Just over 39 years ago on the 20th July 1973, one of the most talented martial artists to emerge onto the world scene passed away. Bruce Lee was about to have dinner in Hong Kong with George Lazenby of James Bond fame, but failed to appear. The previous May, he had been hospitalized with a cerebral edema, but had made some recovery. After having complained of a headache earlier in the day, he had taken aspirin and a muscle relaxant. Lee had failed to wake up following a subsequent nap, and a sensational talent was lost to the world. As we approach an exciting period in time, in the event of the 2012 Olympics, it is worthwhile spending a moment to lament the memory of this fine Chinese athlete who brought his enthusiasm for martial arts to the world forum in a way that revolutionised not just Hollywood, but also awakened peoples’ awareness of the martial arts, and also changed the way people thought about fitness. His hybrid martial art style, Jeet Kune Do, was integral in laying down the path for contemporary fighting styles, which ultimately lead to Gracie Ju Jitsu and the formation of UFC fighting. His understanding of fitness nutrition had him drinking home-made protein shakes decades before they became a must-have for any professional sports professional.
I put together this little tune in memory, and can only wonder at what else this wonderful character may have achieved had he not lost his life at the tragic age of 32.
Enter The Dragon 
‘Enter The Dragon’ was Lee’s big Hollywood break. It was a joint production between Hong Kong’s Golden Harvest studio and Hollywood’s Warner Brothers studio. Featuring a host of martial arts stars and actors, such as US karate champion Jim Kelly, Chinese body-builder and martial artist, Bolo Yeung, and US actor, John Saxon, it was a global celebration of the martial arts. It was the breakout film that was to project the name of Bruce Lee to a global audience. With it’s combination of Bond-style espionage plot elements, fighting, lavish sets and a cracking score by Lalo Schiffrin, it became the film I’ve watched more than any other. Sadly, it was released after Bruce Lee’s death, so he never got to witness the global recognition that the film brought him.
With the fortieth anniversary of Lee’s death just one year ago, there have been calls to remake ‘Enter The Dragon’, despite protests from the Bruce Lee estate. It is truly difficult to envisage how such a seminal film could be remade in a way that would pay respect to the original movie. No actor could successfully recreate the presence of Lee. Perhaps advances in synthespian technology can recreate Lee in 3d, but looking at the following early Maya demo animation, this technology has a long way to go!
The 1973 appearance of Lee on the Pierre Burton show gives us a glimpse into the mind of Lee, as well as showcasing the man’s evident passion and charisma, despite the almost cringe-worthy naivety of his interviewer.
RIP Bruce Lee – legend