Danny Wilde of The Rembrandts Shares Memories, Respect for Alan Thicke
Both Wilde and Thicke crafted iconic TV theme songs.
Last week Alan Thicke -- father of the famed singer Robin Thicke -- died at the age of 69 from a heart attack. Love and condolences from the entertainment industry have since poured in, a large portion of which have come from those in the television business. Thicke not only starred as the father in the '80s sitcom Growing Pains, he also made a name for himself as a TV theme song composer; his most notable work can be heard on Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life.
As someone else who has crafted a classic television theme song, Billboard spoke with Danny Wilde of The Rembrandts -- the pop duo behind the iconic Friends theme "I'll Be There for You," who have a new album titled Via Satellite on the way -- about his first time meeting Thicke and the kinship among TV theme composers.
Wilde recalled that he was home watching the news when he first heard about the passing of Thicke -- "It kind of shocked me," he tells Billboard. He shares how he "was fortunate enough" to meet Thicke at a party this past summer, and that he looked in good health. After he had learned of his death, though, he says "I started seeing different things posted about him and I was blown away with how many TV theme songs he had written. We had that in common."
Wilde says even today, after the success of the Friends theme song, he is constantly being pitched for TV shows. "It’s so hard. Probably of the 10 or 15 things that we’ve been pitched you just kind of sit there and scratch your head," he relates. "So for Alan Thicke to have been able to accomplish that many songs in television shows is very admirable."
Because of the nature of writing and composing for TV ("It does take a certain part of your brain to wrap around the whole visual concept of what the creatives are trying to accomplish"), Wilde says that those who have experienced any success in the field "definitely pat each other on the back," which Thicke certainly did for him. "He was a real gentleman -- he was sincerely interested in what I was up to, and not everyone’s like that. He was the real deal."