Remember how cute it was that Chris Pratt’s hero in “Guardians of the Galaxy” totes around a mix tape from his late mother? Planet to planet, stolen ship to shoot-out — all set to tunes like “Hooked on a Feeling” or “I’m Not in Love” or “Cherry Bomb,” “Go All the Way,” etc.” heard on Peter Quill’s Sony Walkman?
Sure, it felt like pandering to a fanboy demo trapped in 1970s classic rock and pop, but it was adorable, right?
That’s what those hacks the Russos were trying to tap into by having a sickly little girl obsess over a tune by Mark Lindsay, formerly of Paul Revere and the Raiders, in “The Gray Man.” After leaving his group, the solo Lindsay had a couple of anthemic hits — big arrangements, soaring melodies, power chords with horns like “Arizona” and the song used in the movie — this one, “Silver Bird.”
It’s not explained, a song that predates the child, the child’s parents and almost predates her uncle, an ex-spook played by Billy Bob Thornton.
Why does she like it? No idea. How obvious is this “Guardians” pilfering? Pretty obvious. Even the fact that the Russos went to Lindsay, whose tunes turned up in Tarantino’s latest and “Licorice Pizza,” seems like something they “lifted” from their betters.
How cheesy is the tune?
Well, maybe little Claire’s uncle was into motorcycles. Maybe he remembered “Silver Bird” was sold as a jingle, almost straight off, to a Japanese motorcycle company trying to make early ’70s inroads into the American market.
“Silver Bird, won’t you fly me a-waaaaay” became “Yama-HAaaaaaa, today is the day.”
Stupid memory, remembering that. Stupid movie, punching in that ear worm. Stupid Youtube. They even have the Yamaha commercial!