LINK WRAY – Batman

Some people used to suggest that Batman and Robin’s relationship was improper. Can you believe it? These people claimed that Batman had lured a troubled young man into sinister vigilante activity, regularly exposing him to the possibility of a brutal death at the hands of some of the most vicious and amoral lunatics in Gotham City. In fact as was very clear from the comics and TV series, Batman and Robin’s partnership was a much healthier, more loving one involving nothing more outrageous than a bit of dressing-up, role-playing, and mild S & M.

Link Wray’s recording of the Batman theme is clearly designed to point this up. There’s a tender playfulness in the men’s voices as they banter about Batmobiles and nuclear signals – ‘Bruce’ is avuncular, ‘Robin’ puppydog eager and almost giggly, both are flirtatious. Link’s guitar work is rocking but offhanded, a driving beat tempered by sly good humour. As the climax of the theme tune approaches, the track takes a saucy turn as the lovers indulge in a little bit of spanking play: “Ow! Aaah! Oooh! Ow!” yells young Robin, and the track fades. A deeply enjoyable two minutes, Link’s track is also a marvellous put-down to those sick individuals who persist in misreading Batman as some kind of dystopian fantasy of violence and revenge instead of the simple, if slightly naughty, love story it so plainly is.