Dire Straits Singer Inspired the McDonald’s Biopic ‘The Founder’

By Heather Callaghan, Editor

“Listen to the lyrics,” someone said. When I heard the song “Boom, Like That” by Mark Knopfler, former Dire Straits frontman, I was blown away to hear the entire McDonald’s story.

Not the glory-story that businessmen would regale me with, almost with a tear of pride in their eyes. No, no… This was a story about Ray Kroc – a tale of avarice, deceit and betrayal – hardly the thing you learn in Management 101.

Man – someone should make a movie about this! I thought. Little did I know, the biopic was in production. And when one of my friends mentioned another fiery Michael Keaton comeback in the form of The Founder (directed by John Lee Hancock), I couldn’t believe the coincidence.

But the only coincidence that occurred is that the movie’s producer, Don Handfield, heard the song off the 2004 Shangri-La album and felt the same clutch in his chest. “Boom Like That” is about Ray Kroc and written from his cunning perspective. It’s hard not to notice that with lyrics like “These boys have got this down, Oughtta be a one of these in every town…And how about that friendly name? Heck, every little thing oughtta stay the same.”

McDonald’s wasn’t founded by Ray Kroc – but it was certainly made by him. For if it weren’t for Kroc, you may not know the name McDonald’s today – and perhaps the other major chains wouldn’t be what they are today either.

McDonald’s was a quick-service restaurant started in the 1950s by the McDonald brothers – “Mac” and Dick. Ray Kroc made a comfortable living selling milkshake mixers; and when he noticed the many mixer sales at the McDonald’s restaurant, he entered their lives like a curious cat. But, he used aggressive tactics to get them to try franchising again and essentially consumed them and their business.

It was the song “Boom Like That” that inspired the creation of the The Founder which played in theaters everywhere beginning Jan 2017.

After reading everything possible on Kroc when he heard the song, Handfield had said,

Like today’s Silicon Valley startups, it was such a fascinating story about two brothers who created something and then the business guy comes in and takes it to the next level. And often the split between the founders and the business guy is a violent one. This story had all the echoes and machinations of that.

But Mark Knopfler was actually inspired to write the song after reading Kroc’s autobiography Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald’s.

Lyrics of “Boom Like That” (play the music video below while you read):

I’m going to San bernardino ring-a-ding-ding
Milkshake mixers that’s my thing, now
These guys bought a heap of my stuff
And I gotta see a good thing sure enough, now
Or my name’s not kroc that’s kroc with a ‘k’
Like ‘crocodile’ but not spelled that way, yeah
It’s dog eat dog rat eat rat
Kroc-style boom, like that
The folks line up all down the street
And I’m seeing this girl devour her meat, now
And then I get it, wham as clear as day
My pulse begins to hammer and I hear a voice say
These boys have got this down
Oughtta be a one of these in every town
These boys have got the touch
It’s clean as a whistle and it don’t cost much
Wham, bam you don’t wait long
Shake, fries patty, you’re gone
And how about that friendly name?
Heck, every little thing oughtta stay the same
Or my name’s not kroc that’s kroc with a ‘k’
Like ‘crocodile’ but not spelled that way, now
It’s dog eat dog rat eat rat
Kroc-style boom, like that
You gentlemen ought to expand
You’re going to need a helping hand, now
So, gentlemen well, what about me?
We’ll make a little business history, now
Or my name’s not kroc call me ray
Like ‘crocodile’ but not spelled that way, now
It’s dog eat dog rat eat rat
Kroc-style boom, like that
Well we build it up and I buy ’em out
But, man they made me grind it out, now
They open up a new place flipping meat
So I do, too right across the street
I got the name I need the town
They sell up in the end and it all shuts down>
Sometimes you gotta be an s.o.b.
You want to make a dream reality
Competition? send ’em south
If they’re gonna drown
Put a hose in their mouth
Do not pass ‘go’ go straight to hell
I smell that meat hook smell
Or my name’s not kroc that’s kroc with a ‘k’
Like ‘crocodile’ but not spelled that way, now
It’s dog eat dog rat eat rat
Kroc-style boom, like that

Please enjoy this chilling, amazing song:

 

One wonders what would have happened if the McDonald brothers had maintained power over their creation. What kind of vibe would the chain have today – versus the many scandals McDonald’s corporation keeps barreling into.

You never know what your creation might inspire. The McDonald’s brothers built something Kroc wanted to be a part of and molded it into the most successful fast food chain in the entire world – no small feat. Then he wrote about it. Knopfler read his creation and created a song that was infused into film and, to this day, people talk about all of these things.

Natural Blaze / CC SA-4.0 / eBook / collage /Image

Thanks: Brandon Turbeville


 favorite-velva-smallHeather Callaghan is an independent researcher, writer, speaker and food freedom activist. She is the Editor and co-founder of NaturalBlaze as well as a certified Self-Referencing IITM Practitioner.

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