Spock! (and The Zane Gray Incident)

During the 1980s, Ashley Jones, John Watton and Ric Francis had a band called The Zane Gray Incident and for a little while I was the singer in their band. I performed one gig with them – at The Lion’s Den in Cardiff – on January the 3rd 1986, and recorded one cassette of songs the following Easter. Someone, probably Ric or Ash, made a cover for the tape featuring Roger Delgado, who was the actor who played The Master in Doctor Who.

It being 29 years ago, I can’t quite remember the detail but I think one of the tracks finished with a vocal sample Leonard Nimoy in his role as Mr Spock. If true, that would explain why Ash and I cut out 27 photocopied pictures of Mr Spock to include as an insert with the cassette cover.

One cold evening, Ash and I boarded a train from Cardiff to Liverpool, where we were studying. I seem to remember the journey was 5 hours long or maybe it just felt like that but it was most certainly not an Intercity 125, which, back then, was the most futuristic offering that British Rail had. Lacking the many electronic distractions available to today’s undergraduate traveller, Ash and I resorted to laying out the photos of Leonard Nimoy on our table. It was a little Warholian, I guess, but genuinely pleasing, perhaps reflecting the fact that there was nothing ironic in our love of Star Trek and Mr Spock: these were less excruciating times.

Anyway, that’s my Leonard Nimoy story. My impression is that he was a genuinely wise and lovely man, who always took his role as Spock seriously, but never himself.

Addenda from Ash:

  1. The tape was called The Paradise Syndrome (after Star Trek TOS, S03e03 in the modern parlance).
  2. The sample “That is the complete record” was at the very end of the last track. (See what we did there?) It is from S03E04 “And The Children Shall Lead”. 24’48” in.

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