‘If I hate a song I’ll just change the station’: William Shatner’s honest playlist

The Star Trek star and occasional singer reveals how un-musical he is – and what he really listens to

My karaoke go-to

One of thesongs I’ve performed on television was Fuck You by Cee-Lo Green. It went over well. I’d do that one.

* * *

The song I inexplicably know every lyric to

I’m in awe of music but I was brought up in a non-musical house. Nobody sang songs in the house. The only thing I heard as a kid was my dad playing the New York opera. That kind of music fascinated me. The mystery of a soprano or a tenor; the cultivation of the voice was magic.

* * *

Best song to play at a party

I would play Frank Sinatra’s You Make Me Feel So Young. He does it so rhythmically well.

* * *

The last song I streamed

I don’t stream. I don’t buy music, not at all. I love music but I’m an ignoramus because I don’t know the names. You know that app that recognises songs? I have it on my phone and I’ll hold it up and be like: “That’s the song I like”.

* * *

The song I want played at my funeral

I would play a song we wrote called I Want to Be a Tree. I had read an article about planting a tree on your body when you die and I thought, “That’s the way I want to go.” So I’ve made arrangements that I will be cremated, my ashes buried in the ground, and a tree planted on top. I originally wanted a sequoia placed over my body but they said it wouldn’t grow, so I’m going to be a giant redwood.

* * *

The song I can’t help singing

I did a recording of Bohemian Rhapsody [in 2011] and I had to listen to Freddie Mercury and Queen a lot to hear how it was done – this was years after they were gone. Freddie had such a superb voice. If you’re asking me who is my favourite singer I’d say Freddie Mercury. Who is my favourite band? Queen. Favourite song? Bohemian Rhapsody.

* * *

Song I pretend to hate that I secretly like

If I hate a song I’ll just change the station. When my kids started listening to rock’n’roll I thought, “That is ridiculous, that’s not music, that’s inane.” Then I performed a rock’n’roll song myself andthought. “Of course, this is just blind energy and volume!” Then I fell in love with it.

* * *

The song I tell people is my favourite song to look good

Nobody should be ashamed of the music they like, so nobody should be shamed. You are who you are and should be proud of it. Unless you want to eat somebody’s heart. Maybe you shouldn’t do that.

William Shatner’s new album Bill is out now.

Contributor

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
‘The song I secretly like? Agadoo by Black Lace’: Estelle’s honest playlist
The singer, songwriter and producer on De La Soul, Stevie Wonder and the song that will make everyone dance at a party

As told to Rich Pelley

11, Oct, 2021 @6:00 AM

Article image
‘I never dance, I fear it might be too beautiful’: Jamali Maddix’s honest playlist
The comedian on his secret love for Rick Astley, his favourite Scouting For Girls song, and singing Sweet Home Alabama for a crowd of Americans

Interview by Alexi Duggins

18, Oct, 2021 @6:00 AM

Article image
‘No Jacket Required would be the soundtrack of hell’: the Rev Richard Coles’s honest playlist
The former Communard says he knows every word to Jesus Christ Superstar – what else does he listen to away from the pulpit?

As told to Rich Pelley

10, Jan, 2022 @7:00 AM

Article image
‘After seeing Aretha Franklin you’re never the same again’: Elvis Costello’s honest playlist
He could request Frank Sinatra before he could speak, and recites Noël Coward lyrics, but what does the singer-songwriter enjoy behind closed doors?

Dave Simpson

24, Jan, 2022 @7:00 AM

Article image
‘My karaoke go-to? Always on My Mind by Willie Nelson’: Craig Charles’s honest playlist
The Red Dwarf star and BBC Radio 6 Music presenter gets nostalgic about the Bay City Rollers – and recommends music to get a party started

Rich Pelley

08, Nov, 2021 @7:00 AM

Article image
‘Boyz II Men make my ears bleed’ … Brian Baumgartner’s honest playlist
As Kevin in the US Office, he performed in a Police covers band, but what does the actor and writer rock out to when the cameras aren’t rolling?

Elle Hunt

20, Dec, 2021 @7:00 AM

Article image
‘I want Mickey by Toni Basil played at my funeral’: Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s honest playlist
The singer loves a bit of disco on the dancefloor and Prince in the bedroom, but when it comes to karaoke, she keeps faith with George Michael

Elle Hunt

03, Jan, 2022 @7:00 AM

Article image
‘I know all the words to Copacabana’: Katy Wix’s honest playlist
The comedian on her love of Mahler’s Symphony No 5 – and the folk song from Georgia that she sings in the shower

As told to Alexi Duggins

01, Nov, 2021 @7:00 AM

Article image
‘The whole Vengaboys back catalogue is sick’: Katy B’s honest playlist
The dance-pop diva reveals what she really listens to, from the roots of her Timberlake crush to the enduring brilliance of I Will Survive

As told to Michael Cragg

22, Nov, 2021 @10:00 AM

Article image
‘I don’t play music when I have sex – maybe I should’: Michelle Visage’s honest playlist
The RuPaul’s Drag Race judge puts together the soundtrack of her life

Elle Hunt

04, Oct, 2021 @6:00 AM