- Written by webmin
Most of us under the age of 45 will remember Gary Numan from his one and only Stateside hit, Cars; eschewing guitars entirely for the sound of cold synthesizers, Numan’s paranoid, dystopian-future lyrics struck a chord with the British public at large as the ’80s hoved into view. He kicked off the whole synthpop/New Romantic movement, which you can hear about in the BBC documentary Synth Brittania, paving the way for Depeche Mode, Human League and plenty of other outfits. He’ll be on tour in the US later this year, celebrating the 30th Anniversary of The Pleasure Principle, the album that spawned Cars and a host of other deeply influential tracks. (The video for Cars, btw, had no actual car appearing in it.)
In the UK, Numan’s career was longer-lived than it was in America, and a string of hit singles preceeded and followed Cars. One of those hits, I Die: You Die (from 1980′s Telekon), sees Numan lashing out at a highly critical UK music press. But about half the video for this track was filmed in and around a white ’79 Corvette, with red interior. This was Numan’s own personal white ’79 Corvette–a gift from his UK record label, Beggar’s Banquet, when Cars went gold. (He had apparently once expressed the notion that his idea of “arriving,” in terms of fame, was owning a Corvette. And here it was.) Some noise was made in the UK press about it, as there often was with anything surrounding Numan in those days, and Yes even wrote a quasi-snide song about Numan and his Corvette (White Car, by Yes, off the album Drama).
What better way to tell the music press to bugger off for slagging off the success of Cars, and by extention Numan himself, than by singing the lyrics of a song slagging off the press from inside the car that the record company gave you? Corvettes are rarely subtle in any context, but I delight in the subtlety of Numan’s upraised middle digit.
On another note, I do not apologize for the Doctorin’ the Tardis video.