Get ready to smell the glove and watch out for spontaneously combusting drummers. We’re turning it up to 11 with the greatest mockumentary of them all – a work of sublime (and profound) comedic genius deemed so culturally significant that it was named to the National Film Registry for preservation by the Library of Congress.
“It’s such a fine line between stupid and, uh…clever.”
Director Rob Reiner’s largely improvised cult classic follows the key members of fictional British heavy metal band Spinal Tap – lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest), lead singer/guitarist David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean), and bassist Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer) – as they embark on their first American tour in years, with filmmaker/TV commercial director Marty DiBergi (Reiner) on hand to document the occasion and retrace the group’s evolution. Responsible for such albums as “Intravenous DeMilo,” “The Sun Never Sweats,” and “Bent for the Rent,” the aging metal heads are now trying to make a comeback with their latest LP, “Smell the Glove.” But just about anything that can go wrong, does, from canceled shows to botched stage props to playing second fiddle to a puppet show. This hilarious, spot-on send-up of ‘80s rock culture includes cameos by the likes of Bruno Kirby, Dana Carvey, Fran Drescher, Billy Crystal, Paul Shaffer, Anjelica Huston, Fred Willard, and Patrick MacNee, and such unforgettable Tap hits as “Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight,” “Hell Hole,” “Big Bottom,” and, of course, “Stonehenge.”
Before embarking on this journey with one of England’s greatest and loudest bands, join us as guest speaker Christopher Shera, a physicist and auditory physiologist, speaks about the science of sound. How are sounds produced? What separates music from other sounds? What is the difference between a loud sound and a soft one, and how does the ear handle sound at large and soft intensities? What’s the full range of human hearing – and how loud can we go?
About the Speaker
Christopher Shera studies how the ear amplifies, analyzes, and emits sound. A Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, Shera holds a Ph.D. in physics and neurobiology from the California Institute of Technology and works as an Associate Professor of Otology & Laryngology and Health Sciences & Technology at Harvard Medical School. When not thinking about ears, he terrorizes domestic cats by attempting to play the cello.