Monday 18 July 2005

Tales From The Bat Cave

In 1994 BBC Radio One broadcast Batman: Knightfall and enthralled lunchtime listeners. Bob Sessions played the titular role with such panache and gravitas that many Batfans, myself included, consider his to be the definitive performance. When Bob emotes “If you’re threatening me, get in line!”, he’s not bluffing.

In 1996 I was introduced to Bob Sessions, by Dirk Maggs, and asked him if he would like to participate in my video major December Duet, which was in pre-production for a summer shooting schedule. Nick Smith, my long time friend and creative partner in crime, wrote an astonishing poem for the screenplay and Bob generously agreed to perform it.

Far from passion, pain and guilt
In caverns far from inn or church
Their kind in coldness ever dwell.
With folded wings they take the hanged man's perch
Dead men's spirits in the air
Blind to the fate that nature gave
We envy their winged escape
Yet share their destined grave.
So high yet seeing naught but dark
Our souls with burdens great
Leathered limbs caress the sky
Gods blinded by the weight
The wheel turns, the spirit memories remain,
A never changing face,
More sooted than the world below
Too numb to change their place.

Dirk Maggs recorded the performance at the award-winning Soundhouse Ltd Recording Studios in May of that year. And has kindly taken the time to transfer the original DAT studio master to CD-R. d you are the man!

Listening to it again after all these years (I seldom revisit self-produced creative), I deeply regret not making more of its raw narrative power. Although Bob Sessions is no longer alive, this is a small tribute to his memory from two Batfans. Here, for your delectation and listening pleasure, is Bob's incomparable reading of Nick’s poem (MP3).

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