During flashback scenes, we get quick glimpses of the band's unfortunate former drummers as described by Nigel and David. This is one of the film's running jokes, and we fear for Mick every time the band's on stage.
John "Stumpy" Pepys
An original member of the Thamesmen and Spinal Tap, Stumpy died in a "bizarre gardening accident." When asked about it, Nigel says, "It was really one of those things the authorities said, 'Well, best leave it unsolved.'"
Eric "Stumpy Joe" Childs
Childs was the band's second drummer, replacing gardening victim Stumpy Pepys. He died from choking on vomit, which, as the band helpfully points out, was not his own. Exactly whose vomit was never determined by the police. As Nigel so aptly put it, "You can't dust for vomit."
Peter "James" Bond
Replacing Childs, Bond played with the band for three years before spontaneously combusting onstage. Nigel described it: "He just was like a flash of green light, and that was it. Nothing was left. Well, there was a little green globule on his drum seat. It was a small stain, actually."