In 1992, a year after the release of the final film to feature the entirety of the Original Series crew, Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country, cult heroes Spock's Beard formed. Originally spearheaded by brothers Neal (keyboard/lead vocals) & Alan Morse (guitar), the band is known for their intricate, multi-part vocal harmonies and use of counterpoint vocals.
Alan explained the naming thus,
"Spock's Beard was sort of a phrase that we'd say to each other - my brother and I - when something weird would happen. We'd say, "Wow, that's like Spock's Beard," meaning, "that only happens in a parallel universe, right?"."
It is of course a reference to Mirror Mirror, but Alan had originally suggested the name in jest.
"I put Spock's Beard on the list sort of as a joke [but] everybody seemed to like it the best, and so we picked that one."24 years and 12 studio albums later they are still going strong, and are considered by many to be at the forefront of modern progressive rock music. Why is that? A feature in Goldmine explains....
"Spock’s Beard has always existed in that sweet spot where Beatlesque melodic rock meets prog. More adventurous than Asia, more melodious than Dream Theater, Spock’s Beard brings a refreshingly American spin to the Brit-originated prog rock format."
"Sure, they can play in 17/9 time like Yes or ELP; sure, they’re all world-class players on their respective instruments; but like Genesis they’ve always put songwriting first. Their original take on this classic style has earned the band a devoted following, but they haven’t always enjoyed smooth sailing over their years of existence."Legal trouble threatened to dog them early on.
“We used to make up all these stories about the name, and every time we’d tell a different one about where the name came from because we didn’t want to get into trouble. Finally, one day I said, ‘I’m sick of doing this. Let’s just tell people what the deal is.’ So I was out to dinner with a bunch of people and I told them the story. One guy goes, ‘That’s interesting. Actually, I’m an attorney at Paramount. … But don’t worry, it’s cool.’”On the flipside it did get them an early gig!
“We actually got a gig at a horror and scifi convention because of our band name, not because of us at all. Nobody even showed up. It was a giant convention, with 15,000 people over the weekend. We were in this big ballroom. There was about 40 or 50 people there. I guess everybody else would rather hear George Takei speak.”
Alan would later give an interview to www.startrek.com (well, obviously!), where he spoke about the fans...
"There's definitely an overlap. I would say that probably a sizable chunk of our fans are also Star Trek fans, just because our music comes from a similar mindset. A lot of our fans are, well... nerds. And I say that in the nicest possible way. I consider myself a nerd. So there's definitely a big overlap there, although I have to say there's nothing else in our music or in our lyrics that touches on Star Trek in any way."Illogical, no?