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Monty Norman, Who Wrote 007’s Memorable Theme, Dies at 94

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Monty Norman, who reached out to the back catalog in the early 1960s, pulled out a song about Sneeds, converted it into one of the most famous music in movie history, “James Bond Theme,” and died in Slough on Monday. .. Near London. He was 94 years old.

His death in the hospital Announced by his family on his website..

Norman started his singer career, but by the late 1950s he made a name for himself in musical theaters and contributed to stage shows such as “Expresso Bongo” and “Irmala Douce”. The 1961 show he wrote the music for, “Bell, or Dr. Klippen’s Ballad,” had one of its producers, Albert Broccoli, who had a long list of filmmaking credits.

As Norman told the story, Broccoli and Harry Saltzman had almost at the same time acquired the rights to film Ian Fleming’s James Bond novel. Broccoli asked if he wanted to write a score for the first movie. No. “He wasn’t particularly familiar with books and was lukewarm about the idea. On a free trip to Jamaica, where the film was filmed for him and his family, until Mr. Salzmann threw an incentive. did.

“It was a clincher for me,” Norman told the BBC’s “The One Show” in 2012. Sun, sea and sand holidays. “

He had a hard time coming up with the theme, he said “Bad signs, good signs” From the unproduced music version of VS Nipole’s novel “Mr. Biswas’s House”, he and his frequent collaborators Julian More, was working.

“I went to the bottom drawer, found this number I always liked and played it myself,” he said. The original (which started with the line “I was born with this unlucky screaming”) had Asian intonation and was heavily dependent on sitar, but Norman says it gives a more staccato feel. For what became the famous guitar riff of the theme song that “split the notes” for.

“And the moment I did’Dam Diddy Damn Damn’, I thought,’My God, that’s it,'” he said. “His sexyness, his mystery, his ruthlessness-it’s all in some notes.”

“Dr. No” premiered in London on October 5, 1962.At that time, another piece of music was in the spotlight — the Beatles on the same day. Released their first single, “Love Me Do” —But Bond’s theme also captured the imagination of the general public.Music producer and podcast host Luke Jones “Where is MY Hit Single?” Said themeIt appeared regularly in various forms in subsequent Bond movies, for the franchise with “Dr. No”.

“Bond’s theme encapsulates many important aspects of the 007 brand in a very short amount of time,” Jones said in an email. “That iconic guitar riff is perfectly attached to what Bond does almost anything.”

“It’s a very simple melody,” he added. “Children have been able to sing and sing to each other in the playground for decades, and finally, a brass section of the ridiculously jazzy swing era that offers all the charm of Las Vegas casinos. is.”

A version of the theme recorded by John Barry Seven was released as a single and created a pop chart in the UK. However, there was a dispute earlier.

Barry adjusted Norman’s theme early in his long career in making music for movies, but later on it was believed that he wrote it, and he was the concept. Did not discourage me.

Norman sued London’s Sanda Immes in a 1997 article that acknowledged Barry’s achievements and downplayed his own contributions. The article told the jury when the case was brought to justice in 2001, “scraping my entire career.” The jury worked in his favor and awarded him £ 30,000. Barry died in 2011.

Monty Noserovic was born on April 4, 1928 in London to Abraham and Anne (Berlin) Noserovic. His father was a furniture craftsman and his mother sewed a girl’s dress.

When he was 16, his mother bought him a guitar and he once studied instruments with Bad Weedon. His manual “Play in a Day” will influence later generations of rock guitarists. According to a biography on Norman’s website, Weedon once gave him an inside out compliment, saying, “As a guitarist, you’ll be a great singer.”

By the early 1950s, Norman had been singing with big bands such as Stanley Black and appearing on the radio and on stage in various shows. In the second half of the decade he started writing songs, which led to his work in the musical theater. He was one of the co-producers of “Expresso Bongo,” a satirical view of the music business, which was staged in England in 1958 by Paul Scofield, led by the cast.

He, Mr. More, David Heneker collaborated on the English version of the long-running French stage show “Irmala Douce”, which staged Broadway in 1960, under the direction of Peter Brook, who died this month. The show has been nominated for seven Tony Awards, including the best musicals.

Norman’s only other Broadway venture wasn’t very successful. It was a musical parody he wrote with Moa called the “Moony Shapiro Songbook,” and the Broadway cast included Jeff Goldblum and Judy Kay. It opened on May 3, 1981 and closed on the same day.

The marriage between Mr. Norman and actress Diana Coupland ended with a divorce. He is survived by his wife Lina (Kaesari) Norman, who married in 2000. Shoshana Kitchen, the daughter from his first marriage. Two stepdaughters, Clea Griffin and Livia Griffiths. And seven grandchildren.

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