Spinal Tap’s Derek Smalls has to hear the political drumbeat – Daily Breeze
narcissism

Spinal Tap’s Derek Smalls has to hear the political drumbeat – Daily Breeze

When our own politics get too much to bear, a Yank can look across the pond for the kind of solace only schadenfreude can provide.

I mean, we have as a “leader” a narcissistic professional liar with bad hair who pretends to be a populist conservative but really makes it up as he goes along, born rich, forever troubled by women — and so do the Brits.

Boris Johnson, prime minister of the United Kingdom, first started making money from lying as a young journalist posted to Brussels, where colleagues say he was too lazy to go out and talk to people, so he just made up quotes from imaginary sources and put them into his news stories.

And he’s in a pickle now, because the most recent person he professionally lied to was Queen Elizabeth II, fibbing about why he “needed” to dissolve Parliament.

I really wanted to check in with an Englishman, just to, you know, gloat, and so was most pleased when the phone rang Wednesday and Derek Smalls was on the line. That’s right: the bassist for Spinal Tap. Straight out of Nilford-on-Null. I asked him where he stood on Brexit — a Leaver, a Stayer?

“I’m not really into politics,” he said. “Not a voter.”

Oh — copy that. Derek was really calling to promote his Lukewarm Water Live! tour, coming to the Wiltern in Los Angeles Nov. 6. Just like their drummers always do, the rest of Spinal Tap have gone missing, and to celebrate his 75th birthday, he’s touring solo with an all-star band and a symphony orchestra playing both Tap numbers and songs from his new album, “Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing),” with the first stop on a West Coast swing right here in L.A. Big guest names on … tap  … for the local show, and some more will be beamed in to giant video screens via, as they say, satellite.

I made him talk about politics anyway.

“Back where I come from, the Midlands, they voted for it, but this is not Brexit — what do they get instead, three years of wrangling? This is like you go to the theater, and the bloody overture never ends,” Smalls said.

I asked him if his heartland neighbors were simply against foreigners in general.

“All the jobs — at least the ones the yobs used to get — are now going to the people from Poland and Romania. You go into a bloody Starbucks and it’s all girls from Poland. Which, you know, is fine with me. But then it’s like, wait a minute, I used to do that job. Well, not me, literally — the girl from Poland — but all those jobs where you stand in a shop for eight hours and say, ‘Can I help you?’ My friends had those jobs. Not that they were very good at it. Which is why, I think, they got replaced by people from Poland.”

I recalled that the pub at Heathrow I patronized in July was entirely staffed by blonde Polish girls.

“Yeah, well, that’s it then, you’ve got Brexit in a nutshell. Which, you know, would be a good name for a show.”

Or a rock band.

“‘Jobs for yobs’ should have been the campaign slogan. But I’m not really into politics.” I had to press him once more anyway.

“Is this going to be about Boris Johnson’s hair?” Smalls guessed.

“Well, it is pretty punk rock,” I said.

“Punks didn’t comb it over their forehead!” the het-up bassist retorted.

I suggested that Tap might hire Johnson to hit the skins.

“No, no, first of all, never heard him drum. Call me a stickler. But you bring up an interesting point about what happened with Tap. I’ve got my own … practice of honoring the supreme evil one. And he’s very hung up on the number 3. And 666 is basically a bunch of 3s strung together. And Tap was three — Derek, David and Nigel. And I think Satan thought it was disruptive to that three to have a drummer along for the ride, as it were. And so: the curse.”

Pressed once again, Smalls would only add: “I’d rather hire a drummer to be my politician than a politician to be my drummer.”

Larry Wilson is on the Southern California News Group editorial board. lwilson@scng.com.

Source link

Leave a Reply