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Does Life imitate Art, or vice versa? The very first scenes of The West Wing had the White House staff wondering how to explain the way fictional President Bartlet fell off his bike. Back in the real world, President Bush is sporting cuts and bruises after trying to ride a mountain bike along a forest track. Oh, well…

My all-time favourite examples of “art imitating life imitating art” has to involve This Is Spinal Tap. Too many examples to mention, but the bands of the 80’s all saw it, loved it, and didn’t moderate their antics one little bit. The Rock ‘n Roll Creation sequence, with bassist Derek Smalls trapped inside a strange pod-thing, really happened, to Bill Nelson in his Be Bop Deluxe days; besides, don’t ask where Metallica’s Black Album came from.

One of the running jokes in the “rockumentary” is the way the band went through drummers like a drummer goes through drumsticks, starting with “a bizarre gardening accident” that took out their first drummer. Fast forward ten years, in the “real world”, and Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro dies in what was first thought to be… “a bizarre gardening accident”. The initial explanation involved an adverse reaction to a weedkiller: later, there was talk of a cocaine-weakened cardiovascular system. Even so, his place in the Spinal Tap A-to-Zed is assured.

It’s election time here in Dublin, again, and this time round I have but one thing to say, except that Billy Connolly beat me to it:

The desire to become a politician should bar you for life from ever becoming one.


Written by brian t

May 30, 2004 at 10:15 pm

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