If you are a guitar player or rock music aficionado, you would attribute this piece of heavy metal existentialism to none other than Nigel Tufnel, lead guitar player for Spinal Tap. Ah yes, the movie/rockumentary (or perhaps mockumentary) “This Is Spinal Tap” is one of my all time favorites. It follows the day-to-day trials and tribulations of the band Spinal Tap and their history as one of the great heavy metal acts of all time.
If you could ever have one movie that displayed all of the “stereotypes” of the heavy metal and rock guitar genres, it would be this movie. The more you know about music history and the musicians, the more inside jokes you will catch, each and every time you watch this movie.
So why has November 11, 2011 been declared “Nigel Tufnel Day”?
I think by now it should be obvious – today goes to eleven. It is an important date of this century. It is 11-11-11.
Just in case you’ve somehow missed this classic from 1984, let me give you a quick overview of the scene in question. Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest) is showing interviewer Marty DiBergi (Rob Reiner) his collection of guitars and amplifiers …
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?
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.
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.
Being a guitar player, I can appreciate Nigel’s desire for that little extra something. Ah yes, the “extra push over the cliff”. How often could we use one of those in our normal day-to-day?
So on this ever-so-special day, turn it up one louder!
Photo credits: MichaelGat