Today, 11/11/10, we honor a man willing to lay down his life for rock and roll, master of the saddest of all keys, Spinal Tap lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel. (It seems like today is also some sort of other holiday/observance. Right?)
Much more than just a six-string genius, Tufnel is also a humanitarian, aspiring salesman, connoisseur of miniature bread and an inventor who revolutionized the field of heavy-metal acoustics with his amplifier featuring 11 volume settings instead of the standard ten.
A Facebook campaign is now brewing to have next Nov. 11 - 11/11/11 - officially declared Nigel Tufnel Day. Truly, a day such as that would be none more black.
But Rocks Off says, why wait? We collected 11 of the former Folksman's folksiest bits of wisdom for your enjoyment and edification. Like legendary documentary filmmaker Martin DiBergi once said (almost), Nigel's got a lot to say.
11. "Acoustic instruments should be an appetizer for the loud." (Guitar World interview, 6/16/09)
10. "You can't really dust for vomit." (This Is Spinal Tap)
9. "If an exhausted thing like 'Skip To My Lou' is done loudly enough, it's no longer the strict property of social workers specializing in geriatric care." ("A Guitar Lesson With Nigel Tufnel," Guitar World, April 1992)
8. On Tap's original drummer's "death by gardening accident": "Authorities said... best leave it... unsolved." (Tap)
7. "You don't practice a rash, you just let it evolve and grow and spread." ("Guitar Lesson")
6. On another ex-drummer: "And, uh, it was tragic, really. He exploded on stage." (Tap)
5. "What good are people who do that jazzy sort of stuff? It's all too low-volume. Have you noticed that? What are they trying to hide? What have they got to be embarrassed about? If you're a good player, you play loud so people can hear it-that's why we plug these things in. If you play an electric guitar -- I don't care if it's a Gibson 175 or a Charlie Christian -- turn the fuckin' thing up!" ("Guitar Lesson")
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4. "We're not university material" (Tap)
3. "What's wrong with being sexy?" (Tap)
2. "We've got Armadillos in our trousers. It's really quite frightening." (Tap)
1. On a review that says Spinal Tap is "treading water in a sea of retarded sexuality and bad poetry": "That's just nitpicking, isn't it?" (Tap)