Rock. It. Man.

In 1992, I moved to Boston to become Pagan Kennedy‘s pre-arranged husband. Fun while it lasted, but, in retrospect, doomed to failure (I should have known in advance when she sent me a letter with a bug squished on the page, circled in pen and labeled with my name).

Anyway, Pagan had her own TV show on local cable access, and one particularly amazing episode was themed around William Shatner’s delicious 1978 reinterpretation of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” at the 1978 Science Fiction Film Awards. At the end of the episode, a friend of the family re-created Shatner’s performance note-for-note, puff-for-puff.

If you’ve never seen the original, it’s worth five minutes of your life. Gawker has it. The highlight comes 3/4 of the way through.

12 Replies to “Rock. It. Man.”

  1. In 1992, I moved to Boston to become Pagan Kennedy’s pre-arranged husband.

    what david said!

    actually…come to think of it…that’d be a great first line for a novel. not just because it grabs you and pulls you in, but also because, in a way, deep down, i think we’ve all been there. i mean, who hasn’t, metaphorically speaking, “moved to boston to become pagan kennedy’s pre-arranged husband.”

    So 90’s.

  2. Oops, looks like I’m not the first person to confuse Rocket Man and Space Oddity: . Corrected.

    Ah, but Matthias, the pre-arranged marriage was no metaphor!

    Yeah, the whole episode probably would make a good story unto itself, but the summary version (it’s not that juicy): A mutual friend hooked us up from a distance, and we started corresponding. I had to get the heck out of California, had nothing to lose, and needed an adventure, so I hopped on a motorcycle (in December!) and rode to Boston (a lucky fool… didn’t hit snow until the day after I arrived, though I did nearly freeze to death in the Arizona desert). Ultimately spent four years in Boston, got interested in computers, started a career, made a ton of friends and met my future real wife. But Pagan and I ultimately weren’t made of the same cloth, though we’re still friends.

  3. There is something… delicious?… in Gawkers careful notation that this video represents a pre-irony version.

    It is a fascinating period piece.

  4. A former coworker and all-around good guy, Clark knew Pagan back in the day. We’re both DC-area types, but I know he spent some time in Boston, so I thought maybe the two of you had crossed paths.

    Clark was greatly amused by Pagan’s ‘zine.

  5. This is Clark Semmes. I just googled my name and this was a hit. I know Pagan and I know Scot. Scot was friends with Willy who went out with Virginia. But who is Earl?

  6. Dang, Clark – You’ve embarassed me. You remember me but I don’t remember you. I hang my head. Give me a poke — where did we meet, what did we do?

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