These Go to 11: Christopher Guest Meets Berklee
Writer, director, actor, composer, and musician Christopher Guest has explored the culture and comic possibilities of folk, rock, and musical theater in his films. This show—with Guest guesting on guitar and vocals—features Berklee students interpreting his music from Spinal Tap and A Mighty Wind in surprising new ways. See the concert series homepage for more information.
The program will include Spinal Tap classics “Big Bottom,” “Stonehenge,” and “Hell Hole,” and favorites from Guest’s more recent films like “Nothing Ever Happens In Blaine” (Waiting for Guffman) and “A Mighty Wind,” with some of the material being performed in diverse styles, such as big band, swing, Latin, and Bossa Nova. Berklee faculty performers and arrangers include Jim Kelly, Jim Odgren, Bill Elliot, and Jon Aldrich.
Says Berklee president Roger Brown, “Talk to any rock, blues, or jazz musician and you are likely to find that they can quote This Is Spinal Tap chapter and verse. 'Turning it up to eleven,' harmonizing 'Heartbreak Hotel' at Graceland, or playing absolutely inappropriate music at a U.S. Air Force base capture the highs and lows of the musician’s life like no other film. Guest not only starred in the film, and others like Waiting for Guffman and A Mighty Wind, he is also a very talented guitarist and mandolin player who wrote many of the hits from these seminal films.”
Christopher Guest has acted, written and composed for theater, radio, television and film. From the late 1960s until 1975 he worked as a stage actor in New York. Concurrently, he began writing for National Lampoon magazine and contributing to the National Lampoon Radio Hour, making five albums, three of which were nominated for Grammys, as well as cowriting and performing in the stage show Lemmings. His television credits include The TV Show (with Rob Reiner), The Chevy Chase Special, The Lily Tomlin Show, for which he received an Emmy Award, and Saturday Night Live as a writer, director and cast member.
Guest directed his first feature film in 1989, The Big Picture, starring Kevin Bacon, and went on to do Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman with Darryl Hannah (1992), Waiting for Guffman (1997), Almost Heroes (1998), Best in Show (2000), A Mighty Wind (2003)—for which he and Eugene Levy and Michael Mckean won a Grammy award—and For Your Consideration (2006).
Along with Harry Shearer and Micheal Mckean, Guest has toured the world with the band Spinal Tap as well as the Folksmen. At Carnegie Hall, the Folksmen actually opened for Spinal Tap, which was either meglomania in its purest form or merely overreaching.