Saturday, 30 September 2017

SHOESTRING: George Fenton

GEORGE FENTON (composer/arranger Shoestring theme and incidental music)

On 17 April 2013, my Shoestring website pal Nick Stewart and I attended a very enjoyable event in my home town of Ballymena: "From Attenborough to Hollywood: An Evening with George Fenton" was being hosted by The Braid Arts Centre.  Host Tim Burden interviewed the BAFTA-winning, Oscar-nominated film and TV composer George Fenton about his long career and it was an evening worthy of the BFI.

Topics included his work with director Sir Richard Attenborough on Gandhi, Cry Freedom and Shadowlands before moving on the diverse likes of Clockwise, Memphis Belle, Groundhog Day and Ever After.

George Fenton (l) with host & interviewer Tim Burden at The Braid in Ballymena, 2013

In the Q&A Nick asked Mr. Fenton about Shoestring and he was so delighted he even went over to the piano and played a section!  He said the theme was inspired by Eddie's ambling walk.  He also recalled recording as many different cues for the programme as they could manage during the session.  Interesting as only some of these must have made it into the show.  I wonder do the tapes still exist somewhere?  The Lost Themes of Eddie Shoestring...

George Fenton very kindly signed my copy of the Shoestring 7" single!  Good old BBC Records & Tapes.
The Shoestring signature tune and incidental tracks were recorded by George Fenton in an eight hour session at the famous Lansdowne Studios in Holland Park, London (now an apartment) on 14 July 1979.  Instruments used by the seven musicians were: Alto Sax, Harmonica, Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar, Drums, Grand Piano, Clarinet & Synths.

With thanks to Tim Burden, George Fenton, The Braid Arts Centre, BBC Written Archives Centre, Rex Features, and Nick for asking the question!

George Fenton being presented with his BAFTA for Original Television Music, 1982 by Lulu while host Denis Norden looks on.  He won for Bergerac, Going Gently, The History Man and the BBC News theme.  The previous year he had been nominated for Shoestring, Fox and Bloody Kids.

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