Adam West Fan Produces Tribute Songs: Adam West Blues, 60s Star (a.k.a., Batman), and Adam West Rocks!
Adam West fan and Walla Walla music artist Daniel Minteer has written and recorded some notable Adam West tribute songs. Two of them, Adam West Blues and 60s Star (a.k.a., Batman), have become official songs of the annual Adam West Day celebration in Walla Walla, Washington. They are featured in numerous Adam West tribute videos on YouTube (search for Adam West Day Walla Walla). Adam West Blues has been deemed a “masterpiece” by Adam West Day founder Jonathan Grant.
A commemorative “old school” vinyl 45 rpm record of Adam West Blues and 60s Star was made in 2019 as a tribute to Adam West, and presented to his family on Adam West Day 2019. These records are not for sale. Minteer has given away around 100 of these records to Adam West fans, and has made these songs available for free downloading.
Adam West Day Origins
Adam West (September 19, 1928 – June 9, 2017) grew up in Walla Walla, Washington, returning as a young man to attend Whitman College before going off to Hawaii and then Hollywood to become famous for, among many things, his notable role in the original TV series Batman. After becoming famous, he would continue to return to Walla Walla occasionally throughout the years to visit. He was often sighted around town and was befriended by numerous local fans.
After his death, members of the community rallied to create a celebration in his honor. The very first Adam West Day celebration in Walla Walla occurred on September 19, 2017 (Adam West’s birthday). Adam West Day was spearheaded by Adam West’s friend and fan, Jonathan Grant. The event included members of Adam West’s family to officially cut the ribbon for the Grand Opening Ceremony and accept keys to the City, interactive meetings with Ruben Procopio (famous artist, animator, sculptor), a street renaming in honor of Adam West, and appearances by iconic Batman impersonator Clint Young with his replica Batmobile throughout the city.
The festival was golden with a special showing of the “Starring Adam West” movie, lighting of an immense bat signal on the historic Marcus Whitman Hotel, and performance of a decidedly era-fitting song, 60s Star (a.k.a., Batman), written by Daniel Minteer and performed live with admired singer/songwriter Debra Arlyn.
Holy Moldy Song Batman!
The 60s Star (a.k.a., Batman) song that was performed during that very first Adam West Day in Walla Walla was actually written in 1978 by Daniel Minteer as a tribute to Adam West and the original Batman TV series. It was then put on a shelf for thirty-nine years! Apparently after the proper aging time it was recorded in Walla Walla and unveiled as part of an eclectic rock album in 2017 (Calling All Aliens, by MINTEER), coincidentally released just months prior to Adam West’s death.
Walla Walla music artist Daniel Minteer commented, “He’s another great hero gone missing from this earth. Adam West and Batman left a memorable mark on so many in so many ways. Having grown up watching and loving the 1960s Batman TV series, and with all the musical influences from that era, it seemed only fitting given my love of music that I would later write my own rock and roll tribute song, 60s Star (a.k.a., Batman), in 1978 just after graduating from high school. Back then I remember telling people, ‘If they ever come out with another Batman movie, I have the perfect song!’ “
“Our band High Voltage used to perform 60s Star (a.k.a., Batman) back in the day,” Minteer recalled, “and I vividly remember our bass player adding some funny laughs in the verses. Though it was a favorite tune to play, I never recorded it until recently for inclusion on the Calling All Aliens album. I tried to stay true to my original rock anthem, and the laughs!”
Minteer continued, “It’s a fantastic coincidence that I would end up living in Adam West’s hometown of Walla Walla and record 60s Star at all after so many years. Too bad I didn’t get a chance to let him know about this song and why it meant so much to write and record it. Yet now I’m just grateful to honor him with it as part of this grand Adam West Day celebration in Walla Walla.”
Singin’ The Blues
After the first Adam West Day, Jonathan Grant asked Daniel if he’d fancy writing a song about Adam West, and not just about his Batman era. Adam West Blues was born, recorded in Walla Walla, released on June 9, 2018, and later performed on the second Adam West Day in Walla Walla, September 19, 2018, by Minteer and Arlyn. “It’s not meant to tell his life story,” Minteer says, “but highlight some fun aspects of his life.” The song lyrics reflect on moments from Adam West’s Batman days, his past in Walla Walla, his status as a Hollywood Star, and several of his occupations and life passions including finding his long-time wife, Marcelle (“Then she came, together they fly, and rise above the darkened Gotham sky.”).
The recording of this jazzy, bluesy tune features the edgy vocalist talent of Tyra Juliette. Aside from her own spanning musical career starting well before her American Idol performance (Simon Cowell approved!), Tyra has backed numerous famous artists including Demi Lovato, Keith Urban, David Paich (TOTO), Jeff Lynne (ELO), Kid Rock, Jon Bon Jovi, and many more. “She really nailed the feel of the song,” exclaimed Minteer. “And I created some bits and bobs as well.” Adam West Blues also features sassy saxophonist Artem Zhulyev from Spain. The recording was produced by MINTEER in Walla Walla. “My wife Deborah was invaluable to its production,” Daniel remarked. “She and our daughter have some fun bits in the recording as well. And the applause you hear for Adam West was actually recorded from real events in Walla Walla.”
Jonathan Grant, who listened to mixes of Adam West Blues during production, responded, “Thank you so much Daniel for honoring our hometown hero and allowing us to use the song as the official song for “ADAM WEST DAY” on September 19th.” After the song was released Jonathan remarked, “Amazing! Love this! Congratulations Daniel on an incredible heartfelt tribute to ‘The Bright Knight’ himself…Mr. Adam West! Words cannot thank you enough for your masterpiece that will truly stand the test of time!”
Adam West Rocks, recorded and released in 2021, is a faster, more rock and roll version of Adam West Blues. It was created for the Adam West Day celebrations in Walla Walla and is featured, like the other tribute songs, in Adam West Day related music videos on YouTube.
Download your free copy of Adam West Blues and 60’s Star here. Cheers!