Formerly of the band formerly known as Spinal Tap
Rock ‘til you sit!
Rock ‘til you sit!
(feat. Paul Shaffer, Waddy Wachtel, and David Crosby)
PEOPLE has the exclusive premiere of the animated video for Derek Smalls' solo single, included on his latest album Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)
This November, Derek Smalls, former lead bass player of the band formerly known as SPINAL TAP, hits the road. Accompanied by a panoply of special guests, the bottom force of the fabled heavy metal band will play a whistle-stop series of concerts along the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada.
DEBUT SOLO RECORD FEATURES ALL STAR LINEUP INCLUDING DONALD FAGEN, DAVID CROSBY, DWEEZIL ZAPPA, PAUL SHAFFER AND MORE
Thirty four years after the world was introduced to Spinal Tap, you can still pull out a quote from their rockumentary and everyone knows who you’re talking about.
Bass player from Spinal Tap, Derek Smalls, talks to JP Devlin about his new album, what the other band members are doing now and whether he still gets stopped at airport security.
Derek Smalls is in studio next, and Adam talks with him about all of the people who are on his new solo album, and what his experiences in the music industry have been like since his days with Spinal Tap.
After a career with heavy metal gods Spinal Tap – and a battle with addiction to the internet – the bassist is back with a new album reflecting on the ageing process. As his cells degrade, he shares his hard-fought wisdom
Harry Shearer can't stay out of his Derek Smalls wig for long. After releasing a solo album, Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing), as his beloved This Is Spinal Tap character last year, Shearer is back as Smalls in the music video for his LP's ninth track, "Gimme Some (More) Money."
Using a cunning mix of animation and live action, the new video illustrates the noble quest for fair remuneration
Derek Smalls, the bottom force of the fabled heavy metal band known as SPINAL TAP, is premiering the video for his song "Gimme Some (More) Money" ahead of his eagerly anticipated solo tour of West Coast cities this fall.
This November, Derek Smalls, former lead bass player of the band formerly known as Spinal Tap hits the road.
Accompanied by a panoply of special guests, the bottom force of the fabled heavy metal band will play a whistle-stop series of concerts along the West Coast of the US and Canada.
Derek Smalls, former lead bass player of the band formerly known as Spinal Tap and the doppelganger of Harry Shearer, will continue the “Lukewarm Water Live!” tour later this year, beginning with a Nov. 6 date as Los Angeles' Wiltern.
The Road of Rock is a rocky road, and no one’s life exemplifies that more thoroughly than that of Derek Albion Smalls who celebrates his 75th birthday with a hoped-to-be triumphant return to at least one of the echelons of the rock firmament. Derek was born April 1, 1941, having to endure growing up as an “April Fool’s baby.” His father, Donald “Duff” Smalls, raised Derek after his mother, Dorothy, left home to join a traveling all-girls’ jazz band, The Hotten Totties. While Derek had a quiet school career in his hometown of Nilford, on the River Null in the West Midlands, Duff carried on his work as a telephone handset sanitizer working for the pioneering firm in the trade, Sani-Phone, until it was absorbed by the former British Telecom, primarily, according to reports at the time, for its “robust bill-collecting operation.” At age 17 Derek enrolled in the London School of Design, primarily, as he later explained it, “because of the initials.” Like many art-school students of the period, he was more interested in music, and soon found himself a member of the all-white Jamaican band Skaface. “I never even tried to play the guitar, because it had too many strings and they were too small. Bass felt just right,” he told Ska News. Walking one day in 1967 through the then-tatty Soho district of London, Derek spotted a “bass player wanted” notice on one of the neighbourhood’s lampposts. It turns out Ronnie Pudding had just left the band Spinal Tap for a solo career when their first single “Gimme Some Money” failed to chart. Derek fit right in and made a notable contribution to the band’s jump on the Flower Power bandwagon, mouthing a silent “We love you” at the end of its performance of “(Listen to) The Flower People” on the short-lived TV music show, “Bob’s Your Uncle.” Tap then went on to carve out a reputation as one of England’s loudest bands. Its series of mishaps—breakups and reunions, drummers perishing in bizarre ways—was chronicled in a 1984 film. “A hatchet job,” Derek calls it dismissively. “There were plenty of nights when we found our way to the stage, but of course they didn’t show you that.” In the late 1980s, as Tap’s fortunes waned, Derek joined a Christian heavy-metal band, Lambsblood. Their best-known song, “Whole Lotta Lord,” made a respectable showing on the Christian charts. To cement his relationship with the band members, all of whom were Americans, Smalls got a Christian “fish tattoo.” As luck would have it, Tap soon reunited for the 1992 Break Like the Wind album and toured across America. Concerned that he would have to cover up the tattoo, Derek hired an artist to fix it, and the piece now featured a devil eating the fish. Following that tour, Tap broke up and reunited twice more, once in 2000 for an American tour that included a historic New York venue that Derek described, onstage, as “Carnegie Fuckin’ Hall” and in 2009 for appearances at the Glastonbury Festival and Wembley Arena. In between, Derek cultivated a near-thriving career on camera, building upon his cameo role in the 1979 “Spaghetti Eastern” Roma ’79. He appeared in TV commercials for the Belgian snack food Floop, and served for a time as a judge (alongside the lead singer for the Europunk band Hot Garage) on the Dutch reality-competition show “RokStarz,” before the show was rebooted as “Tomorrow’s HipHop Hero.” Derek stepped forward as a composer during this time; his jingle for Floop, “I’m in the Floop Group,” was a regular earworm on European television until the publisher of “The In Crowd” threatened a plagiarism lawsuit. Derek’s fortunes have fluctuated with his romantic entanglements. His long-time girlfriend Cindy Stang went through a good share of his back royalties to launch her ill-fated tech start-up, macrame.com. Of that project, Smalls now says ruefully, “It was ahead of its time. Or behind the curve. Or both.” He’s also had his share of personal struggles, having twice sought treatment for internet addiction. Smalls’ return to music, and composing, came courtesy of a grant from the British Fund for Ageing Rockers. As he prepares to re-enter the spotlight for the first time, Derek tips his hat to the government grantors: “At least austerity was good for something,” he says.