Sunday, May 22, 2022

This Custom Card Goes to Eleven

Isn't it interesting when a song you haven't heard in years just suddenly comes to mind?

I couldn't tell you just how many times that's happened to me over the years, but the latest instance was a good one. Here are some of the lyrics:
 
Stop wasting my time
You know what I want
You know what I need
Or maybe you don't
Do I have to come right flat out and tell you everything
Gimme some money
Gimme some money

I know, I know. If you're familiar with the tune, it means I've just shared an earworm. And that's a big no-no for some people. But come on, it's hilarious.

Anyhow, I got to thinking about the band, and the mockumentary of the band, and the fact that there are three iconic members of said band. It seemed the perfect subject matter for another "Future Stars" custom card.

If you're still unsure of the song or the band or the mockumentary to which I'm referring, here's the card:

 
 

 
It's Spinal Tap!!
 
The film, titled This Is Spinal Tap, was released in 1984, so I suppose St. Hubbins, Smalls, and Tufnel could have been labeled Future Stars in 1982.
 
Now of course the personnel for a mega-rock band like Spinal Tap also includes a drummer. However, a drummer is not pictured on the card simply because the band has always had a string of poor fortune with those guys, losing one after another to comically bizarre circumstances. As an example, one of them spontaneously combusted—and we can't risk the same thing happening on a custom trading card.

For those who haven't seen the film, I recommend it. Not only are the actors who portray those three main characters highly talented, funny, and well known in the industry, but they also played their own instruments throughout the film and even composed the songs. Very cool.

Here's a little more about each actor:

These days I know Michael McKean (David St. Hubbins) as the host of an informative show on the Cooking Channel called Food: Fact or Fiction? If you're a fan of Comedy Central's Drunk History, you may have seen him act out a few characters there as well. Going back a little further, he played Morris Fletcher on The X-Files, Gibby Fiske in HBO's Dream On, and perhaps most famously, Lenny Kosnowski on Laverne & Shirley. 
 
Harry Shearer (Derek Smalls) has been in the industry since childhood. One of his earliest appearances goes back to 1957, when he played the role of "Street Kid" in an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents called "The Night the World Ended". Interesting if not random, he was an uncredited beachgoer in the 1977 blockbuster film Jaws, and in the late 1970s and early 1980s he spent some time on Saturday Night Live. However, you might best know Shearer from The Simpsons. Over the years he's voiced many familiar characters, including Montgomery Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Otto the bus driver, Mr. Smithers, Lenny, Kent Brockman, Reverend Lovejoy, and Rainier Wolfcastle.

Christopher Guest (Nigel Tufnel) has played some memorable characters in big films: Count Rugen in The Princess Bride, Dr. Stone in A Few Good Men, Ivan the Terrible in one of the Night at the Museum films, and Harlan Pepper in Best in Show. Also of interest, he married Hollywood star Jamie Lee Curtis in 1984, and they're still together. You're the man, Christopher Guest.
 
As a trio, the guys have made appearances as Spinal Tap on just about all of the late-night shows, including The Late Show with David Letterman, The Arsenio Hall Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien
 
And naturally, they've hosted Headbangers Ball on MTV.
 
So here's to a legendary rock band, three fantastic actors, and a custom card that definitely goes to eleven.
 
 

 

14 comments:

  1. I've had several readers recommend this movie to me over the years, but I still haven't seen it. The clip you shared was pretty entertaining, so maybe over summer break. Another awesome custom.

    Not sure if you're need inspiration for more customs, but I was recently informed that The Police originally had four members. I grew up thinking it was just Sting, Stewart Copeland, and Andy Summers. The fourth member (Henry Padovani) was actually there before Summers, but was eventually let go which resulted in the famous trio. Anyways... according to Wikipedia, The Police was formed in 1977... the same year Topps utilized the quartet style rookie cards. Bad Brains, Men Without Hats, and the Thompson Twins are other bands who appear to have been formed in 1977 and (based on my limited research) originally had 4 members.

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    1. Yes, please do add it to your summer movie list. If you've seen any documentaries of actual rock bands, you'll find Spinal Tap even more funny.

      And there's definitely a lot of inspiration for subject matter out there. I'll share a little secret information: A few months ago I started working on a Police three-person card, using the 1980 Topps template. I didn't really like the way it was coming out, so I put it on the back burner. Maybe I'll revisit it soon, however, thanks to you! (Also, I had no idea about the fourth member of the band. Thanks for sharing that, Fuji!)

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  2. I've been known to reference "this one goes to 11" in a sports headline or two.

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    1. It's a gem of a line, that's for sure ;-)

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  3. No one knows who they were or what they were doing.

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    1. Hahah! Indeed, Trevor. You get a bonus point for that one.

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  4. Harry Shearer also had an uncredited role in the 1977 blockbuster Star Wars.

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    1. Wow, good addition there, Bo! Shearer has had quite a remarkable career.

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  5. Nice custom card! There was a story in the news last week about them getting the band back together to make a sequel with Rob Reiner directing again. Not sure what to make of that, but I did love that movie (I used to have both of their albums too, the thing I liked most about them is that they weren't just a band in a mocumentary, they were also a real band that made real songs)

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    1. A Spinal Tap sequel? Hah! I'd go see that. And yes, I'm pretty sure I had one of their albums as well ;-)

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  6. I had a few friends in college call me "Spinal Tap" because at the time I had long hair and a few manchu like Derek Smalls. If only I played bass guitar...

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    1. Hah! That's pretty cool, Matt. There's still time to learn the bass...

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