however, having faked his death and relocated to the Caymans with Tap's money. In a 1992 interview, Faith admitted that "there were collective indiscretions that I had individually undertaken.... I committed a crime in order to draw attention away from the potentially damaging indiscretions that had been committed by the band collectively, without their knowledge, by me." Among his indiscretions was collecting advances in Europe for albums that weren't yet recorded. Faith later purchased the rights to sell Nazi memorabilia at European skinhead rallies, organized a benefit satellite rock concert for tennis players who have been held hostage by terrorists and proposed a Managing Wilburys group "that would go around the country orchestrating the careers of groups on the road." Watching the movie together for the commentary track on the Special Edition of This is Spinal Tap, David commented upon seeing Ian, "It's almost amazing to see his hands in his own pockets." Nigel: "He could lie with a straight face better than anyone I have ever known." Derek: "He could lie with a grin on his face." Nigel also revealed that he and Ian had shared a few cricket games, but that they had never showered together. See also Dancing on Ian’s Grave; Dead Faith Records; Embezzlement; Hassan; Managing Wilburys; Moderate Records; Rafsanjani, Ali Akbar Hashemi

Ian Faith Lives!

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