Promotional photo for
the 'Exile' album
The first 'Tubeway Army'
Promotional photo for
'New Anger' album
Theatre lobby card for
'Argh! A Music War'
Book jacket for the 1997
a pioneer of the 1980s post punk, new wave, new romantics era, Gary Numan
(real name Gary Webb) has only recently begun to get due credit for
his accomplishments in that time period as well as his influence upon today's
music makers. Acts such as Beck, Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters,
and Marilyn Manson, Trent Reznor, and Afrika Bambaata have been namedropping
After fronting several punk bands, Numan
struck out on his own, forming a band, Tubeway Army. During the recording
sessions for their album on then fledgling
Banquet label, Gary came across a synthesiser in the recording studio.
He quickly transformed Tubeway Army into a synth based band. His
idea was to make what he referred to then as machine rock. In
1979, Numan had an international hit single with the quirky, infectious
"Cars", the follow up to his UK #1, Are Friends Electric? Unfortunately
for Gary, this would be the only time he cracked the US top 10 charts,
peaking at #6. The song earned him a musical guest appearance on
"Saturday Night Live" in February 1980. I've been hooked on his music
Gary is a prolific songwriter, compiling
seven studio albums between 1978 and 1983 before virtually disappearing
altogether from the US scene. Back in his native UK, he continued
to record mainly on his own Numa label through 1997. He returned
briefly to the US in 1989, releasing three albums on the now defunct I.R.S.
Gary returned to the North American
continent in 1998 with a new album "Exile", now on the Cleopatra
label. The release included a 24 city tour of the US and Canada in
May 1998. I was fortunate enough to catch the inaugural show in Philadelphia
on May 1 and was even more fortunate to have an opportunity to chat with
Gary, his wife Gemma (a long time fan), and the band after the gig.
In addition to his musical talents,
Gary is an expert formation and stunt pilot, flying circa World War II
planes in air shows throughout the UK and has made an around-the-world
flight. His 1997 autobiography, "Praying To The Aliens" was written with
assistance from freelance writer Steve Malins (who's most recent work was
working on an autobiography with Depeche Mode). Gary has a strong contingent
of fans around the globe and has a large Internet presence, flagshipped
by his own NuWorld
site that he personally programs and maintains. He and wife Gemma are also
animal lovers and have aided a variety of animal shelters.