Harry Shearer Hopes Fans Get ‘Unwigged & Unplugged’ With DVD Sept. 124 Aug, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey
Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer always seemed to have a blast playing their characters from This Is Spinal Tap and A Mighty Wind (The Folksmen).
But according to Shearer, the trio had just as much fun playing themselves during their 30-stop "Unwigged & Unplugged" tour this past spring, The two-hour multimedia performances featured music, stand-up, Q&As with the audience and random oddities like fan videos. The finale at Riverside Theater in Milwaukee was filmed for a Sept. 1 DVD release ($15.97), and follows on the heels of the release of the new Spinal Tap album “Back From the Dead.”
“It was a real insane three weeks,” Shearer said. “When we finished we all talked to each other and said ‘God, that was a lot of fun.’ It sure was logistically easier than doing a Spinal Tap tour.”
Between playing fan-favorite songs from “This Is Spinal Tap,” “Break Like the Wind” and “A Mighty Wind,” the trio told jokes, shared videos from their past (including their first TV appearance), played fan-created videos honoring Tap, bantered with audience members, and even read the line-by-line edits NBC required for This Is Spinal Tap in order for it to air.
“I’m a bit abashed to say there’s so much lore attached to these things, The Folksmen and especially Tap,” Shearer said. “Being these characters has become second nature to us.”
Shearer pointed to A Mighty Wind’s “The Good Book Song” as one of his favorites on the DVD set-list, but encouraged fans to watch the whole thing from the start. The DVD features the entire show, unedited with one exception: one stop-action fan video from YouTube featured Lego pieces depicting a concert performance of “Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight” had to be removed from the DVD, after the Lego Group refused to grant permission for its use.
“That was stupid of them,” Shearer laughed.
Shearer said home video is to thank for the success of the trio, with This is Spinal Tap’s initial VHS release garnering more fans of the group than the trio ever expected. He said he hopes Unwigged & Unplugged will be just as well-received by DVD fans.
“Anyone with a sense of humor will enjoy it,” Shearer said. “Even people who haven’t heard of our work.”
For information visit www.unwigged.com and www.twitter.com/UnwiggedDVD.