Nerf Herder has, to date, released six albums of pop punk music, scoring a minor hit with the song “Van Halen,” performing the theme song for TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer and cementing their place in pop culture history with the cult-favorite song “Mr. Spock” and its accompanying video, both of which were released in 2002. The song is simple: it’s about a man whose girlfriend has the hots for everyone’s favorite green-blooded Vulcan, and the video is bright and playful and pays proper homage to Star Trek. Of course, it’s still a little odd that Nerf Herder performed “Mr. Spock,” since, after all, the name Nerf Herder is a tip of the cap to… Star Wars.

“You can like Star Trek and Star Wars, right?” asks Nerf Herder’s singer and guitarist Parry Gripp… with a semi-nervous chuckle. “They’re very different, but you can like both of them, I think. I can’t imagine being a fan of just one, but I don’t want to offend anyone. I grew up watching Star Trek and watching it over and over again, and I sort of switched allegiances over my lifetime, whether I’ve been a Star Wars or Star Trek person. But I liked Star Trek’s cerebral commentary on humanity and it looks really cool. I like Star Trek’s style, and it had great stories. It really is a great show.”

So how did “Mr. Spock” come about?

“We were always talking about Star Trek because we were big fans,” Gripp replies. “The song was probably my idea, because I wrote it. I’d say the inspiration for it was another Star Trek-based song called “Where’s Captain Kirk.” That’s the best Star Trek song ever. It’s by a band called Spizzenergi, from the U.K., and R.E.M. covered it. It’ll blow your mind, that song. Anyway, I was a big fan of that and I said, ‘Oh, wow, we’ve got to have a Star Trek-based song of our own.’ So that’s how Mr. Spock came along. I think we actually had the song recorded without any lyrics, and then the lyrics were written afterwards.

“And then we did the video, and that was literally the best experience ever. If I could repeat one day of my life over and over again, that’d be it. It was so fun. The main reason we did the video was that we just wanted to dress up like Star Trek characters. I mean, how fun is that? I know we shot for at least 14 hours (at a bar in San Francisco), but I would do it again. I wish it was 100 hours.

“I think our fans liked the song and the video,” Gripp continues. “It didn’t become huge or anything, but people liked it and wanted to hear us do it because it was a pretty funny song. It was catchy. I just love it, and I’m so happy that I was involved in it. It’s interesting that it’s had this longer life. People are discovering it, especially now, on things like YouTube.”

Gripp’s memorable song isn’t his only Star Trek association. Nearly 25 years ago, he met Gene Roddenberry at the house the Star Trek creator shared with his wife, Majel Barrett-Roddenbery. “Majel was a customer of my family’s orchid nursery,” Gripp explains. “We have an orchid nursery about 90 minutes from Beverly Hills, where they lived. One day, my mom said, ‘Majel wants a delivery of orchids to their house. Would you like to take the delivery down there?’ Of course, I was really excited about that. So I drove this van full of orchids to their house. Gene Roddenberry actually gave me a little tour of his home theater that he’d built. It had windows around the whole thing, and when you pressed a button, the shutters would open or close. When you opened the shutters, you’d see all these orchids around the windows. So it was really awesome. They seemed super-nice and it was very cool of him to show me that.”

Gripp and Nerf Herder don’t perform much anymore because “we’re all kind of old,” but the members remains friends and are still available for gigs if anyone calls. Gripp, though, is still writing and recording. “There’s a show called Super Hero Squad that’s on Cartoon Network, and I did the theme song and a lot of the music for that,” he says. “I’ve done music for VH-1 and I’ve done music for advertising. Do you know about Wawa’s Hoagiefest? I did all the music and voiceovers for that campaign. So I still do music, which I feel really lucky about. And I think we’re going to record a couple of songs, just for fun, Nerf Herder is.”

As the conversation comes to a close, Gripp points out that a third verse to “Mr. Spock” got cut. “The song was too long, so we had to drop it,” he says. “I have it. I’m going to send you that verse.” Sure enough, 20 minutes after StarTrek.com and Gripp hung up the phone, he emailed the following. So, click HERE to check out the “Mr. Spock” video and HERE to watch a making-of video, and read below for the song’s lyrics, including that deleted third verse.


MR. SPOCK LYRICS

You want a guy who can bring bacon,
and you want a guy with savior faire,
somebody who can take control of it,
someone with cool black shiny hair, yeah,

you don't want a boyfriend, what you want is mr. spock,
to come to your wasteland, and destroy the robot,
something more than human, someone with blood that’s cold and green,
you want something better than me,

captain kirk went to the planet,
and there he fought the man lizard,
he saved the ship, invented the gun powder,
but that's just not good enough for you, is it? no,

you don't want a boyfriend, what you want is mr. spock,
to come to your wasteland, and destroy the robot,
something more than human, someone with blood that’s cold and green,
you want something better than me,

you sit all night at your computer, drinking diet dr. pepper,
looking for an answer to it all, say the words, say the Words, say say
say the words,

you don't want a boyfriend, what you want is mr. spock,
to come to your wasteland, and destroy the robot,
something more than human, someone with blood that’s cold and green,
you want something better than me....


MISSING THIRD VERSE

The fearsome Romulan commander,
With her blood as cold as ice,
Gave her heart to the Vulcan,
Then he stole her cloaking device

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