WIRED: For a self-described “semi-retired” legend, Christopher Guest sure has a crazy schedule. The writer, director, actor and musician, most famous for his portrayal of knob-twiddling metalhead Nigel Tufnel in the 1984 cinematic spoof This Is Spinal Tap, is preparing for Spinal Tap reunion tours to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the movie’s release. He’s also been busy in the studio, emerging with six or seven new Tap tunes beneath his belt as well as an instrumental chill-out effort called Memories of Summers as a Child, released last month, which Guest recorded with childhood pals David Nichtern and CJ Vanston under the moniker The Beyman Bros.
Throw in a role in Ricky Gervais’ comedy Invention of Lying, due next year, and the U.K. baron (look it up) should probably think about redefining the phrase “semi-retired.” It’s an wild time for the multitalented man who took This Is Spinal Tap‘s “mockumentary” template and ran with it to great comedic effect. In a series of movies co-written with Eugene Levy, Guest and a talented ensemble cast have parodied community theater (Waiting for Guffman), dog shows (Best in Show) and folk music (A Mighty Wind).
The first of Guest’s two upcoming tours with his Spinal Tap bandmates will be a costume-less jaunt aptly titled Unwigged & Unplugged: An Evening With Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer (at The Keswick Theater May 14th. Tickets go on sale Friday). Kicking off in April, that tour will feature metal and folk material from This Is Spinal Tap and A Mighty Wind. The second string of shows will be a bombastic tour with Spinal Tap proper in June, no doubt featuring a miniature Stonehenge, knobs that go to 11, exploding drummers and the usual dunderheaded metal spectacle. MORE