Grammy winner: Harold Faltermeyer: A lucky child turns 70

Harold Faltermeyer is just getting one of his greatest successes: "Top Gun: Maverick".

Grammy winner: Harold Faltermeyer: A lucky child turns 70

Harold Faltermeyer is just getting one of his greatest successes: "Top Gun: Maverick". Tom Cruise is in front of the camera in the blockbuster movie. Also on board: the music of the producer, composer and musician who lives near Munich. Harold Faltermeyer celebrates his 70th birthday on October 5th. But he doesn't want to know anything about cutting back. On the contrary.

"I get up at five every day," says the three-time Grammy winner of the German Press Agency. You can believe him, because his work as a soundtrack composer is just one of his many talents: he brews his own beer, makes white sausages, writes plays, paints at a professional level and plays golf. He also has a pilot's license. When there is expansion work to be done on his property, he gets into the excavator himself. "I get things done. Sitting around and wasting time is not my thing," he says.

"Beverly Hills Cop" soundtrack is immortal

This tackling is typical of the Upper Bavarian all-rounder. A trait that has not only brought him worldwide success, but also – in his opinion – a happy life. Luck can be forced to a certain extent, he says: "If you invest a lot, you get a lot back."

His international career began with a multi-bar synthesizer melody: the unmistakable signet of "Axel F." from the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack. There's hardly a day that you can't hear the song from 1984 on the radio. A music classic - but also an artistically difficult birth: "The director wanted something completely new," recalls Faltermeyer. "We tried and experimented with everything possible, but nothing was convincing." Voices in the team have already been raised to try an orchestra. "I had no choice but to flee forward, and then this crazy melody flew to me."

His parents, Anneliese and Hugo Faltermeyer, laid the foundation for this success. They introduced their offspring to the piano at the age of six - and soon the little one showed great talent in dealing with the white and black keys. He studied piano and trumpet at the Munich Music Academy, at the same time he founded his first band, Melodic Sound, with Stefan Zauner, who later became a singer of the Münchner Freiheit.

After graduating, Faltermeyer worked for hit supplier Giorgio Moroder on various albums (including "Hot Stuff" by Donna Summer) and on the first soundtracks ("Midnight Express", "American Gigolo"). Another stroke of luck, because that's how Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer ("Beverly Hills Cop", "Top Gun") became aware of him and hired him for major film productions.

He is also active as a painter

"You're always at a crossroads in life," says the down-to-earth star. "Taking the right turn is the big task." In his own words, Faltermeyer also took the right turn in his private life. He is married to a journalist. "We lead a wonderful life and a relationship at eye level," he says, adding: "She is very fond of music and art. That fits perfectly."

At 70, Harold Faltermeyer is perhaps riding his highest wave of success: "Top Gun: Maverick" is running, his play "Do you need a receipt?" he wrote together with René Heinersdorff. (with Anja Kruse and Ingolf Lück) receives top reviews and as an expressionist painter he is in the process of establishing another mainstay. He wants to celebrate his 70th birthday in a Munich gallery with friends and companions.

And yet it could be that he has released his last soundtrack work with "Top Gun: Maverick": "I'm toying with the idea that it's over now."