Study Guide

This Is Spinal Tap Time

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As you age, you gradually learn something that is one of the few inarguable absolutes in this world.

Time is definitely not on your side.

Spinal Tap is learning that fact before our eyes, and it's clear how hard they're fighting to accept it. Until now, they've been able to change with the times, from their early mop-top days, through a psychedelic era, and into the heavy metal scene. But seventeen years into their existence, they're fighting to stay relevant.

Time brings new, younger, and better musical acts into the limelight. Time makes audiences forget how much they once loved your tunes. Time makes you look in the mirror and ask, "has my face always been that prune-y"?

No one stays on top forever. The trick is being able to handle the fall.

Questions About Time

  1. Do you think Spinal Tap really was once more popular than they are now, or have they just always had an overinflated sense of how adoring their fans are?
  2. Which band member do you think has the hardest time adjusting to the passing of time?
  3. Most performance-based careers have a shelf-life. But rockers seem able to keep going well into old age. What is it about rock and roll that keeps the band going? (And don't say "drugs.")
  4. In real life, there's still a demand to watch Spinal Tap play, but only because they're hilarious. Is comedy more timeless than music?

Chew on This

The movie may end on a high note, but there's no way the band could keep things going much longer. Most likely, they wouldn't have lasted another year.

David and Nigel only patched things up because of their long history. If Nigel had just joined the band five years ago, his departure would have spelled the end of Spinal Tap for sure.

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