Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Category: Bats in popular music

“Batmobile”: Ohio Surf

Once upon a time, American automobile designs were the envy of the world.  Today’s piece is a tribute to the creative genius who not only designed Batman and Robin’s iconic mode of transport but also the Munster Koach, and the unbelievably spectacular Voxmobile that guitarist extraordinaire, Jimmy Bryant, once befriended. 

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"My Buddy"
Zeroto180

Alvino Rey: Steel Guitarist Bandleader

Thanks to Andy Volk of the Steel Guitar Forum for pointing me to Anne Miller’s fascinating profile of steel guitarist bandleader Alvino Rey for the Smithsonian in which we learn Rey, as a consultant for Gibson in the 1930s, helped develop the prototype for the ES-150 (made famous by Charlie

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“Winged Mammal Theme”: Batty B-Side

Michael Stipe and his REM bandmates, it would appear, are bat fans, as evidenced by their non-LP B-side, “Winged Mammal Theme.”   This abstract (near) instrumental take on “The Batman Theme” – flip side to their 1992 hit, “Drive” – would be rejected, interestingly enough, for the soundtrack to Batman Returns.

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Johnny Jenkins: Bat-Friendly

Zero to 180’s tribute to the world’s only flying mammal continues into its second day with a B-side from Johnny Jenkins – “Blind Bats and Swamp Rats”: “Blind Bats and Swamp Rats”     Johnny Jenkins     1970 “Blind Bats and Swamp Rats” can also be found on Jenkins’ 1970 LP, Ton-Ton Macoute,

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"Give'n Up"
Zeroto180

Al Casey: Friends with Bats

Thanks to Amy Bucci at National Geographic for encouraging my interest in bats by giving me a special set of US postage stamps (“Night Friends” from 2002) that celebrate the world’s only flying mammal. The world’s bat population is imperiled for a whole host of reasons and irrationally targeted by

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“Sewer Lady”: Musically Unsanitary

Neal Hefti‘s soundtrack to the Batman TV series is top-flight 60s instrumental music – playful and imaginatively-produced.  “Sewer Lady,” from the 1966 album, Batman Theme and 11 Hefti Bat Songs, was inexplicably overlooked by RCA for single release: “Sewer Lady”     Neal Hefti     1966 RCA Victor would release the

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“Batman Theme”: Mod + Brass

Les & Larry Elgart get the mod brass thing happening in their take on the Neal Hefti classic: “Batman Theme”     Les & Larry Elgart     1966 “Batman Theme” closes side one of 1966 Columbia album, Sound of the Times. Album review from the July 9, 1966 edition of Billboard:

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Lee Hazlewood: Lesser-Known Legend of Surf & Twang Guitar

Even if only for his pioneering production work with one of my guitar heroes, Duane Eddy (e.g., using a gigantic grain tank as an echo chamber), let it be known that Lee Hazlewood, while himself not a hotshot guitarist, co-wrote some of Eddy’s best tunes (including half of his excellent

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