Today Is Nigel Tufnel Day — Where Will You Be Smelling the Glove?
It’s a day that was years in the making. A day so specific and so loud that it only occurs every hundred years. Today on 11/11/11 we celebrate heavy metal’s most infamous guitarist, Nigel Tufnel. For those of you that don’t know the incredibly ambitious axe man, here’s a bit of history. Back in 1984, an underground mockumentary starring Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer and Michael McKean was released nationwide. ‘This Is Spinal Tap‘ followed the American tour of a British metal act on the verge of obscurity. Unfortunately, just like the band, the movie didn’t become a huge hit in its time, but eventually built a cult following that has culminated in today’s special holiday.
According to our colleagues at the Huffington Post, worldwide celebrations are taking place in order to honor Guest’s character Nigel Tufnel and his unique amp, a Marshall stack that didn’t just rock at top volume — it literally went to 11.
Longtime fan of the band Michael Fennelly decided last year that 11/11/11 should forever immortalize the dim-witted lovers of the ladies and the low end, so he’s been pumping up loyal Tufnel fans across the net. “There is a certain beauty to the perfect stupidity of ‘Spinal Tap,’” Fennelly told Huffington Post Weird News. “So much of what happens in the movie is true that many musicians feel pangs while watching it because basically your whole career is mocked.”
‘Spinal Tap’ gets the “mockery” part right in so many ways — from silly album titles (‘Smell the Glove’) to impractical amplifiers; from mini versions of Stonehenge to a love of big-bottomed women.
Watch the Delivery of ‘Smell the Glove’
Even though over 22,000 people have already “liked” the Declare 11/11/11 Nigel Tufnel Day Facebook group, it seems that the government has dropped the ball on this very real and very heavy holiday. L.A. Weekly has since reported that they aren’t waiting around for an official decree from President Obama and have since declared the day sacred in the Sunshine State. “By the power invested in us by that big-bottomed spirit in the sky, we at West Coast Sound hereby declare this Friday, November 11, 2011, 11/11/11, to be Nigel Tufnel day.”
In Brooklyn, N.Y., BAM Rose Cinemas will show ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ at exactly 11:11PM, with a live Skype chat with Spinal Tap’s main players Tufnel and Derek Smalls (played by Harry Shearer) accompanying the 7PM screening. Each audience member at the later show will be included in a raffle for the chance to win a 30-watt Marshall amp (So cool!).
Berklee College of Music in Boston is also getting in on the fun today “in recognition of its maximum elevenness,” by telling their students “May you always be able to find your stage.” In addition, NPR‘s Tufnel homage sees a Top 11 list of the best Spinal Tap songs to listen to at a high volume, from ‘Sex Farm’ to ’60s shaker ‘Gimme Some Money.’
So what are you doing to celebrate this most rockified day? Will you play a song in the saddest of all keys (D Minor)? Will take that trusty codpiece and spandex suit out of storage? Let us know!
Watch Nigel Tufnel Go ‘Up to 11′
Watch Spinal Tap’s Noisecreep Interview