I was watching a rerun of Family Guy in which Stewie the
megalomaniacal toddler dream-sequences himself as a lounge act. The
Man, as performed (if that is the word) in the
style of William Shatner on his classic, craptastic album The
Transformed Man. Shatner has been a joke for decades for his
talking song performances, including that selfsame Rocket Man
at the Saturn Awards back in the late 70s. And he knows he's a joke,
parodying himself as spokesperson for Priceline. So a new album by
Shatner isn't to be taken seriously, especially one with a name as
self-effacing as Has Been.
But to my everlasting surprise, Has Been isn't half bad.
It's still Shatner talking rather than
singing.* But he's backed up by some
real talent. And rather than just reciting someone else's lyrics, he's
using his own words to express a point of view. The results are
surprisingly interesting. Maybe there's some life in the old guy
||For which we can all be grateful. If only Leonard
Nimoy had been half so wise; I still have nightmares about
The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins.