The Secret Life of Numanoids ~ Part Ten

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.

Matt Jessup (UK) 

I have come to know Matt through FaceBook. He belongs to the legions of lifelong Gary Numan fans, discovering and falling hard for the unique look and sound Numan brought to the world at the very end of the 70s. Matt was kind enough to share his journey with us in his own words.

He writes:
I’ve followed Gary Numan since 1979. Unfortunately, I missed the Touring Principle tour, but was more than fortunate to see Teletour 80. I also consider myself one of the select few who actually witnessed the Wembley Farewell concert live. It was musical history in the making and I still can’t get over I was there. It was staggering!

I was drawn to Numan by his 1st appearance performing “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” on Top Of The Pops. My jaw hit the floor and I made everyone shut up so I could hear it. At that time, there was too much agro going on with anarchy, punks and skinheads fighting and all the sh*t music it brought (some of which I quite like now, strangely). I hated it, and Numan was a breath of fresh air. And, with me being a keyboard player, after seeing the word JP4 on Telekon, I went down to the music shop and bought one. I never looked back.

My favorite albums will always be what I consider the “Fab 5:” Tubeway Army, Replicas,  The Pleasure Principle, Telekon, and Dance. They are time machines for me. I can tell who, what, where, and when, and in some cases, can still smell her perfume. Perfect memories to perfect music. I also adore Sacrifice.

I have many, many favorite tracks: “Metal,” “Exhibition,” “Subway”…too many to list.

My most exciting moments include Dad saying “yes” to the request of £15 to go to Wembley (that included coach there and back), and finding out Gary was using the sounds I sent him for The Pleasure Principle 2009. Also, every concert I attended, it was exciting meeting up beforehand, when Gary was at the height of fame. Southampton was a sea of black and red, and I still have the red belt harness I wore to Wembley.

I can’t actually say “I love Gary Numan” because that would make me gay – ha! I always wished I looked like him, though – great eyes. I can express my love for him only one way, by declaring his sheer brilliance, which comes down to his lyrics and the way his voice fits the words. The sounds. As I said before, his lyrics can drop you to your knees and the synth lines just lift you right up. A classic example is Andy Gray’s mix of “Prayer for the Unborn.” It’s a fact that at Troxy last year, the intro and the way “Down In The Park”  kicked in actually brought tears to my eyes. It was so massive. And in that instant, I was back watching him come out in that car on Teletour. Then, I was back in the room, and my son Josh, 21 looked at me nodding and said, “Oooh yeah…Numan’s still got it.”

I met Gary Numan in 1986. We chatted for 45 minutes. No illusions were shattered; “Numan” went offstage and I chatted to “Gary Webb,” if that makes sense. Now, I would dearly love for my 2 sons to meet Gary and shake the hand of the man who has shaped 30 years of my life. They are really up for that.

The Numan experience taught me song writing and sound creation. They were great years that brought great friends, and the most loyal fan base I’ve ever known.

Machinery Strange Dreams by Matt Jessup via YouTube user DarkAngelOne:


Me, I Disconnect From You (Gary Numan)
cover by Matt Jessup via YouTube user emjay946:

Are ‘Friends’ Electric? (Gary Numan)piano cover by Matt Jessup via YouTube user emjay946:


Ghost
by Matt Jessup via YouTube user DarkAngelOne:

The Secret Life of Numanoids ~ Part Nine

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.

Stephen writes:

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:

The Secret Life of Numanoids ~ Part Eight

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.

Nik Sylvian (FaceBook persona)

The 80s decade spawned a lifetime of brilliant music that has lived long into the 21st century. Some of the more tenacious artists have made it to the present, still creating vital and brilliant music. Of course, Gary Numan is one such lesson in creative survival, and he is in good company along with artists like Peter Murphy, Bryan Ferry, Simple Minds, David Bowie, and Japan, to name a few.

Speaking of Japan, Numanoid Nik Sylvian also happens to be a deeply committed fan of David Sylvian. Both Gary Numan and David Sylvian were non-conforming pioneers during the most exciting musical decade in modern history, so it stands to reason Nik would be drawn to both of them. Let’s take a closer look at Nik’s fascination with Numan.

Nik has been a fan of Gary Numan’s for the past 30 years. There was something about Numan’s music that caught Nik’s ear three decades ago. When asked specifically what that “something” was, Nik responds, “Gary Numan talking about the future and how it would be like.”

When you love an artist, it’s very difficult to nail down a favorite creation. When asked to name a favorite album, a fan will instinctively answer, “All of them.” Nik is straightforward with his response, however, stating that “Telekon” is his favorite Gary Numan album. He quickly adds, “Also, I Assassin.”

Similarly, Nik points to “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” as his prefered Numan single, but again adds, “And also, I Assassin.” There may be a trend here!

Exciting Numan moments for Nik include seeing Gary perform on Top of the Pops and The Old Grey Whistle Test. He’s in good company with many other long-term Numanoids who hold those same precious visions close to their hearts. As a final thought on Gary Numan, Nik shares, “He’s simply the best.” I know there are many people out there that would agree.

“Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” by Gary Numan – via YouTube user dashproductions:

“I Assassin” by Gary Numan – via YouTube user GaryNumanAlbums:

The Secret Life of Numanoids ~ Part Seven

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.

Mark Kemp ~ UK

For the seventh installment of the series, Mark took the challenge to share his story about being a Numanoid with gusto. His enthusiasm for Gary Numan is genuine and infectious, and needs no further introduction from me.

Mark writes:
Gary Numan; a name that has not been far from my mind since the age of 12. Like most fans, it started one Thursday night watching “Top of the Pops.” The sound, the image….mesmerizing. I bought the single (AFE) but couldn’t afford Replicas, so I had to borrow it and tape it. My “Grease Soundtrack” cassette sounded far better with Numan taped over it!! (Piss off Travolta).

I had discovered “real” music. My Saturdays from then on consisted of looking through music magazines for anything I could find relating to Gary. I sometimes spent my entire pocket money on a magazine that contained one small picture of Gary no bigger than about 4 centimeters square!

I never made it to his first tour, but managed to see him on the Teletour, which to a young lad was mind-blowing. I AM IN THE SAME ROOM AS GARY NUMAN !!!!!! Been on every tour since then, the exception being the Wembley “final” concerts. London might as well have been the moon for a lad from up north with little money. The “holy grail” of a front row seat at a Numan gig was a long time coming. It finally came on the “Metal Rhythm” tour.

I believed that I had grown up a bit when it came to being a Numan fan. I was wrong. I was in fucking awe of the man. He stood just a few feet away and I had never even dreamt of getting this close to my hero. I held my hand out to him and mouthed, “COME HERE.” He mouthed back to me, “NO YOU COME HERE” knowing full well that I couldn’t get up on the stage. He was teasing me! He waited about 10 minutes, then he bent over and shook my hand. Yep, that was GARY NUMAN shaking MY hand!! I quickly handed him a pen and my tour programme, which he signed; I even had time to take his picture signing it.

I have met Gary on 4 occasions, the best being at the first convention held in London where I had my picture taken with him. My Numan collection still grows: rare records, concert recordings, more pictures, thanks to the wonderful eBay. Favourite song? Still CARS. After all this time I have never got bored of it. Album? Again, The Pleasure Principle is an outstanding piece of work that still sounds relevant even today: “Noise Noise,” “The Machman,” “Every Day I Die,” “This Is My House,” “We Are So Fragile,” “I Die You Die,” “Complex,” “I Dream Of Wires,” “My Shadow In Vain,” “Tracks,” and “Cry The Clock Said.”

Amazing talent. I will always prefer Gary’s older material, but the new stuff is still good; just not as good.

“Noise Noise” by Gary Numan via YouTube user patrickingham21:

“My Shadow In Vain” by Gary Numan via YouTube user dashproductions:

The Secret Life of Numanoids ~ Part Six

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.

CAZ’KIK’ASS ~ UK

I met Caz a while ago through mutual friends on YouTube and MySpace where there is a large network of Numanoids. I have really had the pleasure of getting to know her better since we met up again on FaceBook.

Caz epitomizes what it means to be a loyal Numanoid. From her, I have learned that it’s OK to not be in love with everything that Numan does. What does matter is respect for the human being behind the stage personna, along with undying loyalty.

When asked how long she’s been a fan, I was not surprised to learn Caz has been Numanoid for over 31 years.

Caz answers the question, “What drew you to Gary Numan?” with, “Seeing him perform Are ‘Friends’ Electric? on the Old Grey Whistle Test programme.”

One word suffices when asked, “What does Numan’s music mean to you?” Caz responds automatically and plainly, “Everything. It’s there for me in good times and bad.”

Me: Can you name a favorite album?
Caz: OMG!! I can’t answer that!

Me: What about favorite songs—what would they be?
Caz: “Blue Eyes,” “Every Day I Die”…need I go on?

Me: Tell me about your most exciting Gary Numan moment.
Caz: Meeting him at the Last Great Warbirds Airshow.

Caz cites her photography as a way to express her love for Gary Numan. I have also seen pictures where Caz dresses up in full make-up and clothing resembling Numan’s Dance album cover in order to host live a show featuring Zara Band who play Numan’s music. In fact, here’s a video of her in action:

When asked if she has any other thoughts to share, Caz says wistfully, “May the God live forever, and I’d like to meet him once again.”

Amen to that!

“Blue Eyes” by Gary Numan/Tubeway Army via YouTube user garycee:
 

“Every Day I Die” by Gary Numan/Tubeway Army via YouTube user PatrickIngham21:

The Secret Life of Numanoids ~ Part Five

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.

Karren Bailey – UK

I am very fortunate to know Karren on FaceBook. She has graciously agreed to share her history as a Numanoid. I am sure a lot of what Karren recalls will stimulate fond memories for many other fans. Enjoy the walk down memory lane!

Karren has this to say about her secret life as a Numanoid:

I have been a fan of Gary Numan since the very first time he appeared on “Top of The Pops” in 1979. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing or hearing. It was so different to anything I’d seen before. I was drawn to the way he was dressed, the expressions, the make-up, and the song was amazing, too—one of those unrepeatable moments in your life. Next day, the kids at school were talking about it, too. I reckon he’d surprised many a family in their front rooms that evening!

Numan’s music means everything to me. There is a Numan song for every mood, and I can’t imagine how it would have been without it!My fave Numan album changes ALL the time, from the early, right up to recent. In the early days, not having pocket money, I used to have to wait for my birthdays when my big brother used to buy them for me (always teasing that he went to another town to buy them incase he was recognised).

The Pleasure Principle and Telekon will always be special favourites, but I love Dance, Sacrifice and Pure, too.

It would be far easier to tell you the few Numan songs that I’m not keen on (“Bridge, What Bridge?”) GASP! than my favourites, but I do have a few that I go back to more often than others. Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” will always be a BIG fave as I knew it would be that first time I heard it 31 years ago. I love all the versions he’s done of it since. “Aircrash Bureau” from the Telekon album always blows me away. It’s a modern day work of art. I especially love “The Seed of a Lie,” “Crash,” “My Breathing,” “Noise Noise,” “Here Am I,” “An Alien Cure,” “A Prayer for the Unborn,” “Voix,” “On Broadway,” “Magic,” and am currently smitten with “When the Sky Bleeds.”

An exciting Numan moment has to be when my big sister took me to see him live for the first time on the Warriors tour in 1983. The local radio station dropped him back at Victoria Halls in Hanley, after an interview, and the doors were locked, leaving him standing next to me on the step. I just stood there frozen. He didn’t look too impressed, himself. I’ve never met up with/talked to Gary Numan and I don’t wait outside gigs to do this, as I’m scared it will spoil it. I keep him special.

I express my love for Gary Numan (much to my children’s distress) by dropping him into conversations as much as possible, wearing Gary Numan clothing and my “Gary Numan is God” badge. It’s amazing how many people have good and bad Numan memories to share. Even a driver delivering to my house shared that he was at the Wembley concert when he heard the music I was playing when I opened the door.

I can’t believe how many Numan friends I have found on Facebook, after being the “Only Numanoid in the Village” for years. I love hearing all their stories about naming their children after him and stuff, and how Gary Numan has been the soundtrack to their life too, despite much of the teasing that has always gone along with it.

The Seed of a Lie” by Gary Numan via YouTube user defectedmodel:

A Prayer for the Unborn” by Gary Numan via YouTube user leeleec79:

The Secret Life Of Numanoids ~ Part Four

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.

The Secret Life of Numanoids series was on hold for several months while I took the time to get a handle on some personal issues. Now that things are somewhat back under control, I’m excited to resume an inside look at what makes Gary Numan fans tick. If you would like to be a part of this ongoing series, or know someone who would, please leave a comment here or message me on FaceBook: Sandy Numanfan Missparker.

Coincidentally, both of today’s highlighted Numanoids are from Scotland. Enjoy reading what fuels their lifelong love for Gary Numan.

Robert McNab – Scotland

Robert launches into his story by telling me that he has been a fan since the very beginning of Gary Numan’s career.

“I saw Gary on Top of the Pops singing ‘Cars’ and I had not heard anything like it. It was well ahead of its time.”

Like so many fellow Numanoids, Robert finds meaning in Numan’s music. “His music is very powerful. Things that have happened in my life I can relate to in Gary’s music.”

Robert had a much easier time nailing down one favorite album versus one favorite song. “My favorite album is The Pleasure Principle. My favorite song…..oh there are many! My personal fave would have to be ‘Cars,’ a simple but brilliant song. When ‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric?’ came out, at the start I did not like it. It took some time to get used to it, then it grew on me, and it was my very first record single purchased.”

When asked to share his most exciting moment as a Gary Numan fan to date, Robert shares, “My most exciting moment had to be my very first concert at Aberdeen in 1983. During the Warriors tour up until then, I had been just an ordinary Numan fan. Then I seen this gig, and it was amazing! I was totally blown away, and then became a big Numan fan.”

In describing his love for Numan, Robert says, “I would have to say he has been a big part of my life. When he quit music in 1981, I was gutted and never really followed anyone else as much as I did with Numan.

“The thoughts I would like to share: Gary Numan is a pioneer in synth music. There have been bad times in his career where many other artists would have packed in, but Numan is a fighter and has a strong fan base behind him.”

Indeed, he has.

Photo credit: Ed Fielding Photography

Gary Numan – “We Are Glass” – via YouTube user JoshuaLovesGB:

Gary Numan – “Cars (enhanced audio)” – via YouTube user compelx:

 

Sandy Bain – Scotland

Sandy claims being a Numanoid for the past 32 years, the whole of Gary Numan’s career. When asked what initially drew him to Gary Numan’s music, Sandy replies, “Seeing him for the first time on The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1979.”

That seems to be a common thread among Numanoids; the first time seeing the unusual yet endearing Gary Numan on TV was all it took to be a lifelong fan.

Sandy has no trouble expressing what Gary Numan’s music means to him. “His music is my life,” he states confidently.

Nailing down his favorite Gary Numan album and single posed no problems. For the album, Sandy says, “It would have to be Replicas which hooked me.” And song? “I have many favourites, but ‘Angel Wars’ would be mine.”

Sandy’s most exciting Gary Numan moment was meeting him for the first time in 2006. When I asked what his favorite way to express his love for Gary Numan is, he states firmly, “He is God.”

In closing, Sandy has this to say, “I have loved Gary for years, and his music has got me through many ups and downs in my life.”

That’s something that many of us can relate to.

Gary Numan – “Angel Wars” – via YouTube user webbfoxx:


Gary Numan – “Complex” – via YouTube user DrMorbeus: