Sunday, March 9, 2008

Song of the Week - It Hasn't Happened Yet William Shatner

In 1968, Bill Shatner (yeah, the Star Trek Bill Shatner) released an album called The Transformed Man. To say that he was ridiculed for this work would be an understatement. To this day, some say that his frenzied version of Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, is one of the worst recordings ever. Shatner says this album is misunderstood, but that doesn't make it any easier to listen to. In 2004, Shatner released another album called Has Been. This one was produced by Ben Folds and the songs were co-written by Shatner and Folds. This album has received good reviews and the 4 songs I know from it are pretty good. The one I'm featuring is my favorite. By any measure, Bill Shatner has had a successful career. He has 4 hit prime-time television shows (Star Trek, T. J. Hooker, Rescue 911, and Boston Legal) plus the Star Trek Movie franchise to his credit and a career that spans more than 50 years. In It Hasn't Happened Yet Shatner expresses the insecurity any actor may feel about his career, or, for that matter, any person may feel. Whether it be trying to make your parents proud or looking for that serenity you think is finally your due.

There are a couple of Star Trek and Bill Shatner in-jokes in the studio version which aren't in the live version. Of course, the reference to climbing the wall at Yosemite is directly from Star Trek V. But in the studio version, it sure sounds like Mr. Spock saying "Be one with the mountain". And in the studio version a short list of fears is recited in the background, one being "Fear of losing my hair" (Shatner is well known to wear a hair piece).

I was crossing the snow fields
In front of the capital building
It was Christmas and I was alone
Strange city
Strangers for friends
I was broke

As the carillons sang its song
I dreamt of success
I would be the best
I would make my folks proud
I would be happy

It hasn't happened yet
It hasn't happened yet
It hasn't happened

Yes there are nods in my direction
Clap of hands
A knowing smile
But still
I’m scared again
I’m scared again
I’m scared again

Foot slipped
Pebbles fall and so did I
I’m high
On Yosemite
The big gray wall
Fear of falling
Where to put my foot next
Fear of failure
I’m afraid I’m going to fall
(Be at one with the mountain)
I whispered in the air
I’m afraid I’m going to fall (falling)
Fear of failure (failure)
Fear of losing my hair
When is the mountain scaled
When do I feel I haven't failed
I’ve got to get it together man

It hasn't happened yet
It hasn't happened yet
It hasn't happened

People come up and say hello
Ok, I can get to the front of the line
But you have to ignore the looks
And yet

I’m waiting for that feeling of contentment
That ease at night when you put your head down and the rhythm slow to sleep
My heads sways and eyes start awake
I’m there not halfway between sleep and death
But looking into
Eyes wide open
Trying to remember
What I might have done
Should've done
At my age I need serenity
I need peace

It hasn't happened yet
It hasn't happened yet
It hasn't happened yet
It hasn't happened
It hasn't happened


White Sox Cards said...

Great choice! I'm a secret William Shatner music fan. "Common People" from the same album makes it's way on my iPod about once a month, when it's on shuffle.

My personal favorite from The Transformed Man would be his rendition of "Mr. Tambourine Man". Followed closely by "When I Was 17".

capewood said...

If you haven't checked it out already you should look on You Tube for other Shatner videos. There is a live version of Common People from The Tonight Show which is great. There is also a video of a much younger Shatner doing When I was 17. And someone has put together a video mashup to go along with Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds which made me laugh out loud.

White Sox Cards said...

Those were great! Thanks for the info.