Q: How do you know when a drummer’s been staying at your house?
A: He’s still there.
You’ve heard the word on the street, Missoula, and this time it’s true: Spinal Tap drummer Ric Parnell, aka Mick Shrimpton, has moved to the Garden City. Not the one who died in the bizarre gardening accident, the one who spontaneously combusted on stage. Actually, the second one who spontaneously combusted on stage. Well, it was just a movie after all.
Oddly enough, it was another kind of scuttlebutt that brought this curious fact to the Independent’s attention. We accidentally netted Parnell in our weekly Street Talk feature in mid-September, waxing economic about his housing prospects in Missoula, where he’d moved just a week earlier. Shortly thereafter, a copy of a flyer with tear-off phone numbers at the bottom mysteriously appeared on a desk in the editorial suite, announcing that Parnell is “now hanging in Missoula” and “looking for students who like to hit things, mostly drums.” And, we guessed, looking to get acquainted with other drummers and music stores around town.
“Yeah, he’s been in a couple times,” confirms an employee at Electronic Sound and Percussion. “Super nice guy. We talked about drum companies.”
And did he say why he moved here?
“You know, he didn’t. He didn’t really say. I think he’s played here a few times, though. Maybe he just liked Missoula and decided to stay.”
Unfortunately, the week we called Parnell to get the complete story happened to be the same week he was back in Los Angeles retrieving the rest of his belongings. Drummers, eh? His temporary roommates helpfully offered a cell number where we could reach him, but no dice—he wasn’t answering.
Rest assured, though, he’ll be back soon, and then we’ll get the complete story. We’ve got plenty we want to ask him. Like about this new movie The Devil’s Due at Midnight, for starters. It’s Parnell’s second movie appearance to date, and he’s credited simply as “Drummer.”