The Official Blog of Jedi Order PR


Monday, 31 January 2011

The Man With The Midas Touch: John Barry 1933-2011

The output of this blog is usually comedic in nature but today we're taking a sombre tone in order to mark the passing of a true movie legend, and one of our music heroes. 

As a fan of cinema and film music it's only fitting we pay tribute to someone whose contribution to movies influenced and shaped the way in which movies are enjoyed to this day.

Fellow John Barry fan, movie buff and James Bond expert, Twitter's @DogHollywood contacted us to see if we would publish a tribute to John Barry, the movie genius who died today aged 77. Being fans of Star Wars, James Bond & movies in general, we of course, dutifully obliged...

DogHollywood writes: There are moments in your life that can contribute to who you are or who you may become. I can recall two of these moments because of the profound nature of the experience I had when I encountered each of them. One was during a James Bond film; the other was Star Wars. Both of these moments involved two greats of movie legend: John Barry & John Williams.

In August 1973 I went to see Roger Moore play James Bond in "Live & Let Die". I was nearly 8 years old and this was my first ever trip to a cinema to see a movie. I did not know at the time, but it was a double feature that day, and the movie that came on before the one I wanted to see, was "Goldfinger". 

The effect was nothing short of astonishing; a small dot appeared on screen followed by a man walking who shoots a gun to camera. It carried with it an iconic arrangement that would stay with me forever: John Barry's James Bond Theme Opening Gunbarrel. The rest is movie legend which kick started a love of James Bond, Bond music, motion pictures and film scores in general.

John Barry was the man behind that moment, from then on my life would never be the same again. Long after I was enthralled by Sean Connery (& subsequently Roger Moore) as Bond, John Barry's iconic music stayed with me. In later years, John Williams score would have the same effect when a 12 year old me saw a little film called "Star Wars".

The movies aside, one of the fundamental elements of any film is its music. John Barry understood this and could look at a film and instantly know what music would capture the mood on screen. The music involves you in the story, can make the hairs onthe back of your neck stand up, or even move you to tears. 

John Barry's contribution to movie music is an awesome body of work that included 12 James Bond films, The Ipcress File, Midnight Cowboy, Born Free, The Persuaders TV Theme, The Lion In Winter, King Kong, Chaplin, Out of Africa & Dances with Wolves to name but a few of nearly 100 films. (Not to mention George Lucas' turkey (pun intended) 'Howard The Duck').

Try thinking of all the major Hollywood blockbusters and chances are its been scored by John Barry or John Williams! Music is the movies as much as the star, or the merchandising.

Hum the opening bars of the James Bond Theme or The Imperial March & everybody knows instantly what it is and where it's from. How many things have that resonance and power, how many people truly achieve such genius.

I will miss John Barry, however he will live on in my iPod whenever one of his melodies comes on, or on a rainy bank holiday when James Bond is saving the world and getting the girl.

Thank you for the music, the memories and for bringing something in to my life that I will never ever tire of listening to: The Music of John Barry.

Dog Hollywood*, January 2010.

*Dog Hollywood is a movie/music/pop culture fan and expert in everything James Bond. You can follow him on Twitter @DogHollywood. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you JOPR and Skelch. Couldn't have put it better myself. *grateful hugz*