The Real “Batman Theme” Story As Told by the Composer
When one is a composer-for-hire, he runs into many strange and unheard-of situations. For example, my phone rang one day recently. The voice at the other end was throaty and tense, but unmistakably it was my friend William Dozier of Greenway Productions. He summoned me to a secret meeting at 20th Century-Fox studios. Intrigued by his anxious tones and the sense of urgency about it all, I hung up the phone and raced to the movie lot without hesitation.
When I arrived at his offices, instead of the usual greeting from a pretty receptionist, I was pinned to the wall by guards and frisked. Then mug shots were taken and I was fingerprinted. After pronouncing me clean, the guards whisked me into Mr. Dozier’s office and quickly let the room. I stood in the hush of thick carpets before the great oak desk. Bill spoke.
He swore me to secrecy and administered the loyalty oath, then came swiftly and precisely to the point. His eyes softened a little but he was no less stern as he said, “Neal, I am going to commission you to compose the Batman Theme.”
My mouth went dry and my skin became chill as his words rang in my ears. I knew this would be hard, very hard, to keep to myself.
Although I was unable to speak clearly, my friend knew that I was accepting this challenge by the humility in my eyes. He knew of my promise to confidence by the firmness in my handshake as he strode from behind his desk.
I worked around the clock until my job was done. I planned carefully to take my batuscript to the studio when it would not be noticed. The guards were there to meet me, and I was congratulated on keeping the great secret. Batman Theme was now a reality.