Gary Numan and His Stick of Automated Joy

Do you like blinky-lights and alien androgynes? Then I suspect that this clip from 1981 cult classic Urgh! A Music War will haunt you indefinitely. Prepare to be hilarified by Gary Numan in all his made-up and awkwardly-turned-on glory, performing Down In The Park – a dystopian single about robots and violence. The king of Synthpop slowly emerges from a flood of light and smoke on a joystick-operated mobile throne, casts a malcontent gaze into the audience and does his red leather suit justice with a surprisingly saucy performance. Far past the “suggestive” mark, Numan expresses love for his machine in a manner that may have you feeling a little dirty next time you pick up a game controller.

Take me away on your big, bad bumper car, Mister Numan! This mixture of resentment, admiration and laughter is too much to bear alone. I’ll wipe your furrowed waxy brow and you can have as much alone time with the chair as you require. Let your headlights guide us as we drive at a reasonable speed straight into the future, where we’ll start a mobile chair racing club.

Professor X and Davros

9 Responses to “Gary Numan and His Stick of Automated Joy”

  1. Jake von Slatt Says:

    Oh my, the memories! I went to the Boston show of this tour, we were all going to build out own ‘electric coffins.’

  2. Infamous Amos Says:

    One might argue that the Segway is the first and the most prolific innovator of the new wave of non-handicapped slow moving people-mover-thing-a-majiggers. These people, however, are idiots. There have been many more notable pointlessly large low speed vehicles in modern science and popular culture, Including the three key examples Zo has pointed out. Past favourites include…

    – Dr. Robotnik’s flying half sphere of death thing.
    – The things that looked like Jeeps but were actually just shells of Jeeps (with no locking doors) that ran on easily breakable electrical tracks in Jurassic Park.
    – That metal suit thing that Krang from the Ninja Turtles walked around in.
    – The ‘Slow-Mobile’ thing from Futurama
    – The Hypercolor Hover Board thing from Back to the Future II
    – And, my personal favourite, THE ENFORCER –

  3. Zoetica Says:

    Jake, officially JEALOUS.

    Infamous Amos – the video! I require silver mini dress. And The Enforcer, yesss!

  4. Shay Says:

    Fav mobile chair thinger evar: The original Captain Pike.


  5. Sam Says:

    This (your writing, the video, I don’t know) turned me on more than I ought to admit.

  6. Jake von Slatt Says:


    In addition to the chair there were radio controlled mannequin heads in plexiglass boxes that randomly zoomed about the stage. At least I remember there being such. ;-)

  7. Zoetica Says:

    Now you’re just tormenting me, Jake. That sounds hilarious and awesome – even better if they’re a figment of your imagination. All that’s missing is a harem of animatronic service-bots.

  8. Jake von Slatt Says:

    Zoetica, please get out of my head.

  9. Mark numan | Bexita Says:

    […] Coilhouse » Blog Archive » Gary Numan and His Stick of Automated … […]