Not the expected pairing perhaps, but there you have
it. He played Captain Kirk, a man who was frequently
subjected to extremely painful bursts of sonic energy
that caused him to lurch around in telegenic agony.
excelled at this brand of acting. My Bloody Valentine
excelled at making this brand of noise.
Set the time machine back to 1992. Clinton-hating,
Starbucks and Grunge are making their march across the
In L.A. Shatner completes the requisite
25th anniversary dog and pony show saluting the candy
colored TV space opera that made him immortal. He has
yet to debut the insipid Tek War TV and
paperback phenomenon that proves to be both a cash cow
and ingenious career transition.
With filthy lucre still only a distant
prayer, Shatner in August takes a bid reportedly in
the low, LOW six figures to play in a dodgy Lethal
Weapon parody starring Emilio Estevez and Samuel
L. Jackson. Its one of Shatners most important
comedy assignments since huffing nitrous oxide with
Will Smith on an episode of The Fresh Prince of
Though Shatner is intended to deliver
comic heft to this rip-off of the Abrahams/Zucker/Proft
satire machine, its actually
unclear who is more amusing: General Curtis Mortars,
campy villain of Loaded Weapon, or Shatners
earnest, tormented portrayal of a dolphin-obsessed Serbian
warlord on TVs Seaquest, opposite
French Connection refugee Roy Scheider.
Meanwhile underground darlings My Bloody
Valentine tour the U.S. There is much rejoicing, but
the victory lap disguises a ruthless Pavlovian experiment.
Its true you get the smeary, dreamy endorphins
of Loveless laced with the voice of audio
angel Bilinda Butcher. Then you also get a 15 to 20
minute blast of HIDEOUSLY UNIFORM MACHINE NOISE, about
as musical as a quarter hour on the runway on a hydraulic
lift directly behind a roaring jet engine.
People were squinting, shifting on their
feet, filtering to the exits one resourceful
guy held red plastic drink cups against his ears so
he could modulate the roar with cool stereo envelope
effects at his leisure. After realizing it wasnt
going to stop anytime soon, the thought quickly formed:
This is so fucking cool (I wish it was over).
Yet in retrospect something obvious was
missing. A little comedic energy to leaven the extremely
dense star crush of MBVs sonic Jericho.
And so, a proposal for the most effective
concert video projection that never was: behind the
sulky Brits and their deafening caterwaul, the portly
Shatner in his original gold and black togs (or at least
the Pray for the Wildcats facsimile), flailing
wildy across a cheap cardboard mock-up of the bridge,
not for one minute or two, but for the full 20 minute
program as, onstage, guitar maestro Kevin Shields stokes
the inferno of some deafening cosmic forge.
Yes, that would have helped. But any
way you cut it theres a lesson inside this shell
game of fame and fortune.
By 1992 Shatner should by all rights
have been winding down a checkered career of low-grade
pop glory tainted with unfulfilled promise, while My
Bloody Valentine looked as if the crown of psychedelic
UK pop was theirs for the taking.
Instead Shatner was officially designated
a pop culture legend, commanded tabloid headlines with
his personal disasters,
and cashed in his notoriously uncool Transformed
Man persona for TV ads shilling priceline.com.
After decades of eating Charlton Heston and Leslie Nielsons
dust, Shatner had become untouchable.
MBV principal Kevin Shields, on the other
hand, has scarcely been heard from since. All that remains
is a pitiful comeback vigil from a few fans as unreachable
as everyone waiting for Appetite for Destruction
II. Yet Nature abhors a vacuum today we
have the ultradependable, road-friendly minstrels of
Still, there are those who believe the
time will come when Shatner in the middle of
an important banquet or perhaps onstage at some convention
will suddenly drop to his knees and clap his
hands to his ears in cosmic euphoria like the
shattering of infinity on the cathode tube of his mind.
On that day, America, you can tell your children, behold!
My Bloody Valentine is risen. Praise Kirok, they