James Bond Theme Written By a Ghost?
Certain film and television theme tunes just stick in your head the same way a popcorn hull might get stuck in your teeth.
No matter how you try to wiggle and maneuver it out of your mind, it seems it has come to stay like an uninvited guest.
There are plenty to choose from too: Jaws, Star Wars, Dallas and my personal favorite of the bunch, Doctor Who.
Another would be the iconic James Bond theme, usually credited to multiple award winning composer John Barry.
However, recently I stumbled on a short article that claims the tunes haunting melody might have actually been composed by a ghost.
The orginal story was published on the Moviefone website and comes from Jared Harris, son of famous actor Richard Harris who told his offspring the true paranormal origins of the iconic movie theme:
“[My father told me] that there was a ghost of a little boy — he had this house called Tower House, which is really ornate. And he had this old harpsichord piano in there. And he would say this ghost of this little boy would go down there and play this piano at nighttime. He was convinced that John Barry was staying in his house when the little boy was playing the piano, and that’s where he got the James Bond theme.”
Certainly this is one for the ages and that ghost boy is owed tons of residual royalties I am sure.
However, something here does not quite add up, especially considering John Barry, talented as he is, did not actually write the theme tune himself.
The theme was actually part of an unused musical adaption of A House for Mr Biswas. written by Monty Norman.
Later, when Barry was working on the first Bond film, Dr. No, Barry adapted the number originally titled ‘Bad Sign, Good Sign‘ which originally had more of an Indian flavor according to Norman and even had lyrics!
Barry brought in the guitarist from his old band, The John Barry Seven, to give the composition more of a modern feel.
Later on, Norman would sue The Sunday Times when they made the false claim that Barry actually composed the tune, and was awarded £30,000 in damages.
However to make matters even more confusing Barry would later tell the BBC that he did indeed write the theme tune with Don Black, but couild not get proper accreditation for the theme because Monty Norman had signed a contract to do Dr. No‘s score and Barry was called in at the last minute.
Whoever the actual author of the James Bond theme might be, it is most certainly not a ghost with musical talent. It seems Richard Harris liked to tell his son a good ghost story every now and then and spiced it up with a connection to one of the most popular musical cues in film history.
Nothing wrong with that, just wanted to nip this urban legend in the bud before it takes off like a super powered Aston Martin.