Lead Trekkie teams up with musician Ben Folds
Web posted on: Thursday, March 04, 1999 3:41:43 PM EST
From Mark Scheerer
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."
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