J.K. Rowling Says A Huge ‘Harry Potter’ Plot Point Was Inspired By… Spinal Tap

It’s pretty rare that even after all this time (“always”), Harry Potter fans can still be surprised by new information.

Well here’s one for you: apparently, the curse that left Defence Against the Dark Arts teachers either dying, leaving, or becoming otherwise incapacitated to do their job at the end of one year was inspired by the Spinal Tap drummers bizarrely, repeatedly dying.

Spinal Tap is a weird one to explain. They’re a parody 80s band that spoofed heavy metal bands, but also released music, shot a mockumentary, and performed at Glastonbury Festival in 2009. To me, a Spinal Tab noob, it kinda feels like when you start saying a dumb phrases ironically (“lol”) and then it accidentally becomes part of your lexicon. When did Spinal Tap stop being a parody and just become a band, you know?

Anyway, a running gag of the band is that their drummers would die in increasingly bizarre ways. One died in a gardening accident that authorities said was “best left unsolved”, another spontaneously combusted on stage, a third sold his dialysis machine for drugs and is presumed dead, and so on. One is believed to either be dead or playing jazz in Japan, while another’s fate is firmly sealed: he died trying to jump over a tank of sharks on a tricycle. Not a great move, living-wise, but I suppose you can afford to take risks when you’re a fictional character.

Anyway, the QI Twitter account – which tweets facts that are “quite interesting” – references some long-forgotten bit of trivia, where J.K. Rowling claimed her DADA curse was inspired by Spinal Taps’ drummers.

And as it turned out, they were utterly correct.

QI replied, thanking Rowling for confirming the fact (was it not confirmed beforehand?), but now the entire thread is people making Spinal Tap jokes that I absolutely do not get, but you might.


Ahhhh yes. Jokes that we all, as Spinal Tap fans, absolutely get. Love it.