Most of the actors who appear in the Star Trek universe have multiple talents, especially when it comes to the performing arts. Sometimes these talents became major parts of their Star Trek characters.
During a GalaxyCon panel in January, Jonathan Frakes revealed that when the writers of Star Trek: The Next Generation found out he was a jazz trombonist, they decided to write that into his character, Commander William Riker. A similar thing happened with Robert Picardo’s character, The Doctor. Picardo told Horror Geek Life that when he was working on his character with the producers of the show, he suggested that perhaps The Doctor had a passion for opera. He meant that the Doctor liked listening to opera, but the producers thought he meant performing opera. So, they wrote a script where he sang. It went so well, it became a recurring part of his character.
However, not all of Star Trek’s multi-talented actors got to show off their talents during their episodes. Five musically inclined Trek veterans never got to perform on Star Trek, but they did decide to form a Trek-themed band together.
The Enterprise Blues Band
In the early 2000s, Star Trek’s most prolific guest star, Vaughn Armstrong came up with the idea for the Enterprise Blues Band. After attending Star Trek conventions for years, Armstrong noticed that there were often downtimes between panels or after hours where the fans weren’t being entertained. He decided that the perfect solution was forming a band of Trek actors to perform for their fans.
Armstrong reached out to fellow Trek actors Steve Rankin, Casey Biggs, and Richard Herd, who were all on board. He also recruited Star Trek visual effects guru Ronald B. Moore. Only one member of the band, William Jones, had never worked on Star Trek.
The group started writing their own songs together, which they compiled into two original albums. Enterprise Blues was released in 2004, and Intergalactic Roots Music was released in 2005.
Their first album was completely Trek-themed with tracks like “Red Shirt Boogie Blues,” “Trekkie Deckie,” and “Get Me To The Holodeck.” The band’s second album was less Trek-centric, though it still included tracks like “Bat’Leth Baby” and “Ooh Mr. Sulu.” Interested fans can still purchase both albums through their website.
The Band’s ‘Star Trek’ Credits
Five of the six band members have worked on Star Trek at some point, either onscreen or behind the screen.
Armstrong has the distinction of being the actor who’s had the most guest roles on Star Trek. He played 12 different characters in his Star Trek career. Fans probably recognize him as Admiral Maxwell Forrest from Star Trek: Enterprise, but he also played multiple aliens, including a few Klingons, an Alpha Hirogen, a couple of Cardassians, and a Vidiian.
Though Casey Biggs only played two roles in the Star Trek universe, one of them was major. Biggs is best-known to Trek fans as Gul Damar from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He played the role in 23 episodes of the show and became one of the major antagonists of the later seasons. He also played an Illyrian Captain in one episode of Enterprise.
Steve Rankin was a frequent Star Trek guest star. His first appearance was in a single episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation as a Romulan. In Deep Space Nine Rankin played both a Klingon and a Cardassian. He had a one-off role in Star Trek: Voyager as well. His most recognizable role, the only role in which he showed his face, was Colonel Green in Enterprise.
Richard Herd is best-known for his non-Trek roles, but he’s also a frequent Star Trek actor. His first appearance in the Trek-verse was in The Next Generation as a Klingon. He returned to the Star Trek universe in Voyager as Admiral Paris, Lieutenant Tom Paris’ father. He appeared in four episodes of the series, including the finale.
Though Ronald B. Moore never appeared in an episode of Star Trek, he created the looks for many a Star Trek alien. He served as the visual effects supervisor on The Next Generation, Voyager and Enterprise.
The band regularly performed at Star Trek conventions and on Star Trek: The Cruise. However, they haven’t performed together in a while. Hopefully, they’ll do a reunion tour post-pandemic.