Gary Numan

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Gary Numan (born Gary Anthony James Webb on 8 March 1958) is an English singer, composer, and musician, most widely known for appearing on the chart-topping 1979 hits "Are 'Friends' Electric?" by Tubeway Army and his song "Cars". His signature sound consisted of heavy synthesizer hooks fed through guitar effects pedals.

Commercially unsuccessful for many years of his career, Numan is nevertheless considered a pioneer of commercial electronic music.[1][2] His use of themes from science fiction, and his combination of aggressive punk energy with electronics, have since been widely imitated.



Early life

Born in Hammersmith, Gary Anthony James Webb was the son of a British Airways bus driver based at Heathrow Airport. Webb was educated at Town Farm Junior School Stanwell, Ashford County Grammar School, Middlesex, Slough Grammar School[3] and Brooklands Technical College. He had an early ambition to be an airline pilot, but did not gain any academic qualifications; however, he did go on to join the Air Training Corps as a teenager. He then briefly did various jobs including fork lift truck driver, air conditioning ventilator fitter and clerk in an accounts department. A guitar was purchased for him at an early age and he began writing songs when he was about 15 years old. He played in various bands, including Mean Street and The Lasers, before forming Tubeway Army with his uncle, Jess Lidyard, and Paul Gardiner. His initial pseudonym was "Valerian", probably in reference to the hero in French science fiction comic series Valérian and Laureline.[4] Later he picked the name "Numan" from an advert in the "Yellow Pages" for a plumber "A. Neumann".[5]

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