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SoundTRAX: Turn it up to 11 for "This Is Spinal Tap"

Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest and Michael McKean pose as their characters from "This Is Spinal Tap."
Polydor Records

SoundTRAX is a dive into notable music from iconic films and TV shows every Monday-Thursday at 8:10.

It perfected the term "mockumentary" and taught us the power of turning things "up to 11." And how no drummer was safe.

This Is Spinal Tap was released 39 years ago today.

The film chronicles a fictional English heavy metal band, memorably played by Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer, during a disastrous American tour.

Rob Reiner made his directorial debut and portrayed documentarian Marty Di Bergi.

Most of the dialogue was improvised by the cast and was so well done many viewers thought Spinal Tap was a real band.

It wasn't a hit when it was first released in 1984, but to say that it grew into a cult favorite would be an understatement. And more than one musician has commented on the agonizing accuracies the film portrays of life on the road and the climb for rock and roll success.

The fact that Guest, McKean and Shearer played their own instruments and wrote the often ridiculous— but always comical— tunes adds to the magic.

So for today's SoundTRAX, break out the dancing druids and enjoy "Stonehenge" from This Is Spinal Tap.

Mel is the WFPK morning host. Email Mel at mfisher@lpm.org.