Vic Flick
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BIOGRAPHY

When considering cinema and music, no theme has proved to be more memorable and timeless than that of James Bond. For countless fans, it is indeed with ritualized anticipation that they await the appearance of 007 at the open of each new film. No cinematic experience quite matches it. A sequence of white dots roll across the screen, then open to reveal our favorite British spy targeted through the barrel of a gun. He confidently strolls on screen; he turns, shoots, and slays an unseen assassin. It is only with the combination of this imagery and the appropriate music, does it truly supply the audience with the proper effect. Chill inducing, heart-pounding excitement!
The genius of this theme belies its elegant simplicity. Its chords and melody performed for the first time in history in CTS Studios, Bayswater, London, England in 1962. The James Bond theme has become the everlasting ode to all that is smooth, sultry, and spy; ultimately attesting that nobody has done it, does it, or will do it better than the music of 007. The world, therefore, owes a debt of gratitude to the one of the most influential guitarists of all time, the man behind Bond's twang, the incomparable Vic Flick.
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Vic at the Cannery, Las Vegas, with the Rip Chords
Flick's illustrious career has literally spanned decades, from acoustic folk in the late 1950's to live stage performances and session recordings of the early 1960's and ultimately, to partake in the soundtrack of cinema's ultimate spy, James Bond. In Flick's career, he has had the opportunity to work with some of the biggest names in music history. Tom Jones, Nancy Sinatra, Burt Bacharach, Henry Mancini, Shirley Bassey, Jimmy Page, John McLaughlin, and Eric Clapton are but a few of the musical giants that have shared the recording studio floor with Vic Flick.



Flick's musical career originated at the tender age of age of fourteen, when he traded his piano lessons for acoustic guitar. Flick's first major gig in the late 50's was with an acoustic band that toured with Paul Anka, named the Bob Cort Skiffle Group. On the same tour with Paul Anka of the United Kingdom was the John Barry Seven, led by Oscar winning composer, John Barry. Months later, after a call from Barry, Flick joined the Seven, becoming the lead guitarist by 1958.


The John Barry 7

Flick became a highly regarded session player, lending his masterful guitar skills to a variety of recordings and instrumental themes. Flick's first memorable foray into film scoring was his work with composer Barry on the 1960's cult film, Beat Girl. Some critics regard the score of this film, as the genesis for the Bond's theme; as the slick title track of Beat Girl is reminiscent of pre-Bond emanations. From this moment, Flick's contribution to the 60's music scene was soon to become immense.

Monty Norman was contracted to compose the first Bond film, Dr. No. Three weeks before the film release date; the main theme of James Bond remained uncompleted. Film producer, Cubby Broccoli, contacted Barry and commissioned him to complete a suitable final score. With the aid of Flick's excellent guitar skills, they finished the score in time, and went on to make movie history. Flick performed the legendary Bond theme on what he refers to as a "big, blonde f-hole Clifford Essex Paragon Cello-Bodied guitar, fitted with a DeAmond Volume Pedal into a Vox 15-Watt Amplifier." Thanks to the efforts of Robert Rush of The Rip Chords, the guitar has now made its home in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


The sound of the 007 theme was a breakthrough in session recording due to its technique. In the early 60's, the orchestra would record only one take, on what the studios referred to as "compatible stereo." This unique recording method allowed for the sound of the guitar to "bleed" into adjacent microphones of the orchestra, adding a lustrous and ambient quality to the final recording.

In 1963/1964, Ringo's Theme was written by Lennon-McCartney and credited to the George Martin Orchestra as additional music for "A Hard Days Night". The song, vocally, is "This Boy" and is both in the movie and on the soundtrack.
Sir George Martin wanted a guitar sound close to the "James Bond Theme" and booked Vic for the gig.
Instead of the Clifford Essex, Vic used a '62 Fender Stratocaster with a '62 Fender Vibrolux amplifier and got the exact sound George was happy with.

Flick's guitar virtuoso is also in composition, as is prevalent in his banjo solo in the Kentucky sequence in Goldfinger; and his haunting guitar styling in the gypsy encampment scene featured in the film From Russia with Love. Flick's complete 007 filmography: Dr. No , From Russia with Love Goldfinger Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Diamonds Are Forever, and License to Kill.




Encore at the Cannery, Las Vegas
Since the Bond films, Flick has also added his talent to films such as The Pink Panther, The Ipcress File, Midnight Cowboy, and many more. The newest Bond composer David Arnold, who has given Flick numerous accolades to the inspiration of his orchestration, has ensconced his trademark style. Flick and his style has been honored by several remakes and tribute music, by musicians and DJ's alike, including the likes of Propellerheads, Moby, and Proteus 7.

Vic Flick continues his legacy to this day, by still creating and composing music for a new generation of fans of all ages across the globe.

Vic Flick: James Bond Now



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