Meet Warren & John – The Music of Bond

Meet the hosts of our monthly series The Music of Bond: Warren Ringham, band leader of Q The Music (The world’s greatest James Bond concert experience) and audiophile and all-round music lover, John Williams.

WARREN

Favourite Bond Film?

Like most of you, my favourite films are always jockeying for positions.  I think it depends what mood you are in, how often you have watched them, etc etc…but I guess there are a few that are always up there.  It’s probably between Casino Royale, Thunderball and Goldfinger.  Pretty much, since it arrived and completely saved the franchise (in my opinion) it has been Casino Royale.

I remember I first set up Q The Music (my James Bond Tribute Band – if you didn’t know!) not long after DAD had come out.  I remember saying to all my friends that that film had probably killed the franchise and my business was probably dead in the water before I even got going!  I remember saying so often – where do you go after an invisible car?  Well they did the only thing they really could – the fabled “reboot”, which again, I remember was also met with scepticism.  Of course made EVEN worse when the public went nuts over Daniel Craig being appointed as the “blond Bond”.

How we were taken by surprise.  What. A. Film.

Daniel Craig just seemed straight at home from the word go – and let’s be honest, even if you aren’t a fan of Quantum or SPECTRE, there is no doubt DC has smashed every performance in the four films.

There’s so many amazing things in that film it’s hard to pick out a favourite bit.  In my interview with T & C on the podcast they rather caught me out with the question “do you have a favourite scene” and I said the scene on the train.  I stand by that, but after thinking about it afterwards – how embarrassing I didn’t have one that came to mind straight away – but I realised that I just love that whole film from start to finish, everything about it is perfection.

Favourite Bond Book?

I have to be honest, I still haven’t read them all.  I just have such a busy life: a poor excuse, but true!  I really enjoyed Moonraker as it is so different from the film.  The truth be told, a little cheeky to use this, but my favourite Bond book is still the “Music Of James Bond” by Jon Burlingame.  It has become like a bible as I research the music podcasts and I highly recommend it for reading if you haven’t already!

Favourite Bond Girl?

Oh my goodness Fiona Volpe (Luciana Paluzzi) ALL DAY LONG.  I would put Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) as a very close second I have to say.

I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty shallow(!) and this is mainly based on physical attributes, so sorry for those of you who would put characters like Tracy as no.1!  That said, Fiona’s character I find very attractive too: a very assertive and powerful woman, wild and strong willed.  On the opposite side of the moral compass, but similar in terms of self confidence and assertiveness I find Vesper’s character appealing anyway too.

Favourite James Bond Actor?

It’s changed throughout my life. Growing up in the Moore and Dalton era, Moore was my childhood Bond, and I wasn’t really exposed to the Connery films until mid-late teens believe it or not.  My Mum used to say Connery is best, and I’d be like Naaaaaah it’s Roger Moore!  The humour appealed more when I was younger, where as now I’m more into the badass approach.  It was only when I got the whole lot on VHS around 1998/9 my opinion settled and then solidified with Connery.

I did flirt at times (believe it or not) during the Brosnan era that he was my favourite Bond.  I say that – I mean it was literally like “he might be my favourite” – but that was usually on the wave of euphoria coming out the cinema.  I loved TWINE when I saw it, really loved it.

But in the cold light of day, it is Sean.  No question.  But, I don’t feel as fondly about him in DAF, and even YOLT I don’t enjoy his performance as much as those first four classics.

Earliest Memory of Bond?

Without a doubt I remember distinctly.  My father, a professional Trumpeter (played on quite a few films and mainstream media) used to practice for hours every day, and to keep me entertained he had put together a VHS of car chases taken off TV.  One of the sequences on this tape was the Speedboat chase from LALD.  That is my earliest memory for sure.

Later, we had AVTAK on VHS and my sister and I watched that to death at home, and so it has a very special place for me.  I can even watch the film and forgive all the things that are bad – RM’s age, the obvious stunt doubles etc!

I remember going to the cinema to see TLD – my first Bond cinema experience, and being shocked and delighted at the sight of side boob, and bare man’s ass (not so delightful!)

Location you’d love to visit?

Loads like you all.  I was supposed to be working at The Ocean Club this NYE with Q The Music, but sadly the recent hurricane has shut the resort!  Gutted!  Hopefully that will happen further down the line.  I’d love to visit James Bond Island too.

I know there are plans to visit Piz Gloria, and I’d be up for that if it fits in with work and family – that sounds unmissable!

Favourite scene in the series?

If I was to pick one scene, it’s going to be the parachute union flag scene.  I hate to be so predictable, but it is just genius.  Action scenes wise I do love the barrel roll in TMWTGG, I love the boat chase down the Thames or LALD chase too.  I’m a huge fan of the train fight in Spectre.

Away from action scenes, I love the backgammon scene in Octopussy and the card game in Casino.

Most Bondian thing you’ve ever done?

I do have a few, as those who listened to the podcast will know.  Being a full time musician in the military (Royal Air Force), has exposed me to a few things in actual service.

During my initial training, I was awarded “best shot” for my marksmanship during weapons training – I’m really proud of that! I put it down to computer games…

The thing about firing a weapon (accurately) is having a steady aim, and it’s also about breath control.  Why?  Well when you hold a weapon (like a rifle) into the shoulder, it moves up and down when you breathe.  So you learn to breathe in, hold your breath, pause, fire, release the trigger, breathe out.

For the first 5 or 6 years in service I used to get a perfect shoot on our annual training, generally I was the only one in the group that would achieve that.  I think the strength in my arms is not as good as it was, as I usually drop one shot somewhere along the line these days, though I am still pretty accurate.

At work we do have files marked “secret” “classified” and “eyes only” and some of the work enveloped are marked in red writing “On Her Majesty’s Service”.

And yes, I regularly doctor the envelopes with a ^Secret.

More about Warren…

Well, let’s be honest, it’s all about Q The Music!  I run a James Bond Tribute Band/Show – the first in the world when I set it up back in 2004.  We do all the tracks from the films and a load of cool stuff like Bond 77, 007, Surrender, Backseat Driver – all sorts!

If you haven’t checked it out yet, please go and have a look on our YouTube channel.

Me personally, I graduated from the Royal College Of Music in 2002 with BMus (Hons), and spent a year free-lancing in London with orchestras like London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra and English National Opera.  I decided against the life of struggling in that environment – high competition for not huge amounts of opportunities, and joined the RAF Band in 2003, a decision I’m glad I made.  I’ve travelled the World (places like Russia, New Zealand and Australia), and played on TV and Radio often with them.  We’ve also had albums that have peaked at 4 and 5 in the UK charts which I’m really proud to have been part of.

I live in Nottinghamshire with my amazingly supportive wife Lana and cracking little 1 year old Isabella.

JOHN

Favourite Bond Film?

It’s like asking me who my favorite supermodel is. From Russia with Love. Hands down. I think. It always changes. But. This is the Bond film I always come back to. It’s in the sweet spot between Dr No and Goldfinger. I call it the pre-formula Bond film. Connery at his best. The shot of him in the cat-eyed sunglass. It doesn’t get any cooler than that. Also, it’s the last of Sean’s real hair! If I was on my deathbed and they told me I get one more Bond film I would choose FRWL. Which is something I think way too much about. Wait. Maybe I should choose Thunderball. It’s a much longer film!!!

Favourite Bond Book?

Moonraker. The ending of this book knocks me out every time. Bond doesn’t get the girl? A game changer indeed. We have all said it before, there is so much great material to be used in the cinematic world of Bond. Hey producers and writers please read! Bond’s vulnerability comes though in this one. I’m going to say it, I bet this is one of Tim’s favorite Bond books.

Favourite Bond Girl?

Aki (Akiko Wakabayashi)
Aki (Akiko Wakabayashi)
Aki (Akiko Wakabayashi)
Apologies. Ask me that one again.
Aki (Akiko Wakabayashi)

Now there is a woman who stands by her man. Till death do us part. I’m on one knee as I type. Stunning. I am Aki super fan #1 Her death scene gets me every time. I would enjoy very much if she was serving under me.

Runner up. Camille.

Favourite James Bond Actor?

There is no competing with Sean, Surprise, surprise. He’s the coolest man on planet earth. Ever. Next question.

Sean
Daniel
Tim
Roger
George
Pierce

Earliest Memory of Bond?

My grandfather took me to see For Your Eyes Only. He dropped me off at the theater by myself. After the film he asked me if I wanted to see it again. So I saw it twice by myself. Both of which were a first. It clearly made an impression. To this day I love that film. Serious Roger. What a place to start. A love affair was born. Cheers Granddad.

Location you’d love to visit?

My dream is to get inside the Elrod House. Whenever I watch Diamonds are Forever I visualize me taking a dip in the pool. Preferably with Bambi and Thumper. The JBR family has to collectively combine our incomes, rent it for the weekend and have a screening of DAF. Rude not to. Who’s in?

Favourite scene in the series?

Thunderball. When Fiona is taking a bath and asks for something to wear. He hands her shoes!!! Come on people that’s the greatest moment in movie history. What more does she need? Good call Sean. Wait. More apologies. Any scene with Aki. Job done.

Most Bondian thing you’ve ever done?

For me it’s really more about being in a Bond state of mind. From the places I travel to, to the clothes I wear, to the drinks I drink, Bond is always with me. Nothing better than getting suited up, having some drinks and heading out into the night of an exotic city. Solo.

More about John…

When I’m not watching Bond I’m selling real estate. But. I’m mostly watching Bond.

  • Dennis James Hardin

    Excellent! Nice to see a mention of the backgammon scene in OP. One of my favorite moments, with Roger as cool as one can get there.