And now for a brief break from my seemingly non-stop Facebook Posts of Doom. (There’s still quite a bit of Doom, to be clear, it’s just even I have to think and write about not-entirely-Doom things occasionally). So here goes: My thesis is that music matters, and I’m here to talk about one particular musician: Gary Numan. I am a child o’ the ’80s with all that implies: I still have my Atari 800 that I learned to program on and the 1200 baud modem I surfed the BBS scene with on it. To me, “Gary Numan” was, well… “that Cars guy”. Cool song for what it was worth back in the day, but, ya know, eh, whatever. And then at some point ~ a month ago, I came across this version of Numan performing ‘Cars’ live with … Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails. https://youtu.be/6qlUFKFHNIU After I got off the floor that I had been knocked on my ass upon, I said to myself “Self, this Numan character seems interesting. I wonder if he ever did anything other than that one song.” Spoiler / TL;DR : he did a whole hell of a lot. He’s been making music basically nonstop from his first hit in 1979 and is still working (and making new music) today. I haven’t yet listened to the entire album, but his latest, “Songs from a Broken World” in 2017, has at least two exceptionally good songs (“Ghost Nation” and “My Name is Ruin”). Anyhoo, besides my delight at finding that I truly love a lot of his music beyond ‘Cars’, something about the dude just charms me, so I signed up for his Patreon, which got me access to his (even more charming) awkward and honest video diaries (he’s a father now and by all I can tell, seems like a good one, and much of those are “so, child x has this going on so i had to drive her to…” kind of thing). So musicians make their living these days as I understand it mostly from touring and concerts, not album sales — and while Numan doesn’t sound like he’ll be out on the street anytime soon, I don’t get the impression that he’s rolling in huge $$$ either (despite the quality of his work, there’s a reason why I wasn’t aware of it; he had some bad luck and made some bad decisions in terms of how to try to drive his career and so kinda got screwed over by the music industry). So I was pleased on multiple levels to hear that he was going to do a concert tour in the UK soon. Wait, what, you say — CONCERTS? With like PEOPLE GATHERING? And Rob APPROVES? Well, yes. Because these aren’t normal concerts: they’re DRIVE-IN concerts: https://ift.tt/2VGWcar Limited to ~ 300 vehicles per show, with each having a dedicated zone around it ensuring social distance and space for people to get out and enjoy the show… sure, it is still *a* risk, but I commend the effort to find a way to keep life going while taking the crisis seriously. And of course… if you could pick one guy… who had one song… to be the one to do one of the first of these shows… you couldn’t do better than Numan. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that I know what he’ll open with, and it’ll be epic…

NIN: “Cars” with Gary Numan, London 7.15.09 [HD] via https://youtu.be/6qlUFKFHNIU