Spinal Tap Reunite! But Only To Sue Record Label
As “Nigel Tufnel” remarked when it was suggested he take the stage dressed as a goat: “is this some sort of joke?” It’s not. Harry Shearer (aka Derek Smalls), Christopher Guest (aka Nigel Tufnel), Michael McKean (David St. Hubbins), known as Spinal Tap, have joined forces once again.
But the band, alongside movie director Rob Reiner, will not hit the stage dressed as animals, but instead head for a courtroom in a $400 million lawsuit against French media firm Vivendi - the parent company of Universal Music.
In the lawsuit, the musicians/actors claim receiving a mere $98 for soundtrack sales royalties between 1989 and 2006, plus just $81 for merchandise sales between 1984 and 2006.
In a statement, Reiner stated: “Fair reward for artistic endeavor has long been raised by those on the wrong end of the equation. What makes this case so egregious is the prolonged and deliberate concealment of profit and the purposeful manipulation of revenue allocation between various Vivendi subsidiaries - to the detriment of the creative talent behind the band and film.
"Such anti-competitive practices need to be exposed. I am hoping this lawsuit goes to 11.”
McKean added: “This Is Spinal Tap was the result of four very stubborn guys working very hard to create something new under the sun. The movie's influence on the last three decades of film comedy is something we are very proud of. But the buck always stopped somewhere short of Rob, Harry, Chris and myself. It's time for a reckoning. It’s only right."
Shearer, who started the action alone at at first, commented: "Their participation will help demonstrate the opaque and misleading conduct at the heart of this case. We’re even louder now."