It’s difficult to imagine anyone left on the face of the planet (already familiar with the man’s work, that is) who isn’t aware that singer/songwriter John Wesley Harding and critically acclaimed novelist Wesley Stace are one and the same. Henceforth, he has announced that he will record under the name Wesley Stace, and hopefully never again be asked why he assumed the name of a 1967 Bob Dylan album, misspelling and all. “It’s like what happens at the end of a Spider-Man or a Batman movie,” says Stace. “When the superhero reveals his true identity to his girlfriend.” “Girlfriend” may be the operative word on Stace’s new album, Self-Titled (Yep Roc), in which a 47-year-old man, now comfortably married and living in Philadelphia, reflects back over the loves of his younger life. Stace will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on him.
Stace: Here’s a little piece of genius. It’s Ron Goodwin‘s theme tune to the four ’60s black-and-white Miss Marple movies that starred the fantastic Margaret Rutherford. She may or may not have been the ideal Miss Marple, and these movies, despite featuring the very cream of British actors, are now seen as rather lightweight compared to Joan Hickson’s more recent definitive Marple, and the various later attempts of Geraldine McEwan (in my opinion, good) and Julia McKenzie (in my opinion, bad). But even I don’t care about my verdict of the various Miss Marples.
I just want to tell you about Goodwin’s theme music for those four Rutherford movies. Absolutely any time I feel unhappy (and if I can’t be cheered up by cartoon sound effects, the very thought of which makes me smile), then this piece of music will do it for me. It’s the strings, the jazz baroque harpsichord and their interplay (and the thought of Rutherford on a bike). I finally remembered to buy this for my jukebox. I can’t believe that it took me so long. Producer? Of course, one of the greatest comedy producers of the 1960s, producer of both Peter Sellers and Mandy Millar’s classic version of “Nellie The Elephant”: George Martin.
Video after the jump.