The wigs are off; the spandex retired. Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the mock-rock doc This Is Spinal Tap with an acoustic tour, Unwigged & Unplugged — An Evening with Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer, along with openers the Folksmen.
LA WEEKLY: Congratulations on the film's 25th anniversary. Do you ever watch it?
SHEARER: I haven't seen it since we did the DVD commentary track. I should say “the award-winning DVD commentary track,” since they do give awards for that sort of thing, apparently.
It's nice to see you without wigs, and “Hell Hole” sounds fantastic stripped down to acoustic guitars. But are you worried fans might miss the bombast?
GUEST: I didn't know there was bombast. Now I'm worried.
McKEAN: I think bombast fans might miss the bombast. Humor fans, not so much.
SHEARER: We hope they'll be supplying their own bombast.
The tour is 30 dates in six weeks — which of you will regret that idea first?
McKEAN: I don't know. Probably the bus driver.
SHEARER: Hey, it's springtime. So, whichever of us has the worst case of hay fever.
How is the merch moving? What's popular?
SHEARER: It goes on sale starting with the first gig. So, all we know now is that it's moving by truck.
McKEAN: I believe in the “Big Bottom” pants for the ladies; it's an idea whose time has come.
What is the hardest thing about touring at your age?
McKean: Touring at our age.
Shearer: Being my age.
Guest: I don't know. We haven't left yet. So far it's a breeze.
How have your groupies changed?
McKEAN: They've changed to someone else's groupies.
SHEARER: Well, we discovered on our last tour that the individuals you reference appear to self-select based on the band's lyrics. Our most popular song is “Big Bottom.” You do the math.
GUEST: The groupies are literally the same. One has become a nun, though.
Paul McCartney, Bob Geldof, Elton John, even Cliff Richard were all knighted by the queen after careers the length of yours. Are you bitter she hasn't called?
McKEAN: Listen, we're Americans, and not eligible. And Spinal Tap is fictional. I'm frankly a little pissed that the Pillsbury Doughboy got the Medal of Freedom, though.
GUEST: The queen calls all the time. Not the queen of England, however. The last time I saw her, I think she smiled at me, but I was in a crowd and it was hard to tell.
SHEARER: She has called, and she's made it clear in no uncertain terms that we'll be lucky to get a Buckingham Palace visitor's day pass.
Sun., April 26, 8 p.m., 2009