According to a recent interview in The Irish Times, Gary Numan's alienation shtick was partly due to his having Asperger's syndrome, a style of anti-social autism, and he never smiled because he was embarassed by his giant teeth.
Here is the full interview
Not jumping on any bandwagon or boasting or anything, but I was an immediate adopter of Gary Numan back in 1981 or whenever, my little "Cars" 45 sitting alongside Rod Stewart and the Police and my step-brother's BlackSabbath and Grand Funk Railroad records. I felt his disconnect in my own inability to play well with others, without being to articulate such as a very awkward 10-year old. I felt safest in all in cars, sheilded and contained.
The melody from "Cars" was one of the first things I ever figured out on guitar, and the metal-head co-worker that was teaching me the basics identified it immediately and forebade me ever to play it again in his presence, but that's OK. With headphones, distortion pedals and cavernous reverb, it brings back the cold comfort I found in that music.
He played here in town about 8-9 years ago at the goth night at some horrible nightclub that has transformed into countless other horrible nightclubs since, and among the many regrets I have from that era, not going to see him is one of them. Not that I think it woudlve been life-altering or anything, but it might have brought about my resolve to be true to that what the Lord made me. Maybe I tuly was a disaffected freak who felt his life was lived in a fishtank, and maybe I was not the only one. I heard from a girlfriend that did attend that it was rather embarassing - and this was at a goth night , mind you - so maybe its all for the best.
Check out the image above. It's his car. If I had crazy lottery money, I would buy that car, install it in a pure white, climate controlled garage with no door, just so I could sit in it with the windows rolled up once in a while and temporarily protect myself from the world.
Alex V. Cook listens to everything and writes about most of it. His latest book, the snappily titled Louisiana Saturday Night: Looking for a Good Time in South Louisiana's Juke Joints, Honky-Tonks, and Dance Halls is an odyssey from the backwoods bars and small-town dives to the swampside dance halls and converted clapboard barns of a Louisiana Saturday Night. Don't leave Heathrow without it. His first book Darkness Racket and Twang is available from SideCartel. The full effect can be had at alex v cook.com