Every Seinfeld episode, I was there. Now? I’m at Reddit to answer all your questions about it. (Puddy’s voice) “Yeah, that’s right.” I really loved creating music for your fave Seinfeld moments - Kramer’s Pimpwalk, John Jermaine Jazz, Cable guy chasing Kramer, Rochelle Rochelle The Musical, George’s underwear “Lover Boy” photo shoot.. Here are a few of them, just for you https://youtu.be/Na8GWF3l0Pw

Why a Reddit AMA? Here’s 3 reasons - 1) With so much distance and time between the Seinfeld production years and my life today, I'm actually able to view the show much differently from when I was working on it every week. So now? Like you, I'm just another Seinfeld fan (who likes to blather). https://www.instagram.com/p/CQ7GmDGgLFH/

2) On other SM they ask me the same obvious questions, i.e. “What’s your favorite episode?” LAME! I expect startlingly awesome questions from my Seinfeld peeps on Reddit.

3) Seinfeld Soundtrack Album has just dropped. WaterTower Music asked me to make the playlist of music from favorite scenes. This AMA will help get out the word to Seinfeld fans.. like us!

So, go ahead. Ask me anything.

G-g-giddyUP

Proof: https://i.redd.it/hj8avl4yrva71.png


Newcomer here. Don't even know how to create a post to say goodbye. So I'll just add it HERE.

Reddit and its users are really AWESOME!
So, after this AMA, I plan to return often.
For now, please forgive my cultural ignorance if I committed accidental Reddit blasphemy or made Markdown gibberish. (Might be doing it right now).
Didn’t mean to be an ill-mannered tourist.
Faux pas were inevitable here today. I am a very very bad man.

This has been a Super Terrific Happy Hour. Thanks for all the great questions. I hope you found my answers to be informative, yada-yada.. Hey - if I wasn't able to answer your Q, follow seinfeldmusicguy on Instagram and shoot me a DM.

OR.. Why don’t you give me your home number and I’ll call you back later?

Comments: 602 • Responses: 78  • Date: 

jaymef396 karma

Do you get any royalties from the show?

seinfeldmusicguy817 karma

Big time. Isn't that NEAT?

seinfeldmusicguy645 karma

People don’t turn down money! It’s what separates us from the animals.

Jackandahalfass5 karma

Do you get extra for the one you sing scat vocals on?

seinfeldmusicguy23 karma

Good Q. A creator (like the composer) earns ROYALTIES. A performer (like the singer) earns RESIDUALS. For singing on that episode, I DO earn residual payments. They are tiny - like in THE CHECKS.

TheNavidsonLP60 karma

I imagine he gets many checks of small dollar amounts still sent to him in the mail.

Kinoblau74 karma

I played a very, very, very small part in one episode of an NBC show years ago and even tho it was cancelled like 3 episodes into its airing I still very occasionally get checks from it. The first two were the biggest, started $14 and change and then the next one was less than a thousand but still hundreds. Those checks were maybe 2013/2014ish?

Can't imagine what the composer of Seinfeld is getting, but it's gotta be huge with the syndication and streaming revenue.

chevymonza29 karma

Whenever people talk about their jobs, you never hear about people who write these checks. How on earth do they figure out which episodes are running when, how often, how much each actor/piece of music on it is worth........guess it's easier than I'm imagining.

theghostofme73 karma

Well they have syndication/streaming deals already in place, so for regular TV they'll know when an episode airs. And for streaming, I'm sure they require the services to provide data on how many times an episode was played, for how long, and by how many people.

As for their worth to individual artists, whatever their contracts stipulated. Throw all that information into the accounting department's databases and let the computers do all the complicated work, and it's probably a matter of a few seconds per actor/artist to determine what they earned for the time period.

seinfeldmusicguy77 karma

That was a really well-presented (and correct) answer.

WhatOmg5AliveWhat297 karma

Did you have any alternative ideas for the stings or was it slap-bass all the way?

seinfeldmusicguy582 karma

Hi there T-Bone -

My little man inside is an idiot. But THIS time? I listened to him. Slap bass. All the way.

At the time, the slap bass had not yet enjoyed celebrity status as a lead instrument. Primarily, slap bass was a groove element in funk music.

So using it as a lead instrument gave the music an unexpected quirky sound.

Thanks for asking!

Robin420127 karma

Why did you call him t bone?

seinfeldmusicguy459 karma

It's the name George wanted.

theWet_Bandits255 karma

Are you master of your domain?

seinfeldmusicguy405 karma

I am a very, very bad man.

GravyBus240 karma

What's the deal with that one episode (or episodes?) with the vocals in the theme song?

seinfeldmusicguy540 karma

Long story. Hope that's OK, my Reddit peeps.

About the scat vocals in SF 301.. At the time, I had no desire to change the Seinfeld music. Jerry suggested to me (in honor of the new season) to add some scat vocals to the Music. Sure, why not?

The “lyrics” were nonsense, non-english gibberish. The singers were me and my friend (veteran studio vocalist) Angie Jaree.

I didn't LOVE the new added element. But hey - I had 9 other series to crank out, so I was too busy to obsess about it. Seinfeld still had no audience and no permanent time slot. So it seemed to matter very little.

At the mix, Jerry liked it. Larry David liked it. All good. We mixed 3 episodes with the added gibberish vocals before the 1st one (THE NOTE) aired.

The network and studio execs, who were NOT consulted concerning the added vocals, finally saw 301 and did NOT like the vocals. PLUS, they did not like that they weren't consulted first. (A valid point.)

So we re-mixed episodes 2 & 3 with normal Seinfeld music. But since THE NOTE had already aired, the scat vocals remain in this one episode.

THE NOTE is the only episode to air with those weird vocals in the opening monolog. The end credits music of that episode was "Joltin' Joe DiMaggio.” Soooo.. The End Credits version of my Seinfeld Theme with vocals? Never heard on TV. Probably a good thing. Sure wish I could have located those season 3 open-reel masters. Would have included the End Credits on the soundtrack album.

I could have done so much more. I could have got them out!

TheHappyGreenBear225 karma

What inspired you to come up with that music, specifically the opening music?

seinfeldmusicguy1205 karma

Well, Sacamano.. When Jerry called, he described to me a sound design problem: Jerry envisioned the opening credits of his show to center on him performing stand up comedy relating to the story line of the episode. He wanted a catchy recognizable "signature" music theme that would play along with his comedy monolog, but that would not interfere with the audio of his stand up material.

Watching video of Jerry’s comedy material, I noticed that his delivery has a unique funny rhythm to it. The pacing of his words, phrases & inflections has a musical quality. So I set the tempo of the Seinfeld theme by the rhythms of his speech patterns. Jerry's voice became the "melody" of the theme & I built the rest of the music around him. Instead of using drums, I tried to capture that fun, happy, quirky New York energy using digital samples of my fingersnaps & tongue and lip noises to rhythmically accompany him. (The organic nature of these sounds helps them to blend well with Jerry’s speaking voice.) The prominent simple bass line of the Seinfeld theme is in an audio range that does not compete with his voice.

Since his stand-up comedy was different each episode, the theme music had to be adapted each week to fit his routine. I architected the music to be manipulated in a modular fashion to match the timing of Jerry's lines. The Seinfeld music theme remained basically the same from week to week, but since the monologs were always different, each week his "melody" was a like a variation on the Seinfeld theme.

Although, after a few seasons, we abandoned opening & closing monologs, there were usually 30-40 transition music cues in each episode where we still hear those original sound elements.

Hope that answered your Q!

TheHappyGreenBear155 karma

Awesome!

seinfeldmusicguy527 karma

Yes, I'm breathtaking

TizardPaperclip132 karma

He wanted a catchy recognizable "signature" music theme that would play along with his comedy monolog, but that would not interfere with the audio of his stand up material.

I only just now realized that, when watching Seinfeld, I have never once been irritated by the fact that music is playing at the same time as a standup comedy act. That is the type of thing that would typically drive me batty.

The fact that I never noticed it just emphasizes what a perfect job you did.

Your work on those pieces is a remarkable achievement on many levels, and it's fascinating to learn how you went about it.

seinfeldmusicguy53 karma

The Sweet Store called..

gimmefyre203 karma

What's your favorite LD story?

seinfeldmusicguy727 karma

Plenty of Larry David stories. Here’s an EARLY one.. Larry & Jerry both loved my Seinfeld theme right away. The day I created it, Jerry came to my studio and called Larry on the phone to play it for him by holding the phone up to the speakers! Larry approved instantly.

NBC was not-so-sure about it and arranged a meeting to discuss other music options. I was in the room, and honestly - I did not feel strongly about it and whispered to LD and Glenn Padnick (our boss at Castle Rock) that I could totally create different Seinfeld music immediately.

At that point?.. Larry was more upset with ME than NBC. Larry actually threw me out of the meeting.

LD refused to change the music and Glenn Padnick stood firm with him. Thanks for asking, Pinkus.

cehnehdiehn190 karma

Some of your sound effects were you sticking your finger in your mouth, then popping it out. That must've created some spittle, so I ask... where were YOU on June 14th, 1987? Perhaps behind the bushes on a gravelly road?

seinfeldmusicguy152 karma

You giving me the crook-eye?

AngryCharizard155 karma

One of my favourite pieces of music from the show was the bouncy song that initially comes on the radio in Jean-Paul's hotel room in The Hot Tub. Did you compose that, and if so, do you think there'll ever be another Seinfeld OST release with even more obscure tracks for nerds like me?

seinfeldmusicguy291 karma

Thanks for noticing. It was only heard for a few seconds, and I was a very busy composer, so I only created a few seconds of it for that moment. NO soundtrack for YOU!

BeatnikConspiracy135 karma

How has your preference in hardware/software changed from the 90s to now? Is there something you swore by back then that you now cast aside for something else?

seinfeldmusicguy232 karma

I'm retired. Since 2005. Since then, no new hardware/software for me. No more complicated shoes.

BeatnikConspiracy79 karma

Damn, so you don't make music anymore?

seinfeldmusicguy349 karma

For many years, my career was recording new music created by me. I loved my job, and business was good. Since I retired in 2005, I have discovered joy in playing OTHER people’s music and connecting with musical memories of my youth. So when I’m left home alone and unsupervised, I sit at my piano and play music that is meaningful to me. (And sometimes I hit record on the camera and blather on Instagram while I play)

Like this - https://www.instagram.com/p/CIWrKtNAGpD/

ChristianBk126 karma

My family watched so much Seinfeld when I was a kid... my Dad, brother, and I know and love all of the episodes.

My Mom disliked it greatly.

We thought it was the subject matter, the "show about nothing" that bothered her.

But no.

Maybe a year or so ago, she told us she didn't like the show simply due to the intro / outro / slap-bass.

Kinda funny, kinda wacky, but there ya go. You made my Mom dislike Seinfeld.

Me? I think it's iconic, beautiful, and nothing could be better.

seinfeldmusicguy115 karma

Seinfeld is yummy. Tell mom this- If you’re one of us, you’ll take a bite.

Bill3D122 karma

Davie504 says you didn’t play a real bass and this hurt him deeply. Have you attempted to mend fences with bass players who already feel required to know how to play the theme song yet have PTSD from learning it was done on a keyboard?

seinfeldmusicguy344 karma

My deepest sympathies to Davie504. Here's my answer, it’s real and it’s spectacular..
Right tool - Right job. As the first (maybe only) composer to design weekly custom accompaniments for standup comedy using a slap bass, I was probably the best person to make THAT right tool choice.

By 1989, when I created the Seinfeld music, I was already the episodic composer on a bunch of series including MARRIED..WITH CHILDREN and WHO’s THE BOSS? I recorded everyday with LA’s finest studio musicians. Yeah, that’s right, everyday. Not hyperbole. If I WANTED to record the Seinfeld music on a real bass, I would have.

An Italian painter creates a great masterpiece using a special tool or finger to apply paint to canvas. And Tuscany’s reddit idiot Carlo Costanza exclaims, “I thought it was a paint brush. I’m deeply hurt!”

PS - I LOVE when bass players perform it!

yoyoq1238 karma

Who WAS the boss ?

after you answer that one:

What WAS happening ?

FiveOhFive9157 karma

Obviously it's Angela. Abed already figured it out.

theghostofme19 karma

Stephen Tobolowsky has had so many great cameos and guest roles, but Professor Sheffield might be one of my favorites of his. He's an actor who fit in perfectly with the absurdities of Greendale Community College.

seinfeldmusicguy23 karma

Stephen Tobolowsky is a wonderful actor. Always happy to see him on shows for I was the composer. Stephen played recurring roles on Blue Skies and A Whole New Ballgame. But even as one-time guest on some my other shows (The Naked Truth, It’s All Relative, Will & Grace), Stephen stole every scene

scsm67 karma

This was me in high school learning to play slap bass. ANSWER FOR YOUR CRIMES.

seinfeldmusicguy175 karma

That’s totally inappropriate. It’s lewd, lascivious, salacious, outrageous.

iDeadi100 karma

Hi Mr. Wolff!

First and second, thank you for for this AMA and for 9 seasons of slapping the bass!

My question is short and to the point.

Do you dunk your donuts?

seinfeldmusicguy126 karma

You're welcome. Twice. But I'm sorry, Kramer. Those records are permanently sealed.

Plane-Task547487 karma

Hi Jonathan What was it like when the finale came around and you had that one last piece to compose for Seinfeld? Also since you retired in 2005 does that mean all those sweet sweet Seinfeld checks bought you a condo in Del Bocca Vista where you are all over that shuffle board court?

seinfeldmusicguy119 karma

Sweet, sweet Seinfeld checks. Nice description. And yes, I'm retired. Working on the Finale was bittersweet. Loved seeing all these guest cast back on our set, but sad it was our final episode. HOWEVER, I'm really happy that there were a couple of music pieces from that episode that were soundtrack-worthy - The Suitcase Montage and Waiting for the Verdict Blues

vboston77786 karma

HEEELLLOOOOOO Jonathan! La la la HOLA!
This is your pal Vince Boston, writer and producer of SEINFELD the MUSICAL.
Thank you for being a part of the greatest sitcom of ALL TIME!
Congrats on the new album. Would like to send you some tix to opening night for Seinfeld the Musical. We plan on hitting Louisville KY for Lebowskifest. Are you a golfer? The Dude abides! Keep Louisville Weird!
Q: What are some of your fav TV theme songs, and what made you want to devote your career to writing them? What are some of the qualities of a GREAT theme song?
Also what do you think is the staying power of all things Seinfeld (especially the TV show)?
Thanks!
Vince Boston
#1 Seinfeld fan

seinfeldmusicguy97 karma

Too many Qs, Vince. How bout this? I'll choose one.. My answers here are already too long for Reddit. I can feel people yawning. My list of faves and influences would fill pages. But here’s a short list from my youth:

Pink Panther - Henry Mancini

Courtship of Eddie’s Father - Harry Nilsson

Sanford & Son - Quincy Jones

Welcome Back Kotter - John Sebastian

Barney Miller - Jack Elliott and Allyn Ferguson

More recently, the TV work of these composers is so good, it’s really annoying:

House of Cards - Jeff Beal

Walking Dead - Bear McCreary

Helpsters - Paul Buckley

Castle Rock - Thomas Newman

Ozark - Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans

The Outsider - Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans

Sherlock - David Arnold & Michael Price

parrisjd77 karma

What gave you the idea of a banjo for the Peterman reality tour, and why does it work so well?

seinfeldmusicguy108 karma

The J Peterman Reality Bus crappy banjo? LOVE that bit. (shameless plug warning) It's even on the Seinfeld Official Soundtrack album. My memory is that Spike Feresten (who wrote The Muffin Tops) pitched that banjo idea to me.

Thesundots67 karma

How did you acquire an ear for determining the quality and usability of the virtual and synthesized instruments that you used throughout your career? Thanks for all the great music :)

seinfeldmusicguy153 karma

I was the composer for 75 series. Even I, Lord of the Idiots, learned from all that experience.

ash970065 karma

Is Newman the most underrated sitcom character of all time?

seinfeldmusicguy94 karma

We had a number of them on Seinfeld

jeeperz_creeperz59 karma

Did you get final say on the music composition or did it have to get approval by others too ?

seinfeldmusicguy141 karma

I reported directly to the execs, or sometimes to the episode's writer. Good question, Cartright. I don't remember any music I created for Seinfeld being thrown out, except in cases where they decided to go withOUT music. Example: I created a bunch of Chinese background restaurant music for The Chinese Restaurant episode. Not used.

bkpiazza55 karma

Did you ever make up words in your head to the Seinfeld main theme? I found myself listening to it so much over the years I made a verse to go with it.

Also, are you a fancy boy?

seinfeldmusicguy70 karma

HA! People on the Seinfeld set sometimes made up words for the theme. Me? Not-so-much, Isosceles.

kryonik50 karma

I remember watching this short little video on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVldNNHQWVw) a while back and in it you said you made unique intro songs to match the cadence of Jerry's standup every episode. Was the rest of the music unique to each episode as well or was that re-used for the most part?

seinfeldmusicguy60 karma

Just peeked at it. 747,507 views?!! Yikes. Don't know which is worse - the braces, the cricket sweater, the shorts.. Who wears THAT to work? Clearly (at the time) I did not expect anyone to actually ever SEE this video!!

After a few seasons, Jerry mentioned to me that loved the fresh evolving sounds of the slap bass. BUT.. he asked if we could sometimes sprinkle in some of the more classic older sounding cues. So the answer to your Q is.. BOTH.

NinjaRealist44 karma

Who was right, Elaine or the Soup Nazi?

seinfeldmusicguy91 karma

No Comment. HOWEVER, I'll say this.. Really LOVE that Larry Thomas, in frowning character (& in costume), still makes appearances. Such a beloved Seinfeld ambassador to the world
Larry's performance as the Soup Nazi was so compelling, it's hard to think of him in other roles. HOWEVER.. Larry was also a wonderful guest on a few of my OTHER shows - Caroline in the City, The Tony Danza Show, and The Geena Davis Show

np2041235 karma

Did you come up with George's outgoing message?

seinfeldmusicguy119 karma

The Susie was written by David Mandel, who probably came up with that gag. I did not write that song, but yeah, it was a funny assignment for me - creating the instrumental tracks for George’s answering machine message & recording Jason singing it.

Since Jason's singing (as George) sounded too good, after Jason left the studio, I pitched (de-tuned) the music track a little flat, making Jason's singing sound a little sharp. Evil.

My instrumental tracks are on the Soundtrack album so that you Reddit people can sing your OWN voicemail messages

Pepperoni_Admiral31 karma

Did you write the musical number for Rochelle Rochelle solo, or did anyone else have any input? (Larry David, Bette herself, etc.) The journey of Rochelle Rochelle from throwaway line about a B rated erotic thriller to Broadway sensation remains one of my favorite Seinfeld bits.

seinfeldmusicguy35 karma

Yes Beef-a-Reeno, I actually had the silly honor of creating the opening song of "Rochelle, Rochelle the Musical." At the time, the weepy Tonya Harding reference was really funny. But since TH (& her bootlace) has faded from pop culture memory.. it's just another funny scene about..nothing!

Delco2429 karma

When composing, did you have the raw episode video playing for inspiration or was the music created entirely from just reading what was in the script? Seems like the latter would be very difficult.

P.S. Love the music that was used at the end of the episode when Morty gets impeached and leaves in disgrace.

seinfeldmusicguy87 karma

Thanks for noticing. THE CADILLAC PT 2 Busy episode for me. First, the Kramer and cable guy chase scene. Cinematic action music with Seinfeld chase scenes became a recurring Seinfeld comedy tradition. I always scored the Seinfeld chases as if they were SERIOUS dramatic chases. So it seemed right to ALSO cinematically score the end scene (a pastiche of the movie "Nixon”) as Morty and family leave the impeached (& disgraced) president's home with quiet regal dignity.

About WHEN the music was created? Long answer. But a good Q. So I'll try.. About a week before an episode begins shooting, each production department receives a script so they can prepare (wardrobe, props, set dressing..). I (or someone on my team) reads the script and databases a “to-do” list of music pieces &/or on-stage music assistance that this episode might need. SOMETIMES, it’s necessary to PRE-produce music - BEFORE they shoot the scenes. Example: When there’s ON-CAMERA singing or dancing, I need to create the music recordings far enough in advance so the other departments (actors, dancers, choreographer, director, camera crew) have time to prepare for the shoot.

Examples: John Jermaine Jazz, Kramer's Rock video shoot

ALSO, I can record IN ADVANCE - music that will be part of the OFF-camera background audio for a scripted scene.

Examples: Kramer's Boombox music for George's photo shoot or tinkling piano background in a restaurant

THESE elements will be created and set aside, till the episode for which they were created is ready to add music in POST production. After we receive the final locked edited picture, my music editor places them into the episode.

POST is ALSO the time to compose music - scored TO PICTURE

Examples: Underscore that heightens a dramatic or emotional scene (The Nixon music, chase scenes, Himalayan Walking Shoes) or serves as a comedic device or transition between scenes.

Sorry for prattling. Thought this deserved a thoughtful answer.

Seanfeld_27 karma

Hey Jonathan Wolff! I'm a lifelong fan of Seinfeld and always loved your theme you made. My question is who was your favorite person you got to meet from the show and why? Thanks for doing this AMA!

seinfeldmusicguy47 karma

9 years, every episode, John-John. Too many wonderful folks to pick a fave. HOWEVER, accompanying Mel Torme live on piano was (as the kids say) a #gooddayatwork

omgburritos26 karma

Who is your favorite jazz pianist?

seinfeldmusicguy60 karma

There's no answer to that. Never is. That list is WAY too long for this AMA. But it certainly includes Bill, Oscar, Art, Chick, Herbie, Monk, Art, Ahmad, Fats, Errol, Horace, ..

Winocerotops25 karma

Is Larry David like his Curb Your Enthusiasm persona?

seinfeldmusicguy58 karma

Definitely NOT a Must-Lie Situation. Short answer - YES!

rnrnicole23 karma

What was your approach and inspiration for Big Daddy Pimp walk?

seinfeldmusicguy64 karma

Fond memory.. As if “Big Daddy” Kramer’s outfit and pimpwalk wasn't enough of a cultural slur, I added to it by creating that urban/street/soul/hip-hop/funk groove to underscore the moment. THAT was my inspiration. Guilty.

stewie31022 karma

Do you get to collect royalties each time an episode airs?

seinfeldmusicguy66 karma

Doesn't work exactly like that. But yes, the more it airs or streams, the more, um.. satisfying my royalties become, Mulva.

N19H4LJ21 karma

What made u become a music composer? Like what inspired u and what was ur journey?

seinfeldmusicguy48 karma

That's a looooong answer for Reddit. Like a Yuri Testikov manuscript. But if really interested, here's a talk I gave about it https://youtu.be/k_lgHJ2evEU

LawLayLewLayLow21 karma

Would you be interested in doing music for the new Seinfeld-inspired Horror Game, Sinfeld Remastered?

https://youtu.be/T5YuS59sQe0

seinfeldmusicguy50 karma

Well, Dingo.. Thanks for asking, BUT (as previously stated).. I am happily fully retired. Had a nice long turn-at-bat. Created a LOT of music. Now? It's somebody else's turn. Final answer.

boatshoebro20 karma

Hi Jonathan! Hoping you could put to rest the age old debate of what machine actually did that slap bass. Was it off the Kurzweil or a hidden rack module? Cheers!

seinfeldmusicguy70 karma

Kurzweil? Korg? Yamaha? That’s the biggest scam perpetrated on the American public since one-hour martinizing. Ok.. Happy to repeat this answer as often as required. About the [above mentioned synths].. Silly myths. Many commercial synth manufacturers (Korg, 360 Systems, Roland, Yamaha, etc) offered stock slap basses. Amateur music wonks sometimes post with absolute CERTAINTY that I used a factory sound from about 10 different synths (depending on which wonk is posting). Ridicurous. Let's banish such wonkiness from Reddit. Serenity now.

Here's the REAL story about the Seinfeld sonic brand.. The Seinfeld bass sounds were frankenstein-engineered from multiple sampled bass guitars, using sample edits, compression, EQ, phase manipulation and gain staging. I triggered the notes using a keyboard controller, often a Kurzweil, which (to mimbos viewing interview videos of me working) is sometimes confused with the actual source. No synth for you.

In fact, there were multiple Seinfeld bass hybrids throughout the show. It became a thing around my office for my staff to leave me gift bass samples to weave into Seinfeld cues. That's how the Seinfeld sound evolved over time. Sorry for the rant. Pass the word.

palbuddy123419 karma

Any cool Julia Louis Dreyfus stories? Love her in Veep.

seinfeldmusicguy26 karma

JLD is da bomb!

r00t112 karma

did you go onto the studio? Did you ever see Garry Shandling? The Larry Sanders show was filming in the next studio and there were some cross overs on the Larry Sanders show. Can you tell us about Garry Shandling.

seinfeldmusicguy23 karma

I love Reddit. I can make sarcastic remarks to strangers. Don't know anything about Garry (except that he's a comedy genius).

davisyoung12 karma

Did you have a hand in selecting music for the show like the mambo number when Kramer and Newman were making sausages?

seinfeldmusicguy28 karma

That wacky boombox organ music? It’s an Ultra-Lounge recording by organist Jackie Davis (Collection: Mambo Fever). The song is Peggy Lee’s “Mañana (Is Soon Enough For Me)” Like adding secret funny sauce. Usually, those licensed pieces were pitched by my genius music editor, Jack Diamond.

Wiltron12 karma

Does an uncut, studio line (meaning no audience or character talk over) of the George Answering Machine MP3 exist?

And if yes, why have you chosen to hoard it?

seinfeldmusicguy27 karma

HEY! That's 2 Q's! That’s like putting your whole mouth right in the dip! I dub thee.. Fusilli Wiltron. Good news, FW -
It's on the Seinfeld Official Soundtrack Album and is available on all digital music platforms.

Like these - https://lnk.to/Seinfeld

or here - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0977X3WCD/

Mrpliskin010 karma

How do you celebrate Festivus?

seinfeldmusicguy25 karma

By telling the story of the FESTIVUS connection with Judge Reinhold, who plays the close talker in THE RAINCOATS 2-part episode.
It’s well-known that when (Seinfeld writer) Dan O’keefe was a child, his Dad created Festivus, a holiday celebrated in the O'Keefe family. LESS known is that Dan's brother, Mark O'Keefe, created a TV series called "The O'Keefe's" that was loosely based on their unusual and interesting childhood family experiences. Judge Reinhold played Mark & Dan’s dad. It was a really fun and clever show. (Yup, I composed for that one too.) But it lasted only one season. “I could've done so much more!”

osakahedgehog10 karma

Hi, I'm a big fan of the recent soundtrack. Are there any tracks that got left off and could there be a 2nd soundtrack release?

seinfeldmusicguy23 karma

So glad you like the album. Me too. With so much distance and time between the Seinfeld production years and my life today, I'm actually able to view the show (AND the music) much differently from when I was working on it every week. So now? I'm just another Seinfeld fan. That helped me make the tough playlist choices. Much of the first few seasons’ music was recorded on analog (open reel) tape. Those masters were turned over to Castle Rock at the end of each season. The location of those reels (if they still exist) is unknown.

So I started with the list of recordings I COULD locate. Then, from those recordings, I chose music for inclusion based on one of these reasons.

a) The scripted role of the music in the scene. Examples.. "The Jerry Show” Theme “Jesus is One” on Puddy’s car radio Peterman Reality Bus crappy banjo Boombox jam for George’s semi-naked photo shoot

b) The memorable scene for which I created the music. Examples.. Kramer’s Pimpwalk Jerry the Mailman Himalayan Walking Shoes Cable guy chasing Kramer

I'm happy with my choices. Although I was the composer on 75series, this soundtrack album, my ONLY soundtrack album, is the only one I ever really wanted to make. A 2nd album is not likely.

crispyshark9 karma

Hey, thanks for doing this!

Was there an episode that was particularly difficult to lay down the slap bass for?

seinfeldmusicguy22 karma

If you mean a particular MONOLOG.. Only the FIRST one. I was building the plane while flying it.

Bishop688 karma

So putting aside the fact you worked for Seinfeld... Seinfeld or Curb your enthusiasm?

seinfeldmusicguy20 karma

What do you think, Junior?

gylphin7 karma

Did you do anything special for the sound effects in the assman episode? Did you link effects to particular puns you had in mind? If you were going to make a seinfeld sounding vaporwave album now, how would you start?

seinfeldmusicguy28 karma

Usually wouldn't answer that question, even if it were deep fried in chocolate sauce. I created music. Sound effects were somebody else's gig, Biff. And Vaperwave? I love that question. However, I retired in 2005. I had to actually look that term up!

rnrnicole7 karma

Do you have any favorites on the Soundtrack?

seinfeldmusicguy28 karma

Thanks for asking about the album. Except for George’s answering machine, I wrote ALL the music on the Seinfeld Soundtrack Album. Each track is special to me. I mostly selected Seinfeld FAN favorites for inclusion on the album. Music that was FEATURED audio in the scene, played a memorable role in the COMEDY, or is instantly recognizable as an identifying signature for a favorite Seinfeld SCENE.

I actually made an IG video for this Q: https://www.instagram.com/p/CRXkXtoANb6/

gjoeyjoe6 karma

4, 5, or 6 string: whats your pick?

seinfeldmusicguy29 karma

Such a decision is entirely decided by the music to be performed. It's not a lifestyle choice.

NotMyRealName7785 karma

as a fan what's your favorite moment in the show?

seinfeldmusicguy13 karma

Really loved seeing former co-workers on our Seinfeld set. So some of those moments are now my fan faves. Example: Long before Seinfeld, I was the composer for “Square Pegs" which (along with Sarah Jessica Parker) co-starred Jami Gertz (can't spare a square) and Tracy Nelson (George's girlfriend in "The Cartoon" who looked like Jerry).

GrammarPolice12345 karma

How many other projects were you working on at the time of Seinfeld and how much time did it take out of each day?

seinfeldmusicguy17 karma

You don't get 75 series by doing them one-at-a-time. I slept very little. Thanks for asking, Bubble Boy. In a typical week during the 90s, I created music for 10 episodes a week. Each for a different series. My crew was amazing. Could not have done it without them.

vik_singh4 karma

Would you ever consider expanding on the Seinfeld riff and create a whole album with the same theme? I'd love to have something like that playing in the background like elevator music in my house.

seinfeldmusicguy9 karma

It’s Stan the Caddy. Giving advice. Welcome.  There actually ARE 3 very different versions of the theme on the Soundtrack Album. 1st 3 tracks. Here’s the @watertowermusic YouTube channel where each of the tracks on the Seinfeld Official Soundtrack album can be found:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGkQCAeRjyP9BpNwVFMaJaw

JasonIRL4 karma

There is one scene that has stuck in my mind for over a decade, and I think it's because of the combination of the music and Kramer's acting: S3E40 The Keys. I mean, I love the whole series, but that little moment is just somehow imprinted on me. Can you tell me a story about creating the music for that scene?

seinfeldmusicguy13 karma

About the music for Kramer’s car radio..

I was still using open reel tape to record season 3 music. I turned those reels over to Castle Rock at season end. Their current whereabouts are unknown. So, when choosing music for this album, I was unable to locate the master recording of that head-banging-speed-metal. I appreciate you remembering it, but honestly? I probably spent about 4minutes creating it, knowing that it would be lo-fi effected (cheap car radio speaker) and heard for only a few seconds before the engine sounds became the primary audio. Probably would have not been album worthy anyways.

Actually called Larry Charles about a different scene in that episode.. “Hey Larry - Yeah, it’s Wolff. How about I add some Cowboy Country Truckin radio music to this scene?” He warned me to keep the volume low.

CloudCitiesonVenus3 karma

I am obsessed with the idea that the theme song is a very modified cover of, or strongly influenced by, My Prerogative by Bobby Brown. I thought it was common knowledge until recently finding out that nobody else thought this. It even makes sense - Jerry’s the “didja ever notice this, ever notice that” guy and I thought it was kind of an inside joke. Have you ever heard this before? Were you influenced at all by that tune?

seinfeldmusicguy13 karma

Um, no.

sarcgasm2 karma

If you had to compose a Seinfeld-esque intro or filler for Loki what would it sound like? I will accept the answer in scat form.

seinfeldmusicguy8 karma

Not going there. The music on LOKI is totally compelling. Masterful work. Really.

Not that there's anything wrong with that

KingNebbachadnezzer2 karma

Have you started a podcast? & you could invite everybody who appeared on an episode & to give break downs on the particular episode with the guest including an up to date bio of what they do now & call it Seinfeld Aftermath because it was the best running sitcom on tv

seinfeldmusicguy23 karma

Perhaps you've heard of me. I'm really famous for this. I was the one-and-only person who did NOT start a podcast during quarantine.

danmanx2 karma

Did you enjoy the frogger bit? I always thought that was a great scene.

seinfeldmusicguy6 karma

A little broad for my taste. But yes, it was funny. Same episode included the ridiculous over-the-top fun Lopper storyline. Couldn't help myself. Had to throw in with slasher movie terror underscore. Guilty! And yes, it's on the Seinfeld Official Soundtrack album!

Drblackcobra2 karma

What do you do currently?

seinfeldmusicguy2 karma

My kids are grown. Don't need me 24/7. Sooo.. When COVID is done, I'll get back to University lectures. Mostly Law Schools, but also Music Conservatories. I also do corporate concerts and public speaking.

superdicksicles1 karma

I know you don’t actually slappa da bass in the intro song, but do you slappa da bass irl?

seinfeldmusicguy2 karma

Used to. Now my only instrument is piano.

Youwillbe_Youwillbe1 karma

[deleted]

seinfeldmusicguy3 karma

Asked and answered

Dsmith23871 karma

Can you compose a snappy music bed to play under Kramer’s incident a few years back?

seinfeldmusicguy10 karma

C’mon, Farfel. This is Reddit iAMA, not career day at Edward R. Murrow Junior High School. Pack it up. No more soup for you. Next!

[deleted]0 karma

[deleted]

seinfeldmusicguy4 karma

Love the enthusiasm. But that's a lotta Qs. I'm an old man. I get easily confused. If I catch up on some of these other questions, I'll get back to you.

This is MY AMA. I have HAND!

AtlantaFilmMaker-1 karma

Today’s the birthday of my friend Alex, can you wish him a happy birthday for me?

seinfeldmusicguy12 karma

Happy birthday? No such thing.

lostkarma4anonymity-1 karma

How much did they pay you?

seinfeldmusicguy4 karma

Enough to hire an Uber that’ll take me far away from shallow questions like that.