Mr. Horsepower, Nigel Tufnel (Spinal Tap), Ernie Ball - #8 of 25


Is there a cooler guitar anywhere?  I don't think so!  Is there a cooler guitar player than Nigel Tufnel?  I don't think so!  When he came out on stage on the 2001 reunion tour at the House of Blues in Las Vegas with this guitar, I said I have to get one of those.  As luck would have it, at the January NAMM show in 2001 the Ernie Ball, Music Man company created 25 of these guitars just like Nigel's, with all proceeds going to charity (The Casey Lee Ball Foundation).  In October of 2003, one finally came up for sale that I found in time to buy .  Each guitar is signed by Nigel and numbered.  They went for $5,000 each at the NAMM show when originally offered.  Now they are going for a lot more.  I heard about one that went for $15K to someone in Japan. The number 11 guitar had a few modifications and sold for $11,000 on eBay in May of 2001.  The #11 being a very important number for Nigel and Spinal Tap!  On this guitar the "Attackometer" went to 11, the trem handle had an 11 ball instead of an 8 ball and there were dice (5 and a 6) inlayed at the 11th fret.  This guitar here is #8.  As luck would have it, the attackometer goes to 8 and there is an 8 ball on the trem handle.  Everything except the chrome exhaust pipes function.   Regarding his one of a kind guitar, Mr. Tufnel said "I wanted something that was flashy and would stand out on stage.  But it had to be a working instrument that played well".  And so it does.  It has the same headstock as the Van Halen Music Man guitars and a very similar neck as well (a little fatter).  It uses the Albert Lee body.  The guitar is fairly heavy. Here are some of the important features:


Maple neck; Chrome Yellow body and headstock; Flame paint job on body

bulletMusic Man Albert Lee Guitar body style
bullet4 humbucker pickups, sized to match the string width as it travels down the body
bulletPickup on/off status lights, colored to match to light signals on a drag strip
bullet"Hot-fuel proof" rubber selector switches
bulletStainless steel exhaust headers, on the side of the body
bulletFunctional tachometer built into the body with adjustable redline that measures the attack on the strings while playing
bulletCopper heat exchanger access covers on the back
bulletClay Smith Cams logo: "Mr. Horsepower" on the body, and also on the headstock integrated with the Music Man logo
bulletKey signature Inlays on the fretboard
bulletTyre volume knob, which activates the tachometer lighting when pulled out
bulletFloyd Rose licensed tremolo system, with a gear shifter replacing a tremolo arm. Eight ball on the end of the gear shifter.
bullet12v battery powered
bulletEach model hand autographed and numbered

Click the thumbnails below to see the larger image.


This is Spinal Tap—A Rockumentary by Martin DiBergi™: (Embassy Pictures, 1984): Shot in five weeks for less than $3 million and transferred from 16mm to 35mm film for theater viewing, the documentary captures Spinal Tap on stage and behind-the-scenes during its 1982 U.S. tour to support "Smell the Glove." After the film premiered in New York on March 2, 1984 (following previews in Seattle and Dallas that prompted DiBergi to trim five minutes), the band immediately labeled it a "hatchet job" and "character assassination." Derek: "You can’t give someone a camera to follow us about—it’s like giving someone a rusty razor and saying, ‘Have a shave, govner.’ " Nigel: "It’s like giving a rolling pin to a magician." David: "I’m not really following you on this one." (RL) Later, Nigel would claim: "When he first showed us the film, all those scenes were switched. Then when the film was shown it was switched back. So you can imagine our shock." David: "Ask yourself, what kind of artist would have a switchable work?" (QM) Nigel once called the movie "a minstrel show. It’s good and bad." (BG) Nigel: "It made us look stupid and brought us attention in one fell swoop. People are not interested in things that go well. They don’t want to see headlines that say, ‘Baby Chipmunk Found on Highway: Unharmed, Warm and Fluffy.’ But if you say ‘Overweight Man Gets Head Stuck in Toilet, Sweating, Smelling Bad,’ well they’ll run down and buy that one." (BG) Ironically, the publicity generated by the band’s 1992 reunion tour put the video of the film on the Billboard charts.