November 11th, 2006

Whale fluke

More Basil remembrances

Basil's been on my mind. Thursday night I played all three (I know, only three, but I'll rectify that) of his scores I have: RoboCop, The Hunt For Red October, and Starship Troopers. Now I've been seeking out other people who had him on their mind after his passing, and this is among what I found:

I knew there was a Basil/Star Trek connection -- that he had lobbied to write the score to Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, but didn't get the job because (I believe) his standard fee would've been too high for that film's budget -- but another one was tickling at the back of my mind that I wasn't totally sure of. But then my former editor Lukas Kendall, who founded Film Score Monthly magazine (now an on-line publication and a soundtrack CD label), mentioned it on the FSM message board thread reminiscing about Basil:
For what it's worth Jeff Bond finally found the Star Trek episode in which Basil was a Klingon -- it's Errand of Mercy, and you can see Basil marching with a group of Klingons early in the show coming out of a commercial break. He's in the background of the group and peels off to go into a building.

Basil as Klingon. I am geeky enough to find that really cool.

Meanwhile, there are a couple of memorials I wanted to link to:

* CD producer Robert Townson of Varese Sarabande, a CD soundtrack specialty label, talks about seeing his friend Basil conduct his last concert in Spain. (There also are links to a photo from the concert, and a nice black-and-white portrait by painter/photographer Matthew Joseph Peak.)

* Basil's former agent Richard Kraft, the guy who gets Danny Elfman work and who was also Jerry Goldsmith's last agent, talks about the impact of Basil's friendship. Among the tidbits he shares: if not for studio politics, Basil would've scored Dances With Wolves, and while I love John Barry's work on that film, Basil scoring it is one hell of a might-have-been. (Basil's longtime orchestrator Greig McRitchie did work on Wolves, though.) Years later, Kevin Costner made sure to meet with Basil when he was hired to score For Love of the Game and tell him he was glad to finally be working with him. Kraft also mentions the unexpectedly terrific working relationship big, burly surfer dude Basil had with gay icon John Waters (who was a Poledouris fan from way back, due to Basil's music for The Blue Lagoon).

So. More evidence Basil Poledouris was a good man who lived well.