Gonna Fly Now (Rocky)

Last Christmas holidays I set out to transcribe and recreate Bill Conti’s original 1976 Hollywood recording of Gonna Fly Now, from the movie Rocky. This epic project involved very detailed scoring and the cooperation of several like-minded collaborators with perfectionistic flair who bought into the vision (or just went along with it).

There have been some great alternate versions of Gonna Fly Now, but also some duds. Maynard Ferguson’s will forever be immortal in trumpet circles and shines as one of the best, while at the other end of the scale the later Rocky movies substituted brass and strings for keyboards, with a blatantly unmusical copy/paste edit to extend its length. But the original 1976 Hollywood recording was fresh and has a special energy all of its own, that I think we’ve been able to emulate and perhaps even extend the Bandbub way.

The score and recording were as true to the original as we could be. Real trumpets, real trombones, and real violins. Exact note-for-note copies of most parts, including a brilliantly authentic guitar solo, carefully constructed harmony vocals, and guys from across the planet playing the charts that I wrote. Everyone who contributed to this bought into its authenticity, and we put each person’s perfectionistic streak to good use: transcriptions and scoring, performance, much critique, many suggestions, online and offline mixing. It was a whole lot of fun, and each of us marveled as this epic project progressed.

Featuring performances and other talents of the Bandhub Rocky Orchestra (“BRO”):

  • Gary (satchmo67): trumpets
  • Jimmy (jimmididr): piano, saw synthesizer, offline mixing, post-production video editing
  • Juan (sabapc): guitar solo, vocals, online Bandhub mixing
  • Claire (MzMieux): vocals, inspiration
  • Hernan (HernanGordon): bass
  • Yoann (yodrums): drums
  • Joey (jfigg70): shakers
  • Lou (LouDeAngelis): congas and tambourine
  • Andrew (mayesbone): trombones
  • Mandy (mandyvln): violins

My sincere thanks to everyone who contributed to this. I am very, very proud of what we achieved together.

Resources:

Transcribed by me and free for you to use.

What do you think? Please leave a comment and let me know.

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4 thoughts on “Gonna Fly Now (Rocky)

  1. This collab was EPIC! I continue to listen to this from time to time, and each play is just as exciting as the previous ones. Great job Gary, you put a lot of work into this, It was an honor to have been part of this with you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Jimmy. This stuff is only possible when there are talented people like you who can help to make something special out of a bunch of dots and an idea. This was truly a collaboration.

      Like

  2. I love keeping an eye (and ear) on your musical projects and have such fun when I join in! You are a very talented and supportive musician. Your coordination and implementation skills for the ROCKY ADVENTURE were off the charts! Speaking of charts, the fact that you share them affirms that the true spirit of collaboration resides within you – you are a generous gentleman.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Claire, that’s very kind of you to say. Yep, collaboration is the right word because it takes others to make it work. Your amazing talent, ideas, trust (!) and good humor make all of this fun and encourage me to keep trying new things. Such as our latest collaboration (for which the charts will be posted soon).

      Like

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