Sunday, 1 December 2013

Theme Time : The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Boardwalk Empire

Father and son time between me and my dad usually means settling down to watch the brilliant Boardwalk Empire.



The semi-fictionalised account of mob rule during the Prohibition era of the 1920s focusing on Enoch 'Nucky' Thompson, played perfectly by Steve Buscemi, a thinly disguised depiction of real life Atlantic City big cheese from that time, Enoch L Johnson. Similar to that other HBO great, Deadwood, Boardwalk Empire takes real life setting, events and characters and fudges them to incorporate their fiction. As such as we witness Thompson's trials and triumphs at keeping himself at the top of the pile from some stiff and lethal competition, we also see the likes of Al Capone (played brilliantly by Scouse actor Stephen Graham) rising through Johnny Torrio's ranks in Chicago, and Arnold Rothstein, criminal kingpin of New York with his upcoming associates Meyer Lansky, Charles 'Lucky' Luciano and Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel, and arch rival Joe Masseria. Other notable recurring real life characters include FBI boss J Edgar Hoover and entertainer Eddie Cantor. All these notorious characters rub shoulders with some brilliant fictional characters like disfigured ruthless assassin Richard Harrow and the black gangster Chalky White.

Now in its fourth season, Boardwalk Empire shows no signs of letting up despite its occasionally surprising twists and turns that had led to some cast members departing. Suffice to say, me and my dad are still hooked.

The theme tune for the series is Straight Up and Down from the American psychedelic rock band The Brian Jonestown Massacre. It was chosen as the signature because it would create a sense of the unexpected.


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