Please do not copy any portion of this article without the express written consent of the original author. Requests for permission may be left in the form of a comment on https://raveandroll.wordpress.com.
Stephen Numan (Scotland)
What better way to show your love and admiration for someone than to take their surname as your own? I have been privileged with meeting Stephen Numan, who kindly agreed to share his secret life as a Numanoid on Rave and Roll. His story is a fascinating one, so sit back and enjoy.
There is history behind this. My mom divorced our abusive father when I was around four or five. My surname then was McAllister. When she got her divorce, she reverted to her maiden name of Boyle. She remarried many years later, and as a courtesy to my step-dad, I took on his surname of Nobbs. I took his name because he was great for my mom, and loved her and all us kids so much. Sometime later, I realized I wanted to take on the surname of Numan. I will explain later.
I have been a fan since first seeing Gary on The Old Grey Whistle Test back, I think, in 1978. What drew me to him was the projected persona: alien-like, emotionless, staring grey eyes, the eyeliner and make-up, and the utter loneliness I heard in his voice and lyrics.
Gary Numan’s music means EVERYTHING to me. I was 12 or 13 when I first heard his music. As a depressed loner at that time, I was searching for a hero, a figure I could look up to and possibly relate to. I saw that figure in Numan. I heard in his music and lyrics all the alienation and rejection I had felt throughout my childhood.
Now then, my favorite album – tricky – I would have to say Telekon, with The Pleasure Principle a close second. My fave song – EASY – “A Prayer for the Unborn” – just because of the story it tells about Gary and Gemma’s loss.
My fave Numan moment – his first live gig in Glasgow back in the day – it was amazing to see my hero on stage. I was in tears and utterly hysterical – oh the freedom of youth!
I think it’s obvious now my fave way to express my love for him; I changed my surname by deed poll 6 years ago. When I stayed in South Africa for 25 years, I imported ALL of his albums, singles and 12-inch singles. I had so many, I used to place them upon my living room walls as homage to the great man. I came back for a holiday in 1984 to see him on The Berserker Tour – great gig – I returned to SA with the album and a few 12-inch singles. I then painted the cover of Berserker on my living room wall – 10 foot by 10 foot, draped it in blue curtains with blue lighting from below – it looked awesome!
I’m a diehard Numan fan; always have been, and always will be. Obviously, I don’t like every track, and yet I love his ballads. “Don’t Call My Name” is truly heart-wrenching.
I have never met him, which makes me sad, and yet, maybe it’s meant to be that way. “Idolize at a distance.”
Whenever I need inspiration, whenever I need to be lifted from depression, whenever I need reminding of all that is and was great in my life – I play Gary Numan. Whenever I buy a new car or mp3 player – I ALWAYS play Numan on it first.
“Sleep By Windows” by Gary Numan via YouTube user themachman19691:
“A Prayer For The Unborn” by Gary Numan via YouTube user TheTelekon: