Meet the Sitkan behind the ‘crappy clarinet taking part in’ of Squidward Tentacles

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A man wearing headphones and speaking into a microphone in a radio studio
Brad Carow is a current addition to Raven Radio’s gifted volunteer pool. His present “Groovin Arduous with Brad Carow” airs each Monday from 6:30-8 p.m. (Katherine Rose/KCAW)

Though the present “SpongeBob SquarePants” was rigorously directed at a cartoon-loving demographic within the late Nineteen Nineties, elements of the delightfully offbeat manufacturing had been blissful accidents. Like SpongeBob’s jazzophile neighbor Squidward Tentacles and his considerably random clarinet performances.

The musical genius of Squidward may be traced again to at least one one who now lives in Sitka and shares his presents each week on his personal radio program.

Take heed to this story:

Brad Carow grew up in Los Angeles — a “valley child,” born and raised within the San Fernando Valley.

“My father labored within the movie trade, he was a sound results man,” Carow stated. “He had a buddy who bought me a job as the driving force for an animation firm. And after a month, they favored me they usually bought me into the editors union, and I used to be an apprentice sound results editor.”

He was engaged on cartoons like Heathcliff. And shortly he made the transfer to Common Studios, then Warner Brothers.

“It was a magical time being on the lot within the eighties, as a result of the actual icons of movie had been nonetheless round,” he stated. “And you could possibly see them, you already know, meet them.”

He’d see actors like Ernest Borgnine strolling across the lot, and Anthony Perkins, who was directing Psycho 3 on the time. At some point he helped Jimmy Stewart discover his approach to Stage 4. And he met just a few animation legends within the eighties too, like Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny.

“He was a very, very nice man,” Carow stated. “In fact, he was a unclean outdated man. He had a watch that had a unadorned woman on it, however he was a cool cat.”

It took about ten years for Carow to go from assistant to affiliate movie editor, then to full fledged movie editor.

Ultimately he ended up at Nickelodeon Studios. And someday he discovered himself enhancing the pilot for a brand new present a couple of yellow kitchen sponge that will find yourself rocking the world of childrens’ tv from a pineapple beneath the ocean.

That’s proper — SpongeBob SquarePants. Carow was requested by the creator, the late Stephen Hillenburg, to put in writing a music for the present that sounded just like the theme to the sixties present The Mod Squad. Carow wrote a chunk and recorded it within the studio with trombone and trumpet gamers recording a number of elements, together with bass, piano and drums — he performed all 5 saxophone elements himself.

“Steve got here into the studio, he heard it as soon as. He stated, ‘That’s the fitting one.’ Carow stated. “And he needed it to be the primary title for the collection,” Carow continued. “However Nickelodeon stated, ‘No, no, no, we would like one thing that has lyrics and tells the backstory of the characters.’”

“If they’d used that music as the primary title theme, I wouldn’t need to work for a dwelling, you already know? However that’s okay,” Carow stated.

Regardless that they didn’t decide his theme, Carow went on to put in writing songs for the present, together with the Jellyfish Jam. He even wrote the music for the F.U.N. music — you already know, the one which drove mother and father up the wall within the early aughts?

However maybe his largest contribution to the SpongeBob universe is a mediocre jazz efficiency that has now turn into iconic.

“Steve remembered that I performed clarinet, and he stated, ‘You play clarinet, don’t you?’ I stated, ‘Yeah.’ Properly, he stated, ‘You understand, we now have a personality on SpongeBob who performs a clarinet. Would you be curious about masking that half? I stated, ‘Positive.’ Properly, that was about 23 years in the past.”

Squidward is a grumpy, jazz loving octopus who lives subsequent door to the child-like SpongeBob and his buddy Patrick. Squidward laments their interruptions of his clarinet apply.

“All of the clarinet I play, I’m improvising, proper? So it’s thought of an authentic composition,” Carow stated. “So I’m the proprietor of all that crappy clarinet taking part in that Squidward does.”

Carow spent 30 years within the movie trade. However someday he’d had sufficient. He determined he needed to modify careers and turn into a therapist, one thing he had slightly expertise with as a taxi driver in LA.

“Folks would get in my cab and simply spill their guts to me and inform me the whole lot about them as a result of they by no means see me once more,” he stated. “And that was once I realized that ‘Hey, I’m a fairly good listener.’ So it was going again to that, that actually made me really feel like ‘Yeah, I feel I may do that.’”

Now he’s labored within the psychological well being discipline as a therapist for 10 years. He says that whereas he’s pleased with his a long time within the movie trade, he wouldn’t return.

He’s nonetheless capable of have time for his artistic pursuits, like music. He nonetheless performs Squidward’s clarinet when the SpongeBob showrunners want it for an episode. He’s in an-up-and-coming native saxophone quartet.

And he has a present on Raven Radio known as Groovin’ Arduous with Brad Carow. It’s all about one thing he shares along with his clarinet counterpart, Squidward: his love of jazz.

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