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The Numanoids

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This page will explain the meaning behind the word Numanoids. Over the years that I have been running Numanme, I have had the chance to meet and talk to many Numan fans. Gary Numan fans come from many walks of life teachers, doctors, builders, warehouse workers and cleaners, you name it you will find a Numan fan doing it. The one thing I have noticed about Numan fan, is that most are very articulate in whatever they do.

Some Numan fans don’t like being labelled as Numanoids, as this term was given to Gary Numan fans by the British press. The word Numanoid become a word to try to humiliate Gary Numan fans, the press often described fans as obsessive freaks that dressed like their idol. But you could say it backfired on the press because the fans embraced the whole word Numanoid.

Gary Numan talking about journalists in the fan club newsletter 34/35: “I have no problem with journalists. Real journalists, In the main I have found them to report accurately what they have seen and heard and I have a great admiration for most of them. However, there are others that I am not so keen on. Men and women who will add comments like ‘He sneered’ when he didn’t. ‘He snarled’ when all he did was laugh. Remarks that give a completely different slant to the way a comment was known to be intended. Men and women who will use only a few words of a detailed explanation to deliberately mislead the reader. People who ‘accidently’ hear things incorrectly and apologise in the small ads. People who ask their most sarcastic and penetrating questions in the privacy of their own home long after the interview is finished and the poor victim has gone home. We rely totally on the integrity of journalists to accurately write down not only what we say but how we say it. To say ‘He sneered’ can completely change the meaning of a very important remark. Unfortunately there are some people who have the integrity of a slug. Some of them are journalists. Not many, but I met one very recently and I will pay for it for a long time to come.”

As a young Numanoid and still at school, you faced abusive comments daily. Often someone shouting out you queer or someone singing cars in some stupid voice and often showing their own stupidit, by singing the wrong lyrics to such a simple song.

We must remember Gary Numan fans were not the only fans that had specific descriptions or nicknames given to them Madness fans where know as 'Nutty Boys', Duran Duran fans were 'Durannies'. But for some unknown reason Gary and his fans were singled out by the music press. 

Gary Numan talking about Numanoids on London Feature 1991: “To criticise my lot because they look like me, if you go to a house gig if you go to a rap gig anything like that they all look the same, there is an identifiable way of looking for almost every kind of music there is. Even the chieftains ware the same kind of pullovers, I don’t do drugs I don’t do a whole lot of things I could be really slagged for, yet they seem to be almost desperate to find something to dislike about me for 12 years now I’m getting slightly fed up slightly fed up, and this thing about Thatcher anyone would think I voted National Front or something for Christ sake more people voted for them than anybody else and people look at me as I’m a leper what’s going on…. free society my ass.” 

Numanoids had a reputation for fierce loyalty towards their idol. When Radio One held a day of burning Numan records, a group of militant Numanoids threatened to kidnapped Steve Wright in the afternoon and threatened to shave off his moustache and smash his glasses unless all of Numan records were placed on Radio One's playlist.

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Gary Numan talking about radio one fan club newsletter 34/35: “I’ve been told many times, by many people, not to say anything bad about Radio One; not to offend them in any way because the chance of any future success that I may enjoy relies heavily on Radio One playing the records. What these people don’t seem to understand is; I don’t have any anti Radio One feelings at all. The fact that they don’t play my new records, although they regularly play the older ones, is frustrating and undoubtedly has a bad effect on my career. I can’t deny that. I can’t deny that at times it’s upset me enormously to see a record enter the chart and still not pick up any airplay. It does seem unfair; it means that I cannot compete with other acts vying for places in the chart. However, if my records do not suit Radio Ones style then they have every right not to play them. I fully understand that. They have the right to not play something in the top 40 as much as they have the right to play something outside of the top 40. They must not be forced to play any particular artist or type of music for any reason other than whether they actually like it or not. I have, unfortunately, come to the conclusion that my particular kind of music will probably never be suitable, but I live in fading hope. In some ways it’s my own fault. I have always tried to avoid the changing trends and fashions of the business. To be individual is to be out on your own. What that actually means is that I’m always unfashionable, but that’s my problem to solve, not Radio Ones.”

Gary has always had the time for his fans, happy to meet and greet his fans and always up for chatter. Also believe it or not looking after some fans on tour, sometimes booking hotel rooms for devoted young fans following Gary on the tour with nowhere to stay for the night. Gary explained this on "The Time & The Place" chat show 1992 saying he felt responsible for the fans. He often worried about them sleeping in bus shelters so did whatever he could to help them.

But sometime fans would over step the mark, stories of fans cutting the tops of every flower in Gary’s garden and camping out in his garden. Also they stole all the goldfish out of his garden pond. All this after a national newspaper released Gary’s address. 

Gary Numan talking about fans in the fan club newsletter 34/35: “In the early days my attitude concerning the fans appeared to be slightly hardnosed. I’ve never believed that fans made me and therefore had some kind of right to my private life or to any intimate knowledge. What came first, chicken or egg/pop star or fan. I always saw it as a 50/50 deal. I write songs and make the records; fans buy and hopefully enjoy the records. However, my attitude over the past few years has changed considerably. I still don’t believe I was made by them. But I have been supported by them to such a degree that I now feel that I owe them a great deal. They have lobbied Radio stations, newspapers, magazines, Television companies and anything else that they thought could help. They have organised demonstrations about lack of airplay, Numan only disco’s and so many other things that I don’t have the space here to list them all. All of it was done for no other reason than to help me. It is a loyalty that I never expected and don’t really deserve. It has gone on for years and I genuinely believe that without it the career would not have lasted as long as it has. They may not have made me but they have kept me in a position where I still have a chance to succeed. I will never forget what they’ve done for me, whatever may happen in the future, good or bad.”

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Most Numanoids dressed like Gary, so that meant copying every new image Gary spawned. But for most black was the uniform of the day; black shirt, black trousers, side-parting in their hair, either jet black or blond hair, and wore eye-liner and pale foundation if brave enough to do so. Most fans collected most things Numan. For those fans outside London, this could become a harrowing task. I remember feeling panic stricken if I didn’t get the latest release in the same week, but I soon built a good relationship with my local record shop owner. At first I had to order my Numan copy, but soon I was on first name terms with the owner. I walked into the shop and before asking, he used to say yes it’s in, we got it on 12” 7” and picture disc. He always joked about me liking Numan. The main shop owner used to ask if I would like it in a plane brown bag, so nobody could see me leaving the shop with Numan records in my hand. He used to say Numan would never last, but he has, and the shop has sadly long gone like most record shops. Even today Numanoids are still collecting with the same vigour. Numanoids hold events, such as Numan discos conventions and pre concert meet ups. Overall Numanoids are a very nice and interesting bunch of people.

In the early days the fan club was run by, Beryl Webb (Gary’s mum). It made you feel a part of one big family; to be a Numanoid you get a feeling of belonging to something outside the mainstream. Over the years the expression Numanoid has become more acceptable to most fans. As Gary gained cult status, also it helped when Gary was labelled "The godfather of electronic music" and the Electric Pioneer. 

Gary Numan now can boast about having fans from many generations, young and old. It’s hard to say if everyone still calls themselves a ‘Numanoid’ these days most just call themselves Gary Numan fans. But you still find the press today referring to Gary Numan fans as 'Numanoids'. 

I for one will always consider myself a 'Numanoid' and proud of it. 

This qestion was put to Gary Numan on 21 Mar 2011 taken from the web site www.dontpaniconline.com

Q: Any Numanoids still kicking about?

Gary Numan: Ha ha… No, I think they’ve all calmed down a bit. There’s still plenty of people from the early days. But as grateful as I am, you can’t continue with remnants of the past. You need new blood. That’s why people talking about me as being influential and massively important is great. Boosh as well. It introduces me to new people. Younger people. It’s a very cool way to keep the audience going, building it year by year. 

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This qestion was put to Gary Numan on 19 May 2002 taken from the web site www.independent.co.uk


Q: What's the weirdest thing a "Numanoid" has ever done in the name of fandom?

Gary Numan: One of them, Gemma, married me, which I thought was devotion to fan duty way beyond the norm..

This group has been put together for fans of Gary Numan and visitors of the Numanme site, to discuses all things Numan sell/trade share stories and images from all aspects of Numan's career.

This group has been put together for fans of Gary Numan and visitors of the Numanme site, to discuses all things Numan sell/trade share stories and images from all aspects of Numan's career.

Numanoid Sally Stokes
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Numanme: Hi Sally how long have you been a Numan fan? 

Sally Stokes: I first became a Numan fan back in 1979 when I was just 8 years old. I had an uncle, Lee, who was a fan and he introduced me to Gary's music and I was immediately smitten. I became obsessive (show me a Numan fan who isn’t!) but it was a very lonely time in my childhood and Gary became a constant companion at point of conversation; I didn’t have many friends as a result as most of my peer group liked the Nolans or some such rubbish. LOL. 

Numanme: What is you favourt Numan era? 

Sally Stokes: My favourite Numan era is a tough one.....the Tubeway Army stuff, and Replicas was a first love but I think DSR is phenomenal and I can’t wait for the long promised 'Splinter' album to come out. 

Numanme: What was your first Numan gig? 

Sally Stokes: My first Numan gig was just this year, believe it or not! I went to the Bristol O2 Academy and managed to wriggle my way down the front! I have some cracking photos, which I will be turning into paintings in the very near future. The whole gig took my breath away! 

Numanme: As a young Numanoid did you dress like Gary? 

Sally Stokes: Ha! As a young Numanoid did I dress like Gary??? I had all my hair cut off, short. My uncle bought me a dark blue polyester thin tie (they had sold out of black ones!) and would wear black where possible......not only did this alienate any friends as a sub-teen, it also worried my family quite a lot at the time! 

Numanme: How long have you been painting? 

Sally Stokes: I’ve been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember; I can recall doing a pencil drawing of Gary at age 10 and sending it into 'Take Hart'.......every week I would watch it, sure that I would see 'Sally-Ann Jones, Age 10' flash up with Numan's image, but it never did; always usurped by some rubbish scrawl of a house with windows at each corner by Sharon Age 6 and a half....!!! LOL .I studied at Reading University, Fine Art (BA) degree, but learned nothing except how to party hard. I would say I am a 'self taught painter', as a result. But I do not believe it can be taught; you can either do it or you can’t. 

Numanme: Have you ever painted a portrait of Gary? 

Sally Stokes: I have 3 current Numan portraits and one on the go. 

Numanme: Why did you decide to do a portrait of Gemma? 

Sally Stokes: I decided to do a portrait of Gemma because I figured that he must get a lot of people wanting HIS image signed. I thought he must get a little fed up of the sameness of VIP meetings, people always wanting something from him. I thought that a portrait of the beautiful Gemma would be a nice gift TO him. I told him this too, it was a Thank You for the vast amount of gifts he’s given me as a Numanoid through his music. Also, Gemma, being originally a fan, is an important part of the whole Numan machine; they are two sides of the same coin, as far as I can see, and I know how important she is to him in everything. 

Numanme: How long did it take to complete? 

Sally Stokes: The portrait took only 7 hours to complete, amazingly. I started it the morning before the VIP in Cardiff!!! I took reference from Ed Fielding's photos but kept the painting 'loser' in painting style; what is the point of copying a photo exactly? It becomes mechanical and pointless. I think I’ve captured something firey and vibrant that a 'copied' photograph could never achieve. It has 'soul'. 

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Numanme: I think it was a wonderful painting; did you worry about presenting it to Gary? 

Sally Stokes: I can’t say I particularly worried about presenting it to Gary as I have faith in my work; I was more worried what Gemma would think about it, to be honest! I still have no idea.......!!! 

Numanme: The photos I have seen Gary looked very chuffed. Do you think Gary liked it? 

Sally Stokes: Gary was really pleased and taken aback when I gave it to him; he sort of jumped up with a big grin and said "Wow!" and immediately took it from me and grinned like a Cheshire cat! That was the response I was looking for! Haa haaa!!! We had a chat about Gemma then and her insecurities about her looks. He told me "I just wish she could see herself the way I see her..." 

Numanme: What gig did you present the painting to Gary? 

Sally Stokes: I presented the portrait at the Cardiff Coal Exchange VIP. I told Gary that I had a few of him but was quite honest in telling him that although I wanted to bring one along to be signed by him, they were a bit big and fragile to lug around at a gig, "I am being quite lazy....but I am leaving this one(Gemma) with you, so that’s different...!!" He just smiled. 

Numanme: what is the future for Sally Stokes, are you planning anymore Numan related paintings? 

Sally Stokes: I will be doing more Numan related paintings, yes. It was the plan to do an exhibition this year, but commission work has taken over so I’ve been limited in what I can do. However, I plan on holding an exhibition in the near future once I have enough pieces; should be a good excuse for a Numanoid gathering, I reckon!!! :) Watch this space, as they say!!! 

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions and we all wish you all the best at Numanme Sally.