Back to Main Page Danny Elfman

Danny Elfman grew up in Southern California, blowing up action figures and performing radioactivity experiments on insects. Danny followed his older brother, Richard, to Europe, where Danny began performing in Richard's troupe, The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo. Elfman originally played violin and ate fire.

By the late '70's, the Mystic Knights sort of came apart and Danny started the band Oingo Boingo. The band was a hit in LA, and eventually gained national recognition. Even then, Danny's music made its way onto movie soundtracks, but mostly just the pop song album (see: Weird Science).

In the mid-'80's, Tim Burton and Paul Reubens asked Elfman to score Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. Danny continued writing music for films (Batman) and television shows (The Simpsons) while remaining the lead singer of Oingo Boingo, until the band's break up in 1995.

Danny Elfman's music and Tim Burton's films always work brilliantly together, and even earned Elfman a Grammy nomination for The Nightmare Before Christmas. Despite this prolific composer's bankability, he is a bit of an outsider among other film score composers. We all just figure they're jealous that even without expensive academic training, Danny has become a success. In the 1997 Oscars, though, Elfman was nominated in both film score categories, for Good Will Hunting and Men in Black. Too bad that was the year of the Titanic.

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Music for a Darkened People

Danny Elfman Images

LA Times Mag Cover LA Times inset Elfman at home With keyboard With percussion LA Times Sunday Mag Juju dolls Skull

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