Bad News - the Spoof Heavy Metal Band Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Bad News - the Spoof Heavy Metal Band

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Bad News is a spoof heavy metal band created in 1983 as part of the UK TV series The Comic Strip Presents. The band is often referred to as 'The Comic Strip's answer to Spinal Tap', despite the fact that This Is Spinal Tap1 was not released until 1984.

The four members of Bad News are:

  • Vim Fuego - the egotistical vocalist and lead guitarist, played by Adrian Edmondson

  • Colin Grigson - the posh and unpopular bassist, played by Rik Mayall

  • Den Dennis - the remarkably stupid rhythm guitarist, played by Nigel Planer

  • Spider Webb - the hyperactive drummer, played by Peter Richardson

Their first film, Bad News Tour, follows the band as they set off on the first date of an extremely low budget British tour. Overcoming a broken down van and constant arguments, they finally arrive at the Roxy theatre in Grantham, where they play to four people and a dog.

Due to the popularity of the first film, the Comic Strip team took the unusual step of filming a sequel. 1987's More Bad News shows the band re-forming for a one-off concert, then signing a record contract and eventually playing the Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donnington, where they are beaten up by the notoriously unforgiving crowd.

While the rest of the 'documentary' was a spoof, the footage of the band on stage at Donnington was genuine, as the comics came dangerously close to becoming a real band in 1987. Having played live at the Donnington festival, the band went on to release a comically poor version of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody and a self-titled album, both produced by Queen's Brian May. The single reached number 44 in the UK charts, and the album number 69. The band released one further single, Cashing In On Christmas, and an album of studio out-takes, Bootleg, before calling it a day.

The band have so far resisted a Spinal Tap-style comeback, although Edmondson, Planer and Richardson re-formed briefly for a Comic Relief special in 1991, and a compilation album, The Cash-In Compilation, was released in 1993.

1This Is Spinal Tap is a seminal 'rockumentary', a spoof documentary following the lives of spoof rock band Spinal Tap.

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