The remarkable true Jewish connection to the hit song “What’s On Your Mind (Pure Energy).”


Like any normal, Gen X’er, I find myself turning on MTV Classics, more and more. Unlike, normal Gen X’ers, I Google “Jewish connection” after just about any video, and believe it or not, I nearly always find something.

This one blew my mind.

I was in college at the University of Arizona, in 1988 when I first heard the No. 1 single “What’s On Your Mind (Pure Energy)”, by Information Society. I was not really into ’80’s synthpop’ but the catchy lyric that sliced through the song always stuck with me, “PURE ENERGY.  I’m betting that now matter where you were, what you listened to, if you were around in 1988, you still remember this song.

If you’re having memory issues with this tune, here’s a refresher.


My search for the Jewish connection to this tune revealed facts I did not know, despite it being pretty well documented.

The voice of “Pure Energy” was non-other than Jewish acting legend, Leonard Nimoy, AKA Mr. Spock.
That’s right, the late actor who grew up speaking Yiddish with his Ukrainian parents and is rumored to have brought the Jewish priestly blessings to popular TV in the form of his Vulcan salute was made into a cult-pop music star in the late ’80s.

Now, I’m guessing if you’re are “trekky” or just knew the show well, this is common knowledge, but for me, this was totally new information, so that’s I am sharing it here.

The Back Story

Back in 1967 in the “Errand of Mercy” episode of Star Trek, Spock describes the “super-evolved” race of Organians as “pure energy, pure thought, totally incorporeal.”  The band excerpted bits of dialogue from the episode, causing album release to be delayed six months because the Star Trek samples hadn’t been legally cleared. They finally were thanks to the help of Nimoy’s son, Adam Nimoy, who was a fan of the band.

By the way, Nimoy was no stranger to the music industry. He released five albums that mixed spoken word and singing, with two making it on the Billboard 200 in the late 1960s.

The song was so popular, one Pittsburgh station played the “pure energy” sample on a loop for 25.5 hours straight. Concerned listeners called the police and FBI.