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Fear of Pop (featuring William Shatner) perform "In Love"

[295k MPEG-3] or [305k WAV]
(Courtesy NBC)

Lead Trekkie teams up with musician Ben Folds

Web posted on: Thursday, March 04, 1999 3:41:43 PM EST

From Mark Scheerer
CNN Showbiz Correspondent

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Star Trekkies and music fans across the galaxies, take note: Capt. James T. Kirk and recording artist Ben Folds have teamed up to beam up "Fear of Pop."

Music is a place where the real-life Kirk, William Shatner, has gone before, but never before with Folds.

"He'd written me a letter and I didn't recognize the name until my children clapped and said, 'You've got to do this,'" Shatner told CNN.

The letter, Shatner said, was impressive and gave him a good feeling and a sense of trust in Folds.

For the leader of soft-alternative band Ben Folds Five, working with Shatner was a throwback to 1968, and Shatner's musical debut: "Transformed Man."

"It was at (a) ... garage sale ... when I was 9," recalled Folds. "I bought the record then."


'There was a concept behind it'

Shatner's album, in which he ventured into the realm of music and poetry, has been mocked by late-night talk show hosts and disc jockeys over the years. That's because the prose that preceded the melodramatic voice-overs that went with the songs was always overlooked, Shatner told CNN.

"When it got radio play, they didn't want a six-minute cut, they wanted a three-minute cut, so they chose the song," Shatner explained.

"I guess the disc jockey thought I was trying to sing or something so ... they had fun with it. But the reality was that it was something, there was a concept behind it."

Folds said Shatner's "Transformed Man" was a staple of his early musical diet.

"It was part of my vocabulary," he told CNN. "I had some Little Richard records and some Elton John and 'I'm A Little Teapot' and 'Transformed Man.' Unbelievable."

"Unbelievable" is also how some critics describe the recently released "Fear of Pop."

Darren takes familiar role on 'Deep Space Nine'
April 27, 1998
WorldBeat Fresh Cuts: Ben Folds Five collaborates on 'One Amazing Night'
December 4, 1998

Ben Folds Five on Epic Records
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