“These Go To Eleven!” Todd Rundgren’s “Spinal Tap” Connection!

This Is Spinal Tap

“Hello, Cleveland!”

One of the most iconic lines in movie comedy history – as the Band Spinal Tap gets lost in the bowels of Cleveland’s arena and can’t find the stage…

Spinal Tap

And of course, there’s also this:

Nigel Tufnel: “You can’t really dust for vomit.”

this-is-spinal-tapfunniest comedies ever

“This Is Spinal Tap!”

Arguably one of the funniest movies ever made, this is the first and funniest “mockumentary” ever made, directed by Rob Reiner. And there may be a Todd Rundgren connection!


In 1982 legendary British heavy metal band Spinal Tap attempt an American comeback tour accompanied by a fan who is also a film-maker. The resulting documentary, interspersed with powerful performances of Tap’s pivotal music and profound lyrics, candidly follows a rock group heading towards crisis, culminating in the infamous affair of the eighteen-inch-high Stonehenge stage prop…here is the trailer for this comedic masterpiece:

This Is Spinal Tap

“But These Go To Eleven!”

Most of the dialogue was improvised – kudos to the entire “Tap” team of Harry Shearer, Michael McKean and Christopher Guest – but this is now one of the most quoted film lines in modern movie history…

Spinal Tap These Go To Eleven

Nigel Tufnel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and…

Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?

Nigel Tufnel: Exactly.

Marty DiBergi: Does that mean it’s louder? Is it any louder?

spinal tap

Nigel Tufnel: Well, it’s one louder, isn’t it? It’s not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You’re on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you’re on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?

Marty DiBergi: I don’t know.

Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?

Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven.

Nigel Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One louder.

Spinal Tap Tribute Flier

Marty DiBergi: Why don’t you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?

Nigel Tufnel: [pause] These go to eleven.

Spinal Tap These Go To Eleven

Harry Shearer, Rob Reiner, Christopher Guest, and Michael McKean were given $10,000 to write a script. A 20-minute version of the film was made with the money to better demonstrate the improvisation they had in mind. Several scenes from this demo are in the final movie.

Spinal Tap eggs

And Now, The Todd Connection – The Eggs That Won’t Open!

I was reading the biography of Todd, and I came across a chapter about the first Utopia tours, and guess what? There IS a Spinal Tap connection!

spinal tap eggs

As you know, there is the hilarious scene from “Spinal Tap” when one band member gets trapped in a malfunctioning egg onstage…well, according to the book, that may have come from a Utopia concert!


Utopia’s First Tours! Todd’s Disasterous “Geodesic Dome!”

On page 230 of the Todd bio book “A Dream Goes On Forever Vol. 1”, Todd says one of the early Utopia tours “had this special geodesic dome for the syntheziser player (Jean Yves Labat) to sit in”. Well, it kept breaking down!


The story, as recounted in the book, clearly suggests that “Spinal Tap’s” malfunctioning egg was a direct parody of Todd’s “Geodesic dome!” Paul Fishkin says “I was at the Philly gig…at least one inspiration for ‘Spinal Tap’ was Jean Yves in the bubble, not being able to get out. it was so bad – indescribably bad!”

spinal tap egg

So Todd’s early synth musician Jean Yves Labat got trapped in the dome and couldn’t get out – just like Harry Shearer being trapped in Spinal Tap’s egg…

Spinal Tap Todd Rundgren

So the next time I watch Spinal Tap, I will put on the Theme From Utopia as well and savor the connection…if you want to read more about Todd, make sure to get the biographies…click here to read all about it:


Todd Rundgren biography

The Spinal Tap “Stonehenge” Debacle!

Of course, Spinal Tap has many more problems than just malfunctioning eggs…they had a two foot tall Stonehenge!

Spinal Tap tiny Stonehenge

This debacle was caused when the lead guitarist put “20 inches” instead of “20 ft.” on the design…when the tour manager tries to tell the band to play better, the lead singer gets angry:

David St. Hubbins: I do not, for one, think that the problem was that the band was down. I think that the problem *may* have been, that there was a Stonehenge monument on the stage that was in danger of being *crushed* by a *dwarf*. Alright? That tended to understate the hugeness of the object.

Ian Faith: I really think you’re just making much too big a thing out of it.

Derek Smalls: Making a big thing out of it would have been a good idea.


The Non-Black Sabbath Connection!

There’s a common misconception that the “too small Stonehenge” disaster is a parody of Black Sabbath’s over-sized Stonehenge sets from the Born Again tour. This is impossible, the Stonehenge Spinal Tap scene existed as early as 1982 when the film existed as a 20-minute short. Black Sabbath didn’t begin using their Stonehenge sets until 1983.


And Finally, The Album Reviews!

Another great moment is when Director Marty DiBergi reads the band their latest album review: “This tasteless cover is a good indication of the lack of musical invention within. The musical growth of this band cannot even be charted. They are treading water in a sea of retarded sexuality and bad poetry.”

Nigel Tufnel: “That’s just nitpicking, isn’t it?”

Spinal Tap - Nigel

Nitpicking indeed! “This Is Spinal Tap” is a classic movie comedy, and was ranked #1 on Entertainment Weekly’s “Top 50 Cult Films of All-Time”!

“Hello Cleveland!”

Spinal Tap

Categories: 70's Cinema, Academy Awards, Awards, Bloopers, Books / Media, Comedy Movies, documentary films, Movies, Music, Obscure Movies, Talent/Celebrities, Technology, Travel, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

9 replies

  1. I heard Harry Shearer and Noddy Holder say the pod scene is an homage to Slade and their movie “In Flame.” Early in the movie, Noddy is in a Alice Cooper like band that uses a coffin as a prop the singer (Noddy) emerges from at the start of their set. A rival band locks Noddy in the coffin, and he starts knocking on the lid like Derek Smalls.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always thought it was a mock of Angel. Their entrance to a show was very similar and of course, ridiculous

    Liked by 1 person


  1. Todd Rundgren’s “Spinal Tap” Moment! « Music Platter
  2. Todd Rundgren LIVE At The BBC! Utopia’s Pyramid Climb! A Decade Of Brilliant Music! | johnrieber
  3. Todd Rundgren Live At The BBC! New Remastered Todd / Utopia Box Set Rocks! | Music Platter
  4. Todd Rundgren! Utopia! “Oblivion!” Ironic Title Twist To Neglected Gem! – johnrieber
  5. “Spinal Tap” Is Back! New Sequel Announced! Here Are Details! – johnrieber

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

New Classic Recipe


Rust Belt Girl

reading and writing the Rust Belt with Rebecca Moon Ruark

Take It Easy

Retired, not expired: words from the after(work)life. And music. Lots of music!

Hey, Traveler

Sharing travel tips, ideas, and anecdotes with fellow wanderers, dreamers, doers, and lovers of life

Stevie Turner

Realist, writer, reader, reviewer and rocker.

Cornwall in Colours

inspired by the colours of the land, sea and sky of Cornwall

Bonjour From Brittany

Celebrating what makes Brittany unique

Let's Go To The Movies

Film and Theatre Lover!

SoraNews24 -Japan News-

Bringing you yesterday's news from Japan and Asia, today.

Bite! Eat! Repeat!

52 Cookbooks. 52 Recipes. A Tasty 2022!

A Teacher's Reflections

Thirty Years of Wonder

Tanooki Homemade Cafe

Yummy Homemade Food Recipes to Make You Smile:)

In Saner Thought

"It is the duty of every man, as far as his ability extends, to detect and expose delusion and error"..Thomas Paine

Pete Springer

Passionate Teacher and Future Children's Author


Follow us as we follow the road


Travel Through Ireland and Europe

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

Geeking Out about It

BlerdWatching Waaay Too Much TV


Tea, Tours and Escapades

Robbie's inspiration

Ideas on writing and baking

You can always start now

journaling to see some answers

Realweegiemidget Reviews Films TV Books and more

You can take the girl out of Glasgow. Entertainment Reviews from a Wee Scottish Wife and Stepmum living in Finland.

I have my glasses on....

A trip through life with fingers crossed and eternal optimism.

Through the Shattered Lens

Where mainstream meets grindhouse, exploitation, otaku and gamers

Laura's Books and Blogs

Writing tips, giveaways, reviews, essays, and more!

Drew's Movie Reviews

Movie reviews from your average dude

But I Smile Anyway...

Musings and memories, words and wisdom... of a working family woman

Movie Reviews 101

Daily Movie Reviews

Cindy Bruchman

Photography. Observations. Adventures. Let's talk.

Invisibly Me

Live A Visible Life Whatever Your Health

Retired? No one told me!

Tonight I Dream. Tomorrow I Do!


The musings of a Londoner, now living in Norfolk

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Musings on cats, travel, gardens and life

Tranquil Dreams

Watching, Reading, Cooking & Travelling

An Historian About Town

History in the Making

Susie Lindau's Wild Ride

Adventures and Misadventures in Boulder, Colorado

It Rains... You Get Wet

Still more lazy thoughts from this one...

Admit One Film Addict

Psychotropic Cinema and more

emmakwall (explains it all)

Film & soundtrack reviews, good humour and lists


Burgers, Books, Music, Movies, Offbeat Adventures & Pop Culture!


Movie reviews and anything else that comes to mind

%d bloggers like this: