Brian: "Neil Young has an all-synthesizer album from 1983,
called Trans, that is absolutely amazing. It's Neil Young but it's all
synthesizers and all computerized, and the songs are great! I have a
concert film of this tour where he wears Devo glasses and he's running
around singing through a talkbox, and people in the audience are just SO
bummed. They ARE NOT happy. He even redid one of his old Buffalo
Springfield songs, 'Mr. Soul,' in a synthesizer version, and that really
pissed people off."
Roger: "It's so funny that he's being adored for all these
classic works that he did 20 years ago, and Brian and I are going, my
God, this Trans album is one of the most overlooked pieces of
Brian: "Buck Owens was the second big Moog sale in the U.S. - he
actually beat out The Monkees by buying a Moog before they did! He did
his Switched On Buck album, a synthesizer album years before Neil
Young ever thought of it. Imagine country people hearing a synth album!"
Brian: "His all-Moog album, Electronic Sounds, was one of the earliest
Beatles solo records. It's all Moog; there's no rhythms, no drum
machine, no songs, just a guy noodling for two hours. It's really bad
synthesizer music and I love it. Again, it's probably the most un-liked
Beatles-related album of all time."
Roger: "You'd definitely put it on to entertain everybody at a loft
party at Magic Alex's place!"
Roger: "She made five French late-'60s videos that made Bjork look like
a small-time no-talent."
Brian: "These were total new wave videos that out-new wave Nina Hagen!
There's one, for the song 'Contact,' with spinning, glowing pyramids and
she's wearing an Egyptian thing with her eyes painted up and there are
echoes all over the place."
Brian: "The first big Moog sale in the U.S., besides people at colleges
who used them for experiments, was Walter Carlos, who did the Switched
On Bach record. That record really spawned something; it was what made
the Beatles and everybody get into Moogs. It's still the biggest-selling
classical album of all time. What got me into synthesizers was hearing
that. I heard it on the radio one day and I went, 'Oh my God! What's
that sound?' Anyway, Walter became Wendy ï he had a sex-change operation
in the '70s in Sweden."
Roger: "Monica West and Roland Grand were a husband-and-wife team who
had a public access cable show in San Francisco in the early '80s called
S.F. TV. It was mainly a vehicle to showcase homemade videos by their
own band, Star Rock. Roland was a hippie who never cut his hair and
looked like Uli Roth from the Scorpions, playing new wave on two
synthesizers. Monica was a self-proclaimed Chicago blues singer who
looked like Jeff McDonald from Redd Kross crossed with Linda McCartney.
They were always on public access on Friday nights. Everyone would say,
'C'mon, let's go out to the clubs,' and we'd say, 'Screw that, we're
staying home to watch some Star Rock!'"
Brian: "Down at Disneyland, in the late '80s, they had a little space
van, kind of like how you'd see on Saturday morning cartoons, and these
three guys would hop out wearing space suits. They had two weird space
keyboards and a strange diamond-shaped guitar, and they talked through
little tubes and played computer-synthesizer versions of pop hits, like
'Wild Wild West" by the Escape Club. Then they'd also do stuff like
'Someday My Prince Will Come.' I became friends with them; we used to go
downstairs under Disneyland and hang out."
Roger: "They were amazing, total space funk. Very Buck Rogers."
Inspiration information taken from the Restless Records press release.