Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Neal Hefti RIP

Let’s face it. It doesn’t matter that Neal Hefti scored The Odd Couple and Barefoot in the Park. It doesn’t even matter that this unbelievably talented trumpet player sat in with orchestras conducted by such luminaries as Count Basie and Harry James among others. Impressive achievements all, but, in the end, they just don’t matter.

Finally, it doesn’t matter that Hefti scored what is generally agreed to be possibly the most puerile, asinine television series of the 1960’s (Adam West disagrees, and I’ll probably get my ass chewed by modpro for saying it, but that doesn’t change the ugly truth). What matters, in the final analysis, is that theme song. A song that burrowed its way into the consciousnesses of at least two generations of kids. One of the coolest theme songs of all times – right up there with The Munsters.

Hefti always said that the Batman and Robin theme song was the most difficult piece he ever wrote, and it shows. It made that piece of crap show worth watching. Well, at least the first minute of it. And usually the whole grim half hour, as aspects of the song would show up periodically throughout the episode, especially during the fight scenes. He won a grammy for that song, and a more deserved one has never been handed out.

Neal Hefti died today at the age of 85. A pretty good run and a pretty distinguished career. But man, that song…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, very cool fellow!

Hey, I liked Batman, but I was watching re-runs of it when I was but a wee lass. I wasn't one of those smart-ass kids like my peers, so the show didn't bother me at the time. Being a smart-ass didn't come until much later for me; after adulthood and marriage held its promises for making me jaded.
Yes, I would like that as a ringtone for my phone, but then I would feel too common... and that would cheapen it all...

Thanks, Misery!