The text comprises of interviews conducted by long-time Numan fan Stephen Roper over a period of a few years with JOHN FOXX, THE SKIDS and DEVO plus support acts OMD, SIMPLE MINDS and NASH THE SLASH.
There are also contributions from band members Chris Payne, RRussell Bell and the late Cedric Sharpley as well as GARY NUMAN himself.
On seeing the hardback edition, Numan said “That’s why I enjoyed reading this book so much. It gives a voice to so many people that were vitally important to me, and to what happened to me, in those early days. I was grateful to them then, and I remain grateful to them now”
The book focuses on the imperial phase of 1979 – 1981, when GARY NUMAN was at the peak of his fame and commercial success. The result is a fascinating and often humorous insight into the ‘eye of the storm’, during which Numan was making headlines and topping the charts worldwide.
The new e-Book edition features restored colour plates along with the addition of hundreds of colour photos (many previously unseen publically) and quality scans of the era’s Numan memorabilia. Also featured are the original tour itineraries and sketches of stage sets, together with handwritten estimates for the productions. It is this level of detail and authenticity that makes ‘Back Stage’ a compelling read for anyone with an interest in Numan’s glory years.
At the ‘Back Stage’ launch party in March 2012, RRussell Bell recalled a ‘Spinal Tap’ moment during production rehearsals for the 1980 ‘Telekon’ tour: “There was one classic where the production was being built to Gary’s specs and there was supposed to be this square cage that came with him in from a truss… they done it in metres instead of feet so it was like the size of a shark cage! He went ‘I can get the whole f***ing band in this!’ It was supposed to be two feet square, not two metres!”
With synthesizer technology still in its comparative infancy, Chris Payne remembered: “It was a nightmare, I think on one tour I had over eighteen keyboards, some were never used as they were back-ups… two Polymoogs, two Minimoogs, an ARP Odyssey… everything could breakdown, they’d go out of tune…”
Meanwhile the synth he never looked forward to playing was the Prophet5, a device he considered a “nightmare”
Even RRussell Bell could not escape the haul of incumbent technology: “…I was the guitarist and I had five synths!! I had a Polymoog, two Minimoogs, Moog Taurus pedals, Synares”
‘Back Stage’ is a remarkable achievement that will delight many Numanoids and fans of electronic music in general.
The e-Book of ‘Back Stage – A Book Of Reflections’ is available now as a download PDF compatible for Android, Windows, iPhone, iPod and desktop at £4.99 from http://www.thetouringprinciple.co.uk/
Text by Chi Ming Lai
23rd January 2016