Hard to believe but it’s been 30 years since the classic movie Spinal Tap hit the big screen. After all these years the movie is just as hilarious as it was when it came out and you may be surprised to hear about the bands and artists who helped inspire the movie’s classic scenes.

A very cool article by People magazine appeared on their website recently called “This Is Spinal Tap Turns 30: The Bands That Inspired the Classic Film”. In it they talk about over a handful of the artists who had their influence on the band and the film which hit the big screen in March of 1984. Here are a few highlights:


Hello Germany!: The famous “Hello Cleveland!” scene was inspired by not an 80s metal band but Tom Petty! That’s right, according to Christopher Guest (aka Nigel Tufnel), it was directly inspired by Petty. “We saw a tape of Tom Petty playing somewhere in Germany where he’s walking backstage and a door’s opened and he ends up on an indoor tennis court and there’s just this moment of stunned, you know, ‘Where am I?’”

Saxon, Drugs & Rock ‘N’ Roll: The English heavy metal band Saxon lay claim to being a Tap inspiration. Bassist Steve Dawson wrote in his book that Spinal Tap, and Harry Shearer (aka Derek Smalls) did actually go on tour with the band prior to filming the movie.

Edward Van Halen…Meet Nigel Tufnel: Tap guitar virtuoso Nigel Tufnel (played by Guest) was completely insulted over the deli tray the venue had provided for him in one scene. This was apparently inspired by a story that came out a year before involving Van Halen’s demand that no brown M&Ms be present backstage.


As for the famous “11″ scene? There is no mention of who or what inspired it in the article. I’d like to believe that Nigel Tufnel came up with this brilliant scene all by himself.


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