Gary Numan

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Gary Numan
Garynuman2011.jpg
Numan performing live in Manchester, 2011
Background information
Birth nameGary Anthony James Webb
Born (1958-03-08) 8 March 1958 (age 60)
Hammersmith, London, England
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • composer
  • musician
  • record producer
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • keyboards
  • guitar
Years active1977–present
Labels
Associated acts
Website garynuman.co.uk

Gary Anthony James Webb (born 8 March 1958), known professionally as Gary Numan, is an English singer, songwriter, composer, and record producer. Born in West London, he first entered the music industry as frontman of the new wave band Tubeway Army. After releasing two albums with the band, Numan released his debut solo LP The Pleasure Principle in 1979, topping the UK Albums Chart. He achieved his peak of mainstream popularity in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the No. 1 singles "Are 'Friends' Electric?" and "Cars", but maintains a cult following. [7]

West London is an official sub-region of Greater London, consisting of the London Boroughs of Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow and Richmond upon Thames.

New wave is a genre of rock music popular in the late 1970s and the 1980s with ties to mid-1970s punk rock. New wave moved away from blues and rock and roll sounds to create rock music or pop music (later) that incorporated disco, mod, and electronic music. Initially new wave was similar to punk rock, before becoming a distinct genre. It subsequently engendered subgenres and fusions, including synth-pop.

Tubeway Army British band

Tubeway Army were a London-based new wave and electronic band led by lead singer Gary Numan. They were the first band of the electronic era to have a synthesiser-based number-one hit, with their single "Are 'Friends' Electric?" and its parent album Replicas both topping the UK charts in mid-1979. After its release, Numan opted to drop the Tubeway Army name and release music under his own name as he was the sole songwriter, producer and public face of the band, but he retained the musicians from Tubeway Army as his backing band.

Contents

Numan is considered a pioneer of commercial electronic music, and his signature sound consists of heavy synthesiser hooks fed through guitar effects pedals. [4] [5] He is also known for his distinctive voice and androgynous "android" persona. [8] In 2017 he received an Ivor Novello Award, the Inspiration Award, from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors.

Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments, digital instruments and circuitry-based music technology. In general, a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means, and that produced using electronics only. Electromechanical instruments include mechanical elements, such as strings, hammers, and so on, and electric elements, such as magnetic pickups, power amplifiers and loudspeakers. Examples of electromechanical sound producing devices include the telharmonium, Hammond organ, and the electric guitar, which are typically made loud enough for performers and audiences to hear with an instrument amplifier and speaker cabinet. Pure electronic instruments do not have vibrating strings, hammers, or other sound-producing mechanisms. Devices such as the theremin, synthesizer, and computer can produce electronic sounds.

A hook is a musical idea, often a short riff, passage, or phrase, that is used in popular music to make a song appealing and to "catch the ear of the listener". The term generally applies to popular music, especially rock, R&B, hip hop, dance, and pop. In these genres, the hook is often found in, or consists of, the chorus. A hook can be either melodic or rhythmic, and often incorporates the main motif for a piece of music.

Effects unit electronic or digital device that alters how a musical instrument or other audio source sounds

An effects unit or effectspedal is an electronic or digital device that alters the sound of a musical instrument or other audio source. Common effects include distortion/overdrive, often used with electric guitar in electric blues and rock music; dynamic effects such as volume pedals and compressors, which affect loudness; filters such as wah-wah pedals and graphic equalizers, which modify frequency ranges; modulation effects, such as chorus, flangers and phasers; pitch effects such as pitch shifters; and time effects, such as reverb and delay, which create echoing sounds.

Early life

Gary Anthony James Webb was born on 8 March 1958 in Hammersmith, West London, the son of a British Airways bus driver based at Heathrow Airport. [9] He was educated at Town Farm Junior School in Stanwell, Surrey, Ashford County Grammar School, then Slough Grammar School in Berkshire, [10] followed by Brooklands Technical College in Surrey. He joined the Air Training Corps as a teenager. He then briefly held various jobs including forklift truck driver, air conditioning ventilator fitter, and accounts clerk.

Hammersmith district in west London, England

Hammersmith is a district of west London, England, located 4.3 miles (6.9 km) west-southwest of Charing Cross. It is the administrative centre of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, and identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.

British Airways (BA) is the flag carrier and the largest airline in the United Kingdom based on fleet size, or the second largest, behind easyJet, when measured by passengers carried. The airline is based in Waterside near its main hub at London Heathrow Airport. In January 2011 BA merged with Iberia, creating the International Airlines Group (IAG), a holding company registered in Madrid, Spain. IAG is the world's third-largest airline group in terms of annual revenue and the second-largest in Europe. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and in the FTSE 100 Index.

Heathrow Airport major international airport serving London, England, United Kingdom

Heathrow Airport, also known as London Heathrow, is a major international airport in London, United Kingdom. Heathrow is the second busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic, as well as the busiest airport in Europe by passenger traffic, and the seventh busiest airport in the world by total passenger traffic. It is one of six international airports serving Greater London. In 2018, it handled a record 80.1 million passengers, a 2.7% increase from 2017 as well as 480,339 aircraft movements, a 4,715 increase from 2017.

When Numan was 15 years old, his father bought him a Gibson Les Paul, which he regards as his most treasured possession. [11] He played in various bands, including Mean Street and the Lasers, before forming Tubeway Army with his uncle, Jess Lidyard, and Paul Gardiner. His initial pseudonym was "Valerian", probably in reference to the hero in French science fiction comic series Valérian and Laureline . [12] He later picked the surname "Numan" from an advert in the Yellow pages for a plumber whose surname was "Neumann". [13]

Gibson Les Paul solid body electric guitar

The Gibson Les Paul is a solid body electric guitar that was first sold by the Gibson Guitar Corporation in 1952. The Les Paul was designed by Gibson president Ted McCarty, factory manager John Huis and their team. Its design typically comprises a solid mahogany body with a carved maple top and a single cutaway, a mahogany set-in neck with a rosewood fretboard, two pickups with independent volume and tone controls, and a stoptail bridge, although variants exist.

Jess Lidyard is the former drummer of Tubeway Army. He is bandleader Gary Numan's uncle, and played on the band's self-titled debut album and on the highly successful Replicas, which featured the hit "Are 'Friends' Electric?". He is the long-time drummer of the Windsor band Brock and the Badgers.

Paul Gardiner musician

Paul Mark Gardiner was a British musician who played bass guitar with Gary Numan and Tubeway Army, as well as creating material under his own name.

Career

1978-1979: Tubeway Army and The Pleasure Principle

Numan came to prominence at the end of the 1970s as lead singer, songwriter, and record producer for Tubeway Army. After recording an album's worth of punk-influenced demo tapes (released in 1984 as The Plan ), he was signed by Beggars Banquet Records in 1978 and quickly released two singles, "That's Too Bad" and "Bombers", neither of which charted.

Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed in the mid-1970s in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in 1960s garage rock and other forms of what is now known as "proto-punk" music, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. Punk bands typically produced short or fast-paced songs, with hard-edged melodies and singing styles, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produce recordings and distribute them through independent record labels and other informal channels.

Demo (music) song or group of songs recorded for limited circulation or reference use rather than for general public release

A demo is a song or group of songs recorded for limited circulation or reference use rather than for general public release. A demo is a way for a musician to approximate their ideas in a fixed format, such as cassette tape, compact disc, or digital audio files, and to thereby pass along those ideas to record labels, record producers, or to other artists.

<i>The Plan</i> (Tubeway Army album) compilation album by Gary Numan

The Plan is an archival compilation album of early demo recordings by British new wave band Tubeway Army, released in 1984.

A self-titled, new wave-oriented debut album later that same year sold out its limited run and introduced Numan's fascination with dystopian science fiction [14] and synthesisers. Tubeway Army's third single, the dark-themed and slow-paced "Down in the Park" (1979), also failed to chart, but it would prove to be one of Numan's most enduring and oft-covered songs. It was featured with other contemporary hits on the soundtrack for the 1980 film Times Square , and a live version of the song can be seen in the 1982 film Urgh! A Music War . Following exposure in a television advertisement for Lee Cooper jeans with the jingle "Don't Be a Dummy", [14] Tubeway Army released the single "Are 'Friends' Electric?" in May 1979. The single took seven weeks before finally reaching No. 1 at the end of June; its parent album Replicas simultaneously reached No. 1.

<i>Tubeway Army</i> (album) album

Tubeway Army is the debut album by Tubeway Army, released in 1978. Its initial limited-edition run of 5,000 sold out but did not chart. When reissued in mid-1979, following the success of the follow-up Replicas (1979), the more commonly known cover art featuring a stylised portrait of Gary Numan was introduced. This release made No. 14 in the UK album charts.

A dystopia is a community or society that is undesirable or frightening. It is translated as "not-good place" and is an antonym of utopia, a term that was coined by Sir Thomas More and figures as the title of his best known work, Utopia, published 1516, a blueprint for an ideal society with minimal crime, violence and poverty.

Down in the Park 1979 single by Tubeway Army

"Down in the Park" is a 1979 song by the English band Tubeway Army, featuring lead vocals by Gary Numan. It was released as the first single from the band's second album Replicas, though was not a hit. The song was written and produced by the band's frontman Gary Numan, and despite its lack of commercial success, has been performed by Numan regularly in his live shows throughout the years.

A few months later Numan found success in the charts on both sides of the Atlantic with "Cars", which peaked at No. 1 in the UK in 1979, No. 1 in Canada [15] and No. 9 in the U.S. in 1980. "Cars" and the 1979 album The Pleasure Principle were both released under Numan's own stage name. The album reached number-one in the UK, and a sell-out tour (The Touring Principle) followed; the concert video it spawned is often cited as the first full-length commercial music video release. [16] [17] The Pleasure Principle was a rock album with no guitars; instead, Numan used synthesisers fed through guitar effects pedals to achieve a distorted, phased, metallic tone. A second single from the album, "Complex", made it to No. 6 on the UK Singles Chart.

1980-1990: Record label foundation and collaborations

Numan performing live, February 1980 Gary Numan playing.jpg
Numan performing live, February 1980

In 1980, Numan topped the album charts for a third time with Telekon , with the singles "We Are Glass", "I Die: You Die" released prior to the album reaching No. 5 and No. 6. "This Wreckage" taken from the album in December also entered the Top 20. Telekon, the final studio album that Numan retrospectively termed the "Machine" section of his career, [18] reintroduced guitars to Numan's music and featured a wider range of synthesisers. The same year he embarked on his second major tour ("The Teletour") with an even more elaborate stage show than the Touring Principle the previous year. He announced his retirement from touring with a series of sell-out concerts at Wembley Arena in April 1981, supported by experimental musician Nash the Slash and Shock, a rock/mime/burlesque troupe whose members included Barbie Wilde, Tik and Tok, and Carole Caplin. A live two album set from the 1979 and 1980 tours released at this time reached No. 2 in the charts. Both albums, also individually released as Living Ornaments '79 and Living Ornaments '80 also charted. The decision to retire would be short-lived.

Departing from the pure electropop that he had been associated with, Numan began experimenting with jazz, funk, and ethereal, rhythmic pop. His first album after his 1981 farewell concerts was Dance (1981). The album charted as high as No. 3 on the UK charts, with an eight-week chart run and produced one hit single ("She's Got Claws") reaching No. 6. [19] The album featured several distinguished guest players; Mick Karn (bass guitar; saxophone) and Rob Dean (guitar) of Japan, Roger Mason (keyboards) of Models, and Roger Taylor (drums) of Queen. [20]

With his former backing band, Chris Payne (keyboards; viola), Russell Bell (guitar), and Ced Sharpley (drums) now reformed as Dramatis, Numan contributed vocals to the minor hit "Love Needs No Disguise" from the album For Future Reference and lent vocals to the first single release by his long-term bassist Paul Gardiner, "Stormtrooper in Drag", which also made the charts. However, Numan's career had begun to experience a gradual decline, and he was eclipsed initially by acts such as Adam Ant, and later by the Human League, Duran Duran, and Depeche Mode. Each album also saw a new "image", none of which captured the public's imagination to nearly the same extent as the lonely android of 1979. [8]

The album I, Assassin (1982) fared less well than Dance. Despite producing one Top 10 and two Top 20 singles, the album peaked at No. 8 with a six-week chart run. [21] Numan supported the album with a concert tour in America in late 1982 (where at the time he was living as a tax exile).[ citation needed ]

Warriors (1983) further developed Numan's jazz-influenced style and featured contributions from avant-garde musician Bill Nelson (who fell out with Numan during recording and chose to be uncredited as the album's co-producer), and saxophonist Dick Morrissey (who would play on most of Numan's albums until 1991).[ citation needed ] The album peaked at No. 12, produced two hit singles including the Top 20 title-track and, like I, Assassin, spent six weeks in the charts. Warriors was the last album Numan recorded for Beggars Banquet Records, and was supported by a 40-date UK tour (again with support from robotic mime and music duo Tik and Tok).[ citation needed ]

Numan subsequently issued a series of albums and singles on his own record label, Numa. The first album released on Numa, 1984's Berserker was also notable for being Numan's first foray into music computers/samplers, in this case the PPG Wave. The album was accompanied by a new blue-and-white visual image (including Numan himself with blue hair), a tour, a live album/video/EP, and the title track reached the UK Top 40 when released as a single. Despite this, the album divided critics and fans and commercially it was Numan's least successful release to that point.

Numan's next album, The Fury (1985), charted slightly higher than Berserker breaking the Top 30. Again, the album heralded a change of image, this time featuring Numan in a white suit and red bow tie. Four singles were released from the album, all reaching the UK Top 50.[ citation needed ]

Collaborations with Bill Sharpe of Shakatak as Sharpe & Numan helped little, though two singles that the duo recorded did see chart action: "Change Your Mind", reached No. 17 in 1985, and "No More Lies" reached No. 35 in 1988. In 1987, Numan performed vocals for three singles by Radio Heart, a project of brothers Hugh and David Nicholson, formerly of Marmalade and Blue, which charted with varying success ("Radio Heart" #35 UK, "London Times" #48, "All Across The Nation" #81). [22] An album was also released, credited to "Radio Heart featuring Gary Numan" although Numan only appeared on three tracks, but failed to chart. Also in 1987, Numan's old label Beggars Banquet released the best-of compilation "Exhibition", which reached #43 on the UK albums chart, [23] and a remix of "Cars". The remix, titled "Cars (E Reg Model)" charted at #16, Numan's final Top 20 hit until the 1996 rerelease of the same song. [24] Numa Records, which had been launched in a flurry of idealistic excitement, folded after the release of Numan's 1986 album Strange Charm , though the album did contain two Top 30 hits (Numan's highest singles chart placings since 1983).[ citation needed ] In addition to Numa Records' commercial failure, Numan's own fortune amassed since the late 1970s, which he estimated at £4.5 million, was drained. Numan then signed to I.R.S. Records though his final studio album of the 1980s, Metal Rhythm (1988), also sold relatively poorly. For its American release, the record label changed the album's title to New Anger after the album's lead single, changed the album colour from black to blue, and remixed several of its tracks against Numan's wishes. In 1989, the Sharpe & Numan album Automatic was released through Polydor Records, though this too failed to garner much commercial success, briefly entering the charts.[ citation needed ]

1991-2008: Worldwide acknowledgement

In 1991, Numan ventured into film-scoring by co-composing the music for The Unborn with Michael R. Smith (the score was later released as an instrumental album in 1995, Human). After Outland (1991), another critical and commercial disappointment and his second and last studio album with I.R.S., Numan reactivated Numa Records, under which he would release his next two albums. He supported Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (who had opened for him in 1979) on a 1993 arena tour. By 1994, Numan decided to stop attempting to crack the pop market and concentrate instead on exploring more personal themes, including his vocal atheism. His future wife Gemma encouraged him to strip away the influences of the more recent years. Numan re-evaluated his career and veered toward a harsher, more industrial direction with his songwriting on the album Sacrifice for the first time he played almost all the instruments himself. The move was critically well-received, as Numan's harder and darker sound emerged just as Numan-influenced bands like Nine Inch Nails were enjoying their first rush of fame.[ citation needed ] The influence was two-way; Numan claimed that Nine Inch Nails' song "Closer" is his favourite hit single of all time, and influenced his music.[ citation needed ]Sacrifice was the last album Numan made before shutting down Numa Records permanently. His next two studio albums, Exile (1997) and Pure (2000), were well received and significantly helped to restore his critical reputation. Numan toured the U.S. in support of Exile, his first stateside concerts since the early 1980s. [8] Fear Factory produced a cover of "Cars" (featuring a prominent guest appearance by Numan himself) for the digipak version of their 1999 album, Obsolete .

Numan performing live, 2007 MrGaryNuman.jpg
Numan performing live, 2007

Numan had become acknowledged and respected by his peers, with such musicians as Dave Grohl (of Foo Fighters and Nirvana), Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails), and Marilyn Manson proclaiming his work an influence and recording cover versions of old Numan hits. [25] [26] The band Basement Jaxx had a huge hit in 2002 with "Where's Your Head At", which relied on a sample of Numan's "M.E."from The Pleasure Principlefor its hook. Nine Inch Nails covered the song "Metal" on The Fragile remix album Things Falling Apart as did Afrika Bambaataa (with Numan himself) on the album Dark Matter Moving at the Speed of Light . "Cars" remains Numan's most enduring song; it was a hit again in 1987 (remixed by Zeus B. Held) and 1996, in the latter case thanks to an appearance in an advert for Carling brewery. In 2000, DJ Armand Van Helden sampled the track and mixed it up in his single "Koochy" which conquered the dance floors. In 2002, English girl group the Sugababes scored a No. 1 with "Freak Like Me"a mashup of Adina Howard's "Freak Like Me" and "Are "Friends" Electric?" by Numan's Tubeway Army.

Promoting the 2008 Replicas Tour Numan Replicas Tour 2008.jpg
Promoting the 2008 Replicas Tour

In 2002, Numan enjoyed chart success once again with the single "Rip", reaching No. 29 on the UK Singles Chart and in 2003 with the Gary Numan vs Rico single "Crazier", which reached No. 13 in the UK chart. Rico also worked on the remix album Hybrid which featured reworkings of older songs in a more contemporary industrial style as well as new material. Other artists and producers who contributed on these remixes included Curve, Flood, Andy Gray, Alan Moulder, New Disease, and Sulpher. 2003 also saw Numan performing the vocals on a track named "Pray for You" on the Plump DJs album Eargasm. In 2004, Numan took control of his own business affairs again, launching the label Mortal Records and releasing a series of live DVDs. On 13 March 2006, Numan's album, Jagged , was released. An album launch gig took place at The Forum, London on 18 March followed by UK, European and U.S. tours in support of the release. Numan also launched a Jagged website to showcase the new album, and made plans to have his 1981 farewell concert (previously released as Micromusic on VHS) issued on DVD by November 2006 as well as releasing the DVD version of the Jagged album launch gig. Numan undertook a Telekon 'Classic Album' tour in the UK in December 2006.

Numan performing live at Bestival, September 2008 Gary numan bestival 09 08 (cropped brighter).jpg
Numan performing live at Bestival, September 2008

Numan contributed vocals to four tracks on the April 2007 release of the debut solo album by Ade Fenton Artificial Perfect on his new industrial/electronic label Submission, including songs "The Leather Sea", "Slide Away", "Recall", and the first single to be taken from the album, "Healing". The second single to be released in the UK was "The Leather Sea" on 30 July 2007, which charted.

He sold out a 15-date UK & Ireland tour in spring 2008 during which he performed his 1979 number-one album Replicas in its entirety, and all the Replicas-era music including B-sides. [27] The successful tour also raised Numan's profile in the media again due to the fact that it coincided with his 30th anniversary in the music business.

In November 2007, Numan confirmed via his website that work on a new album, with the working title of Splinter, would be under way throughout 2008, after finishing an alternate version of Jagged (called Jagged Edge ) and the CD of unreleased songs from his previous three albums (confirmed to be titled Dead Son Rising on 1 December 2008 via official mailing list message). He wrote that Splinter was likely to be released in early 2010.

2009-present

In a September 2009 interview with The Quietus , Numan said that he and Trent Reznor planned to make music together. [28]

Numan was set to perform a small number of American live dates in April 2010, including a Coachella Festival appearance in California, but had to cancel because air travel in Europe was halted by the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud. As a result, the tour was not only postponed but expanded, and his Pleasure Principle 30th Anniversary Tour's American and Mexican dates began on 17 October 2010, at Firestone Live in Orlando, Florida.[ citation needed ]

Numan toured Australia in May 2011 performing his seminal album The Pleasure Principle in its entirety to celebrate its thirtieth anniversary. Joining him on tour was Australian electronic band Severed Heads, coming out of retirement especially for the shows. [29]

Numan lent his vocals to the track "My Machines" on Battles's 2011 album Gloss Drop . He was chosen by Battles to perform at the ATP Nightmare Before Christmas festival that they co-curated in December 2011 in Minehead, England. [30] Numan's album Dead Son Rising was released on 16 September 2011 which had a full UK tour split in two halves, 15–21 September and 7–11 December, Both parts were supported by Welsh soloist Jayce Lewis in an interview during the tour; Numan praised Lewis for being the best supporting act ever in his 30 years of touring, later documenting the tour in a tour diary and publicly inviting Lewis to join him for an American tour in 2012. [31] [32] [33]

Numan also provided narration for Aurelio Voltaire's short film Odokuro in 2011.

While working on a new album due for release in 2013, Numan said "The one I'm working on now which I'm trying to get out in the middle of next year. It's very heavy, very aggressive and very dark. There are elements of Dead Son Rising in that, but it's much further along that particular road." [34]

The album Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind) , was released on 14 October 2013. It reached the UK Top 20, his first album to do so for 30 years. It was promoted by an extensive US, Canada, UK & Ireland tour which continued in 2014 to include Israel, New Zealand, Australia and Europe. A further US leg took place in late 2014.[ citation needed ]

In June 2014, Numan collaborated with Jayce Lewis and his Protafield project on the track "Redesign" featured on Protafield's Nemesis Album. [35] Numan also provided vocals for the song "Long Way Down" composed by Masafumi Takada and Rich Dickerson for the video game The Evil Within . The game was released on 14 October 2014. Numan performed a sold-out, one-off live show in London in November 2014 at the Hammersmith Apollo supported by Gang of Four.

On 29 April 2015, Numan announced via his Facebook page that he had begun writing songs for the follow-up album to Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind). [36]

Numan collaborated with the industrial pop group VOWWS for "Losing Myself in You" on their debut album The Great Sun.

On 6 May 2016, Numan was one of several collaborators on Jean-Michel Jarre's album Electronica 2: The Heart of Noise , with the track "Here for You", co-written by Jarre and Numan.

On 10 May 2016, Numan was named the recipient of the 2016 Moog Innovation Award by Moog Music. [37] On 18 May 2017, Numan was awarded an Ivor Novello for Inspiration award in London. [38]

In 2017, Numan released the single "My Name Is Ruin" and went on a European tour September. Numan's album Savage (Songs from a Broken World) was released on 15 September and charted at number two in the UK. [39] [40] [41] He was the winner of the 2017 T3 tech legends award. [42] [43]

In 2017 he received an Ivor Novello Award, the Inspiration Award, from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors. [44]

On September 24, 2018, Numan's tour bus struck and killed an elderly man in Cleveland, Ohio at the intersection of East 9th St. and Superior Ave. [45] The driver was not immediately charged. Numan was scheduled to appear at the Cleveland House of Blues that evening but canceled the show for being "inappropriate" in light of the day's tragedy. Numan posted on Twitter later in the day, saying, "We are all utterly devastated by the fatal accident involving our tour bus in Cleveland earlier today. Everyone of us is filled with a sadness that made it impossible to even consider playing our show this evening, and out of respect it would have been entirely wrong. I'm sure you can understand why we cancelled and I apologize to the House of Blues and to the fans for any difficulties or disappointment this decision may have caused. All tickets will be honored at the point of purchase. At the moment all we can think about are the people affected by this terrible tragedy and to them we send all our love." [46]

Image

In the late 1970s, Numan began developing his style. According to Numan, this was an unintentional result of acne; before an appearance on Top of the Pops , he had "spots everywhere, so they slapped about half an inch of white make-up on me before I'd even walked in the door. And my eyes were like pissholes in the snow, so they put black on there. My so-called image fell into place an hour before going on the show". [8] His "wooden" stage presence was, in his words, a result of extreme self-consciousness and lack of "showmanship" and often referred to as being "like an android". [8] During this period, Numan generated an army of fans calling themselves "Numanoids", providing him with a fanbase which maintained their support through the latter half of the 1980s, when his fortunes began to fall precipitously. [8] [20] He later said that he "... got really hung up with this whole thing of not feeling, being cold about everything, not letting emotions get to you, or presenting a front of not feeling". [8]

Personal life

Numan was an outspoken supporter of the Conservative Party and of Margaret Thatcher after her election as Prime Minister. [47] [48] He later expressed regret for giving his public support, calling it "a noose around my neck". [48] He has previously said that he considers himself neither left-wing nor right-wing and that he does not support Tony Blair or David Cameron. [48] Numan also said, "I'm not socialist, I know that. I don't believe in sharing my money." [47]

In 1997, Numan married Gemma O'Neill, a member of his fan club from Sidcup. [49] [50] Numan used to reside with his family in East Sussex, until he moved to Los Angeles, California in October 2012. [51] He published his autobiography, Praying to the Aliens, in 1997 (updated edition 1998), in collaboration with Steve Malins. (Malins also wrote the liner notes for most of the CD reissues of Numan's albums in the late 1990s, as well as executive producing the Hybrid album in 2003.)

At age 15, after a series of outbursts in which Numan would "smash things up, scream and shout, get in people's faces and break stuff", he was prescribed antidepressants and anxiolytics. [8] Numan's wife later suggested he had Asperger syndrome; after reading about the syndrome and taking a series of online tests, he agreed, and identified himself as having AS. [52] In a 2001 interview, he said, "Polite conversation has never been one of my strong points. Just recently I actually found out that I'd got a mild form of Asperger's syndrome which basically means I have trouble interacting with people. For years, I couldn't understand why people thought I was arrogant, but now it all makes more sense." [53] In a April 2018 interview with The Guardian he disclosed that he had been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome at the age of fourteen. [54]

Following the apparent harassment of his wife while his family was walking on a high street in his local area, and his feelings following the 2011 London riots, Numan filed papers to emigrate to Santa Monica, California. Numan said, "Every village and town in England has a bunch of thugs running around in it. The riots were the nail in the coffin." [55]

In the September 2011 Q&A section of Numan's official web site, [56] in answer to the question, "Is it true you now hate England and want to leave?" he replied, "No, that's utter rubbish." He explained that he had "never been abused in my local high street" and has "made no firm decision about leaving the UK", but thugs are helping make such a decision, pointing out that the rioting "makes us look like a country of ignorant savages, beating up people already injured, pretending to help while stealing their things, hitting old men, killing them". He went on to explain that soundtracks may be a logical step, as he gets older and since "in the UK we have no meaningful film industry to speak of", a move to the U.S. might be more reasonable. He concluded by saying his family are highest priority and, "If I see somewhere that seems safer, happier, and will give them a better life than the UK, I'll take them there if I possibly can." [57]

Numan has three daughters, Raven, Persia and Echo; [58] all three appeared briefly in the 2013 video for "Love Hurt Bleed", and 11-year-old Persia contributed vocals to and was featured in the 2017 video for "My Name Is Ruin". [59] As of 2017, he continued to live in California with them. [60]

Discography

Related Research Articles

Cars (song) song by Gary Numan

"Cars" is a song by English musician Gary Numan. His debut single, it was released as the lead single from his debut studio album, The Pleasure Principle (1979), on 21 August 1979. It reached the top of the charts in several countries, and today is considered a new wave staple.

Are "Friends" Electric? 1979 single by Tubeway Army

"Are 'Friends' Electric?" is a 1979 song by the English band Tubeway Army. Taken from their album Replicas, it was released as a single in May 1979 and reached number one in the UK Singles Chart, staying there for four weeks. It was written and produced by Gary Numan, the band's frontman and lead vocalist.

<i>Replicas</i> (album) album by Tubeway Army

Replicas is the second and final studio album by English new wave band Tubeway Army, released in April 1979 by Beggars Banquet Records. It followed their self-titled debut from the previous year. After this, Tubeway Army frontman Gary Numan would continue to release records under his own name, though the musicians in Tubeway Army would continue to work with him for some time. Replicas was the first album of what Numan later termed the "machine" phase of his career, preceding The Pleasure Principle and Telekon, a collection linked by common themes of a dystopian science fiction future and transmutation of man/machine, coupled with an androgynous image and a synthetic rock sound.

<i>The Pleasure Principle</i> (Gary Numan album) album by Gary Numan

The Pleasure Principle is the debut solo studio album by English musician Gary Numan. Released about six months after Replicas (1979), the second album with his band Tubeway Army, The Pleasure Principle peaked at number 1 in the United Kingdom.

<i>Telekon</i> album by Gary Numan

Telekon is the second solo studio album by English musician Gary Numan. It debuted at the top of the UK Albums Chart in September 1980, making it his third consecutive No. 1 album.

<i>Pure</i> (Gary Numan album) album by Gary Numan

Pure is the fourteenth solo studio album by English musician Gary Numan, released in November 2000 by Eagle Records.

Thats Too Bad 1978 single by Gary Numan and Tubeway Army

"That's Too Bad" is the debut single by Tubeway Army, the band which provided the initial musical vehicle for Gary Numan. It was released in February 1978 by independent London record label Beggars Banquet. On the day of its release, Numan quit his job in a warehouse to become a professional musician.

<i>I, Assassin</i> album by Gary Numan

I, Assassin is the fourth solo studio album by English musician Gary Numan. Released in 1982, it reached no. 8 on the UK charts.

<i>Berserker</i> (Gary Numan album) Gary Numan album

Berserker is the sixth solo studio album by English musician Gary Numan, released in 1984. It was his first album to be released under Numan's own record label, Numa Records.

<i>Warriors</i> (Gary Numan album) studio album by Gary Numan

Warriors is the fifth solo studio album by English musician Gary Numan, originally released in September 1983. It was his last studio album released on Beggars Banquet Records.

<i>The Fury</i> (album) album by Gary Numan

The Fury is the seventh solo studio album by English musician Gary Numan, originally released in September 1985, it was Numan's second release on his self-owned Numa Records label. It saw him continuing to explore the sample-heavy industrial sound that he had developed for his previous album Berserker in 1984.

<i>New Man Numan: The Best of Gary Numan</i> 1982 compilation album by Gary Numan

New Man Numan: The Best of Gary Numan is a compilation album released on the T.V. Records label in 1982 of songs featuring Gary Numan. The album reached number 45 on the UK Albums Chart.

<i>Strange Charm</i> album by Gary Numan

Strange Charm is the eighth solo studio album by English musician Gary Numan, originally released in November 1986, it was Numan's third release on his self-owned Numa Records label. The album was not released in the United States until 1999 when it was issued in a digitally remastered form with five bonus tracks by Cleopatra Records. In the same year it was also reissued with bonus tracks in the United Kingdom by Eagle Records.

<i>Metal Rhythm</i> album by Gary Numan

Metal Rhythm is the ninth solo studio album by English musician Gary Numan, originally released in September 1988 by I.R.S. Records.

Gary Numan discography

The following is a comprehensive discography of Gary Numan, a British singer, songwriter and musician. Numan released his first record in 1978 as part of the outfit Tubeway Army. Initially unsuccessful, the band scored a huge hit in 1979 with the single "Are Friends Electric" and their second album Replicas, both of which reached number one in the UK. Numan then decided to release further recordings under his own name, beginning with the single "Cars" later in 1979. Both this and the subsequent album The Pleasure Principle also reached number one in the UK, and Numan became a leading force in the British electronic music scene. He scored a third number one album in 1980 with Telekon, and more hit singles and albums until the mid 1980s when his popularity waned. Despite this, he has continued to record and tour on a regular basis up to the present day. His latest studio album, Savage was released on 15 September 2017, entering the UK Albums Chart at no. 2—Numan's highest chart peak since 1980. In 1993 he recorded an album made entirely of ballads which remains unreleased to this day.

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Bibliography