There is nothing I can say about this movie that can add or distract from it. It is a force of nature and in my opinion, the most perfect of movies. I’ve debated adding it to the site numerous times, but my worry was that it’s so ingrained in my heart that there was no way I could do it justice. So instead, let me share my favorite scene from the movie and explain why it means so much to me and then you can just watch the damn thing yourself.
As limo driver Tommy Pischedda (Bruno Kirby) drives Spinal Tap through New York City and all seems bright and the future wide open, he makes the faux pas of thinking that he can directly interact with rock gods. He looks in the back of his car and addresses one of their female admirers: “Excuse me… are you reading “Yes I Can”?”
Tommy may not understand this heavy metal, but he does know the Rat Pack. That’s the kind of celebrity culture that he understands. People that deserve to be there. People that have given blood and sweat and sacrificed. But maybe, just maybe, these longhaired kids are trying.
“You know what the title of that book should be? “Yes, I Can If Frank Sinatra Says It’s OK,”” shares Tommy. “‘Cause Frank calls the shots for all of those guys. Did you get to the part yet where uh…Sammy is coming out of the Copa…it’s about 3 o’clock in the morning and, uh, he sees Frank? Frank’s walking down Broadway by himself…”
At this point, Nigel Tufnel, the guitarist of the band, rolls up the window that separates the celebrity from the hired help. It’s a bracing and truth-packed moment, as the look on Tommy’s face shows that he should have never opened himself to such scorn.
Rockumentarian and Tap fan Marti DiBergi tries to deal with the chill in the air, offering, “Well, you know, they’re not, uh, used to that world. You know, Frank Sinatra, it’s a different world that they’re in.”
The sheer exhaustion in Tommy’s speech that follows, as well as his know-it-all feeling on the world of celebrity follows. “You know, it’s just that people like this…you know…they get all they want so they really don’t understand, you know…about a life-like Frank’s. I mean, when you’ve loved and lost the way Frank has, then you, uh, you know what life’s about.”
But what sums it all up is when he says, “Fuckin’ limeys.”