Spinal Tap Drummer Ric Parnell Dead At 70

3 May 2022 | 11:59 am | Staff Writer

"Even if he played a parody... he was a flawless drummer in any genre.”

(Pic by YouTube)

Ric Parnell, also known as Mick Shrimpton of fictional heavy metal band Spinal Tap, has passed away at the age of 70.

The news broke via the band's Harry Shearer (Derek Smalls) who Tweeted, "Ric Parnell, our drummer in This is Spinal Tap, passed away today.  No one ever rocked harder."

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Parnell was born in 1951, the son of jazz drummer Jack Parnell who was the longtime leader of the band on the Muppet show. He ended up performing in bands including Atomic Rooster, Horse and Michael Des Barres.

Parnell is most known for his role in the fictional band that starred in the iconic 1984 mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap. The band released a soundtrack for the film, including comedic fan favourites such as Stonehenge and Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight. Many consider the band to be one of the best parody act of all time, with their reflections on a distinct era of metal and hard rock in the 1980s.

Michael Des Barres, who he played with on 1981 hit Hey Mickey by Toni Basil, tweeted, "even if he played a parody... he was a flawless drummer in any genre. Some musicians are playing a role, others are rock‘n’roll. Ric Parnell was the latter. The real thing. Lost and found in a rhythm that was both jarring and beautiful. His heart still beats.”

There is currently a GoFundMe to support funeral costs.