Ric Parnell

Ric Parnell, who played Mick Shrimpton, the drummer of SPINAL TAP in the mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, has passed away at the age of 70. Parnell was also a onetime member of ATOMIC ROOSTER, a 1970s British hard rock/progressive rock band which was led by extraordinary keyboardist Vincent Crane.


 paid tribute to his friend in a social media post on Sunday, writing: “Ric Parnell died early this morning.

“From day one, meeting him, I found him to be engaging, warm, and delightfully funny. We hit it off as pals immediately. He had a cheerful spirit that made you feel good, just being around him.

Ric‘s amazing history in the music world is well known. I had the great good fortune to work with Ric on three albums. Studio time was casual, fun, and scattered with stories and humor. Ric never actually prepared for a session, but would come up with the beat and the arrangement on the spot. He would say ‘How does this next song go?’ I’d play it to him on a guitar, and he’d think about it for a minute. Then he would say ‘Right! Got something.’ Then he would nail it in one or two takes, and it was as perfect as it gets.

Ric was one of a kind. He lives on in his music, and in our hearts.”

Parnell‘s biggest breakthrough came in 1984 when he scored a role in This Is Spinal Tap.

He grabbed screen time as Mick ShrimptonSPINAL TAP’s drummer through the majority of the film. As noted in the movie, the band had seen a lot of turnover behind the kit, as their drummers continually died under strange circumstances. Still, Shrimpton looked to buck that trend.