Rocklopedia Brittanicus entry for Spinal Tap

SPINAL TAP (1964 - ?)
Veteran hard rock unit noted for their high volume assault and dogged persistance. David St. Hubbins (g) and Nigel Tufnel (lead g) formed nucleus of band, THE ORIGINALS Squatney, East London, 1964. Late 1964 founded THAMESMEN with Ronnie Pudding (bs. ex-CHEAP DATES), and John (Stumpy) Pepys (drms. ex-LESLIE CHESWICK SOUL EXPLOSION, see Cheswick, Les and Mary). Released "Gimmie Some Money" b/w "Cups and Cakes" (Abbey, 1965). Toured extensively in Benelux nations, with Jan van der Kvelk (kybds). Returned in UK as DUTCHMEN.

Period of intense personel turnover followed, accompanied by wholesale name changes including: RAVEBREAKERS, DOPPEL GANG, SILVER SERVICE, BISQUITS, LOVE BISQUITS, TUFNEL - ST. HUBBINS GROUP. A-side of first Spinal Tap single "(Listen to the) Flower People" b/w "Rainy Day Sun, " (Megaphone, 1965) penned by Pudding who left to form the band PUDDING PEOPLE, releasing single "I am the Music" and album I Am More Music (Megaphone, 1967). With replacement Derek Smalls (ex-pioneer all-white Jamaican band SKAFACE), band recorded first album Spinal Tap (Released in U.S. as Spinal Tap Sings "(Listen To The) Flower People" And Other Favourites"), went gold in U.K. Sales of follow-up album We Are The Flower People were disappointing. Tap toured Europe in support of then-hot Matchstick Men, developing harder twin-guitar style. Live recording of landmark apperance at Electric Zoo, Wimpton, U.K. produced third album, Silent But Deadly.

Pepys, suddenly dead in tragedy, replaced by Eric"Stumpy Joe" Childs (ex-WOOLCAVE). Albums recorded by this lineup included: Brainhammer, Blood To Let, Nerve Damage, and Intravenous de Milo. For ambitiously flawed concept LP The Sun Never Sweats, Tap hired Ross MacLochness (kybd. ex-KILT KIDS) and replaced "Stumpy Joe", dead in sudden tragedy, with session drummer Peter James Bond. This lineup toured Far East in 1975, relesed second live album Jap Habit. MacLochness, retired to missionary work in Namibia, later released solo LP Doesn't Anybody Here Speak English? On Bent For The Rent, band's late-arriving glitter attempt, Viv Savage (kybds. ex-AFTERTASTE) came aboard. Press attention was momentarily attracted when band sued Megaphone for back royalties, and label threatened to countersue, charging "lack of talent". After "Nice 'n Stinky" from two year old Habit became surprise American hit in 1977, Tap signed with Polymer Records, replaced Bond, who had died with tragic suddenness, with Mick Shrimpton (ex-Eurovision Song Contest house band), released Shark Sandwich (1980) and Smell the glove (1982).

Though neither a critics' nor a public favorite, Spinal Tap continues to fill a much needed void.

From the liner notes to Smell the Glove, transcribed by
Svein Ivar Halvorsen (sveini@ulke.himolde.no)