William Shatner’s rendering of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” in The Transformed Man, his 1968 album, did not end his musical career. But why would anyone who lived through a decade that also gave us Mrs. Miller and Tiny Tim expect it to? The difference is that Shatner, who has outlived them all, is about to release his fifth album and is today a sought-after interview for Rolling Stone.
How did this album come about?
The label came to me and said, “Would you like to do another album?” and I said, “Absolutely.” Then they said, “Well, what would you like to do?” In that moment, I had a creative thought. I said, “I’ll take that period of time, an hour before sunset, where a guy is at the beach and in despair about his life, and write music that goes through twilight and sunset into the sounds of the night. Gradually, with the beauty of the night and his thinking, he regains the joy of his life.”
There you have it. Shatner’s new album Ponder the Mystery, a collection of prog rock songs paired with Shatner’s original spoken word poetry, will be out October 22. Created with former Yes guitarist Billy Sherwood, it includes performances by Rick Wakeman, Vince Gill, Steve Vai, Robby Krieger, and Mick Jones.
Shatner also told Rolling Stone the details of his next documentary project.
You’re making one about Star Trek: The Next Generation, right?
That’ll be the ninth documentary that I will have made. We are editing it now and calling it Wacky Doodle. All of the writers in the documentary said the show was all wacky doodle, so that’s what I’m calling it. It’s about the shenanigans that went on in the first two years of making Star Trek: The Next Generation.
And Rolling Stone asked Shatner how he feels about being left out of the recent Star Trek pictures —
Did you mind they didn’t include you in the past movies?
Well, I said to [Leonard] Nimoy, “You know you’re old when you go back in time and you’re still old.” I don’t know how they’d handle the aged captains.
Easy. They can let them sing.