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THE DYNAMIC DUO MEET THE COURT JESTERS OF ROCK & ROLL

Beatle Bob Speaks!

Contributing Writer : Beatle Bob [ TheRFW.com/blog/BeatleBob ]

When the Batman TV show made it’s debut on the ABC network on January 12 ,1966 (my 13th birthday!) rarely has a TV show so gripped the world. The campy pop art classic immediately churned out dozens and dozens of Batman merchandise: Bat-this, Bat-that, you name it, from clothing, food products, games, toys, and anything else you can imagine that had the Bat-emblem as well as pictures of Batman & Robin plastered on its side.

As with any pop-culture phenomenon, there were a large number of records released documenting the exploits of Gotham City’s Finest. Most of these recordings were in the novelty vein, mixed in with some serious sides as well.

One of the better records to come out of all of these Bat-vinyl releases were by the Court Jesters of Rock & Roll: Jan & Dean. The guys not only put out a single – “Batman” but an entire album based on the adventures of the Dynamic Duo: Jan & Dean Meet Batman.

To see the front cover of this album, hit the link below)

http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/144571459_811b916fc9.jpg

Half the album consists of songs about or inspired by Batman and his adventures, and the other half consists of comedic skits of Jan & Dean as Batman and Robin-inspired super heroes. Ridiculous? You ‘betcha, but also brilliant in a weird sort of way, and a thoroughly enjoyable listen. This album represents all that was great about Jan & Dean at their best: creativity, humour, chaos and fun. And Jan Berry is at his at his peak production and arrangement abilities. The title track for instance, is the best original song I’ve ever hear about the TV show. You really have to listen to this album to believe it. I’ve never heard another album like it. But then again, there’s never been a band quite like Jan & Dean. They represent a time when pop music was young and innocent. Boy, those days are long gone. The album and single were released in January of 1966. Sadly, it would be their last, as Jan suffered his near-fatal, life-altering accident shortly after it’s release. The “Batman” single would reach #66 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The B-side was “Bucket-T” and both sides of the single would be later covered by those British Invasion stalwarts: The Who.

To hear Jan & Dean’s “Batman” song, hit the youtube video clip which also features a cool photo montage of Batman stills from various movies, the TV show, and vintage comic books, as well as a few pix of Jan & Dean;

Because the Jan & Dean song “Batman” is sung at such a fast pace (especially Dean’s falsetto parts), the lyrics might be a little hard to understand so I’ve included the lyrics to the song below. Print them out to sing-a-long or just to plain follow.

BATMAN (By Jan & Dean)

I don’t know who he is behind that mask

But we need him, and we need him now

He’s known by Bruce Wayne by day, wealthy socialite

(Gotham City, here they come)

But incognito by dress, he fights crime by night

(Gotham City, here they come)

Yeah it’s Batman and Robin, Boy Wonder at his side

Hey now, Riddler, Penguin, Joker, better go and hide

(Sounds of villainous laughter)

We need the Batman (Batman)

We need the Batman (Batman)

Criminals are a superstitious, cowardly lot

So my disguise must be able

To strike terror into their hearts

Now as the Bat Signal sweeps across the midnight sky

(Gotham City, here they come)

Somewhere in Gotham City it’ll find the Batman’s eye

(Gotham City, here they come)

There’s a crime wave goin’ on, but not for very long

‘Cause the Batman’s gonna teach ‘em right from wrong

They call him Batman (Batman)

They call him Batman (Batman)

Did you see the strange car (No, why?)

It was shaped like a bat

(Sound of Batmobile passing by)

So when you see the Batmobile quickly pass you by

(Gotham City, here they come)

You know they’ve heard the Batphone and the Commissioner’s cry

(Gotham City, here they come)

Yeah that Dynamic Duo’s out to prove crime doesn’t pay

And from the Batcave our heroes keep evil at bay

We need the Batman (Batman)

We need the Batman (Batman)

I must be a creature of the night

(Spoken):

Black, terrible! Umm… Umm… (sound of bat’s call and flapping wings)

As if in answer a huge bat flies in the open window!

A bat, that’s it, it’s an omen; I shall become a bat!

Thus is born this weird figure of the dark, this avenger of evil, the Batman!

Batman Batman

Batman Batman

Batman

(Sound of Batmobile passing by – Fade out)