Friends, family remember bond composer

 

Tributes have been paid to James
Bond composer John Barry who has died aged 77.

The five-time Oscar winner, who
grew up in York, wrote scores for films including The Ipcress File, Zulu and
Midnight Cowboy but is best known for his long association with 007.

A statement released by his family
said: “It is with great sadness that the family of composer John Barry
announce his passing on the 30th of January 2011 in New York.

“Mr Barry is survived by his
wife of 33 years, Laurie, and his four children and five grandchildren.

“Funeral arrangements will be
strictly private and a memorial service will be held later this year in the
UK.”

Barry’s arrangement of Monty
Norman’s James Bond theme made his name and he wrote songs for many of the
films.

Lyricist Don Black, who co-wrote
songs including Born Free and Diamonds Are Forever with Barry, said success
never changed him.

“I think I knew him as well as
anyone in the world. We were best friends for a long time, since the early
Sixties,” he said.

Fellow composer David Arnold, who
took over Bond music duties from Barry, said he had “a heavy heart”.

He told fans on Twitter: “I am
profoundly saddened by the news but profoundly thankful for everything he did
for music and for me personally.”

Barry was born into a show business
family – his mother played the piano and his father owned a string of cinemas.

He was made an OBE and was awarded
a Bafta fellowship in 2005 in recognition of his work.

His style, complete with lush
strings and grand orchestral movements, was instantly recognisable and
influenced stars including Robbie Williams whose 1998 number one hit Millennium
was inspired by the theme to You Only Live Twice.

Singer and actor Michael Crawford
paid tribute to a man he said had been “a close friend for many, many
years”.

He said: “He wrote some of the
most memorable and beautiful film scores we could ever wish to hear.”

Music producer and DJ Mark Ronson
wrote on Twitter: “RIP John Barry. One of the greatest composers
EVER.”

Actor David Schneider wrote:
“Sad re John Barry. But I bet he’s got one helluva special trumpet-based
thing planned for that walk to the pearly gates.”