Loopocalypse Day 12 (of 17): “Midnight Cowboy”

I was way too young to see Midnight Cowboy when the movie came out, but I was obsessed with Ferrante and Teicher’s hit instrumental cover, featuring Vinnie Bell’s “drops of water” guitar tone. (It took me decades to figure out he’s using a combination of fast phase shifting and heavy reverb.)

I once got to interview the late John Barry, who composed this along with most of the early James Bond music, plus many other iconic scores. He was the coolest — friendly, funny, and modest. Film score fans probably know the story about how he wrote the entire Dr. No score, with all that iconic guitar work played by Barry’s longtime accomplice Vic Flick. But to this day, the music is credited to Monte Norman, the original composer who’d been fired. John never actually said he wrote the score, but he used some phrasing like, “Well, listen to the rest of my music, and then listen to Dr. No.” It’s pretty darn obvious!

I’m playing my ’90s 000-sized Lowden. I’d originally intended to record the 17 Loopocalypse songs on 17 different guitars, but I cheated, and this instrument appears twice. (I also used it on Day 3’s “Just Like Heaven” cover. Naturally, it sounds nothing like an acoustic guitar.

Here’s an explanation of my live looping rig.

1 comment to Loopocalypse Day 12 (of 17): “Midnight Cowboy”

  • Shizmab Abaye

    My grandparents took me to see “Midnight Cowboy” when it came out. I think I was 9 years old. They must have thought it was a western. We didn’t talk about it much later.

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