Today, reports have come in that Van Halen founder Eddie Van Halen passed away of cancer at 65. Regardless of where you stand on Van Halen overall (whether you prefer David Lee Roth’s vocals over Sammy Hagar’s), it was Eddie that brought some great sound…
I woke up this morning and found out that legendary composer and Academy Award Winner Ennio Morricone has passed away at the age of 91. Unfortunately, I haven’t the knowledge to fully give Morricone the justice he deserves. He was known mostly for his scores to the Sergio Leone’s westerns, including A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and of course, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. Horror fans have his score for John Carpenter’s The Thing burned into their memories (especially considering that Carpenter usually composed the music for his own films). Though I’ve never heard them, Morricone also scored a number of films for Dario Argento, including Cat o’ Nine Tails and Four Flies on Grey Velvet.
One of the great things about movies and their history is that there’s always time to learn. My dad would watch The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly so often that I knew The Ecstacy of Gold early on. As a teen, I loved Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables and my friends would hum the theme while playing cops and robbers in the street.(everyone wanted to be Andy Garcia’s character, since he was the coolest). Morricone also worked with De Palma on Mission to Mars, which is another great score.
However, I wouldn’t find out about La Resa Dei Conti (translated, “The Showdown)” until seeing the trailer for 2017’s The Dark Tower. That Lullaby from A Few Dollars More is a Morricone classic. He had such a long library of film scores that when you thought you’ve heard it all, you’ll find something to surprise you (like the score for Exorcist II: The Heretic).
Morricone would go on to win an Oscar for Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, which also sampled some of his unused pieces from The Thing. How he didn’t ever win an Oscar before then is surprising.
As such, we are labelling this an incident and moving the counter back to Zero.
I leave you with three of my Morricone favorites.