Batman theme composer dies at 85

'Hardest piece I ever wrote'


Neal Hefti, the man responsible for the "energetic" theme tune for the TV series Batman, has died aged 85, the LA Times reports

The former big band trumpeter, arranger and composer passed away on Saturday at the end of a long career, encompassing multiple film scores and collaboration with some musical greats including Count Basie and Woody Herman.

Hefti's theme for Batman - which ran from 1966 to 1968 - became a Top 40 hit and secured the 1966 Grammy Award for best instrumental theme. He admitted, though, that it was a tough nut to crack, taking more than a month to complete.

He recounted to Jon Burlingame, author of TV's Biggest Hits: "I tore up a lot of paper. It did not come easy to me. I just sweated over that thing, more so than any other single piece of music I ever wrote. I was never satisfied with it. I was almost going to call them and say, I can't do it. But I never walk out on projects, so I sort of forced myself to finish."

Burlingame described the musical solution as "perfect: bass guitar, low brass and percussion to create a driving rhythm, while an eight-voice chorus sings 'Batman!' in harmony with the trumpets. It was part serious, part silly: just like the series."

The LA Times has more on Hefti's life and achievements here. ®


Other stories you might like

  • AMD claims its GPUs beat Nvidia on performance per dollar
    * Terms, conditions, hardware specs and software may vary – a lot

    As a slowdown in PC sales brings down prices for graphics cards, AMD is hoping to win over the market's remaining buyers with a bold, new claim that its latest Radeon cards provide better performance for the dollar than Nvidia's most recent GeForce cards.

    In an image tweeted Monday by AMD's top gaming executive, the chip designer claims its lineup of Radeon RX 6000 cards provide better performance per dollar than competing ones from Nvidia, with all but two of the ten cards listed offering advantages in the double-digit percentages. AMD also claims to provide better performance for the power required by each card in all but two of the cards.

    Continue reading
  • Google opens the pod doors on Bay View campus
    A futuristic design won't make people want to come back – just ask Apple

    After nearly a decade of planning and five years of construction, Google is cutting the ribbon on its Bay View campus, the first that Google itself designed.

    The Bay View campus in Mountain View – slated to open this week – consists of two office buildings (one of which, Charleston East, is still under construction), 20 acres of open space, a 1,000-person event center and 240 short-term accommodations for Google employees. The search giant said the buildings at Bay View total 1.1 million square feet. For reference, that's less than half the size of Apple's spaceship. 

    The roofs on the two main buildings, which look like pavilions roofed in sails, were designed that way for a purpose: They're a network of 90,000 scale-like solar panels nicknamed "dragonscales" for their layout and shimmer. By scaling the tiles, Google said the design minimises damage from wind, rain and snow, and the sloped pavilion-like roof improves solar capture by adding additional curves in the roof. 

    Continue reading
  • Pentester pops open Tesla Model 3 using low-cost Bluetooth module
    Anything that uses proximity-based BLE is vulnerable, claim researchers

    Tesla Model 3 and Y owners, beware: the passive entry feature on your vehicle could potentially be hoodwinked by a relay attack, leading to the theft of the flash motor.

    Discovered and demonstrated by researchers at NCC Group, the technique involves relaying the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals from a smartphone that has been paired with a Tesla back to the vehicle. Far from simply unlocking the door, this hack lets a miscreant start the car and drive away, too.

    Essentially, what happens is this: the paired smartphone should be physically close by the Tesla to unlock it. NCC's technique involves one gadget near the paired phone, and another gadget near the car. The phone-side gadget relays signals from the phone to the car-side gadget, which forwards them to the vehicle to unlock and start it. This shouldn't normally happen because the phone and car are so far apart. The car has a defense mechanism – based on measuring transmission latency to detect that a paired device is too far away – that ideally prevents relayed signals from working, though this can be defeated by simply cutting the latency of the relay process.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022