Jeff: I miss watching Saturday morning cartoons. Don’t you? But more than watching them, I miss listening to their cheesy awesome theme songs. Darkwing Duck (“Whenever there’s trouble you call Dee-Double-You!”), Gummi Bears (“Bouncing here and there and ev-ry-where!”), The Smurfs (“La LA la-la la laa…!”)…such great touchstones in the pantheon of music genius. And now, we join that pantheon, with the theme to the ever-popular hit TV show that always won it’s timeslot in the lucrative Harrisburg-Chambersburg-Hagerstown market in the fall of 1988, Thunder-Bal!™

Jeremy: Behind every great theme song is a great artist. Brandon Maserati (born Marcel Lamborghini) saw his fair share of musical identities in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Probably best known as the original drummer for Blood Punch, Maserati was also the touring keyboardist for Julius Seizure and the Roman Candles, Piston Partridge, and Robo-Steven, with a short stint on tambourine, electric kazoo, and backing vocals for Germany’s most prolific electronic death-polka outfit, Princëss Drëss. After touring ran its course, Brandon branched out into solo songwriting. At the top of his game, with a short list of pop music’s best in his personal rolodex, Maserati saw the opportunity of a lifetime when asked to pen the theme song to what was to become the hit movie The Neverending Story. With the ink barely dry on the deal, studio execs tore up Maserati’s contract, after finding out that Britain pop star Limahl was interested in the job. Limahl, recently divorced from Kajagoogoo, running on the full steam of the band’s hit “Too Shy” seemed like an obvious choice for the role. Brandon was ousted.

After this devastating blow, Brandon Maserati disappeared from the music industry almost overnight, and for the next several years not much was heard from him. Flying under the radar, it was rumored that Brandon had taken to not shaving and consuming only boxed macaroni & cheese and powdered lemonade mix. It wasn’t until June of 1987 that fans applauded his return to music on the short-lived 6th reunion summer tour of Blood Punch, which saw Maserati back on drums. The tour lasted only 14 days, as in-fighting in the band caused Blood Punch to cancel its remaining tour dates in Spain, West Africa, Peoria, and Australia, after its singer Piotr Saab and lead guitarist The Fist destroyed a cafe in Madrid with an epic no-holds-barred brouhaha. Despite the disastrous end to the tour, Brandon emerged with a new sense of purpose, and an impressive beard to boot. Songwriting began anew, as Maserati found a home recording his music in the form of Saturday morning cartoon show theme songs, the best-loved and most remembered being “Thunder-Bal”.

We owe a debt of gratitude to our friend Michael Ferrari, the man behind the helmet and hammer of Brandon Maserati. Michael created the song after receiving lyrics from Jeff, and some minimal instruction from me. When he first sent me the song, I was doubled over my office chair laughing. Michael really gave us exactly what we were looking for (and more!), which was a cartoon show theme song for Thunder-Bal that felt like it was produced in the 80s, in all its dated regalia! Please go check out Michael’s music and follow him on twitter. Thank you so much, Michael!