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Saxon was inspiration for "Spinal Tap"

Saxon was inspiration for "Spinal Tap"
October 03, 2013, 01:10:59 PM
avy metal band Saxon releases "Unplugged and Strung Up" Nov. 19, 2013. — Courtesy photo


Let us now pay respect (well, a little) to Saxon, the not-so-great lost hope of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement, which propelled Def Leppard and Iron Maiden to stardom in the early 1980s.

Saxon, which plays here Thursday, Oct. 3, at Ramona Mainstage, briefly seemed destined for fame, undaunted by a lack of vision and skill. Or, as I wrote in my U-T San Diego review of the band’s 1985 California Theater concert: “Saxon performed with all the ability and finesse of a group of roller derby contestants crashing into a wall.”

In hindsight, that was precisely the band’s charm, even if it eluded me at the time. Below are some other reasons I now have a fondness for Saxon, one of the inspirations for the classic 1983 film satire “This is Spinal Tap.” (Tap member Harry Shearer went on the road with Saxon to take notes, before filming began. He was especially impressed with original Saxon bassist Steve Dawson's trademark stage move, which found Dawson playing one open string on his bass with his right hand, while holding his left arm in the air, fist proudly clenched.)