Spinal Tap Is Back To Fight Global Warming

Former Vice President Al Gore smiles as he watches a "This is Spinal Tap" movie clip during a Tribeca Film Festival news conference, in New York Wednesday April 25, 2007. On the screen at right are Michael McKeon, left, and Christopher Guest. A new 15-minute film directed by Rob Reiner on the Spinal Tap's reunion will play at the opening night of the festival as part of the opening gala, to be hosted by Gore. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
AP Photo/Richard Drew
Spinal Tap is back, and this time the band wants to help save the world from global warming.

The mock heavy metal group immortalized in the 1984 mockumentary, "This is Spinal Tap," will reunite for a performance at Wembley Stadium in London as part of the Live Earth concerts scheduled worldwide for July 7.

The original members of Spinal Tap will be there: guitarist Nigel Tufnel (played by Christopher Guest), singer David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean) and bassist Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer). Rob Reiner, who both directed "This is Spinal Tap" and played the fake documentarian Marty DeBergi in the film, will also be in attendance.

A new 15-minute film directed by Reiner on the band's reunion and the issue of global warming will also play tonight, the opening night of the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, as part of this year's festival's "green" theme.

Tribeca is to open with a showing of several global warming-themed short films produced by the SOS (Save Our Selves) campaign. SOS is also putting on the Live Earth concerts, to be held across seven continents.

"I am, like most of you, a huge fan of 'Spinal Tap,'" Gore said at a press conference on Wednesday. "We are announcing here that film along with music is being used in a very creative way to deliver this message about why we have to respond to the climate crisis and how we can do so successfully."

At the press conference, Reiner praised the festival's issue-driven format.

"I love the Tribeca Film Festival," he said. "Tribeca's really setting itself apart by allowing filmmakers to present an issue and use this as a platform."

Reiner spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday to explain the reunion of Spinal Tap - a band always known more as a parody of rock `n roll excess than environmental awareness.

"They're not that environmentally conscious, but they've heard of global warming," said Reiner, whose other films include "When Harry Met Sally" and "Stand By Me." "Nigel thought it was just because he was wearing too much clothing - that if he just took his jacket off it would be cooler."

Spinal Tap has reunited several times since the original film, but hasn't for a number of years. For the band - whose last album was 1992's "Break like the Wind" - the occasion warranted a new single: "Warmer Than Hell."

Reiner provided a sneak peak at the lyrics: "The devil went to Devon, it felt like the fourth degree/ He said, `Is it hot in here, or is it only me?"'

The director said the new short film explains what the band has been doing with their lives lately. Nigel has been raising miniature horses to race, but can't find jockeys small enough to ride them; David is now a hip-hop producer who also runs a colonic clinic; and Derek is in rehab for addiction to the Internet.

Reiner, 60, has for over 20 years worked with the National Resources Defense Council, an environmental action organization. Though the Spinal Tap reunion will be a lot of laughs, he hopes the SOS short films program at the Tribeca Film Festival and the Live Earth concerts have a substantial effect.

"What I think is going to be nice about this whole effort is there will be marching orders for people," said Reiner. "Not only from a personal standpoint of what individuals can do in their lives, but a macro perspective with respect to the public sector and government."