Going to 11

Larry Ribstein —  11 November 2011

Veterans certainly deserve their day but I hope they won’t mind my sharing it with Nigel Tufnel. Surely you recall his memorable question:

Well, it’s one louder, isn’t it? It’s not 10. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at 10. You’re on 10 here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you’re on 10 on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?

The answer, of course, is “11.” 

We (or at least I) honor him today for reminding us that

  1. All innovation is not good.
  2. Just because an idea feels brilliant that doesn’t mean it is.

The latter insight may come in handy while listening to or reading some new scholarship, including your own.  Just thinking “it goes to 11” relieves the tedium or induces constructive self-doubt, depending on the circumstances. Try it and I’m sure you’ll agree this idea really does . . . go to 11.

Larry Ribstein


Professor of Law, University of Illinois College of Law

One response to Going to 11


    On innovation parodies, nothing beats Nigel’s amp capo from the second Spinal Tap concert movie. I couldn’t find a youtube link, but it may be there somewhere.