Joe Perry says that his AEROSMITH bandmate Steven Tyler wasn't amused the first time he watched the beloved 1984 spoof rockumentary "This Is Spinal Tap".
"When we watched 'Spinal Tap', my wife and I saw it, and we fell on the floor," Perry told Ultimate Classic Rock. "It was great, every bit is brilliant as it was supposed to be, so good. Even then, we had been through it all six times. I told Steven the next day, 'You've got to see this movie! It's so fucking good. It's hilarious.'"
But when they returned to the theater with Tyler, Perry and his wife were surprised to see the singer "squirming and squirming, and he did not laugh the whole time," Perry said. "It was like he took the band's side on everything. It was like he did not — he didn't get it. He got indignant. And it was, like, I couldn't believe it. So, my wife and I were cracking up — and we're watching Steven."
When "This Is Spinal Tap" was released, not every got that it was a "mock-umentary." U2's The Edge immediately embraced it, saying: "I didn't laugh, I wept. It was so close to the truth." Ozzy Osbourne didn't understand it, saying the first time he watched it, he thought it was a real documentary. Early home video versions of the movie reportedly even had a disclaimer at the start and finish of the movie stating the band didn't really exist.
Last October, Harry Shearer, who played bassist Derek Smalls in "This is Spinal Tap", filed a $125 million lawsuit against Vivendi, the French media group that holds the rights to the movie. Shearer alleged that Vivendi, which acquired the film in 1989, engaged in fraud to hide revenues. He claims the four creators of the movie were paid an aggregate sum of just $98 between 1989 and 2006 for royalties on soundtrack sales while merchandise sales generated income of $81 for them between 1984 and 2006. Last month, Shearer's "This is Spinal Tap" co-creators Christopher Guest and Michael McKean, along with the film's director, Rob Reiner, joined the lawsuit, also claiming unfair compensation and bumping the sought-after damages to $400 million.