R.I.P Neal Hefti (Batman Theme Guy)

Neal Hefti, mainly known by nerds like you and me as the dude who made the theme song to the classic Adam West "Batman" TV show died recently.

I sort of always took the old "Batman" show for granted since it was my first exposure outside of some 80s Detective Comics and the 1989 movie, and so unlike a lot of people, it's never seemed all that goofy or ironic. Yeah, now it's clear why "Bat Shark Repellent" being handy when he's attacked by a shark is silly, but that's sort of the point, no? People who make fun of the old show for being "corny" kinda missed the point. When I was little, watching it on "The Family Channel" and taping it because only my Grandmother had cable, it was the shit.

I ran around outside with a purple pillowcase around my neck and said I was Robin. One time, this retarded girl that was visiting her Grandmother next door told me that the purple pillowcase was pink and I kept correcting her to her Grandmother because i was too young to know to give retarded people a break.

The "Batman Theme" too, has just sort of been a part of my life forever and so, it's always seemed like the perfect complement to the show but listening to it now, it's also a pretty interesting composition. It's clear listening to it and reading some Hefti obituaries, that the he was a real jazz dude, working with Count Basie and accompanying Sinatra once or twice, because the song uses the heft of all the instruments in a very jazz-like way and also, those aural equivalent of a comic-book punch horn stabs are perfect and are maybe even on some like free-jazz influence type shit? The chugging drums too, are both understated and heavy, leading the way, like some more avant jazz drumming, but then its recorded in this raw, kinda awful way, like a lot of 60s pop. That, along with the girl-group singing makes me think there's some like Phil Spector influence in there? Like the show, the theme's a tangle of crazy, disparate half-baked influences.

Found the full-length composition on You Tube, as well as a track from an LP Hefti did of more "Batman" style songs...

-"Batman Theme" (Full Length)

-"Evil Plot to Blow Up Batman"

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