Ian Fleming was a journalist, a soldier, a spy, a playboy, an adventurer, and the son of a Member of Parliament. He collected, edited, and published books…and created one of the world’s most recognizable popular culture icons, James Bond. Beginning in mid-April, the University of Illinois will celebrate the author and his favorite character through The Birth of Bond: Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale at 60.
The Birth of Bond is a collaboration of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Spurlock Museum, and the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music in conjunction with Illinois alumnus and Ian Fleming Foundation co-founder Michael L. VanBlaricum (BSEE ’72, MSEE ’74, PhD ’76). Through the gathering of exciting pieces from VanBlaricum’s personal collections, connections, and resources, the University is able to display objects rarely available to the public at the same time.
“I was first introduced to James Bond via the film Goldfinger when I was fourteen,” VanBlaricum explained. “Despite the fact that the Bond movies made me an over-the-top James Bond fan, I never read any of Fleming’s novels until I was nearly thirty. Now, my motto is ‘If it is printed and relates to Ian Fleming or James Bond, I want it!’”
“Prior to Mike VanBlaricum’s generous gift of his Bondiana collection, the Rare Book & Manuscript Library could boast of its substantial holdings in Elizabethan-era espionage,” said RBML Director Valerie Hotchkiss. “Now we can also support primary research in the world of Cold War spy literature—and perhaps uncover some underlying reasons why the English have always been so good at spying, code-breaking, and undercover work.”
Spurlock Museum Director Wayne Pitard is also thrilled at the objects being loaned for the exhibits…some from as far away as England. “Besides the exciting scripts and costumes we will display from Mike’s collection, we are also thrilled that EON Productions, the company that makes the Bond films, has generously loaned us several items used in the 2006 version of Casino Royale for the exhibit, some that have never been on display before. We are also very grateful to The Ian Fleming Foundation for providing us with the Aston Martin Volante from the film The Living Daylights, which will greet visitors when they arrive at the Museum.“
For all three University of Illinois collaborators, The Birth of Bond is an opportunity to prepare exhibits that are, for them, a little out of the ordinary. “Though we have covered topics of popular culture in the past,” said Pitard, “they have not been topics that are as familiar to millions of people as James Bond. We expect to see a number of new visitors in our buildings and hope that for each it will be the first of many return explorations.”
Each collaborator will focus on a distinct aspect of the Bond phenomenon through an exhibit and special event:
THE RARE BOOK & MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY:
Exhibit: Casino Royale and Beyond: 60 Years of Ian Fleming’s Literary Bond
April 12–July 12, 2013 • Open Monday through Friday 8:30-5:00
Special Hours on April 13 | 1:00 – 3:00 PM
346 Library, 1408 W. Gregory Dr., Urbana, IL
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the publication of Casino Royale, the Rare Book & Manuscript Library will showcase a great ‘thwacking’ portion of the publication history of Casino Royale and also broadly represent the print history of Ian Fleming’s important writing career.
The special exhibit includes a manuscript copy of Fleming’s earliest surviving short story, dozens of editions, translations, and even parodies of Casino Royale, as well as Fleming’s letter stating he is bludgeoning his friends into actually buying his book. Also highlighted are selections from Fleming’s notable journalism career, the first editions of all the “Bond” books, original cover art for the 1955 British paperback, and a typescript manuscript of Casino Royale.
Banker, wartime spymaster, foreign news editor, children’s author (the creator of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), and himself a bibliophile, the creator of “Bond—James Bond,” left an indelible mark on 20th-century culture. This exhibition traces the influence of Fleming’s creation of Bond forward to our own century.
Event: Gala Exhibition Opening Presentation
April 12, 2013 • 3:00 PM • Free Admission
Talk by Michael L. VanBlaricum
Room 66 Library, 1408 W. Gregory Dr., Urbana, IL
Reception to follow in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library (Room 346)
In January of 1952 at Goldeneye, his home in Jamaica, Ian Lancaster Fleming, aged forty-three, typed the words: “Scent and smoke and sweat hit the taste buds with an acid thwack at three o’clock in the morning.” Casino Royale, the first James Bond novel, was born.
In celebration of this event, and as part of the University-wide series The Birth of Bond: Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale at 60, Ian Fleming Foundation co-founder Mike VanBlaricum will present a talk highlighting some of the backstories of items on display, the evolution of his collection, his involvement with the Foundation, and an overview of the series’ exhibitions and events.
Exhibit: Unconventional Bond: The Strange Life of Casino Royale on Film
April 16–June 16, 2013
Open Tuesday 12:00-5:00, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 9:00-5:00, Saturday 10:00-4:00, Sunday 12:00-4:00
Special Preview Hours on April 13 | 10:00 – 4:00 PM
600 S. Gregory, Urbana, IL
Unlike all the other Bond novels, which were sold to a single company, EON Productions, for filming, Casino Royale went through several producers and was made into three startlingly different films. This exhibit tells the story of these three versions, from the modest CBS-TV production in 1954, to the bizarre, psychedelic spoof of 1967, to the “canonical” 2006 Daniel Craig version, considered one of the best Bond films. The exhibit also traces the legal path that led to Never Say Never Again, a second version of Thunderball, and looks at the never-produced Bond script, Warhead. Props, scripts, posters, and an Aston Martin will be displayed.
Event: James Bond Film Festival
April 26–28, 2013 • Free Admission
600 S. Gregory, Urbana, IL
This three-day celebration features both films and discussion of Ian Fleming’s iconic British Secret Service agent. John Cork, a noted Bond film historian, will lead the discussions. A schedule of titles, times, and activities will be available on the Museum’s website: www.spurlock.illinois.edu.
SOUSA ARCHIVES AND CENTER FOR AMERICAN MUSIC
Exhibit: The James Bond Theme: Music to Live, Die, and Love Another Day
April 12, 2013–March 14, 2014
Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 8:30-12:00 and 1:00-5:00
Wednesday 10:00-12:00 and 1:00-5:00
Special Hours on April 13 | 1:00 – 3:00 PM
1103 South Sixth Street, Champaign, IL
Many film scholars have suggested that John Barry’s early Bond orchestrations established an entirely new music genre to portray the excitement and intrigue associated with the spy thrillers of the 1960s. However, the syncopated guitar riff that begins the “James Bond” music theme that was first introduced in 1962 for Dr. No, and the rich orchestral cadence of the infamous “007” tune that was launched in From Russia with Love in 1963 have remained the two quintessential melodies associated with all of the Bond movie sequels that followed from 1964 through 2012. Such prominent composers and performers as Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach, Marvin Hamlisch, Monty Norman, Duran Duran, Carly Simon, Nancy Sinatra, Shirley Bassey, and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass have followed in Barry’s artistic footsteps, but none have surpassed his influence on the musical portrayal of Britain’s most recognized super spy. This exhibit explores the historical and musical roots of these two distinct movie themes and illustrates through music, photographs, graphic art, and oral history interviews their lasting impact on the Bond movie legacy.
Event: University of Illinois Concert Jazz Band (with a special performance by Raymond Benson)
Concert: Featuring the Music of the James Bond Films
April 13, 2013 • 7:00 PM • Free Admission
Spurlock Museum Knight Auditorium, 600 S. Gregory, Urbana, IL
“Spy music,” as the lounge movement of the late 20th century would come to call it, had a cool, slinky vibe and was rooted as much in jazz and pop as in classical music according to Jon Burlingame. John Barry’s early Bond orchestrations established an entirely new music genre to portray the excitement and intrigue associated with the spy thrillers of the 1960s, and many other composers, arrangers, and performers provided varied interpretations of this new movie music genre including Henry Mancini, Jerry Goldsmith, Quincy Jones, Bill Conti, Burt Bacharach, Paul McCartney, and Marvin Hamlisch. In 1966 the Count Basie Jazz Orchestra released their recording, Basie Meets Bond, under the United Artists record label. This recording included hip jazz arrangements by Chico O’Farrill and George Williams of the most popular Bond music themes produced by John Barry and Monty Norman. This exciting concert highlights several of these innovative jazz arrangements as well as other big band works derived from the rich Bond movie music legacy.
A collaborative website for The Birth of Bond is available at go.illinois.edu/CasinoRoyale60 . Information can also be found at each location’s individual site: https://news.illinois.edu/view/6367/204855 (Spurlock Museum), www.library.illinois.edu/sousa (Sousa Archives and Center for American Music), and www.library.illinois.edu/rbx/ (Rare Book & Manuscript Library).