How Tyler Perry offered a two-word theme and songwriter Ruth B. brought tears to his eyes.
“I’ve always wanted to work with the Beach Boys,” Perry told me. “It started as a joke, but we made it a reality.”
In September 2013 Perry, who lives in L.A., accepted an invitation from Brian Wilson and Al Jarreau.
They wanted him to write a song for the movie Pacific Rim. Perry obliged.
“Brian, I’m writing a song for the Pacific Rim movie,” he said. “It’s called ‘Kiss My Guts’ and it will be my theme song.”
Two days later Perry received an email from Jarreau asking, “Could you write a song for me?”
Perry, now 43, has always been a chameleon, moving among the music he’s played, but never really stopping there. He did the song “You Oughta Know” for the movie Step Up 2: The Streets, for which he wrote the songs “Work” and “Party in P.U.S.” for the film’s soundtrack. He did the theme song for the Nickelodeon show Victorious, and the theme from his show I’m in the Band, “You’re the Best Thing About Me.”
I asked Perry about his process for writing songs and if he was looking to make an imprint.
“It’s very different if you do it for television or movies,” he said. “For television it’s a big deal because there are a lot more constraints so you have to find ways to make the songs catchy and fun for the viewer with a little less of a musical backing. For movies all you need is a melody so you can just put together a song as you write it.”
He has played with the Beach Boys’ Mike Love, Paul McCartney and others.
“With the Beach Boys I don’t think of them as artists anymore,” he said. “They do what they do musically and they do their thing, and they don’t try to make a statement. I admire that. I just do my thing and do it well