At Carol Joynt’s Q&A Cafe: Rocker ‘Derek Smalls’

Following his “Harry Shearer: Up to Eleven” program in conjunction with the Kennedy Center’s District of Comedy Festival the previous evening, Harry Shearer joined Carol Joynt for her Q&A Café luncheon at the George Town Club on Friday, July 20. Totally in character as bass player Derek Smalls from the 1984 cult-classic film “This Is Spinal Tap,” he delighted the guests with his trials and tribulations as a graying rocker.

The accomplished bassist has recently recorded “Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)” and performed with the Louisiana and Budapest symphony orchestras. “Derek” shared that he lives on the wrong side of the Thames since three ex-wives have not allowed him to “live large.”

There were many insights into the making of the mock rock-umentary, directed by Rob Reiner, which recounted the North American comeback tour of Spinal Tap, the loudest band in England, promoting their new album “Smell the Glove.” In 2002, “This Is Spinal Tap” was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.


  • Mary Bird


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