Drive It To The Moon Salutes James Bond (and Ian Fleming)

by Lee Gonnella on November 12, 2012

Bond…..James Bond.  007.  The bad-ass secret-agent-man with the cool gadgets.  He saves the world on a regular basis, but it’s no big deal to him, he’s just an Englishman doing his job.  Not that it doesn’t come with some benefits.  He goes through hot supermodels like I go through boxes of Good N’ Plenty.

Bond is the creation of English author Ian Fleming, a former British Intelligence officer during WWII.  His books drew from his  wartime experiences , as well as stories he heard within the intelligence community.  He was very interesting man, an incorrigible philanderer, and by most accounts, drank & smoked himself to death at age 56.

The new Bond move, “Skyfall”, is out to positive reviews, which leads us to the Drive It To The Moon tribute to James Bond and author Ian Fleming.  What better place to start than with Sir Paul’s “Live and Let Die”, also the title of one of my favorite Bond flicks.

Dane Shirley Bassey is a Welsh singer best known for singing the theme songs on several Bond films.  In 1997 the Propellerheads, a electronic duo from England, wrote the song “History Repeating” for her.  Just about everything the Propellerheads have recorded could be in a Bond movie……

Another one of my favorite Bond movies is “Goldfinger“.   Many of the characters in Bond movies, especially the villains, are named after people Fleming knew or had heard of.  Emo Goldfinger was a British architect whose works Fleming detested.  Here’s the very beautiful Shirley Bassey again,  singing “Goldfinger” at the Royal Albert Hall.

“Secret Agent Man” is a song written by P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri., and made famous by Johnny Rivers.  It’s never been used in a Bond film, but the lyrics are clearly a stab at the 007 lifestyle. I spent a solid hour listening to everyone from Mel Torme to Agent Orange cover it.  It’s just one of those EVERYONE loves,  one of the great surf-style songs of all time.  In the end, I had to go with Devo’s version with the altered lyrics….  and a hilarious video.

While recuperating from a heart attack, Fleming was asked by a friend to pen the bed-time story he’d been telling his son Casper for many years.  The result was “Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang“, Fleming’s only children’s novel.  My parents took us kids to see this at the drive-in, in a double-feature with “Yellow Submarine”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTTzcXSLjhI

Fleming loved Jamaica.  He kept a home there called Goldeneye, and did much of his writing there.  I can imagine him retreating there as the critics turned on him in his later years.  His life story has plenty of triumph, but doesn’t seem a particularly happy one.  This particular  Jackson Browne song doesn’t have anything to do with Fleming or the spy racket, but has a sense of loss and sadness that I think is the perfect way to end…..

That’s it for the 007 tribute.  Thank’s to all Veterans!  As you were……

 

 

 

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