The Top Ten Spinal Tap Quotes You Haven’t Heard Before: The Out-Takes

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David St Hubbins (about Marty DiBergi): “He decided to do a hatchet job. We heard that people saw this film and laughed….”

It’s thirty years this week since legendary documentary film-maker Marty DiBergi released his groundbreaking movie This Is Spinal Tap having followed one of Britain’s greatest, and loudest, heavy metal bands, Spinal Tap, as they toured America.

We all know the film, and have our favourite quotes. But what about the parts of the film that ended up in the cutting room floor?

There’s some amazing footage of the band that only surfaced on the two-disc special edition way back in 2000 and which was ruthlessly edited out in a way that Peter Jackson (who has *this* much talent) will never be able to comprehend, despite being in many cases just as funny as the footage that did make the final cut.

The out-takes include a priceless signing of Smell The Glove where the band only have black pens to sign the none-more-black record (“Tilt it” they tell a disappointed fan trying to see the signatures). There’s the whole band sporting cold sores mid-tour, David wearing a jumper with planets on it that was a gift from his girlfriend Jeanine (which he wears as she bursts spots on his back), and the scene where they get their driver stoned, and strip him down to his underpants to sing a Sinatra song on the karaoke machine.

To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of this fine film I present a Top Ten Spinal Tap Quotes (Out-Takes Edition). I was tempted to let the list go up to eleven, but there you go…

Perhaps we can also compile your favourite quotes that did make it onto the final film? Do let me know your favourites in the comments section below…

1. Nigel and David Discussing The History of America – And Who Strangled Who
Nigel: You think about a country like this, how old is it?
David: Two? …..1756?
Nigel: The Dutch came over and they had to strangle the Indians..
David: First the Spanish came over looking for the fountain of youth…
Nigel: The Spaniards came over and strangled the Dutch…
David: No….the Spaniards came over first…
Nigel: No the Spaniards came over with the Dutch, and then they fought…and that’s what gave it “Man-Hat-tan”….. It was a Dutch / Spanish sort of retreat….
2. Billy Crystal Reveals Why He Became A Mime
Marty DiBergi (to Billy Crystal’s mime character): I was just watching..what a concept, the whole mime idea – mixing food with mime – it’s just sensational..
Mime: Yeah well I used to be an actor you know…
Marty: Oh yeah?
Mime: But I can never remember my lines…..
3. Derek Smalls Reveals David And Nigels “Valuable Infancy”
Derek: “David and Nigel, let’s face it, they’re infants. In a very valuable way…they’re infants. They wouldn’t be brilliant if they didn’t retain that quality of infancy…”
4. The Pod Inquest:
Ian Faith: Frankly I think you should just forget the pods.
Nigel: When you listen to the record you want to know what that song is – in your mind you visualise what is happening. And it’s pods. It’s obvious that we’re in some sort of pods.
Ian Faith: On the album it’s obvious you’re in some sort of pods? You can’t hear a pod!
Nigel: You can’t hear it, but you can imagine it – that’s the whole point of our making records.
Derek: It’s a conceptual pod….
5. Whilst trying to find their way on-stage having taken a wrong turn and got lost
Nigel: “Logically we should say “Have we tried all the ways possible to get where we’re going?”
Derek “Yes”
Nigel: “We have. So we should be there.”
Derek: “We’re there now. Logically we’re on stage now”.
Nigel: “I’ll stay here just in case someone comes here…”
6. Nigel Tufnell On Italian Cinema:
Nigel: I like the Italian movies because they’re so…it’s romantic but it’s also smutty. It’s very smutty stuff.
7. Reflections on Death At Elvis Presley’s Grave
David: Why don’t they make gravestones cheerier?
Nigel: It’s probably the whole death thing involved with it…
8. How Going Through The Sound Barrier Will Break Your Neck:
(Going up a fast glass elevator)
Nigel: “You know, if you fell going the same speed we are going up after ten feet you’d be going the speed of sound. Did you know that?”
David: Where do you get these figures?
Derek: No, It’s a hundred feet.
Nigel: …then you’re going the speed of sound..
Derek: …your neck breaks a hundred feet per every ten feet…and then you’re going the speed of sound.
Nigel: A hundred feet per…foot…travelled…your neck will break straight away because the speed of sound breaks a neck. Just like a twig.
Derek: Well you’re going through the barrier. That’s what breaks your neck. The barrier.
9. Nigel and David Encourage Derek to wear a cucumber in his trousers:
David: Maybe something might be missing in the…
Nigel: Thrust…
David: Thrust… more specifically the below the waist trouser area of the look, er….
Nigel: …The Power Zone
David: The Power Zone, exactly. We’ve noticed a Drain when there should be a Projection…
Nigel: A Canyon when there should be a Mountain…
10. Spinal Tap Discuss The Dietary Habits of Gorillas At The Zoo
Nigel: I’ve heard that mainly, these large apes, they’re bread eaters mainly. They go for any kind of bread.
David: And yet as a race they’ve developed no baking skills…
Nigel: None whatsoever, no…
David: But they still feed on bread primarily.
Derek: They’re not a race, though they’re a genus…
Nigel: Well, some of them are smarter than others, you can’t really….
David: They’re a culture.
Derek: They’re a genus and a sub culture.
David: They’re not a counter culture though. You think of the baboons as being a counter cultural ape…
Nigel: The smaller monkeys are mainly bread eaters as well…
David: Well I know a bloke with a monkey that eats soup. Onion soup with crumbly bits on top….
The 30th anniversary Blu-ray of This is Spinal Tap was released on Monday 3 March


8 responses to “The Top Ten Spinal Tap Quotes You Haven’t Heard Before: The Out-Takes”

  1. mikeladano Avatar

    Even better than the two-disc is the old original out of print Criterion edition. I paid about $60 for it when it was new, and then it got deleted and it’s one of the few Criterions that is still deleted.

    I also have the screenplay with has tons of goodies in all. All this is worth checking out.


    1. Every Record Tells A Story Avatar

      What is in the criterion edition that isn’t in the two disc version?


      1. mikeladano Avatar

        Several commentaries, I think also the original 20 minute demo film. I’ll have to compare. Some of the commentaries are worth hearing. Great insight.


  2. genxatmidlife Avatar

    I totally forgot about these out-takes! Thanks for the reminder.

    As for favorite lines in the movie, I love this scene at the end…
    Nigel Tufnel: [on what he would do if he couldn’t be a rock star] Well, I suppose I could, uh, work in a shop of some kind, or… or do, uh, freelance, uh, selling of some sort of, uh, product. You know…
    Marty DiBergi: A salesman?
    Nigel Tufnel: A salesman, like maybe in a, uh, haberdasher, or maybe like a, uh, um… a chapeau shop or something. You know, like, “Would you… what size do you wear, sir?” And then you answer me.
    Marty DiBergi: Uh… seven and a quarter.
    Nigel Tufnel: “I think we have that.” See, something like that I could do.
    Marty DiBergi: Yeah… you think you’d be happy doing something like-…
    Nigel Tufnel: “No; we’re all out. Do you wear black?” See, that sort of thing I think I could probably… muster up.
    Marty DiBergi: Do you think you’d be happy doing that?
    Nigel Tufnel: Well, I don’t know – wh-wh-… what’re the hours?


    1. Every Record Tells A Story Avatar

      I always secretly hoped that one day I’d be sold a pair of shoes by Nigel…


  3. Avatar

    My top ten list actually goes to eleven.


  4. daniellesussingham Avatar

    I can’t even begin to express how much I love this. “There is such a fine line between stupid and clever”


    1. Every Record Tells A Story Avatar

      What’s wrong with being sexy?


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