|Following the release of the Beau Hunks' albums of Hal Roach music
in 1993, artist Robert Crumb wrote them a fan letter containing
the much-quoted phrase, "This is music I've been looking for ALL
On June 16, 1998 Crumb visited the Beau Hunks' headquarters to
view some rare Hal Roach shorts and to give his opinions on Leroy
"Shield's music was the thing that first got me interested in
old music. I was hearing those when I was a kid on TV. As a kid,
you don't know what it is or where it comes
from or why you don't hear it anyplace else, you don't understand
any of that. I searched for that music from my childhood to the
time that I discovered old 78s; it was a real revelation that
there was similar music on those old records.
|It's my favorite music of all time. I never get tired of it. It
still thrills me every time I hear it. When we were just walking
in here and you turned that video on and I heard that music, it
just immediately psssscht!grabs your ear... incredible! When
you first put together those splicings of complete versions, it
was so thrilling to hear those tunes all the way through, because
they ruthlessly cut them off in those films
What Shield did in 1930 represents years and years of dance orchestra
music in the '20s. The way I see it, all that dance music of the
period reaches this peak of intensity right around 1930, and then
kind of starts to taper off afterward. There was a flowering of
creativity, and he was right there at the top of the whole thing.
I'm sure he didn't even realize it.
|It's hard to say how many other guys could have been at the right
place at the right time. He just happened to be at a place where
someone said, 'Okay, we need a bunch of tunes for these films.'
I guess Shield was not a guy who was too concerned with getting
credit for what he did; he just did it as a job, and then went
out and played golf. There's a certain kind of Indian shaman (medicine
man) that always works his magic behind the scenes. I guess that's
what Shield was."