William Shatner

Interview

Friday, October 21, 2011

It was forty-odd years ago that William Shatner played Captain Kirk on Star Trek. But it was the show’s afterlife, in reruns during the seventies and on, that turned Shatner into a cult figure and a representative of America’s love of science fiction.

Today a new cohort of fans who never knew him as Kirk adores Shatner as Denny Crane, the blustery, ridiculous senior partner on Boston Legal. Several critics think Crane is some of the best acting of his career.
 
Now, at 80 years old, William Shatner is busier than ever. He has a new book out: Shatner Rules and a new album called Seeking Major Tom, which imagines (in Shatner’s signature spoken-word performance) what happened to the tragic astronaut hero of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.”  

Shatner tells Kurt how he continues to go about life at warp speed: "You've got to be interested in something. Whether it’s for keeping the front of your shirt clean, if you’re 80 and dribbling ... or the squirrel that is your love life, or the gray-haired old lady who’s nodding off beside you — whatever it is, care. And that will keep you alive."

    Music Playlist
  1. Major Tom
    Artist: William Shatner
    Album: Seeking Major Tom
    Label: Cleopatra Records
    Purchase: Amazon
  2. Space Oddity
    Artist: William Shatner
    Album: Seeking Major Tom
    Label: Cleopatra Records
    Purchase: Amazon
  3. Bohemian Rhapsody
    Artist: William Shatner
    Album: Seeking Major Tom
    Label: Cleopatra Records
    Purchase: Amazon
  4. Theme from Star Trek
    Artist: Alexander Courage
    Album: Where No Man Has Gone Before
    Label: GNP Crescendo Record Co., Inc.
    Purchase: Amazon
  5. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
    Artist: William Shatner
    Album: The Transformed Man
    Label: Geffen
    Purchase: Amazon
  6. Learning to Fly
    Artist: William Shatner
    Album: Seeking Major Tom
    Label: Cleopatra Records
    Purchase: Amazon

Guests:

William Shatner

Comments [3]

Barton from Fullerton

Just listened to this podcast (seems I am always behind), and I wanted to note that Shatner does't cover "Space Oddity" on this new record, as Kurt says in the show, but rather, "Major Tom (Coming Home)," which was a mid-80s hit first in German and then in English by Peter Schilling. Shilling's song, of course, draws on Bowie's Major Tom character, but the two are not otherwise related.

Jan. 26 2012 09:38 PM
James Brown from H artford, CT

His album with Ben Folds ("Has Been") is alternately hilarious and moving. The opening cut "Common People" outdoes the original. If you haven't heard it give it a listen. It will blow your mind.

Oct. 24 2011 07:29 PM
John from Boston

His new book is great. The CD is hit or miss but enjoyable. I enjoyed the interview and found the question of his pronunciation of Esperanto amusing considering the "sabotage" controversy.

Oct. 24 2011 09:41 AM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.