A Few Questions with Spinal Tap Legend Derek Smalls at the NAMM Show 2019


Adrian GarroCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

When given a rare one-on-one conversation with Derek Smalls, bassist of mythical and oh-so-very-loud rock and roll icons Spinal Tap, what would one ask?

At the NAMM Show in Anaheim this past weekend, Rock Cellar was given that exclusive honor, so we asked him: What would he say is the legacy Spinal Tap has left in its wake?

“I’d say the legacy of Spinal Tap, above everything else, is three words: Never too loud. And until the band comes around and wants to make that their mantra, their mandate, then I think it will be our legacy hewn into living rock, much like Stonehenge itself.”

Smalls was also generous enough to answer a few more of our burning questions at NAMM, where he was a guest of honor there on behalf of the Lennon Bus. In addition to hosting a very competitive “Bass-Off” on Saturday afternoon, Smalls roamed the halls of the Convention Center like a member of the common folk, even though he most certainly is not.

Any tips for aspiring musicians?

And recounting a recent gig he did celebrating his 2018 album — a gig that saw a reunion of sorts with old friends like Steve Lukather, Steve Vai, Dweezil Zappa and Paul Shaffer, backed by an all-star house band which included the likes of guitarist Marc Bonilla (Keith Emerson band, CTA), drummer Toss Panos (Sting, Stephen Stills), musical director Cj Vanston (Prince, Ringo Starr), and Judith Owen:

And some thoughts about the Lennon Bus and what it provides to the music community at large:

Keep on doing what you do, sir!



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