No Joke: Spinal Tap Star Sues for $125 MILLION!

Is there a more beloved rock’n’roll parody than 1984’s This is Spinal Tap? I think not. It’s a classic, required viewing for anyone who even has a passing interest in music. However, all is not well within the Tap camp.

Harry Shearer (he of The Simpsons and one of the stars of Tap) has filed suit against Vivendi, saying that the company has deliberately under paid  royalties on the music from the film. Shearer contends that he’s owed a lot more money from songs like this featuring Shearer’s Derek Smalls.

So how pissed is Harry? He contends that between 1998 and 2006, his total income from the soundtrack–of which he was a co-writer and chief singer–earned him $98 [sic]. And as for merchandising, he says he and the other members of the band earned $81 [sic] during the same period.

He wants Vivendi to be punished to the tune of $125,000,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.

Full details here.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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