Spinal Tap A to Zed

Marty DiBergiDiBergi, Martin (Marty): Young director who filmed the 1984 documentary, "This is Spinal Tap," by following the band as it toured the United States in support of "Smell the Glove." Inspired by filmmakers like Martin "The Last Waltz" Scorsese and Brian DePalma, DiBergi began his career after taking a correspondence course in filmmaking he saw advertised on a matchbook cover. (DI). He says he turned down several movie projects and a chance to work with Sandy Duncan on a series of Wheat Thin commercials to direct "This is Spinal Tap." His previous directing experience included many commercials, including one for Chuckwagon dog food ("that little dog that chases the covered wagon under the sink"). A one-time rock keyboardist, he had heard through the grapevine in 1982 that Tap was releasing a new album after a six-year hiatus, and he said he considered himself a fan. David would later say that this helped convince the band to participate. "He knew what color the labels were on our early singles, things like that." (FW) DiBergi: "I don't know if it was the drugs, or if I was actually moved by them. Let's say this: I felt at one with the band. I felt I could make a statement about rock n' roll as to how it related to the everyday working man." (DI) DiBergi coined the term "rockumentary" to describe his mix of rock and documentary. "I wanted to capture the sights, the sounds, the smells of a hard-working rock band on the road, and I got that," he told viewers. During filming, Ian and later Jeanine tried to wrestle editorial control from DiBergi, as well as demanding a share in any of the documentary's proceeds. They didn't get very far. Predictably, Tap was not happy with the results, claiming DiBergi had done a hatchet job and held them up to scorn. Derek was so angry that he suggested that the director's gangland name was Marty "The Butcher" DiBogi. David: "When he started he was our biggest fan. He was all over us like a cheap shoe." (QM) Even 10 years later, the boys still claim biz insiders were "trying to DiBergi us" if thing don't go smoothly. DiBergi later called the band's complaints sour grapes. "We caught caught a few things on film that they were not happy with. I don't think anyone would be proud of the fact that they couldn't find the stage. But they have only themselves to blame. I didn't put that 18-inch Stonehenge on the stage. And the movie obviously hasn't hurt them. They've done other performances since the movie came out." (DI) Director Rob Reiner defended DiBergi on "Later With Bob Costas": "Marty got a bad rap. He was trying to show the band in a more human light." After "This is Spinal Tap," DiBergi directed two bombs, "Kramer vs. Kramer vs. Godzilla" and "On Golden Pond-3D." He says he and the band members have not spoken since the film came out. Most recently, he said he has been busy as a designer of promotional mousepads. (DI) See also This is Spinal Tap.

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