Begin your Star Trek weekend with this '80s classic
This weekend, the big movie release is Star Trek Beyond, the third in the series of the JJ Abrams reboot that has a mostly positive approval from the Stuck in the '80s Nation. But Star Trek in the '80s is more than the reruns we watched as a kid and the Shatner-Nimoy movies of the '80s, so today we dust off the long lost novelty hit - Star Trekkin' by The Firm.
The Firm is the English songwriting duo of John O'Conner and Grahame Lister. They had a U.K. novelty hit in 1982, but their universe exploded in 1987 when they decided to have fun with the Star Trek franchise. Lister handled much of the music chores and O'Connor provided the voice for Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy while a man named Dev Douglas voiced Spock. The rest of the voices were pitched in by other friends and family, including a studio engineer who voiced Scotty's part and O'Conner's wife, Shelley, voicing Uhuru.
When it came time to promote Star Trekkin', members of The Firm knew that the video-watching public did not want to see their unknown faces, so they solicited Splitting Image who was responsible for Genesis' Land of Confusion puppet video, but the price tag was too high so The Firm went with a group of graduate art students (The Film Garage) that created the low-budget claymation for Star Trekkin'.
Releasing the single on their own startup label, Star Trekkin' became a number one hit in the U.K., Australia and Japan and was regularly featured in America on the Dr. Demento Show, selling over a million copies worldwide. Star Trekkin' probably falls into the either you love it/hate it category as the song pounds home some key catch phrases that should at least put a smile on your face. My favorite phrase is Dr. McCoy's (Bones) deadpan "It's more than that - he's dead Jim." Star Trek nerds will probably point out that Spock's line of "It's life, Jim, but not as we know it" is not a direct quote from any Star Trek episode, but certainly sounds like something Spock would say.
Like most novelty groups, The Firm never charted again but that doesn't mean their careers went into black holes as O'Connor helped create the music for the Fox series King Of The Hill and Lister is a recognized tennis coach.