It’s hard to believe it’s been more than three decades since the release of Gary Numan‘s The Pleasure Principle, the electronic-pop masterpiece that spawned massive hit single “Cars,” one of the defining tracks of the new-wave era. (The song has since been covered and sampled numerous times and been used in countless commercials, movies, TV shows, video games, etc.) To celebrate the highly influential album making in into the Billboard top 20 in 1980 and the recent multi-disc, 30th-anniversary reissue, Numan just kicked off a three-week U.S. tour that features him playing The Pleasure Principle in its entirety, along with songs from his entire career as well as tracks from forthcoming album Splinter. Numan will also be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our Q&A with him.
Numan: Exercise is shit. I have now lived past the age where stopping eating for 10 minutes was all I needed to do to shed 10 pounds and look like a young warrior setting out on a weekend of rampage and mayhem, with perhaps a smattering of pillaging for good measure. I can now stop eating for 10 months and all I shed is the will to live. And so, I have given in to the Lord of Pain: exercise. For 50 years I considered that simply getting out of bed in the morning was all the exercise a normal man should need. And, to be fair, I got away with that fairly well. I sailed through my various medical checks without a worry and had no problems touring, often playing 10 or more shows back to back. But, over the last two years, I’ve fallen apart. Recently I bought some machinery to help fix all that. A treadmill, a rower, a cross trainer and a weights multi-gym. All new and strangely exciting they seemed to me, as they were unpacked and moved into a small shed in my garden that I laughingly refer to as a gym (my delusions of grandeur know no limits), until I started to use them, that is. Then it became obvious to me that if Hitler had used these machines on his prisoners he would have known the names and address of every soldier landing on the beaches on D-Day. If the Spanish Inquisition had ever had access to a treadmill then burning people at the stake or pushing a large pointy stick up a person’s bottom would have seemed like the easy option. They are evil. Made by evil people and sold by their little evil minions.
I want to die, on a daily basis. I do not feel fitter, I do not look fitter. I look like death warmed up for breakfast. My heart will, sooner rather than later I’m sure, finally rip itself free of my chest and, like an alien child, it will run across the floor and out of the room, sure in its belief that I am trying to kill it. My lungs are now permanently on fire. I cannot drink fast enough to replace the water that is leaving my body and so I am slowly turning into a desert bleached carcass. My eyes are constantly blurred. Can this really be good for me?
Do not put a picture of a muscle-bound Adonis on my machinery. It does not inspire me; it makes my suffering worse. It increases the agony. My life has narrowed down to watching a small electronic timer tick the minutes of my existence away. I hate it. Come to me, oh death; I can live like this no longer.
Video after the jump.