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Baker's Dozen

Music For A Chameleon: Gary Numan's 13 Favourite Albums
Julian Marszalek , December 6th, 2012 07:46

Quietus hero Gary Numan tells Julian Marszalek about his 13 favourite albums and how they "kicked my arse"... plus the time Freddie Mercury sent a limo to buy him a Big Mac


Be Bop Deluxe – Sunburst Finish
At the time, me and some of my friends from school really liked the name of the band. We went to see them and apart from 'Sister Seagull' I don't think I'd heard any of their songs at all but we liked the name of the band which is a strange reason to go to a gig. I think it was at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane so went to the gig and I was on one of the balconies and they came on, almost completely unknown to me, and I loved every single song they played. I loved it and I came away from there a huge fan. I went out and bought all their albums – I think they had three at that point.

A few years later I got Be Bop Deluxe's Bill Nelson to produce an album of mine called Warriors. It was a real honour for me but unfortunately we didn't actually get on. I don't think I was quite the right kind of person for him given the way he sees the world. The differences were down to attitude. He's amazingly creative but he's very kind of ethereal, if that's the right word. He thinks that inspiration comes from the cosmos, I think he said, which for me is a little bit airy-fairy. He said, 'Why do you want to be in a band?' and I said, 'Because I want to get off with loads of girls' and I'm afraid that I didn't have an artful and creative reason. I've changed a bit over the years and sort of grown into the artful side but it's never really been my big reason and it's all of his reason. I think it's fantastic there are people like that but unfortunately I'm not!

When I was younger I really wanted to make a point but I wasn't like him and I guess I kind of played up to it and so we didn't get on brilliantly. But I remain a huge fan and I think he's the best guitar player ever, an absolute genius. To be in the studio with him and just watching him play and watching what he did and it was an honour to be privy to genius. I really regret that we didn't get on but I like to think that we would do now. I'm certainly not as much of an arse as I used to be then! I've mellowed with age.