Gary Numan is one of the most influential musicians you’ve never heard of. One of the best-selling recording artists of the ’80s with tracks like “Cars” and “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?,” Numan laid the foundation for the future of electronic music, inspiring everyone from Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson to Afrika Bambaataa. But with a yet-to-be diagnosed case of Asperger’s Syndrome, serious media scrutiny and debilitating depression, Numan went broke and nearly lost his mind for good.
Then, in 1997, he met and married Gemma O’Neill, a longtime fan who encouraged Numan to get back into the studio. From there, he returned from the dead, producing four studio albums and reclaiming his title as the founding father of electronica, finally gaining the recognition he’s always deserved.
A new documentary, Gary Numan: Android in La La Land, by filmmakers Steve Read and Rob Alexander, follows Numan, 37 years after the release of “Cars,” his most popular American single, as he relocates to Los Angeles with his wife and three daughters. The film traces Numan’s legacy, giving us a glimpse inside the mind of one of music’s most creative, and private performers.
Watch a clip from the film, below.