John Altman

John Altman and Goldeneye’s Tank Chase Scene

Featuring: John Altman

Join composer John Altman and the Academy of Scoring Arts as we study his music from one of the all-time favorite James Bond moments, the “Tank Chase” scene from GOLDENEYE. Hear directly from the composer how he composed, arranged, and conducted this classic music in the space of only THREE days! This session is moderated by ASA past president Del Engen.

In addition to thousands of composing and performing credits, John has an extensive resume as an arranger and orchestrator. 

His arrangement of the song “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” for the 1978 film MONTY PYTHON’S LIFE OF BRIAN is widely considered one of the greatest comedy songs in movies. John’s arrangement included the creation of the vexingly catchy hook – the whistling bit – and he was the featured whistler on the song.

His affiliation with Monty Python troupe began as arranger for the Beatles parody project, The Rutles in ALL YOU NEED IS CASH, created by Eric Idle and Neil Innes. Altman made multiple related onstage appearances with Innes and the Pythons, including a stint as a Canadian Mountie in “The Lumberjack Song” sketch.

About John Altman:

Emmy and BAFTA Award Winning Composer John Altman is responsible for the music in three infamous scenes in cinema history: “Always Look On The Bright Side of Life” in Monty Python’s Life of Brian (arrangement, conducting, and whistling); The “Tank Chase” cue in the James Bond movie GoldenEye; and the band on deck playing “Nearer My God To Thee” in James Cameron’s Titanic (as historical music advisor, arranger, and producer).

In addition to his film and television work, John has performed on saxophone with some of the greatest luminaries of the past 40 years: Jimi Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, Amy Winehouse, Eric Clapton, Bob Marley, Van Morrison, Nick Drake, Jimmy Page, Chet Baker, Sting, Andy Summers and many, many more.

The late King of Thailand, a sax player himself, once invited John to come jam with him!

John has had a long-running association with Monty Python, beginning as the music arranger and conductor for the Beatles parody project, The Rutles All You Need Is Cash, created by Eric Idle and Neil Innes. Altman has also made multiple related onstage appearances with Innes and the Pythons.

John serves on the board of the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers (ASMAC), and is a member of the governing Council of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).


Philharmonic/Orchestra Members Only Content

Please upgrade or login to access this content

Related Downloads and Resources

For further exploration, check out related events about: