"Mad About Me" was a song performed by Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes. One of their favorites, it was being played by them in Chalmun's Spaceport Cantina when Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi entered to find passage off Tatooine in 0 BBY. Kenobi and Skywalker got into a fight with the patrons Ponda Baba and Cornelius Evazan shortly after arriving, interrupting the playing of the Modal Nodes, but when the fracas died down, they resumed the song. The Modal Nodes performed it again in Chalmun's later that year, during a broadcast by the Galactic Empire about life on Tatooine. The bartender Ackmena's own song, "Goodnight, But Not Goodbye," shared many elements of its instrumentals with "Mad About Me." Many years later, Reelo Baruk's bar on Nar Shaddaa kept the song playing as ambient music.
"Mad About Me" was written at some point before 3643 BBY. The Toydarian junk dealer Watto often hummed the tune to himself in his shop in Mos Espa, on the planet Tatooine. By 0 BBY, the song had become a favorite of the Bith jizz band Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes. The tune, though fairly nondescript, was bouncy, and the Modal Nodes' rendition of it was particularly upbeat. In 0 BBY, the Modal Nodes got a job as the regular band at Chalmun's Spaceport Cantina in Mos Eisley. On the day the Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi and his protege Luke Skywalker came to Mos Eisley in search of transport off Tatooine, the band squabbled over their choice of song before choosing "Mad About Me." The band, however, was unaccustomed to performing at places like Chalmun's, and their performance of it was off both key and tempo, glaringly noticeable to patrons with sensitive hearing like the Chadra-Fan Kabe. Shortly after their performance began, Kenobi and Skywalker arrived; upon entering, Skywalker was harassed by two of the patrons, Ponda Baba and Cornelius Evazan. As the situation turned violent, Kenobi brought out his lightsaber and cut off Baba's arm. Where a band more experienced with the cantina would have continued to play in harmony with the chaos around them, the Modal Nodes promptly stopped, but when the fracas had died down they picked up where they had left off and finished the song.
Later that year, the Modal Nodes played a performance of "Mad About Me" for an interplanetary Imperial broadcast about life on Tatooine. They were once again interrupted, as the Empire announced that it was imposing a curfew on the Tatoo system, effective immediately. The song that the bartender Ackmena sang to encourage her customers to leave, "Goodnight, But Not Goodbye," had instrumentals very similar to "Mad About Me," which were also played by the Modal Nodes. The following year, "Mad About Me" received a good deal of play in cantinas across Tatooine.
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|An excerpt from "Mad About Me" (Star Wars: A New Hope Special Edition soundtrack)|
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Behind the scenesEdit
- "Can you imagine several creatures in a future century finding some 1930s Benny Goodman swing band music in a time capsule or under a rock someplace—and how they might attempt to interpret it?"
- ―George Lucas
The cue titled "Cantina Band" was scored by John Williams for Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, released in 1977. While it received its in-universe name, "Mad About Me," from the short story Empire Blues: The Devaronian's Tale in 1995's Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina, it is named by its out-of-universe title "Cantina Band" on the film's many soundtracks. The piece is a rare example of source music in the Star Wars films—music that does not exist out of universe on the soundtrack, but is played diegetically by characters within the film. Alongside its corresponding piece "Cantina Band #2," it is one of only two such cues to appear in A New Hope.
Filmmaker George Lucas initially proposed the inclusion of a jitterbug-like piece in the film, along the lines of the music of jazz musician Benny Goodman. As his inspiration, Lucas had the idea of beings in the far future trying to create their own version of Goodman's style of music. John Williams wrote "Cantina Band" with this as his basis, scoring it so the instruments sounded somewhat strange, but on the verge of familiarity. To produce the piece, Williams brought in nine jazz musicians, a solo trumpet, two saxophones, a saxophonist who also played clarinet, a Fender Rhodes piano, a Caribbean steel drum, another drum, various percussion instruments, and an ARP synthesizer for the bass. To give the instruments a more alien quality, the music was filtered so the bottom end of the sound was clipped, the lower end was attenuated, and a reverb was added to thin the instruments out.
In 1977, disco producer Meco created an instrumental piece called "Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band," which combined the main theme of the films with "Cantina Band" in a disco style. It was released on the album Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk, and on October 1, 1977, it hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100, where it remained for two weeks.
Like many Star Wars cues, "Cantina Band" has been used in a number of video games—often as part of the soundtrack, as opposed to source music. In Star Wars: Battlefront II, it appears as part of a medley of unusual Star Wars tracks played during the "Assault" mode of the Mos Eisley level of the game's Instant Action feature. LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game plays it on some levels when the player uses the Force on chairs, and its sequel LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy uses "Cantina Band" as the background music in the Mos Eisley cantina. The short film LEGO Star Wars: Revenge of the Brick plays it during a cantina scene of its own, reminiscent of the one in A New Hope. Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader plays the piece over its opening LucasArts logo, while dozens of dancing stormtroopers form the logo.
A short variation of the song, played in a quieter classical style, can be heard as part of the music played in and around the Star Tours attraction at Disney theme parks.
The cue has made several appearances as source music, too. In Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, it is heard in a bar on Nar Shaddaa. This was a first for the Dark Forces saga, as earlier games Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II and Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith use the relatively rarer "Cantina Band #2" as their source music. Star Wars Galaxies features both; the two "Cantina Band" pieces play on an infinite loop in all cantinas on Tatooine. Additionally, a variation of "Cantina Band," known as "Starwars2" in-game, is included as one of the playable songs of the "Entertainer" player class. In Star Wars: Yoda Stories, a brief portion of the song is played whenever the player enters any cantina on any planet. Star Wars: Empire at War and its expansion pack play the song as ambient music when the game's camera is moved near a cantina structure on land maps. The Star Wars Holiday Special uses the song in its cantina scene as well; it additionally introduces a version of the piece with lyrics, titled "Goodnight, But Not Goodbye" and sung by Bea Arthur. In the DVD releases of The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Trilogy, the song is used as background music for an Easter egg which plays a blooper reel along with DVD credits.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic
- Star Wars: Episode I Racer
- The Life and Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi
- We Don't Do Weddings: The Band's Tale audio drama
- Nightlily: The Lovers' Tale audio drama
- A Hunter's Fate: Greedo's Tale
- Hammertong: The Tale of the "Tonnika Sisters"
- Play It Again, Figrin D'an: The Tale of Muftak and Kabe
- The Sand Tender: The Hammerhead's Tale
- Nightlily: The Lovers' Tale
- Empire Blues: The Devaronian's Tale (First identified as Mad About Me)
- Soup's On: The Pipe Smoker's Tale
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (First appearance)
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope junior novel
- The Star Wars Holiday Special
- Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided
- Star Wars: Yoda Stories
- One Last Night in the Mos Eisley Cantina: The Tale of the Wolfman and the Lamproid
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
- LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game
- LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
- Star Wars: Battlefront (Appears only in non-storyline event)
- Star Wars: Battlefront II (Appears only in non-storyline event)
- LEGO Star Wars: Revenge of the Brick
- Star Wars: Empire at War (Appears only in non-storyline event)
- Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption (Appears only in non-storyline event)
- LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
- Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader (Appears only in non-storyline event)
- Star Wars: Demolition (Appears only in non-storyline event)
- LucasArts Cantina
- LEGO Star Wars: Bombad Bounty
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Premiere Limited (Card: The Bith Shuffle)
- "Raiders Of The Lost Arcade"—Star Wars Galaxy Collector 7 (Indirect mention only)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Empire Blues: The Devaronian's Tale
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic
- ↑ Star Wars: Episode I Racer.
- ↑ Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Premiere Limited (Card: The Bith Shuffle)
- ↑ Hammertong: The Tale of the "Tonnika Sisters"
- ↑ We Don't Do Weddings: The Band's Tale
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Soup's On: The Pipe Smoker's Tale
- ↑ Play It Again, Figrin D'an: The Tale of Muftak and Kabe
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- ↑ The Star Wars Holiday Special
- ↑ Star Wars Galaxies
- ↑ Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
- ↑ Star Wars: A New Hope Special Edition soundtrack liner notes
- ↑ Star Wars Original Soundtrack liner notes
- ↑ The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits