Danny Elfman

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a Danny Elfman
Danny Elfman

Background

Wikipedia

Daniel Robert "Danny" Elfman (born May 29, 1953) is an American composer, singer, songwriter, and record producer. From 1974 to 1995 he was the lead singer and songwriter for the band Oingo Boingo.

In 1976 Elfman entered the film industry as an actor. In 1982 he scored his first film, Forbidden Zone, directed by his older brother Richard Elfman. Among his honours are four Academy Award nominations, a Grammy for Batman, an Emmy for Desperate Housewives, the 2002 Richard Kirk Award, and the Disney Legend Award.

Early life and career

Danny Elfman was born in Los Angeles, California, into a Jewish family. He is the son of Blossom Elfman (née Bernstein), a writer and teacher, and Milton Elfman, a teacher who was in the Air Force.[10] He was raised in a racially mixed affluent community in Baldwin Hills, California. He spent much of his time in the neighborhood's local movie theatre, adoring the music of such film composers as Bernard Herrmann and Franz Waxman. Stating that he hung out with the "band geeks" in high school, he started a ska band. After dropping out of high school, he followed his brother Richard to France,[12] where he performed with Le Grand Magic Circus, an avant-garde musical theater group. He was never officially a student at the CalArts; nonetheless, the instructor encouraged him to continue learning. Elfman stated, "He just laughed, and said, 'Sit. Play.' I continued to sit and play for a couple years." At this time, his brother Richard was forming a new musical theater group.

Oingo Boingo

In 1972 Richard Elfman founded the American new wave band/performance art group, originally called The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo. They played several shows throughout the 1970s until Richard Elfman left the band to become a filmmaker. As a send-off to the band's original concept, Richard Elfman created the film Forbidden Zone based on their stage performances. Danny Elfman composed his first score for the film and played the role of Satan (the other band members played his minions). By the time the movie was completed, they had taken the name Oingo Boingo and begun recording and touring as a rock group. From 1976 and on, it was led by Danny Elfman, until 1995 when they suddenly retired. The semi-theatrical music and comedy troupe had transformed into a ska-influenced new wave band in 1979, and then changed again towards a more guitar-oriented rock sound, in the late 1980s.[citation needed]. Oingo Boingo, still led by Danny Elfman, performed as themselves in the 1986 movie Back to School. Additionally, Danny Elfman and Oingo Boingo guitarist Steve Bartek reunited on October 31, 2015 to perform the song "Dead Man's Party" during an encore at a Halloween celebration at the Hollywood Bowl "for the first time in 20 years to the day", as Elfman said to the audience.

Elfman and Tim Burton

In 1985, Tim Burton and Paul Reubens invited Elfman to write the score for their first feature film, Pee-wee's Big Adventure. Elfman was apprehensive at first, because of his lack of formal training, but with orchestration assistance from Oingo Boingo guitarist and arranger Steve Bartek, he achieved his goal of emulating the mood of such composers as Nino Rota and Bernard Herrmann. In the booklet for the first volume of Music for a Darkened Theatre, Elfman described the first time he heard his music played by a full orchestra as one of the most thrilling experiences of his life. Elfman immediately developed a rapport with Burton and has gone on to score all but three of Burton's major studio releases: Ed Wood, which was under production while Elfman and Burton were having a serious disagreement, Sweeney Todd, and most recently Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Elfman also provided the singing voice for Jack Skellington in Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas and the voices of both Barrel and the "Clown with the Tear-Away Face". Years later he provided the voice for Bonejangles the skeleton in Corpse Bride and the voices of the Oompa-Loompas in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

The Simpsons theme

One of Elfman's most famous compositions is the theme to the animated TV show The Simpsons. He wrote the piece in 1989, and it has been used ever since.

From Personal life

Elfman has three children: Lola (born 1979), Mali (born 1984), and Oliver (born 2005).[citation needed] On November 29, 2003, he married actress Bridget Fonda. In 1997, he scored A Simple Plan, his only score for one of her films to date (although he did compose a cue for the film Army of Darkness, in which Fonda has a cameo). In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he dated Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon.

He is the uncle of actor Bodhi Elfman, who is married to actress Jenna Elfman.

Describing his politics during the 1980s, Elfman said, "I'm not a doomist. My attitude is always to be critical of what's around you, but not ever to forget how lucky we are. I've traveled around the world. I left thinking I was a revolutionary. I came back real right-wing patriotic. Since then, I've kind of mellowed in between."[28] In 2008, he expressed support for Barack Obama and said that Sarah Palin was his "worst nightmare".

Additional Relevant Facts

"Little Girls"

Oingo Boingo music video, Little Girls, via YouTube: [1]

Buzzfeed ranked the song #5 on its list of "7 Popular Songs That Are Too Rapey" [2]

From the Independent article, What was the deal with Oingo Boingo’s ‘Little Girls’, still the creepiest music video of all time?, by Christopher Hooton, published on November 1st, 2016:[3]

But back in 1981, Grammy-winning composer Danny Elfman was manifesting unhinged visions no-one would dare post online in 2016.

At the time, he was part of new wave band Oingo Boingo, whose album Only a Lad and specifically the song ‘Little Girls’ has become a persistent internet oddity, racking up over 6 million YouTube views.

If you’ve never seen it/had it burned into your memory, watch it at your peril now:

[SEE LINK ABOVE]

Slightly mortified? Sorry. With lines like “They don't care about my one-way mirror / They're not frightened by my cold exterior” and the (hideously catchy) chorus hook, it’s a pretty disturbing song and video, imagining a predator living in a house seemingly designed by M.C. Escher and inhabited by voyeuristic dwarves in smart-casual attire. Several little girls visit, pillow fighting with the character, restraining him, kissing him and floating in some kind of void.

Relationship to #Pizzagate

Connection to the film, Pee-wee's Big Adventure

Tim Burton

Paul Reubens

Connection to the film, Beetlejuice

Tim Burton

Jeffrey Jones

David Geffen