Spinal Tap, Nas and Puff Daddy made news this week

By Tom Sinclair and Chris Willman
Updated April 30, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

On tap
Tomorrow they’re gonna rock you tonight! That’s right, Spinal Tap is tentatively planning a tour in 2000. ”I’m game,” says Michael McKean, a.k.a. singer David St. Hubbins. ”I’ve gotta drop about 20 pounds to get into wardrobe, but that’s part of the fun.”

The only real-life Tap tour was an extended 1992 run. ”There were always guys throwing little Stonehenges on stage,” recalls McKean. ”My theory was that we were pretending to be big rock stars and they were pretending to be our fans.” Now, a follow-up is possible because French film company Canal Plus recently bought theatrical rights to the 1984 mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap and is said to be interested in rereleasing it in conjunction with a tour. ”We’re trying to get disparate rights holders onto the team,” says band manager Harriet Sternberg, who notes that previous owners ”parceled off” video rights, explaining why the movie’s been unavailable on VHS for several years. And it’s hard to rent ”because people say ‘Let’s get loaded and watch Spinal Tap,’ then never return it,” says McKean.

Sneaker attack
The invitation to the April 6 album release party for Nas’ I Am… contained a phrase guaranteed to chill unkempt journalists: ”Extremely high fashion will be enforced.” A week later, a party notice for new Bad Boy Recording artist Carl Thomas warned, ”Absolutely No Sneakers or Boots!!!!” Such edicts point to a hip-hop fashion trend that some trace to ex-Motown prexy Andre Harrell’s ”white linen” parties or to Puff Daddy’s be-jiggy-or-begone soirees (the invite to the April 15 launch party for his magazine, Notorious, stipulated ”Dress Notorious”). Guess it’s official: The thug look is out; high-end designer clothes, Rolexes, and diamonds are in. ”It’s the norm now at high-profile hip-hop events,” says David Watkins of Icon Lifestyle Marketing, which has organized parties for Puff Daddy, TLC, Missy Elliott, and others. Elliott, who attended the Nas bash, likes the fad: ”When people get in their nice clothes they’re not gonna be on some rah-rah s—. It keeps the knuckleheads out.” Still, as one industry wag quipped, Def Jam president Russell Simmons ”is always gonna show up in jeans and sneakers.”