Music used in “Shampoo”

March 27, 2007

I was amazed to hear one pop song from the late 60s after another pop up as on-screen music in Warren Beatty’s early film “Shampoo.” The Beatles, Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Buffalo Springfield, Jefferson Airplane, and the only credit we see in the entire film is at the beginning: “Music by Paul Simon.” His stuff, what there was of it, sounded like sketches for a song, always seemed to start with a kind of “Three Blind Mice” guitar lick. It is clear from this film that Mr Simon did not show any promise whatsoever as a film composer. Speaking of bad film scores, check out (or better yet, DON’T check out) Stevie Wonder’s score to “The Secret Life of Plants.” It never occurred to him that it might not be a good idea to sing a song against dialog. Of course that happened all the time in “Miami Vice” — the original TV show, not the film redux.

I mention this because nowadays if someone were to license the entire “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” for a film, it would have to be many many hundreds of thousands of dollars, and I wonder whether Warren just called up John and asked if he could use it. Boy, those days are SURE over.

The film was fun to see again. Warren’s hairdo is unforgettable.

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