Posted by flotz
Friday, October 29, 2010 |
Gary Numan plays Neumo's Sunday October 31 playing 1979's The Pleasure Principle (Freud! Freud!) in its entirety. He's getting lots of press on this tour, including an interview in The Stranger as well as a whole stint as guest editor at Magnet Magazine. Having read all the interviews and whatnot, wanted to cull some of the more interesting bits (and bobs as the Brits would say).
First, found it interesting that Numan has Asperger's syndrome and talks openly about it in both interviews. In the case of The Stranger interview, Numan brings it up:
For a record that was so popular, The Pleasure Principle sounds almost like the epitome of emotionally cold, anomic, isolated urban music. Were you going through a particularly difficult time in your life during the recording of it?
No, I was just very young and full of that "poor little me... no one understands me" crap that seems to plague a lot of teenagers. I also have Asperger's syndrome, which I didn't really understand at the time. That made things quite difficult.
And, in the Magnet interview, he brings it up:
I read that you were diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. A neighbor of mine has it, so I have been able to observe what it’s like living with it on a daily basis. How are you doing with it? Does it keep you from doing anything you want to?
No, it doesn’t stop me from doing anything really. I’m totally rubbish at social interaction, but I have a wife who is gifted with interaction skills, so I just hide in her shadow and things go smoothly enough. Many of the traits of Asperger’s are actually very useful for a career in music. That obsessive, blinkered sense of direction, the slight emotional disconnection in certain areas, so many things when you think about it that make Asperger’s almost useful for this kind of life. Thanks to my wife Gemma I am much more at ease and aware of the Asperger side of me, and although it has its difficult moments, I find that I would rather have it than not.
Can't think of another musician who has Asperger's or talks about it like this. Fascinating.
Second, Numan has a pretty amazing rant on children. "If you are happy with your partner and enjoying life, stay that way. If the c-word is ever mentioned or considered, banish it from your home." Ha!
Here's it is in its entirety:
I’m not a religious man but if I was, I would consider the biological need to want children, programmed into almost every living human being, to be His sneakiest piece of mischief in all of creation. What a cruel trick to play on people only just getting a grip on life themselves. We have lots of warnings about how effects of drugs, drink and smoking can ruin our lives but not a word about the effect children may have. Why not? I would like to see a picture of a haggard man, perhaps close to death, put onto every billboard and bus in the world. Advertising campaigns saying “Just Say No!” You can use my picture if you like as I look like a big bag of shit most mornings thanks to my children. Everything I did before I now cannot do. I get up when it’s still dark and help to get them ready for school. I spend a small fortune on that school and the thousand-and-one other things they want and need. Always with the desperate hope that they might actually say thank you. Just once. Just once in my entire lifetime as a parent I would like them to actually show some pleasure or gratitude for us taking them to that place they’ve always wanted to go, for buying that horse that they couldn’t live without, for living in a beautiful house in a slap-free environment, for giving up every hobby I have ever loved so that I could be with them. Gemma has given up even more than I but doesn’t even have the luxury of a loud voice with which to shout. My only remaining pleasure is to shout once in a while knowing that it does nothing whatsoever other than make me feel as if I have some kind of authoritarian facade intact for the benefit of the outside world.
They drive you mad. The unrelenting lack of gratitude, the almost fanatical degree of selfishness, the extreme cruelty they show to each other, their unashamed ability to grass each other up, plot each other’s downfall, their ability to move the “acceptable behaviour” goal posts almost daily, always one step ahead of any measure taken by the parent to bring them back into line. It’s like doing battle with a three-girl team of tactical geniuses. We, as parents, are totally out of our depth, hopelessly outclassed. I would give up my life without a seconds thought if it would give them another second to live theirs. I would give them every penny I have, and probably will, if it will make their lives better, even for a day. I have handed my life over to them but try feebly to pretend otherwise. But who gets thanks at Christmas for their small mountain of presents? Fucking Santa Claus, that’s who. Who gets thanks for taking them to Disneyland? The lady selling the tickets. Life isn’t fair. I had this romantic image of what being a parent would be like. Gentle walks and eager, interested little faces hanging on to every word of Dad’s fascinating and funny stories. But no. They know best, they know how airplanes fly and why rockets have fire coming out of them, how computers work and exactly where Heaven is. They already firmly believe that they know everything they need to know. They can drive better than me (untrue), they can see further (true), hear better (very true) and run for longer (absolutely true).
If you are happy with your partner and enjoying life, stay that way. If the c-word is ever mentioned or considered, banish it from your home. They take away your shape, your life, your money, your patience, your time, your energy, your individuality, your peace of mind, your thoughts, everything. Your friends drift away slowly but surely, your holidays become nothing more than a never ending search for somewhere that will keep them occupied until it’s time to go home. And they give you … .a smile. And everything is suddenly OK with the world. Yes, they should come with a health warning, because everyday they will curl up in bed, close their eyes, go to sleep and break your heart.
And, to close, here's the song that is his fame and burden: