Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Neal Hefti Is Dead!

You may not know who Neal Hefti is (or actually, WAS), but you know his work... He's the guy who wrote the TV theme for the 1960's version of "Batman"! Here are some sample lyrics:

Dah Dah Dah Dah Dah Dah Dah Dah
Dah Dah Dah Dah Dah Dah Dah Dah

It doesn't seem like the "brain surgery" of TV themes, but Hefti's son says the "Batman" theme was Neal Hefti's most difficult piece, taking him at least one month to compose the driving bass and explosive trumpet bursts.

"He threw away more music paper on this thing than any other song," Paul Hefti told The Associated Press. "It got down to the blues with a funny guitar hook, the lowest common denominator and a fun groove."

Neal Hefti was born Oct. 29, 1922, in Hastings, Neb., and played trumpet with local bands as a teenager to earn money.

I was 5 years old when "Batman" debuted on TV, and while the grownups around me saw the Adam West portrayal of the Caped Crusader as campy, I took it darn seriously! When Mr. Freeze trapped Batman and Robin in giant snowcones at the end of an episode, I worried and fretted for the Dark Knight. I ALWAYS tuned in the next week at the same bat-time and same bat-channel!

The show just wouldn't have been the same without it's theme, so thanks Neal!


Julie Matthews said...

Yes, I can attest that you spent every second after school with your pug nose half an inch away from the television. A black-and-white television with rabbit ears, you old fart (kudos to our mother for always calling people old farts).

buddybutler said...

Actually, my old bat-friend, you didn't have to wait until the following week. During most of the series' run, the show aired two-part episodes, on Wednesday and Thursday nights. So you only had to wait one night to find out how the Caped Crusader would escape The Penguin's vat of boiling acid..

Now, thanks to your blog, my brain will be replaying the Batman theme day and night for at least 24 hours..