He can only receive. A check.
July 13, 2010 6:29 AM   Subscribe

And now, here's Gary Numan performing "Cars" on a bunch of cars. The performance is an ad for DieHard batteries. If you're freaking out about Mr. Numan selling out for car batteries, don't be a dummy. It's not the first time Gary Numan's done a commercial.
posted by SansPoint (27 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

I'm sure I remember that Lee Cooper ad being banned from early evening television as it was thought to be too scary for any children who might have been watching.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:58 AM on July 13, 2010

The song that laid the groundwork for Numan's career: Ultravox: Slow Motion
posted by davebush at 7:25 AM on July 13, 2010

Gary Numan
posted by DU at 7:30 AM on July 13, 2010

Nine Inch Nails brings out Gary Numan to perform Metal and Cars.
posted by hippybear at 7:32 AM on July 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

That was fun. I'm psyched as hell for the Pleasure Principle tour coming to Chicago this Fall (although Replicas is really the album I'd love to hear in it's entirety).
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 7:59 AM on July 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

Hammond Rye: oh, man, thank you SOOOO much for bringing up that Synth Britannia documentary. What a wonderful find. Watching the whole thing now, and my jaw is hanging open. I lived through this era, and am still stunned even today that all this really strange SF-ish music was actually topping the charts for a while. Thanks SO much. Great find. *****.
posted by hippybear at 8:02 AM on July 13, 2010

Wow, I've never forgotten that commercial. I had no idea (I would've been 7, after all) it was Gary Numan.
posted by Flashman at 8:03 AM on July 13, 2010

Watching that commercial has made me feel unexpectedly quite sad.

posted by fairmettle at 8:16 AM on July 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

@hippybear —

Thanks for those amazing vimeo links!

Though now I'm going to spend the entire morning listening to the Gary Numan and Tubeway Army's "Replicas" album on eternal repeat.
posted by zuhl at 8:31 AM on July 13, 2010

I'm at work so I didn't watch the link that hippybear has added to the conversation, but I'm assuming they are the ones I have seen previously, probably on MetaFilter, possibly posted by him, and because of that, and the joy he has brought me, Gary Numan has my permission to sell out as many times as he wants.

(because he was totally waiting for that)

(and I also think the whole idea of 'selling out' is pretty ridiculous anyway)

(I wish I could sell out)

posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:53 AM on July 13, 2010

OMG Slack-a-gogo! Thank you for mentioning that he's touring and performing that album. I just went an ordered tickets for his Boston appearance. I love that album to pieces.

I don't know why people call it a sell out for a group to do a commercial. It's not like it's a recent thing. There's a large 7-disc collection of ads from the Motown era floating around the web with pretty notable performers hawking all kinds of stuff. Lots of Coca-Cola ads and the such. On the plus side, it's a pretty original ad on top of everything.
posted by inthe80s at 9:00 AM on July 13, 2010

AAAARGH! Part 9/9 of Synth Britannia is blocked in the US by WMG for copyright reasons. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. How many people could be turned on to this genre of music by this documentary? Now I just feel sour on the whole experience. Fuck you, Warner Music Group. You suck.
posted by hippybear at 9:10 AM on July 13, 2010

Okay, *whew* using www.daveproxy.co.uk let me get around the block and finish watching.
posted by hippybear at 9:24 AM on July 13, 2010

How is it that I've never heard another car-horn rendition? That's a no brainer. I enjoyed that.
posted by drowsy at 9:27 AM on July 13, 2010

"Life demands DieHard."

...because that's exactly how I start all 24 of my cars every morning. still cool though.
posted by howling fantods at 9:32 AM on July 13, 2010

Gary Numan did some great work, always has, but this, sheesh. Yeah, he deserves the money. But I am kinda curious why this even got made. It's not like the TV networks have a 105 second slot for ads like this, where was this intended to run? Web viral only? Every media on earth is pretty much max 30 second slots. On the web only? I don't see video-ad based sites like Hulu doing more than 30 second slots either.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:36 AM on July 13, 2010

How is it that I've never heard another car-horn rendition?

It's not car horns. And it's not Gary Numan. But here's a short NPR piece about tuned truck horns that is quite amusing.
posted by hippybear at 9:59 AM on July 13, 2010

Gary Numan sure looks a lot like Klaus Kinski.
posted by circular at 10:20 AM on July 13, 2010

He's also kind of a tiny man, with hilarious hair... saw him live a couple years back, and after a bit of jumping around and getting disheveled, he started to look like a gothic 'Troll Doll'. Good show, tho!
posted by FatherDagon at 10:36 AM on July 13, 2010

Really - this isn't too far off.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:37 AM on July 13, 2010

Dammit, that Gary Numan tour isn't coming anywhere near me. On the other hand, the ad was kind of awesome and I'm looking forward to those NIN clips.
posted by immlass at 10:48 AM on July 13, 2010

He's not out of his brilliant mind.
posted by Twang at 3:01 PM on July 13, 2010

Thirteen. Living in a rather reclusive family, a life on the northern edge of Plymouth, a naval town down on its luck, an ancient town that had its heart blown out by the Luftwaffe, then replaced by the first and harshest experiment in neo-brutalism. To the north again, Dartmoor, with its neolithic field systems still largely untouched on the primordial windblown granite mass. To the west, the Tamar, mudflat estuaries and vast waters. Wild woods.

The only passageways to the world outside this one, a world of the late 70s, were three channels of television and the radio: my parents had the television, I the radio. And the music of that outside world, the new music, was Radio 1 and Top Of The Pops (and the local station, which thought Jean-Michel Jarre was dangerously avant garde). And on that radio, most evenings, was John Peel.

One evening, Tubeway Army. Hel-lo. To someone who was rapidly developing a hunger for things not yet heard, new shapes in noise, it was a clear signal from a place I wanted to go. Urgent, rough - guitars, yes, but under it all something alien, that sang without breathing and had never needed to breath. And the lyrics: alienation, uncertainty, loneliness, mind decaying in a harsh and unnatural landscape, where what other people did to themselves and to you was dangerous and unknowable and they may be machines but machines are at least knowable.

So. Fascination. And through that fascination (thanks, Smash Hits!) I discovered Gary Numan grokked J G Ballard and Philip Dick, so I went out and inhaled them and cor blimey did that change the wallpaper.

Then there was Are "Friends" Electric, and then Cars on Top Of The Pops, and the fragile aggression of Numan took on another dimension.

Later, a lot later, I found out just how much more had been going on, and timetravelled back to Krautrock and sideways into early Ultravox and transdimensionally into Eno and Beefheart, and by then electronic music was doing things like Aphex Twin and it and I were long gone elsewhere. And I found out how much Numan really had been a stranger in a strange land, alert to all the things that reflected his Aspergers and could be stitched together into something that hit a larger resonance, just for a moment.

But somewhere inside, there's a thirteen year old, alone, still staring out of a window at his own distorted reflection and the dangerous, enthralling, calling darkness, while machine music growls and soars.
posted by Devonian at 3:11 PM on July 13, 2010 [7 favorites]

@Devonian Ace. Yeh ... where'd we be without those musical promises arcing through the night air? To this day, the economy, intimacy, honesty of Cars is just as breathtaking.
posted by Twang at 3:37 PM on July 13, 2010

Yeh ... where'd we be without those musical promises arcing through the night air?

Suddenly I have both Rush's Spirit Of The Radio and Hedwig & The Angry Inch's Midnight Radio running through my head AT THE SAME TIME. How did you do that?
posted by hippybear at 7:46 AM on July 14, 2010

« Older It's All Yours George   |   "Owning the Yankees is like owning the Mona Lisa." Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments