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Inspiration



NEIL YOUNG

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 brilliance."

BUCK OWENS

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!"

GEORGE HARRISON

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!"

BRIDGET BARDOT

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."

WENDY CARLOS

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 he had a sex-change operation in the '70s in Sweden."

STAR ROCK

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!'"

TRAN-STAR

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.