Spinal Tap Drummer Ric Parnell Dies At 70

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Ric Parnell, the English rock drummer who played Mick Shrimpton in the 1994 mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, died Sunday. He was 70.

A cause of death was not immediately disclosed.

“No one ever rocked harder,” tweeted co-star Harry Shearer.

Parnell – who reportedly turned down chances to join Journey and Whitesnake in the ‘80s – played in ‘70s bands Horse, Atomic Rooster, Stars and the Italian bands Tritons, Ibis and Nova.

He also performed with Michael Des Barres, who tweeted: “Some musicians are playing a role. Others are rock ‘n’ roll. Ric Parnell was the latter. The real thing. Lost and found in a rhythm that was both jarring and beautiful. His heart still beats.”

Parnell played drums on Toni Basil’s 1982 hit “Mickey.”

Because his character spontaneously combusted in This Is Spinal Tap, Parnell acted as Shrimpton’s twin brother when the band made appearances following the release of the film. He performed on two Spinal Tap albums.

A GoFund Me campaign was set up before Parnell died to help cover expenses for cremation and a memorial service.

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