No wonder why I love nearly everything I hear from Fad Gadget – a “band” that has been featured on both David Marsden’s and Ed-FM’s streaming shows. Wikipedia describes Fad Gadget, a pseudonym for the late Frank Tovey, as “(a)n influential British avant-garde electronic musician and vocalist, (who) was an exponent of both New Wave and early industrial music.” That can’t get any closer to the music that I adore.
Frank Tovey released LPs under both his own name and the Fad Gadget monicker. He shared a record label with Depeche Mode, who went on to critical world acclaim that continues today. In addition to being an extremely talented musician, Tovey was also well-known for his stage anctics that included tar and feathering himself, and covering himself with shaving cream while performing. Just listening to his timeless music all these years later, I can’t personally see the need for the performance art schtick because his music stands on its own merits.
In addition to synthesizers, Tovey experimented with the sounds of mechanical and electrical objects such as drills and electric razors. At one point, he was backed by a group known as Pyro when recording two of his LPs in the early 90’s. After a hiatus of several years, Tovey toured with Depeche Mode again as Fad Gadget in 2001. Unfortunately for the music world, Tovey suffered a fatal heart attack in 2002 at the age of 45. He left behind two children and a whole bunch of dedicated fans.
Visit the official Fad Gadget site for more information on this brilliant man’s short, but productive life. The photo on the left is from a collection shot by Rob Kints. View more of his photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/robkints/2121140696/ . Thanks to Mr. Kints for permission to use this great shot.
As Fad Gadget:
Fireside Favourites (1980)
Under The Flag (1982)
As Frank Tovey:
Easy Listening For The Hard Of Hearing (1984) (with Boyd Rice)
Snakes and Ladders (1986)
The Fad Gadget Singles (1986)
Tyranny & the Hired Hand (1989)