by Carolyn Kellogg


They come not to bury Sid, but to praise him. Using crude strobe-light technology to beam down to their show, the Spock Pistols showcase their unique blend of "Star Trek" and Sex Pistols homage intermittently around Los Angeles.

This is Beatlemania for a tough, skeptical generation that's turning out to be just as prone to maudlin nostalgia as its parents were. One night in 1993, the Spock Pistols opened for the premiere of Kiss-in-full-makeup cover band Cold Gin. Perhaps Gene and Paul were still recording as Kiss, but it wasn't the same. The only way to experience Kiss' magic was to see a tribute band. From this backwash of popular culture the Spock Pistol were spit.

And spit they do. More than just playing a set of cover songs, they play the Sex Pistols themselves. And "Star Trek" characters. Kirk pounds the drums, Sid expectorates, and Johnny Rotten/Spock flails, mock-masturbating Silly String. On a hot night, a pair of "Next Generation" Klingons simulate a sex act in the background. An observer comments that Spock would never have behaved that way—unless it was mating season. Or he had been shot by a poisoned spore.

The Spock Pistols treat their happily slamming audience to the Memorex version of two worlds they've never been a part of beford: "Star Trek" and the Sex Pistols. You can pay $35 to see the real Johnny Rotten, but what joy is there in watching an aging punk rocker try to pay off a mortgage on his brownstone?

Meanwhile, Sid and Gene Roddenberry are jammin' in that big holodeck in the sky.   </end>

Up Talk!