Hey guys, this is Mike from Sunspot. I’m the singer and bassist. I’m assuming if you’ve been listening to our silly band, you know that we like some ridiculous things. One of those things is science fiction television. Back in grade school, our guitarist Ben was a monster fan of the show, Quantum Leap. I didn’t get into it until a little later, but I always thought that Scott Bakula was a tremendously likable actor. C’mon, he could play smart without being smarmy, he could play heroic without being cheesy. He was a great sci-fi leading man, basically the Nathan Fillion of the 90’s.
So, it goes without saying that the weekend that Ben and I start college, Lord of Illusions opens in theaters and we all go to watch it. And it kinda blows. Unexpectedly too. it was about a paranormal detective – awesome. It was written and directed by Clive Barker, the man that gave us the original Hellraiser – also awesome. The bad guy was great on Seinfeld and eventually would play the the great antagonist in Super Troopers (“Desperation is a stinky cologne”) – triple awesome. But then we see the movie and it’s a big disappointment. So, we forget a little about Scott until Enterprise comes out, and I watch it faithfully because it’s Star Trek and if I can make it through Voyager, then I can make it through anything. Plus, this was a time that the Sci-Fi Channel (back before it had the weird SyFy name) would show Quantum Leap every night at 11pm. And that was one of my girlfriend at the time’s favorite shows and she loved loved loved Scott Bakula. I even taped (on VHS, which was all the rage before DVRs and BitTorrent) the Quantum Leap marathon because it had the pilot episode and I didn’t want her to miss it.
Fast forward a few years, and one Saturday morning, I wake up on Wendy’s couch after a Sunspot show and a bender. Lo and behold, what’s playing on her TV but Lord of Illusions? And all I can think is “What the hell happened to Scott Bakula?” In the words of Ordell from Jackie Brown, “His ass used to be beautiful.” A few weeks earlier, I saw band called Ludo sing a song about Good Will Hunting and the gist of it was that it was a favorite movie of the couple in the song. And it struck me that Quantum Leap served that purpose for me. That was it, we wrote a song about it and started playing it live. It gets a good reaction and we decide to record it.
After we get the recordings back, we release the MP3 and make it a free download on our site. The next day our server crashes because it can’t handle the traffic. A week later, I get a voicemail from someone saying it’s Scott Bakula’s agent. Oh, shit. We’re busted, he’s gonna say that we can’t use the name, it’s gonna be cease and desist, there will be lawyers and Sunspot is going to die an ignominious death, and it’s all over.
But it’s not. The agent loves it and wants us to burn a bunch of CDs to be used at the man’s 50th birthday party. Holy living crap. One of Enterprise’s producers buys a CD online so that he can have a copy. We burn special CDs that say “Happy Birthday Scott” on them and they have the party on the set of Enterprise. Our little ridiculous song is played on the deck of the f$#%^ing Enterprise!
It was a dream come true and one of the coolest things we’ve had happen to us so far. We’ve played it at hundreds of shows and connected with thousands of similar-minded people. They even used it for the official Quantum Leap 20th Anniversary DVD. And it’s all because Lord of Illusions was kind of a letdown…