They've put the wigs in a closet and kept the mini-Stonehenge in storage, but the members of Spinal Tap are back onstage. Not in character as the comical and perpetually washed up metal act, but as themselves: actor-musicians Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer, together performing an acoustic "Funky Sex Farm," adding vocal grunts and heavy breathing between lyrics. "Getting out my pitch fork/ Poking your hay ..."
It's part of a medley of tunes at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, California, on Monday to announce what amounts to a busy year in 2009, with a 30-city "Unwigged & Unplugged" tour beginning April 17th in Vancouver. The trio is also finishing a new Spinal Tap album, combining studio re-recordings of songs from the original film and brand new material.
A quarter-century after the theatrical release of the ultimate rock satire This Is Spinal Tap, the tour will have the trio performing for the first time as themselves, combining music from both that film and the affectionate 2003 folk-music comedy A Mighty Wind.
"We're doing the trio tour because it's so easy," McKean says from stage. "We just have these wooden instruments and we don't have to wear these things on our heads, unless we're playing a temple —"
Adds Shearer, "Or a mosque."
McKean and Guest first started writing songs together in 1967, and the three of them began playing as a unit in 1978. They do plan on some special live appearances later this year as Spinal Tap in full, wigged regalia, the first since their epic appearance at 2007's Live Earth in London.
Upstairs after their press conference, Guest, McKean and Shearer talked to Rolling Stone. Follow this link to the full hilarious Q&A. And keep reading for the tour dates:
April 17 - Vancouver, BC @ Center for the Performing Arts
April 19 - Portland, OR @ Keller Auditorium
April 20 - Seattle @ Paramount Theatre
April 22 - Oakland, CA @ Paramount Theatre
April 23 - Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara County Bowl
April 26 - Los Angeles @ The Wiltern
April 27 - Phoenix, Ariz. @ Dodge Theatre
April 29 - Denver @ Paramount Theatre
May 1 - Houston, TX @ Jesse H, Jones Hall
May 2 - Dallas @ Nokia Theatre
May 4 - Jacksonville, FL @ Florida Theatre
May 5 - Miami @ The Fillmore
May 6 - Orlando, FL, @ Hard Rock Live
May 8 - St. Petersburg, FL @ Mahaffey Theatre
May 9 - Atlanta @ Fox Theatre
May 10 - Nashville @ Ryman Auditorium
May 12 - Baltimore @ Lyric Opera House
May 13 - Washington, D.C. @ Warner Theatre
May 14 - Philadelphia @ Keswick Theatre
May 17 - Columbus, Ohio @ Palace Theatre
May 19 - Cleveland, Ohio @ State Theatre
May 21 - Toronto @ Massey Hall
May 22 - Mashantucket, CT @ MGM Grand Theatre at Foxwoods
May 23 - Boston @ The Wilbur Theatre
May 24 - Atlantic City, NJ @ Music Box at The Borgata
May 26 - New York @ Beacon Theatre
May 27 - New York @ Beacon Theatre
May 29 - Detroit @ Fox Theatre
May 30 - Chicago @ Chicago Theatre
May 31 - Milwaukee, WI @ Riverside Theatre