Classic Movie Themes: I Hate You (From Star Trek IV The Voyage Home)
Leonard Rosenman's soundtrack for Star Trek IV The Voyage Home, is a subtly different beast to James Horner's or Jerry Goldsmith's scores. But it is not Mr. Rosenman's work that I wish to discuss in this post. Instead I’d like to focus on the unforgettable faux punk rock song "I Hate You", that was specifically written for the movie by actor and associate producer Kirk Thatcher. The scene with the punk on the bus has become a seminal part of both Star Trek lore and pop culture. It still raises a wry smile, over thirty-one years later Yet according to Kirk Thatcher, the song that was originally going to be used was quite different.
We shot the scene with no sound – there was no music playing. I was just miming to a beat. After we wrapped the movie, the music department was coming to us, and they were playing...like...Duran Duran, or whoever Paramount had some deal with. I said, "That isn't punk rock music. Punk rock is really raw and gritty and dirty." They said, "Well, we don't really deal with the Sex Pistols and stuff." I said to Leonard, "You know, let me write you a song. I can do a song."
Luckily common sense prevailed so Kirk Thatcher hastily formed a band, The Edge of Etiquette and "I Hate You" was recorded and used in the final edit of the movie. The song also featured a year later in the 1987 Frankie Avalons and Annette Funicello beach party comedy Back To The Beach. Allegedly Mr. Thatcher earned more from the rights than he did for his work on the Star Trek movie.
What makes "I Hate You" so enjoyable is that it manages to achieve a tongue in cheek approach to the punk genre without descending into total parody. It has an undercurrent of erudition with its articulate lyrics. "I hate you and I berate you" roll off the tongue. As does "I eschew you and I say screw you". Then again, good satire is always smart. The song was unavailable until recently, when it was included in the 2011 expanded release of the movie soundtrack album.