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As much as I would like The World Wide Webb to feature the very latest in news and information from the Numan camp, I've come to realize that the job is next to impossible for the simple reason that I'm 11,000 kilometres away from the action. I'll do my best, though, in reporting the latest news and rumours from various sources. Please understand, however, that I make no claim to objectivity. What you're reading here is coloured by my own rather in-your-face opinions, which you may or may not agree with - your mileage may vary. These opinions are representative of the views of myself, Joey Lindstrom, and my web-site partner, Racey Sealock, and possibly NO-ONE ELSE.
You can find the very latest news from within the Numan camp on Gary's own NuWORLD News Page.
Well, as you can plainly see, this site hasn't been updated in quite some time. And, during that time, a whole lot has happened in the Numan world. Exile's out and been well received, Gary's completed his UK tour and has plans for several more tours over the next 18 months, including US/Canada, the video for "Dominion Day" is to be shot on January 7th, his autobiography has been released (a fascinating read, I might add), Matthew Holbrook's Nu-Zone website went offline, and much more.
So where the hell has the World Wide Webb been during all this?
Well, I've been right here. But things have been a little hairy around here. Most notably: I finally broke down and succumbed to the pressures of the Evil Empire.
I installed Windows 95.
So here I am, with my email software barely functioning and trying to get the hang of a whole pile of new software. I gotta admit, I'm quite happy with Netscape Communicator 4.01, I'm using it right now (the Composer part) to write this update. But things haven't gone completely according to plan. I bought a new sound card only to have to throw it away and get another one cuz the first one didn't come with decent (Soundblaster-compatible) DOS drivers. Software problems have been a major headache. The long and the short of it is: since converting to Win95, I've had so many problems just keeping this machine up and running, never mind trying to get any actual WORK out of it, that other projects such as The World Wide Webb have, unfortunately, fallen by the wayside.
In some respects, however, this has actually been a good thing. For one, with my site being temporarily out of action and with Matthew's site going offline, this has focused some well-deserved attention upon Robert Eggleston's "Are 'Friends' Electric?" website, which is doing a bang-up job delivering timely news and rumours. Robert really deserves one hell of a round of applause for the job he's doing there.
Secondly, it's given me a chance to re-think some key aspects of this site. And it comes down to this: the site is chock-full of cool stuff, but much of it is hard to find. In some cases, very hard to find. So, I've got some ideas rattlin' around in my head for a bit of a site overhaul. I'm going to trim things down quite a bit so that things aren't quite so "scattered" all hither and thither. I'm going to reduce some of the graphical content. And, hopefully, I'll finally make good on my oft-repeated promise of a DOMAIN NAME for this site.
The long and the short of it is this: the site's gone the last two months with nary an update, and likely won't get much attention in that department for a while yet. But I'll be busy in the background (barring more software problems) working on the overhaul. And then one day you'll pop in to visit The World Wide Webb and discover things have changed dramatically. For the better, I hope.
In the meantime, there are a lot of good Numan sites on the web. Please be sure to visit them all often (especially Rob's site for the latest news). For a list, please visit our I Dream Of Wires page.
Paul Madigan, formerly of The Numan Principle, checks in with this tidbit for our UK viewers:
Gary will be at the Waterstones booksellers in Birmingham (that's in England, by the way) between 2pm and 3pm on Tuesday, November 4th to sign copies of his autobiography, "Praying To The Aliens".
Chris Newman writes that he's got an authentic Polymoog synthesizer USED BY GARY during his early days. He says that the Polymoog in question was actually purchased through Gary's then-local music shop in Addlestone, Surrey, and was part of a large shipment of equipment sent to the shop as part of a general sell-off. Moreover, for anyone with doubts, he says he can prove the authentication of the keyboard, with a receipt from ABC Music stating that it was formerly owned by Gary. He adds that he's also worked with (former Numan band member) Chris Payne with this very machine.
Personally, I think this would be a somewhat COOL item to own, but I'm afraid I just can't afford the purchase price of £200.00 - with an additional £100.00 in servicing needed. So I figured I'd pass it along to you. Anyone interested should email Chris directly.
Matthew Holbrook made a really good point recently and I'd like to underscore it a bit. Some folks are a wee bit disappointed at the promotion, or lack thereof, of Exile in the UK. Bear in mind, folks, that Eagle Records had their hands tied somewhat by the fact that Gary had already committed to the Exile concert tour prior to signing with them. Normally, they'd want to release the single, then the album, then do the tour. Instead we get the album, then the tour, and THEN the single. Folks, the promotional efforts aren't over - and it's very likely that Eagle is saving up its biggest push for when the single gets released. If that sucker can chart, it can potentially boost sales of Exile in a big, big way. To that end, I'd like to see all of us buy at least 10 copies of the single the day it comes out. :-) Well, you get the idea. Please, don't be too down just yet - wait and see how this plays out, and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Finally... since I got such an enthusiastic response from a whopping THREE of you (grin!), I've updated the TaxiTalk Exile Reviews for your enjoyment.
OK, a few items:
Exile was released on October 20th 1997. Initial reports indicated poor and spotty distribution, and of some jewel boxes containing NO CD. Since that time, however, things appear to have taken off, with Exile flying off the shelves at some UK locations. Could an actual CHART POSITION be far behind? Let's keep our fingers crossed! Most of the recent press coverage has been exceedingly positive, after initial reviews painted a much more negative picture. It's hip to be a Numan fan again, though, and it appears that many UK media are jumping back onto the Gary Numan bandwagon. Hope they don't break their ankles.
What has really, really amazed me, though, is that nobody in the conventional media has picked up on the anti-religious theme present in the album. Certainly it's been debated to death by Numan fans, and I know Gary was in fact quite worried that he might have gone too far. But it's been a complete non-issue. Indeed, many people that I've played this album to did NOT notice anything "sinister" about it, while those same people DID notice that Sacrifice was quite dark and sinister. This is not to say that the music on Exile failed to live up to its promise of being quite dark - it certainly did that.
Of particular interest is the fact that those publications that are still very much anti-Numan haven't trumpeted it, or ridiculed him for it. Maybe they realize that negative publicity is still publicity, and don't want to encourage sales. :-) Be that as it may, it would seem that so far, the anticipated explosion hasn't occurred. Yet. Not sure if that's a good thing, cuz as I said two sentences back, negative publicity on this issue would likely BOOST sales quite a bit. :-)
If you haven't ordered your copy of Exile yet, please be aware that Badlands Mail Order has a SPECIAL DEAL for anyone who reads their offer on the internet. Check it out.
Although some places are taking orders now, there seems to be some confusion as to when Gary's autobiography ("Praying To The Aliens") will in fact be released. Many sources are saying "next week" but one writer in today's Gary Numan Digest suggests that the date has been put back until November 19th. That would suck.
Speaking of the Digest, one writer reports that in an October 16th concert in Chicago, Gravity Kills performed their cover of "Poetry And Power", from the tribute album Random, and that most in attendance had no clue who Gary Numan was. C'est la guerre.
OK, time to clean up a few back items:
- As you know, "Exile" comes out on October 20th (that's SIXTEEN DAYS boys and girls!). Additionally, Gary's book comes out on the same day. The catalogs show the author as Steve Mallins but you and I both know that Gary's the writer - but no doubt Steve cleaned it up somewhat. :-) Anyways, the publisher is Andre Deutsche and unfortunately we have no other information just yet (ie: ISBN number) to aid anyone in North America who's trying to import it. If you wanna spend top dollar, have a look 'round Rob Eggleston's "Are 'Friends' Electric?" web site for a link to an online bookseller that's taking pre-orders. Thanks to Tony Webb for his help in tracking down the information we do have.
- Ooh, looks like Matthew's taking things a bit easier on the "illegal" bit vis a vis Receiver Records. He's got a VERY nice little section on his site showing just how lousy a job these guys have done in putting together their various compilations - great job, Matthew.
- A new Numan site, located in Belgium, is now online. It's run by Jeori Peeters and is called "Prophecy" but it won't do ya much good if yer English-only. :-) You can find it at http://home.planetinternet.be/~joeri/prophecy.html
A couple of days ago, I took Matthew Holbrook and others to task regarding their extremely-negative tone regarding the forthcoming reissue of the Nicholson/Numan material (ie: Radio Heart & Dadadang).
First off, I want everyone to know that despite how this may look, I do not consider myself "at war" with Matthew (as one recent correspondent has suggested). Nothing could be further from the truth - I highly respect Matthew Holbrook and throughout my web site you'll find many laudatory comments about him, particularly in regards to the warm hospitality I received at his hands while on my trip to the UK last year.
All I'm trying to do here is show people that there is more than one side to every story - to make you think for yourself. I will not ask anyone to choose sides - just read what both sides say and make your own judgment.
Now, on to Matthew's most recent comments, which you can find on the NuZone News Page under the heading "Radio Hell II":
Matthew asserts that Gary does not have fond memories of the Radio Heart and Dadadang experiences, and goes on to say that the only reason he participated the second time around is that his father, a "foregiving man", convinced him to do so. I have no quarrel with this argument - I'll only add that sometimes in life, we do things we wish we didn't have to do. I'm a fully-trained broadcasting professional, but due to various commitments I'm still stuck here in Calgary driving a taxi. Life sucks, get a helmet. Similarly, both the Radio Heart and Dadadang projects came during relatively low tide as far as Gary's career goes - what ELSE was he doing? He'd just come off "Strange Charm" and the going-bump of the original Numa Records when he first hooked up for "Radio Heart". And "Like A Refugee" came after the much-maligned "Machine + Soul", which Gary himself admits was a low point for him artistically and creatively.
He may not have liked participating in these projects, but I'll bet he enjoyed spending the cheques.
Doesn't anyone else consider it to be amazingly ironic that Matthew Holbrook, a long-time Numan fan who knows that the record charts are HARDLY a reasonable measure of whether or not a song is "good" or not, uses those same charts to point out that while "Machine And Soul" scraped its way up to #72, "London Times" failed to chart at all?
Doesn't anyone else consider it to be amazingly ironic that, in fact, "London Times" actually charted at #48, turning his argument moot no matter HOW you look at it? :-)
I won't defend "London Times" - it was a dreadful song. And, I've already GOT that one on CD. What I don't have is "Radio Heart" and "All Across The Nation", which are two outstanding songs. Matthew focuses completely on "London Times" in his arguments about the popularity of the Nicholson/Numan releases, and if that were indeed the only single involved, his argument would hold a lot more weight.
Ok, I'll admit to some confusion here - hopefully Matthew can straighten me out. I'm not being sarcastic, I really mean that I cannot understand for the life of me what's going on regarding Receiver Records. Matthew tells us that "Receiver had a contract for the 3 CD box set" but "they proceeded to release four more CD's", namely "Gary Numan: Archive", "The Best Of Gary Numan 1984-1992", and "Archive Volume 2" (OK, maybe Matthew had a rough day and miscounted, let's forgive him). I'm very confused on two issues:
What about "Here I Am" and "The Other Side Of... Gary Numan"? How do they fit into this equation?
Why oh please tell me why Numa Records hasn't taken any sort of legal action against these people? We've been told that these releases are "illegal" for well over a year, yet not only are they still on the shelves, they're putting out MORE of these things all the time. I don't know how it works in the UK, but in North America we have a thing called a "temporary restraining order", and another thing called an "injunction", both of which could be used to tie up Receiver until the contract situation was resolved in a court of law. I don't see Numa doing any of this, and to my way of thinking they're either abandoning their copyright or else recognizing that, in fact, the contract they've signed DOES ALLOW FOR THESE RELEASES in some way (perhaps an odd loophole?). Now, again, I don't have that contract available to look at, but if I'm the president of Receiver Records and I *KNOW* I've got a valid contract, I start looking very seriously at suing both Gary Numan and Matthew Holbrook for damages, because their accusations have done great harm to the sales of these CD's. The only defense to this would be Numan (or Holbrook) walking into court with a copy of that contract PROVING that the releases were illegal.
This is just one layman's opinion based on the facts at hand. Pardon me if I don't HAVE all of the facts - I can only go on what I've been shown.
Isn't it such a dirty, rotten shame that people are "milking Gary's past"? Yeah, those rotten bastards, always looking to cash in and make a buck off the backs of fans.
Shove it. Gary himself said it best: "If I sell half a million records, then I've made half a million people happy." If Receiver sells a half a million compilations (yeah, right), then they'll make half a million people happy too. Anyone buying one of these compilations can look at Matthew's site, or my own, or indeed many of the other wonderful Numan Network web sites around the world, and find out WHAT IS ACTUALLY INCLUDED WITH EACH CD. If they're buying it in a record store, they can read the track listings on the back (admitting, however, that the "The Story So Far" boxed set has some glaring errors in that listing).
So what's the problem? Is someone buying this stuff and then bitching cuz they wound up spending $30 on a CD and only got one new song? if so, then my response is: "well, what the **** did you buy it for, then?" NOBODY IS HOLDING A GUN TO ANYBODY'S HEAD. You cannot be exploited unless you ALLOW IT TO HAPPEN. C'mon folks, exercise your minds. I took a look at the Receiver offerings, bought a few that I'm quite happy with, and passed on the rest. You can do the same thing, or buy 'em all, or pass on 'em all. If you're looking for advice on whether or not you should buy a particular compilation CD, then ask for it. Ask me. Ask Matthew. Ask any site author. Ask any fellow fans. Ask anyone on the Numan Digest. But don't charge blindly into a purchase and THEN scream about being "ripped off". You didn't get ripped off - you got exactly what you paid for. The fact that you didn't NEED it is not the fault of Receiver Records. It's YOUR fault.
The same goes for this Nicholson/Numan thing. By visiting their web site, you can get a complete run-down of what's on the CD and what's on the video. Buy it if you think it's worth it. Don't buy it if you think otherwise. My opinion is: if you don't have this material on CD yet, then buy the disc. The video is another story - it should be purchased by completists only, and anyone in North America is further warned that the video is in PAL format and will not play back on most VCR's - you'll need to get it professionally converted at a cost of roughly $30 (shop around).
Milking Gary's past, indeed. I don't buy it. But let me play Devil's Advocate for a moment here.... and we'll assume I *DO* buy it. So Receiver Records are the bad guys, eh? Awright... but let's put things in perspective. There are two OTHER companies that have done FAR WORSE in terms of "milking" Gary's past:
2-in-1 CD reissues of the 8 studio albums
2CD reissues of those same 8 studio albums
2 different versions of "Exhibition"
2 different versions of the original "Telekon" vinyl
"Document Series Presents Gary Numan"
"Cars 1993 Sprint Mix"
2 versions of "The Premier Hits" with different artwork
And of course, "Random" - the ultimate milking.
"Isolate: The Numa Years"
"Berserker" reissue (twice)
"Strange Charm" reissue
"The Fury" reissue
"Babylon" series (featuring mostly tracks available elsewhere)
Two different simultaneous releases of "Machine + Soul"
Two different simultaneous releases of "Sacrifice"
A whole ton of live albums - seemingly one-per-tour lately.
"Dawn" - the American version of "Sacrifice"
The original contract with Receiver to release compilations
And.... at least one alternate version of "Exile" is also planned.
Boy! Talk about rotten bastards! :-) But I know whatcher gonna say: the "Babylon" series was conceived as a way to get fans off Gary's back, to get access to material ON CD that they might otherwise not be able to obtain. Similarly, the multiple live albums are a result of fan demand.
Hey, how 'bout that? Fan demand! What an amazing concept! But, gee, I dunno.... fan demand CERTAINLY couldn't have prompted the reissue of the Numan/Nicholson material on CD, now could it? :-)
Some of us have been screaming for YEARS to have this stuff on CD, and now it's here and dammit, we're gonna buy it! :-)
No, I don't believe it. I don't believe it at all. I think the Numa organization has done a WONDERFUL job in making hard-to-find Numan material available to fans, and in particular I'm quite pleased there's so much live material available - not everybody has the luxury of going to see him play live. Ditto to Beggar's Banquet, although I still insist their initial 2-in-1 CD sets were a big mistake. :-) And, of course, ditto to The Record Label for giving us the Nicholson/Numan material, which I've already ordered and will hopefully be able to enjoy before long.
Lastly, a critique of Matthew and the Nu-Zone site itself. Matthew, why do you insist on referring to yourself as "Nu-Zone" and sometimes as multiple people? IE: "Perhaps this is why London Times is not No. 1 for us" and "Nu-Zone will obviously let anyone purchase the Radio Heart CD and video". You're not an "us", you're a "me". It is precisely this type of thing that concerns me. I think you have a right to state your opinion on your web site, but the moment you start pretending to represent other people, particularly the majority of fans (as you have most definitely done in "Radio Hell II"), you have a moral obligation to be a bit more objective. If you're going to be subjective, that's fine - but please don't in the same breath purport to do anything other than what you're really doing, which is stating your own opinion and nobody else's. Thank you.
Of course, I'm ready to forgive ya. :-) Just make the Exile logo sign over yourself and say three Hail Garys. ;-) (With thanks to Riana Pfefferkorn for that line).
This is gonna be quite a rant. If you've got a somewhat delicate constitution, maybe you should click here instead. :-)
I recently reported here that the Nicholson/Numan material, released under the names "Radio Heart" and "Numan and Dadadang", has been reissued by The Record Label as a limited-edition release. I mentioned this with some measure of personal excitement, but to my consternation there has been some very negative reaction to this release.
In a recent Numan Digest, one writer slammed The Record Label for regurgitating this material on us. He seemed particularly upset that they would have the unmitigated gall to actually email many fans (using email addresses culled from the Digest) to let them know of the availability of this material.
Folks, if it's properly targeted, it's not spam. Many people in the Digest have been specifically ASKING for this stuff to finally get released on CD, so when The Record Label finally does decide to do it for us, why are they being slagged for letting us know about it?
How the hell *ELSE* should they have done it? A letter to the Digest? Sure, good idea - but that would miss a lot of people, as many fans I know don't read the Digest. Email all the site authors? Another great idea, but again it misses a lot of people. This release is specifically targetted to Numan fans, and even if I had no interest in the release itself I certainly wouldn't be pissed off at them for emailing me about it. As it happens, I am one of the ones who specifically asked for this stuff, and I was THRILLED to get that email. So maybe my opinion is somewhat biased, but I really can't understand what the fuss is about.
And then I got some *REALLY* entertaining email. The writer told me not to buy this material until I had first checked out the new anti-Nicholson editorial that now appears on the NuZone Numan News page.
Excuse me? I need Matthew Holbrook's permission to buy, and enjoy, a CD? Pardon me for being blunt, but SHOVE THAT IDEA UP YOUR ASS!!!
It's obvious that Matthew is very anti-Nicholson, and that's his opinion. Mine differs. I think it's ironic that of the two of us, Matthew has a full collection of this material on vinyl whereas all I've managed to collect so far is the "Like A Refugee" CD single and a fuzzy recording of the "Radio Heart" video.
Matthew sez of Hugh Nicholson: "It's difficult to think of many people that Numan fans have less respect for." Uh, Matthew, WHICH Numan fans are you talking about? Are you inferring that I'm not a Numan fan? I must not be, because I don't share this negative view - I look at Hugh Nicholson as a man who felt Gary's name would lend some credibility to his project and that's actually something of a compliment, this coming in 1987 when Numan's career was at something of a low ebb. Gary went into it with his eyes wide open, so what's the problem here?
Matthew sez: "Many see Gary's involvement with 'Radio Heart' as disastrous." Matthew, who are the "many" you're talking about? Names, please.
Matthew sez: "Indeed, most site (sic) 'London Times' as the worst thing Gary has ever been involved with." Hard to believe, Matthew, since a large number of Numan fans have never heard the song. And personally, I believe "Machine + Soul" was the worst thing Gary was ever involved with, and Hugh Nicholson had NOTHING to do with that.
Many fans are being led to believe that this release constitutes exploitation of Gary Numan. Well, hell - Gary got a cheque for participating in these projects and he'll get another cheque after this reissue is completed. I don't think Gary feels exploited, do you? Or is it *THE FANS* that are being exploited? Possibly, but I can't really buy that argument until I see evidence of Hugh Nicholson holding a gun to somebody's head and demanding that they buy this CD. By visiting their web page you get a complete run-down of what's on the CD - if it seems worth paying 15 pounds for it, then buy it. If it does not, then don't. It's quite simple, really. We call it "capitalism" and "free market" - nobody can exploit you unless you permit it.
The same goes for Matthew's (and Gary's) continued ragging of Receiver Records (or whatever they're called this week) for releasing endless Numan compilations - specifically, the recent editorial against "Archive Volume 2". OK, maybe these are ill-advised compilations. Maybe they'd be quite low on my list of recommended purchases for new fans. But Matthew tells us (when speaking of "Gary Numan - Archive Series"), "don't buy this compilation because it offers nothing new and is being issued illegally." I simply have to respond: look, I don't have the contract in front of me, but obviously a contract WAS SIGNED and so far I haven't seen Numa Records getting a restraining order against Receiver. So it can't be that illegal and Matthew's statement becomes borderline libelous. Gary himself recommends that fans not buy this material but he really doesn't tell us WHY. Well, Gary, if you signed a bad contract then that's your fault, not ours, and as long as it's still available for sale, the decision about whether or not to buy remains mine. I appreciate your advice but I'll make the call.
The Radio Heart and Dadadang tracks, specifically those that Gary was involved with, were not written by Gary Numan. In fact, he was essentially "rent-a-singer" for these recording sessions. So before you buy this stuff, realize that you're not getting anything CLOSE to "typical Numan". However, the material *DOES* stand up well on its own and is well worth owning - my copy was ordered last week.
If you're sitting on the fence, try to see if you can find someone near you who owns some or all of this material and ask them to let you listen to it once or twice before deciding. But please don't base your decision on the sky-is-falling rantings of others, or even my own - make this decision YOURSELF, based on how YOU feel about it. Don't let others do your thinking for you. No, not even me. :-)
Many viewers of this site have expressed concern that Gary has signed to a brand-new label (Eagle Records), when what he really needed to do was to sign with a big, established label.
As it turns out, that's exactly what he's done.
Eagle Records is, according to my sources, 50% owned by BMG Entertainment. BMG is not a big label. They are a BLOODY HUGE LABEL!!! :-) This puts Gary under the same umbrella as such other artists as: Republica, Annie Lennox, Clannad, John Lennon, The Bee Gees, Whitney Houston, Alan Jackson, Clint Black, The Crash Test Dummies, and many, many more. They are international in scope and definitely have the bucks and brains to distribute "Exile" properly.
The other half of Eagle is owned by the former owners of Castle Communications, which itself is a BMG-affiliated organization. These folks are no stranger to Gary and to promoting his music.
Bottom line: the promotional gears are turning, everything's ramping up for the big UK launch on October 20th. We should see a North American launch sometime AFTER THAT - can't say when, as not all of the details have been finalized just yet. WHEN IT DOES HAPPEN, however - we as fans must be ready to jump. We gotta bother our local music directors and DEMAND that "Exile" be played on our local radio stations. Don't take no for an answer, either. The more airplay Gary gets, the more likely a North American tour becomes.
Oh, added bonus in the record deal: the deal with Eagle specifies that they'll have access to Gary's back-catalogue (presumably just the Numa Records stuff), meaning any of you who have gaps in their collections might find these records popping up on local record store shelves. :-)
The following item turned up in my mailbox today:Dear Numan fan! We would like to tell you about two great packages featuring Gary Numan, available now from our mailorder service as a limited edition; "Nicholson & Numan" 1984-1994 This contains the complete history and recordings of Radio Heart, Dadadang & Numan. The compact disc features all rough mixes, demo mixes, guide vocals by Hugh Nicholson leading up to the Master stage where Gary records his vocals. Plus all mixes, remixes and extended versions. Listen to the original version sung by Hugh, read the handwritten drafts and the recording studio sheets. The Compact Disc features a Broadsheet (Poster) with original handwritten lyrics, Photographs, travel tickets and everything that is in our archives! Also available are the promotional videos of "Radio Heart" / "Like A Refugee" plus out-takes from the making of "Refugee" in Italy. This video is fantastic! See the Masked Drummers of Bergamo rehearse on the battlements of Chitalta, Bergamo. For more information contact The Record Label: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +44 (0) 181 332 7245 Fax: +44 (0) 181 332 7631 PO Box 224 Twickenham, Middlesex TW1 2RJ United Kingdom http://www.recordlabel.co.uk Visa, Access and Mastercard acceptedI know I'll be ordering mine a.s.a.p.!
September 8th 1997 should see the UK release of "Random 2.1", a single presumably taken from the upcoming "Random 2" album (dance mixes). This one will feature Robert Armani covering "Metal" and DJ Hell covering "Down In The Park" (titled: "Dans Le Parc"). It's a limited edition red vinyl 12" single, presumably so that club DJ's will play it (they still prefer vinyl).
Sometime in October, also, we'll have "Random 2.2" - but no information on what's on that one is available just yet, nor do we know a release date for the "Random 2" album.
Well, he DID sign. But not with Beggar's Banquet. According to NuWORLD, the deal is with Eagle Records, which is described as a new label with lots of money behind it, along with the brain-power of some very-experienced record industry people. No clue as to who those people are.
So that leaves me with a few questions...
1) Why are promo copies of "Exile" in circulation with the Beggar's logo on it?
2) Why did Beggar's send at least one of those copies to a music magazine for a review?
Inquiring minds wanna know. My guess is that Beggar's is in some way affiliated with Eagle Records, or maybe just some of the people BEHIND Beggar's are affiliated with Eagle. Who knows? If you've got the inside scoop, send it my way.
Oh, and BTW, it looks now like the release date on "Dark City" is January 9th, 1998. You can visit the "Dark City" web site.
An uncomfirmed but usually-reliable source whispers into my ear:
"It's A Done Deal!"
We've no idea when we may expect an official announcement, but the inside word (literally) is that Gary HAS SIGNED WITH BEGGAR'S BANQUET. That's all we've got: terms of the deal are not yet available - keep your eyes on NuWorld for more.
The movie "Dark City" has recently finished filming and is now in post-production. There appears to be a good chance that Gary's song "Dark", from the forthcoming Exile album, will appear during the end-credits of this movie. Whether or not this has anything to do with the Beggar's Banquet deal remains to be seen but I'd expect the two events are connected.
"Dark City", a big-budget flick, may be released under the title of "Dark Empire" in the USA, probably sometime in October. I hope they don't push it into November cuz I don't want ANYTHING competing with "Starship Troopers", which you can catch at your local theatre starting November 7th.
No news yet on the hoped-for worldwide record contract for Gary. One source close to Beggar's Banquet denies any involvement, but another Australian source says "bet on it". Other speculation involves Virgin Records and (Trent Reznor's) Nothing Records - but until we see something firm, don't buy stock in these companies. :-)
Click On Image For Full Size
Mike Stanton checks in with the right-from-the-horse's-mouth track listing of songs played at the recent New Wave City Gary Numan night in San Francisco:
- Are "Friends" Electric (Republica)
- We Are So Fragile (Bis)
- Cars (first played original, then played remix later)
- Are "Friends" Electric
- I Die: You Die
- Down In The Park
- That's Too Bad
- This Wreckage
- Me! I Disconnect From You
- You Are In My Vision
- A Question of Faith
Do you believe in miracles?
Gary Numan said on 1986's "The Fury" that he doesn't believe in 'em, and since he also doesn't believe in God, they're even less likely. (GRIN!) But, we've all got our fingers crossed waiting for a miracle to happen... namely, the signing of Gary to a new record deal that would involve worldwide distribution of the upcoming "Exile" album. And according to several sources, that miracle is mere days away from HAPPENING.
This would likely delay "Exile" yet again until September 1997, but according to NuWORLD the label in question is quite anxious to get the record on the shelves before the UK Tour kicks off so further delays would be unlikely.
Me? I'm praying for two things:
No word yet on who this phantom record label is... but one fan I know says he wouldn't be too surprised if it was Beggars Banquet.
- That the deal gets done.
- That it doesn't prove to be another IRS fiasco.
In other news (which will likely not be new to you if you're a regular NuWORLD surfer):
Don't forget to send a wedding card to Gary & Gemma!
- Gary may appear in another festival... this one in the city of Gorky, Russia. It's slated for September 13th and will feature Jesus Jones and other "western acts". The venue is the Dynamo football stadium, which apparently holds about 25,000 screaming Russians. :-) Odd that Russia would get a Numan show while America and Canada still wait.... I guess that Yeltsin is craftier than I had previously thought.
- The autobiography is done. Well, almost - still has to be edited, but Gary's finished writing it. Called "Praying To The Aliens", it's said to be a frank, brutally-honest account of the man's life.
- Work is progressing on the "Sacrifice" re-release in the USA. It's gonna happen, late this year or early next, but hold onto your hats: it won't be showing up in record stores, nor will it be titled "Sacrifice". The re-release is being handled by Sirius Entertainment and is to be re-titled "Dawn", in support of their line of comic books of the same name. Brand new artwork by "Dawn" artist Joe Linsner is the main highlight and apparently the track order will be different, but otherwise this is exactly the same album - nothing new here other than the artwork. Look for a single in November or thereabouts, with the album to follow in January - to be released to COMIC STORES ONLY.
On Saturday July 5th 1997, a fairly rare event took place. A Numan disco that was *NOT* located anywhere on the British Isles! San Francisco was the place, and King Street Garage (sponsored by New Wave City) was the venue. Mark Stanton checks in with this:A giveaway was part of the evening's events. 60 Dave Clarke remix CDs were given away at the door. Other prizes were based on quiz results (if you were lucky enough to win a chance) and included a whole bunch of Random copies, and a grand prize autographed "Premier Hits" CD. A couple big slide screens were hanging over the dance floor flashing all kinds of 80's music images including several of Gary.All I can say is I sure wish I was within driving distance of San Franciso... :-( And I certainly can't see a Gary Numan disco happening here in good ol' redneck Calgary, where we just banned a Marilyn Manson concert... sigh...
I'M SURE THEY PLAYED:
I THINK THEY ALSO PLAYED:
- I Dream Of Wires
- That's Too Bad
- Cars (d.Clarke remix)
- A Question Of Faith (thanks to the CD I forced on the DJ's)
- I Die: You Die
- Down In The Park (I thought it would clear the floor but people were dancing!)
- Are "Friends" Electric? by Nancy Boy
- We Are Glass
- You Are In My Vision
- Remind Me To Smile
- Bombers (old)
- Are "Friends" Electric? (GN's version)
WHAT: NEW WAVE CITY Dancing to New Wave music of the late 70's and early 80's DJ's Shindog and Skip WHEN: Saturday, July 5, 9pm-3am WHERE: King Street Garage, 174 King (bet. 2nd & 3rd St.), San FranciscoGARY NUMAN SALUTE
Music and image innovator Gary Anthony James Webb (aka Gary Numan) receives the New Wave City tribute treatment, higlighted by giveaways of two new CD packages. Numan's popularity and influence began with the UK #1 synth hit "Are Friends Electric?," followed by the worldwide smash "Cars," "I Die: You Die," "This Wreckage," spy conspiracies, airplane mishaps, and more music along with the media spin. His detached, deadpan delivery was complimented during live shows by robotic movements, futuristic outfits and stage sets. Numan is hot again, with artists citing his influence and covering his songs including Nine Inch Nails, Beck, Smashing Pumpkins, Hole, Foo Fighters and Marilyn Manson. We'll play some of the best of Numan during the night, along with all the rest of the best New Wave from the late 70's and early 80's. Our giveaways from Beggar s Banquet include a special "Cars" remix CD, going to our first 60 customers, and the new best of collection Premier Hits, plus Random, a two CD set of today's artists (St. Etienne, Jesus Jones, The Orb , Kenickie, Pop Will Eat Itself, Republica, Bis and others) paying homage to Numan as they interpret his songs.Cover charge: $5 before 10pm, $8 after 21 and over Information line: 415/675-LOVE http://www.newwavecity.com (Enter to win free admission to this event on our website!)
Martin Purvis' new "Outland" web site (see reference in I Dream Of Wires under "Numan Network Sites") expands the reach of the Numan Network "down under", specifically to Australia. This is a *REALLY* cool site and is even more amazing when you consider that Martin is very, very new to HTML coding (he had some rather choice words for this alleged "language"). I strongly urge you to check it out!
In other news, many Canadian centers find themselves *STILL* without copies of "Random", although it has appeared in a few more shops on the 11th and 12th. A phone call to the Chinook Centre "Sam The Record Man" outlet revealed that the distribution company that Beggar's Banquet is using *DID* make several deliveries on Thursday but that their ordered copies of "Random" were not included! This leads me to believe that the problem is that demand was GREATLY underestimated. Even the larger record stores in Calgary carry no more than two or three copies of "Premier Hits", but most are ordering five to ten copies of "Random", with one that I know of having ordered TWENTY. So, the great "Random Wait" continues... sigh...
At long, long last, "Random" began appearing in record stores yesterday. Unless you've been dead, or in Edmonton, or perhaps (GASP!) are new to the Gary Numan fan scene, you'll know that "Random" is a 2-disc tribute to our man Gary, by some of the hottest up-and-coming established acts in music today, such as The Orb, Republica, Jesus Jones, EMF, Gravity Kills, Kenickie, Amanda Ghost, Dubstar, Pop Will Eat Itself, and many others.
The initial reviews I've been receiving via email would seem to indicate that Numan fans are unanimous: they absolutely *LOVE* this release. I sure wish I could concur with them... but unfortunately, Beggar's Banquet hired some complete boneheads to handle Canadian distribution. The album did *NOT* appear in Calgary-area record stores yesterday: from the email I'm getting, it looks like it appeared in some markets but not in others. The folks down at HMV Records seem sure that it'll turn up by Friday, whereas the goofs down at A&B Sound assured me that it didn't, in fact, exist.
One encouraging sign: most HMV stores in Calgary, including many small mall-based stores, were ordering 10 or more copies each. Somebody seems convinced that this thing is going to sell. Which would be excellent news for all of us.
On the recent "Realtime" show, one caller stated that the recording industry owes Gary a "Lifetime Achievement Award", and I have to agree he's bang on with that assessment. He's not going to get one, though... so let's be happy with "Random" as a consolation prize. Gary Numan has gained a TON of instant credibility with this release and it is my sincere hope that he is able to parlay this into a North American recording contract. Let's all keep our fingers crossed for Gary!!
On May 31st, Gary Numan turned up on the CBC Stereo Network's "Realtime" show to promote the upcoming tribute album "Random". Three (excellent) songs were played from the album, and Gary spent much of the hour answering questions from fans and reminiscing about his career. All in all, an excellent show and a good time was had by all.
A Realtime Page has been established here that will allow you to download the three songs played *AND* even listen in to the spoken portions of the show. It should be noted, however, that these files are in Microsoft WAV format and will take some time to download: if your computer supports RealAudio you should instead check out the CBC Realtime Page (follow the above link to find it).
The most interesting NEWS items to come out of the show are as follows:
Finally.... I've temporarily lost access to a scanner, so if somebody would be so kind as to provide me with a cover scan of the "Random" album when it comes out, I'd greatly appreciate it. Email me at email@example.com if you can help.
- Doug Furley(sp?) of Gravity Kills will be remixing "Exile" prior to the August 4th release of that album.
- Gary will be performing some of the tracks from "Random" on his upcoming UK Tour... but will re-arrange them and perform them the way they've been performed on "Random". This applies specifically to "Poetry And Power", which was covered by Gravity Kills and is almost totally new.
- The Premier Tour video is still on hold, and may not be released until after the Oct/Nov tour of this year.
- Gary's US representative seems to have vanished into thin air.
Leora Kornfeld, the host of the "Realtime" show on CBC Stereo here in Canada, checks in with the following:"Gary will be giving 'Random' its Canadian premiere and taking calls and e-mails on a live radio program called 'Realtime' on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's national FM network. The show is also carried live via RA (RealAudio) on the net.Leora herself can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Realtime website is located at http://realtime.cbcstereo.com
Gary's segment is scheduled to begin just after 7pm Pacific time/10pm eastern time/3am UK time (which is where he'll be) this Saturday night May 31st... which will technically be Sunday for Gary.
If any of you would like to participate w/ phone calls or emails (comments, questions, etc.) please let me know.
We have an international # that you can call collect on if you're interested and email questions/comments can be sent to:
email@example.com (with "Gary Numan" in the SUBJect field.)
Please pass on the info to any GN fans you may think would be interested.
One thing that's a tad unclear about the above is that the Realtime show is a bit different from most radio shows. Listener participation is key: therefore, if you would like to PARTICIPATE LIVE IN THIS SHOW, email Leora with your phone number so they can call you and set it up. Alternately, if you've got some questions you'd like Gary to answer on the show, you can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and they'll be sure to include them. Finally, if you have any questions to ask about the show, about how to use RealAudio, or anything else, you can call them toll-free (in Canada and probably the USA) at: 1-800-563-2328.
According to Gary's NuWORLD News Page:
We are just in the process of finalising a deal with U.S. comic publishing company Sirius Entertainment Inc. for a special release of Gary's "Sacrifice" album. Due for release in the U.S. later this year it will have a slightly different track listing to the original "Sacrifice" album and will also feature brand new artwork from Joe Linsner, famous for his highly successful "Dawn" fantasy comic.I'll have to admit that I'll believe it when I see it, but methinks this looks like an EXCELLENT idea if Gary and Sirius can swing it, and seems to dovetail well with Gary's "slowly but surely" approach to breaking back into the U.S. market. Folks, I'll say it again: we cannot and should not expect Gary to rocket up the charts to #1 overnight - the guy has to take a steady, cautious approach and build up support gradually. This is one of many steps that will be taken, and I really think it bodes well for Gary's career. And hey, if "Sacrifice" sells well, maybe Sirius will take a look at marketing "Exile" as well.
In other news, Beggar's Banquet has revised their release date for "Random", moving from June 24th up to June 9th (that's just over ONE MONTH from now!) Spread the word, people: let's get everyone to buy their copies in the FIRST WEEK THAT IT IS AVAILABLE. Maybe, just maybe, we can cause a stir on the charts...
We now have a release date for the LONG-awaited follow-up to "Sacrifice". "Exile" will now, barring any late-breaking developments, be released on August 4th 1997, on the traditional Numa Records label. No official word as to when we might see the Premier Tour video and CD but the speculation is that it may be released at about the same time.
Gary seems somewhat pessimistic about putting together a record deal for distribution of "Exile", but he's not ruling out something happening between now and then, which may therefore affect this release date. Alternately, any record deal that happens could simply involve international distribution of the Numa Records release. Either way, this is probably the best news for fans: there was a lot of uncertainty of just how Gary was going to pull off his various commitments for this year (ie: filming "The Kinsmen", the UK Tour, a possible US/Canada tour, release of "Exile" and Premier Tour material, etc.), and there were questions being asked about the Oct/Nov UK Tour in particular: just what was this tour going to support? Now we know: one way or the other, it will be supporting the "Exile" release, and now I for one am reconsidering my decision not to fly over to see it. :-)
In the meantime, Gary's not exactly giving up on getting a US deal. Sure he's going ahead with the final mixing and release of "Exile", but he's also going to start writing some new post-Exile material that can be used in any future negotiations. After a three year wait between "Sacrifice" and "Exile", this could potentially mean another album AFTER "Exile" as early as 1998.
It's my fervent hope, in the meantime, that the Premier Tour live material be released sometime soon. I certainly can't see it interfering with sales of "Exile", and the more you've got on the record store shelf, the better. Just about everyone I've talked to is eagerly anticipating this live material - the feeling is that Gary's live work during the 90's has been outstanding.
First off... every now and then I go in and clean out my stacked-up email pile and clear out the deadwood. Unfortunately, every now and then I find something important that I've misplaced and not gotten around to taking care of. Thus it is that I'm only now getting around to fulfilling a promise to Klaus Sauer to make mention of the upcoming German Numan Convention, coming up in October of this year. My apologies for the delay, and I'll let Klaus take it from here:With a few other German fans of Gary I started a convention on Oct. 4th 1997, here in Germany as an addition :-) to the great convention in Birmingham. No, that s not really an addition to the UK-Convention. But there are many german fans which want to see Gary on his Tour in Oct./Nov. in England live and it s to expensive to visit the convention in april AND the concerts. I have good contacts to a youth club here in my hometown. They give me the rooms, that I need for our fan-meeting. More informations can be found at:And thank you, Klaus. Next up, we hear from Gary Pennill, who gives us an update on the recent "Berserker Show" as well as new information on an upcoming UK disco:
Thank you very much.We had a couple of problems in the run up to the (Berserker Show) disco due to a similar disco being cancelled and we were relying on this as a major opportunity to promote the event.Finally, we have this month's We Have A Technical Contest Winner, who is....
Coupled with this a major let down with the flyers not being produced on time as promised. Anyway, a few valuable lessons learnt for the next event. Turnout was for the night was an amazing 106. The night got off to a good start, with people dancing before they got drunk!!. Many of the people who came stated how much they enjoyed the Disco and have vowed to bring more people with them at the next event, especially as other music than Numan was played therefore fans of the genre and not nessecary fans of Numan were catered for.
Such was the success of the night that it gives me Great Pleasure to announce the next Disco:
WHEN THE MACHINES ROCK - The Numan DiscoVenue : Acton Court hotel, Stockport Date : 3rd May 1997 Cost : £3.00 per person. Time : 8.00 till late Contact : Gary Pennill Tel : +44 (0)161 682 7754 Email : TELEKON@aol.com.Flyers have already been produced and are going to be distributed constantly at the forthcoming Numan convention in Birmingham, England this weekend. We have something best described as momentum and it is our job to keep this momentum going, gathering speed and support.
Congratulations from The Northwest Elektro-Industrial Coalition and The World Wide Webb!! And remember: two more tapes remain to be given away, so make sure you play TODAY!!
This evening, Gary spent an hour chatting LIVE with his fans on the SonicNet chat site, as part of their "It Came From The 80's" promotion. A wonderful time was had by all, and you should be able to view the transcripts of the session on their site soon. However, I've taken the liberty of capturing the text portion of the session and installing it here in the Confession section: I hope you enjoy it.
Highlights of the session:
Visit SonicNet at http://www.sonicnet.com/sonicore/chat/
- There is no record deal yet but talks are continuing and they seem fairly promising.
- The US Tour is "iffy" in July but another, bigger tour later in the year is looking pretty good.
- The rumour of Exile being remixed by Trent Reznor is just that: a rumour. Gary's had no contact with him but WANTS to contact him about a variety of things. He's also fairly hopeful that he may eventually sign with TVT Records.
- No live Premier Tour material (CD, video) will be released until *AFTER* Exile sees the light of day.
- Gary says that if he hasn't wrapped up the US deal in the next four weeks, he'll likely say "piss on it" and put it out on the Numa label.
- He may look at getting a regional deal if an American deal falls through. Nettwerk Records was suggested as an excellent Canadian label because of its strong connection to US distribution via Arista Records. Gary said he'd keep it in mind.
- He's flying one airshow in May, then that's it for the year as he's got a very full plate.
- He's happy with "Random", and was glad that "Techno Army" sank without a trace. It was sold to them one way but released in a totally different way.
- He doesn't want to be thought of as an 80's artist, as it undermines his efforts as a 90's artist.
Things are moving VERY quickly, folks.
Gary To Chat With Fans - LIVE!
First off, be advised that Gary Numan will participate in a LIVE chat session on Sonicnet on Wednesday, April 2nd 1997 at 7pm Eastern Standard Time (that's about midnight Greenwich, and 5pm for those lucky people who live here in Calgary). To participate, follow this link:
It would be a VERY good idea to check out the site well in advance of the chat session. To use it, you either need a Java-enabled browser to use their JavaIRC program, or download Quarterdeck's "Global Chat" program: all the links are to be found on-site. You can test to see if the Java chat program works with your browser simply by going to the site above, then clicking on "ENTER" in the frame on the LEFT HAND SIDE of your screen. This will automagically load the Java-based chat program and you should then be off and running. NOTE: I've had some difficulty in getting this beast to run under Netscape For OS/2 - which is surprising, as OS/2 does Java natively. Could be a setup bug here or could be the fact that my computer is way... way... WAY too slow. My plan is to download the Windows 3.1 version of Netscape and install it under Win-OS/2, then use either the Javachat program or Global Chat - other OS/2 users are advised to do likewise.
Tribute Album - Latest News
In other news, the good people at Addicted To Noise tell me that the new release date for "Random" is June 24th. "Random" will be a two-disc set, labelled Random 1 and Random 2, featuring covers and remixes of Gary's songs by some of the top acts in today's UK music scene... acts like Republica, Jesus Jones, Gravity Kills, and many others. This is a heavy-hitting lineup featuring a veritable who's-who listing of the best of today's UK music scene, and should certainly be seen as a MAJOR endorsement of Gary Numan and the impact he's had on today's music.
At last count, it will contain a total of 26 different songs, some of which will be covered twice and one of which will be covered THREE TIMES. The following acts are, I'm told, quite definitely CONFIRMED:
Song Artist Absolution Amanda Ghost Are "Friends" Electric? An Pierle Are "Friends" Electric? Moloko Are "Friends" Electric? Republica (featuring Gary Numan) Cars Dave Clarke Down In The Park Jimi Tenor Everyday I Die Dubstar Films Underdog Friends Pop Will Eat Itself I Can't Stop Peck Slip I Die: You Die The Magnetic Fields I'm An Agent Kenickie Jo The Waiter The Orb M.E. Earl Brutus Me! I Disconnect From You Sukia Metal Towering Inferno Poetry And Power Gravity Kills Remember, I Was Vapour Chris Holmes Replicas Deadsy She's Got Claws Posh Stormtrooper In Drag Etienne War Songs Windscale We Are Glass EMF We Are So Fragile Jesus Jones We Are So Fragile Bis We Have A Technical Matt Sharp (of Weezer) & Damon Albarn (of Blur) Miscellaneous
Remix Artist Dans Le Parc DJ Hell I Die: You Die Greenhaus Metal Robert Armani Remember, I Was Vapour Steve Stoll The Iceman Comes Peter Lazonby
Not too much is known as far as other promotional work Gary's doing while in America. We know he'll be appearing on at least one local radio station to promote this week's American release of "Premier Hits", and hopefully he'll be nailing down that elusive record deal that will enable him to go full steam ahead with the Canada-US tour this July. Keep your fingers crossed!
In the most recent edition of The Gary Numan Digest, Gary fills us in on the reasons behind the delay of "Exile" and also informs us that the Premier Tour live album will now apparently NOT be released this month (sigh!). More importantly, however, he takes some exception with a small group of fans who insist that Gary "owes" them a new release as soon as possible, and who would have us all believe that they know what's best for Gary and his career.
Gary's remarks are quite candid and eye-opening and should be read by any serious fan. If I'd written them, I would have summed up the whole thing with a much nastier euphemism:
"Opinions are like rectums. Every asshole has one, and most of 'em smell awful."
As much as we would like to call the shots, as much as we'd like to see Gary back on top of the charts again, the simple fact of the matter is that it IS his career. Not ours. He owes what success he's had to the loyal fans but that doesn't mean that they can dictate to him what his next move will be.
Thankfully, Gary's diatribe came when it did. Because while I agree with him on this, I too have some very definite opinions as to What Must Be Done in order to restart Gary's career. In fact, I and another local fan planned to post an essay on this very topic, on this very web site. Now we don't have to. Why? Because it looks like Gary's got things WELL in hand, and he's addressed every concern we had.
The following points were going to be made in the essay I mentioned above. In nearly every case, Gary's ALREADY moved to address each one. I don't have all of the details as to how he's gone about it, and when they're known I may or may not agree with them, but the fact remains that he is showing that he's dead serious about reviving his career, particularly in the North American market.
A US Tour Is Needed
As we all now know, such a tour has already been announced in vague terms, with nothing actually cast in stone. More to the point, there's obviously been some thought behind this tour. Gary cannot (and does not) expect to sell out the Houston Astrodome. He's not even gonna sell out Madison Square Gardens. What he needs is a MODEST tour of venues in the 500 to 5000 seat range, combined with strong word-of-mouth and street-poster promotion plus, hopefully, some radio play. He needs a US label to pull all of this off - something we'll hopefully be hearing about soon.
What's even more important is WHERE his tour will make its pitstops. Look at the itinerary. With one exception (Minneapolis), Gary is playing the same areas that made him famous the first time around, namely the west coast and the New York/Chicago areas. In California, he STILL has name recognition. On a recent episode of the sitcom "Clueless", the lead character was seen imitating Gary's "Cars" video. Understand that "Cars" is very much an anthem in California, where NOBODY walks and EVERYBODY drives. "Cars" is still played regularly in Joe Louis Arena in Detroit whenever the Detroit Red Wings hockey team takes to the ice. It even made an appearance at last year's World Series. While largely forgotten, Mr. Numan does indeed still have some recognition factor that he can trade on. But that's just the foot in the door: to revive his career, he needs to sell people on "Exile" and his other recent work.
Retro Is In
Thankfully, current trends would seem to be in Gary's favour. "Retro" acts are in vogue, and the public is eating up new material by old acts that were once considered history. In fact, the age of an act no longer seems nearly as relevent as it once did - a fact that would seem to have something to do with an almost complete lack of creative new talent in today's music. People are looking back to "what was" with some degree of nostalgia *AND* with the hope that these wellsprings of creativity can be tapped once again. That's the arena Gary is stepping into. And we all know Gary's one of the most creative artists on the planet: hopefully that will make a connection with the average music listener.
What Gary needs most, however, is professional management. I love Tony and Beryl to death, but Gary's going nowhere as long as he relies on his family to manage his career. Remember "Techno Army"? How about "Numan & Dadadang"? "Radio Heart"? Success stories, the lot of 'em. :-) It's true that some of this material is actually quite good (ie: "Like A Refugee"), but most of it was done for the money and/or in an attempt to get some additional exposure. All of these moves have pretty much blown up in Gary's face, particularly the abysmal "Techno Army" CD that was withdrawn shortly after release. Would Gary have agreed to these projects if he were being professionally managed? Would these projects have even come up in the first place?
He needs people who are savvy in this industry to help guide this comeback. He can do it on his own terms, but it's highly unlikely he can do it without some help. These people have the experience and track record; they know the ins-and-outs of the American music market better than anybody. They can help get Gary back onto North American radio again, and onto record store shelves. And, with luck, back to the top of the charts once more.
To some people, the fact that Gary can write an entire album, play all the instruments, produce and engineer it, design the album cover, and even cart the finished product off to the distributors, is a sign that we're dealing with one hell of a creative force. And that is absolutely without a doubt true. Having said that, however, I think many of you may agree with me when I say that there are some things that others could help him out with that would result in an improved product. One of those areas (and I'll admit my production background makes me somewhat biased) is in the area of production and mixing. Gary knows how to do this quite well, probably better than I do... but there are some hot-damn producers out there that can take a great product and turn it into a masterpiece. "Sacrifice" could have benefitted from this in exactly that way. And it now looks like "Exile" will be remixed by Trent Reznor, of Nine Inch Nails (unconfirmed rumour - courtesy NUZONE). You may not be much of a fan of Nine Inch Nails but Trent is one of the best producers in the world: he will be able to take "Exile" and turn it into a highly-polished work of art, without (we hope) sacrificing anything that marks this album as NUMAN. As hard as it may be for you to accept this, the fact remains that one of the things that radio music directors listen for when they audition new music is the production value contained in it. If they're less than happy with the production, they will tend NOT to listen very hard to the music itself, and may even dismiss it out of hand. This is not to say that Gary's production is crap, far from it... but if you can hand a music director an album mixed by Trent Reznor, he's gonna give it a SERIOUS listen no matter what (if any) preconceptions he may have about Numan.
How You Can Help
First off, if you're a Numan web site author, please help spread the word regarding the possibility of a North American tour, even if you are not based in North America - it will help raise overall AWARENESS of Gary Numan and that helps us all.
If/when this concert tour gets going, there are a number of grassroots things that YOU can do to help make it a success, and therefore help breathe new life into Gary's career.
You can contact the concert promoters and find out how you can volunteer to put up concert posters all over town at key locations. You can spread the word amongst your friends. You can pester local radio station music directors to play Gary's music ("Premier Hits" comes out this week, and "Random" is out in May, with "Exile" hopefully not too long after that), and you can also pester the program directors to promote the concert on air. Depending on the station, it may also help to phone up all the individual disc jockeys and ask THEM to promote the show during their stop-sets (between-song chatter). Oh, and don't forget to call the editor of the entertainment section of your local newspaper(s). :-)
If the show is in a venue with assigned seats, get yourself and a few friends to camp out at the ticket wicket a day or two ahead of the opening of sales - and then make sure you let the local media know about it. With any luck you'll attract a reporter or two who're looking for a human interest story. You can tell them your story (ie: "I've been a fan for 18 years and I've never seen him play live, this is the greatest day of my life!") and if they go with it, you'll get some excellent free publicity for the show. It couldn't hurt if they got to show some photos of you dressed up as Gary. :-)
Similarly, if the show does *NOT* have assigned seating, you can pull the same stunt but do it a couple of days before the show itself, and make your camp outside of the venue itself.
Etc. There are a number of things you can do. I'd appreciate hearing any other ideas you may have, and I'll post 'em here for others to consider.
The Time Is NOW
Folks, many of us have often wondered what we can do to promote Gary Numan's music. I know most of us are tired of hearing "Gary who?" in response to our word-of-mouth attempts to get people to listen. We will soon be presented with a glorious opportunity to do a great deal for Gary, and to show him that we truly care for him and for his continued success. Don't just wait for the show and then attend it with a few friends. We need to draw attention to ourselves, make ourselves visible. We can do for Gary what a handful of "Trekkies" did for Star Trek and Paramount Pictures. Think about it.
What Gary really needs, though, is for all of us to get the hell off his back. He's charted his course and it will lead him where it leads him. We can either get in the boat and swing the oars with him, or we can swim for shore. It's easy to play armchair quarterback... but it's a lot tougher to actually get up off your ass and do something constructive, particularly when it may involve subjecting yourself to some amount of ridicule. Think you can handle it?
Now if only I could convince him to add Calgary to the tour... we've got a couple of EXCELLENT venues that would fit this tour perfectly... :-)
First and foremost, we now have a NEW URL for accessing this site. But don't worry - the old one still works. See, a company called "Imaginet" bought out Netway, the ISP that hosts The World Wide Webb. So, they've changed the site address to reflect this. The old address will still work for some time to come, but it would be best if you would change your bookmarks NOW so that you don't get caught flat-footed later on. When the Netway address disappears, there likely won't be any warning.
The old URL is: http://www.netway.ab.ca/worldwidewebb/
The new URL is: http://www.ab.imag.net/worldwidewebb/
Additionally, I've gone through all the various sub-pages (about 600 of them) and updated the Netway logo to the ImagiNet logo. Yeah, like you care - the reason I'm telling you this is that it's POSSIBLE some pages might have gotten messed up - if you see any problems, please inform me.
Oh, and while you're busy changing your bookmarks, you can change your address book as well. My new email address is: email@example.com
Finally, as you've possibly noticed already (unless you've bookmarked this site with "Frames Off"), the overall frames layout has been modified somewhat, and the Webb Navigator is somewhat easier to use.
The flood of email I've received lately, most asking "hey, you plannin' on updatin' this site anytime soon?" tells me two things. First, more and more of you are visiting daily, for which I'm grateful. Second, I gotta get my ass in gear!
Unfortunately, right now I'm rather busy. As a taxi driver here in the city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, I'm right in the middle of one of the busiest period of the year, as we're currently holding our annual Calgary Exhibition And Stampede. This has me hopping, both with regular taxi fares as well as shutting around a carload of Young Canadians, the kids who perform in the Grandstand Show every evening. Now add in the fact that I've got a new lady in my life and that leaves barely enough time for sleep, let alone updating this web site. :-(
Please understand two things:
All I'm saying here is: have some patience with me - just doing today's update (this article, three new Numan sites, five back issues of the Digest) has taken about 2 hours to complete. Because a lot of the time spent is "overhead", I generally try to wait until I've got several items to add at the same time before making a site update.
- This site is very important to me and I'm not about to scale it back, or shut it down. It's going to continue indefinitely.
- It's a huge bastard. There are over 600 seperate HTML documents, and countless image files, sound clips, Digest archive files, and the like, and I maintain all of it *BY HAND*. Add to this the fact that my doddering old computer, a 486DX33, slows down the process even further. I do have plans to upgrade to a fast Pentium later this year - and, hopefully, also to add in some web site management software to simplify updates.
I've added three new sites to "I Dream Of Wires" this week, namely: "Remind Me To Smile", "Scar", and "Crime Of Passion". I've also (finally) removed "The Numan Principle" as that site has, sadly, been taken offline.
And, as you'll already know unless you've been dead or in Edmonton, "Exile" has been pushed back to September 8th, to allow the lining up of various advertising and editorial deadlines. Why this wasn't done a month earlier is beyond me - but at least it IS getting done this time. Remember: buy your copy of "Exile" the week it is released - let's drive those numbers up and get this puppy on the charts!
(NOTE: This site has no connection with Numa Records. So BLAH! Grin!)
As regular visitors to this site already know, I've got a collection of "slogans" that appear on the introduction page in rotation - that is, each will appear for a week or two, then make way for the next. One or two of them have proven unpopular, and one in particular proved VERY unpopular, based on your feedback.
The slogan in question, which appeared immediately below the "The World Wide Webb" masthead, was: "The Home On The Web For Militant Guerilla Numan Fans Everywhere".
This one seems to have genuinely mystified many of you. I won't apologize for that: I've got a quirky sense of humour and I refuse to water it down. But for some reason, many of you took great offense at this one - for reasons I'm still a little unclear on. While not an apology, I do offer this explanation of the slogan in question:
It's a joke, folks. *WE* are the Militant Guerilla Numan Fans. Haven't we all grown tired of having to answer the question, "so, who's this Gary Numan guy you're always talking about?" Aren't we tired of seeing the UK media slag him and the American media ignore him and most radio stations pretending he died sometime back in the 1980's? Many of you, and myself also, have occasionally expressed our... well, dissatisfaction regarding the current status quo, and some have taken to lobbying the media, and local radio stations, for more positive Numan exposure. We're militant Numan guerillas. It's a joke. That's it and that's all. If you read anything into this slogan beyond that... well, (A) it was not intentional, and (B) would you kindly fill me in on what exactly the problem is? I really would like to know.
Anyways, I'm going with a static slogan for the time being while a small re-design of the masthead logo takes place, then I'll be switching to a new set of rotating slogans which, I hope, you'll find more humourous. :-)
On an unrelated note: I'd like to apologize for the lack of updates this site's had over the past while. I can't promise any great improvement over the short term either - my available time for this project remains short. All I can ask is bear with me - I've got some good stuff on the way, including a new section called "Living Ornaments", where I'll be putting the spotlight on special one-off occasions in the Numan world. We'll be leading off with the "CBC Realtime" appearance by Gary Numan (which was online previously) and I'll be adding a spotlight on the "Random" album itself, plus a feature on a local radio station, ROCK-107, which has suddenly found itself a tad more Numan-friendly than ever before.
Keep your submissions to such sections as "Critics", "Poetry And Power", "The Visitor", and "I Still Remember" rolling in. It sometimes takes me a week or two to put 'em online (sorry!) but I don't ignore *ANYTHING* - YOUR participation is what makes this site fun to run and fun to surf.
The World Wide Webb has become the *THIRD* Gary Numan website to win the "Totally Awesome Site Of The Day" award. Awarded by the people behind "The 80's Server", this award recognizes excellent web sites that keep the spirit of the 1980's alive. Previous Numan sites to win this award are Gary's own "NuWORLD" and Miss Marlene's "Absolution", the latter a mere MONTH after it came online.
This site has won a few awards, but let's be honest here: they were somewhat inconsequential. I've said before and I'll say again: the biggest honour I get is the fact that YOU keep coming back here. But this award is rather special to me, because it puts The World Wide Webb among some very select company. Check out the "Past Winners" and see for yourself. And while you're at it, check out "The 80's Server" in detail - it too is a great site well worth exploring!
In keeping with my commitment to use the latest, greatest technology to deliver this site to you, I've begun using a new "Java Applet" called "WebbTrax", which is a small modification of Stephen B. Kinzler's excellent "ClipControl" applet (Stephen can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to pass along your compliments).
What The Heck Is It?
It's a Java program that now forms a part of the overall presentation of this site. It will, when you first enter the site, begin playing a pre-selected musical track which has been edited to "loop" repeatedly. The sound tracks are taken either from Gary Numan's own recordings or from related recordings. In fact, the first two are the MOD version of "Survival" and Silence's cover of "Down In The Park".
As long as you're using a recent browser (I recommend Netscape Navigator 3.0, or 2.02 for OS/2 - although in a pinch you should be able to get away with using Microsoft Internet Exploiter), and so long as you have NOT disabled frames, all you need to do is make sure that you have ENABLED Java - you'll usually find a switch to turn it off in the PREFERENCES or OPTIONS menus of your browser. If it's active, then you need do nothing else: the music will load and play automatically. You'll see a new two-part WebbTrax display window in the upper-left corner of the display (next to the NEWS window), which enables you to control the playback of the music, which otherwise will NOT TURN OFF unless you:
NOTE: Because the music clips are 200K-300K in size, they can take a couple of minutes to load on a 28.8K connection. So, if you see the WebbTrax controls but don't hear any music yet, it's cuz it's still loading. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE MUSIC TO FINISH LOADING BEFORE YOU BEGIN SELECTING VARIOUS WORLD WIDE WEBB OPTIONS. The music will continue to load in the background while you do other things.
- Leave the site entirely, or
- Click on STOP (you can resume by clicking on PLAY) in the left-hand side of the WebbTrax display, or
- Click on OFF in the right-hand side of the WebbTrax display.
I personally very much enjoy this new feature - so much so that I've built a custom "viewer window" that lets me do all my other web-surfing while I've got WebbTrax active and playing. But - one man's meat is another man's poison. I very much want your feedback on this latest addition to the site. Do you like it? Do you find it annoying? Would you prefer that it default to OFF until/unless you specifically turn it on? Inquiring minds wanna know, and you are invited to fill my mailbox with your comments. Oh, and yes, I plan to add additional music selections as time permits.
"Deadliner" is now up to date. Note that there's a "missing" Digest for March 20th - this one was not published due to a processing glitch at the source. Traffic from that Digest was included with the March 23rd edition.
"Confession" was updated with February's "Gary's Q's" for your enjoyment, and includes some eye-opening comments from Gary about the delay of "Exile".
"I Dream Of Wires" features an updated URL for "Machine + Soul" and the removal of "Nuways", which sadly has gone "off the air".