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Encyclopedia > Stan Ridgway
Stan Ridgway

Stan Ridgway, "The Big Heat" 12" single sleeve.
Background information
Also known as Stanard Q. Ridgway, Jackie "Teak" Lazar
Born April 5, 1954 (1954-04-05) (age 53)
Origin Flag of California Barstow, California
Genre(s) New Wave,
Western Music, Electronic Art Music, Industrial Rock,
Film Scores
Instrument(s) vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards, synthesizers, harmonica.
Years active 1977—present
Label(s) Restless Records, I.R.S. Records, Geffen Records, New West Records
Associated
acts
Wall of Voodoo, Drywall, Hecate's Angels
Website www.stanridgway.com

Multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Stan Ridgway was the original lead singer of the band Wall of Voodoo, singing on their debut EP and first two albums, Dark Continent and Call of the West, the last of which included their only hit song, "Mexican Radio". Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... is the 95th day of the year (96th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_California. ... Barstow is a city in San Bernardino County, California, United States. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The term New Wave has been used to describe several movements in art. ... Poster from the Western Music, directly related to the old English, Scottish, and Irish folk ballads, was originally composed by and about the people settling and working in the American West and western Canada. ... Electronic music has existed, in various forms, for more than a century. ... Industrial rock is a musical genre which is a fusion of industrial music and rock music. ... A film score is a set of musical compositions written to accompany a film. ... A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified with the purpose of making music. ... In music a singer or vocalist is a type of musician who sings, i. ... For other uses, see Guitar (disambiguation). ... A short grand piano, with the top up. ... This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... The term synthesiser is also used to mean frequency synthesiser, an electronic system found in communications. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Restless Records is a Hollywood, California based independent record label which was started by Enigma Records, but was acquired in 2001 by Rykodisc who were, in turn, acquired by the Warner Music Group in 2006. ... I.R.S. Records was a record label, started in the US in 1979 by Miles Copeland III along with Jay Boberg and Carl Grasso. ... Geffen Records is an American record label, owned by Universal Music Group, and operates as one third of UMGs Interscope-Geffen-A&M label group. ... New West Records is a record label based in Austin, Texas and San Francisco, California. ... Wall of Voodoo is a New Wave art - punk group from Los Angeles best known for the 1983 hit Mexican Radio. ... Drywall is a musical project of Los Angeles singer-songwriter Stan Ridgway, which he has variously described as an electro/experimental noise combo, a mad apocalyptic project, and an experiment in terror, a collection of rants, laments and media overload. ... Hecates Angels is a musical group from Los Angeles, California that has been described as having an arty, futuristic cabaret sound. ... A multi-instrumentalist is a musician who plays a number of different instruments. ... The term singer-songwriter refers to performers who both write and sing their own material. ... Wall of Voodoo is a New Wave art - punk group from Los Angeles best known for the 1983 hit Mexican Radio. ... An EP released by Wall of Voodoo in 1980. ... Dark Continent is Wall of Voodoos first full length LP. It originally came out in 1981 on IRS Records. ... Call of the West is a 1982 album by American New Wave band Wall of Voodoo. ... Mexican Radio is a novelty song by the band Wall of Voodoo. ...


The band was named Wall of Voodoo by Ridgway before their first gig in reference to a comment made by Joe Berardi, a friend of Ridgway's, while recording and overdubbing a Kalamazoo Rhythm Ace drum machine, a gift to Ridgway by writer and iconic voice over artist Daws Butler, partner to Stan Freberg, voice of Yogi Bear and many other Hanna-Barbera characters. Berardi was listening to some of the Acme Soundtracks music Ridgway and Moreland had created in their studio. When Ridgway jokingly compared the multiple-drum-machine- and Farfisa-organ-laden recordings to Phil Spector's Wall of Sound, Berardi commented it sounded more like a "wall of voodoo", and the name stuck. Wall of Voodoo is a New Wave art - punk group from Los Angeles best known for the 1983 hit Mexican Radio. ... Daws Butler in 1976. ... Stanley Victor Freberg (born August 7, 1926 in Los Angeles) is an American author, recording artist, animation voice actor, comedian, puppeteer and advertising creative director. ... Yogi Bear Yogi Bear is a fictional anthropomorphic bear who appears in animated cartoons created by Hanna-Barbera Productions. ... Cartoon Network Studios, formerly known as Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc. ... Marc Moreland was the former guitarist and co-founder of Wall of Voodoo, which released 9 albums in a little over a decade, notably the hit single Mexican Radio in the mid-80s, before disbanding around 1989. ... Farfisa is a brand name for a series of electronic organs and later multitimbral keyboards, made in Ancona in the Marche region of Italy. ... Harvey Philip Spector (born December 26, 1939) is an American musician, songwriter, and record producer. ... Wall of Sound is a phrase used to describe the effect created by the music production techniques of record producer Phil Spector. ...


Actually, for new listeners, the voodoo reference was a little misleading, as it referred to the music's often spooky quality, as opposed to any Haitian or Caribbean influences. In fact, Ridgway's Wov music could fairly have been described as a cross between early synthesizer pop (especially that of Devo) and Ennio Morricone's soundtracks for Sergio Leone's "Man with No Name" films. Adding to the music's distinctiveness was Nanini's percussive experimentation, mixing drum machines with unconventional found instruments such as pots, pans and various kitchen utensils, as well as Marc Moreland's twangy spaghetti-western guitar. On top of the mix was Ridgway's unusual vocal style — a flat, uninflected, nasal Western drawl that combined the stoic ballad-style Sprechgesang of Johnny Cash, the declamatory theatrical delivery of Ethel Merman, and the ironic, clenched-jaw voice of a wisecracking ventriloquist's dummy doing James Cagney impressions and carny routines. One of Ridgway's hobbies since childhood is ventriloquism and he occasionally assumes the persona of a dummy named Jackie "Teak" Lazar, such as in his cover version of "Behind Closed Doors" from Holiday in Dirt and in the video for "Big Dumb Town" from Black Diamond. Voodoo (Vodou, Vodoun, Vudu, or Vudun in Benin, Togo, southeastern Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Senegal; also Vodou in Haiti) is a name attributed to a traditionally uten West African spiritual system of faith and ritual practices. ... Devo (pronounced DEE-vo or dee-VO, often spelled DEVO or DEV-O) is an American New Wave group formed in Akron, Ohio in 1972. ... Ennio Morricone (born November 10, 1928; sometimes also credited as Dan Savio or Leo Nichols) is an Italian composer especially noted for his film scores. ... Sergio Leone (January 3, 1929 – April 30, 1989) was an Italian film director. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Sprechgesang and sprechstimme (German for spoken-song and spoken-voice) are musical terms used to refer to a vocal technique that falls between singing and speaking. ... It has been suggested that Johnny Cash family be merged into this article or section. ... Ethel Merman (January 16, 1908 – February 15, 1984) was a Tony Award winning star of stage and film musicals, well known for her powerful voice and vocal range. ... James Francis Cagney, Jr. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his best-known sidekick, Charlie McCarthy. ...


Ridgway embarked on a solo career in 1983, shortly after Wall of Voodoo's appearance and break up at the US Festival that same year. After collaborating on the song "Don't Box Me In" with Stewart Copeland from The Police for the soundtrack to the film Rumble Fish (1983), directed by Francis Ford Coppola starring Mickey Rourke, Matt Dillon, Dennis Hopper and Tom Waits, he released his first proper solo album, The Big Heat (1986), which included the top 5 European hit "Camouflage". This was followed by numerous other solo recordings Mosquitos (1989), Partyball (1991), Black Diamond (1995), and Anatomy (1999), The Way I Feel Today (1998), a collection of big band standards (2000), and Holiday in Dirt (2001), a compilation of outtakes and previously unreleased songs. Ridgway's most recent solo outing is Snakebite: Blacktop Ballads and Fugitive Songs (2005), featuring the narrative song, "Talkin' Wall Of Voodoo Blues Pt. 1", a history of his former band in song that was especially poignant, having followed the recent deaths of Marc Moreland and Joe Nanini. The US Festivals were two early 1980s music and culture festivals sponsored by Steve Wozniak of Apple Computer, and broadcast live on Pay Per View TV. The first was held Labor Day weekend in September 1982 and the second was Memorial Day weekend in May 1983. ... Stewart Armstrong Copeland (born July 16, 1952) is an American musician, best known as the drummer for the band The Police and is an influential drum stylist. ... The Police are a three-piece rock band consisting of singer/bassist Sting (Gordon Sumner), guitarist Andy Summers, and drummer Stewart Copeland. ... Rumble Fish is a 1983 film directed, produced and co-written by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the novel by S.E. Hinton (ISBN 0-440-97534-4). ... Francis Ford Coppola (born April 7, 1939) is a five-time Academy Award winning American film director, producer, and screenwriter. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Matthew Raymond Matt Dillon (born February 18, 1964) is an Academy Award-nominated American actor. ... Dennis Lee Hopper (born May 17, 1936) is an Academy Award-nominated American actor and film-maker, known for his roles in Blue Velvet, 24 and Easy Rider. ... Thomas Alan Waits (born December 7, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor. ... Marc Moreland was the former guitarist and co-founder of Wall of Voodoo, which released 9 albums in a little over a decade, notably the hit single Mexican Radio in the mid-80s, before disbanding around 1989. ... Innovative Drummer of Wall of Voodoo during their heyday in the 1980s. ...


Since the early days of Wall of Voodoo, Ridgway has been interested in making music for the cinema. A list of films for which Ridgway has written scores and/or original songs is included below. Ridgway's album Holiday in Dirt was a quasi-cinematic project, with the release of the album accompanied by a showing of 14 short films by various independent filmmakers, each film a visual interpretation of one of the songs on the album. A compilation DVD of the films was released in February 2005.


In 1994, Ridgway began work on a new project in the form of a trio called Drywall, the other members of the trio being Ridgway's wife, keyboardist/vocalist Pietra Wexstun of the band Hecate's Angels (who had previously worked with Ridgway on Mosquitos and Partyball), and former Rain Parade drummer Ivan Knight. In 1995, Drywall released its first album (first of a "trilogy of apocalyptic documents"), titled Work The Dumb Oracle. A short film directed by Carlos Grasso titled The Drywall Incident was released the same year. An extended, instrumental soundtrack album for The Drywall Incident was released in 1996. Drywall is a musical project of Los Angeles singer-songwriter Stan Ridgway, which he has variously described as an electro/experimental noise combo, a mad apocalyptic project, and an experiment in terror, a collection of rants, laments and media overload. ... Pietra Wexstun is an electronic musician and singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, California. ... Hecates Angels is a musical group from Los Angeles, California that has been described as having an arty, futuristic cabaret sound. ... The Rain Parade were a band active in the Paisley Underground scene in Los Angeles in the 1980s. ...


Ridgway and Wexstun also collaborated on a suite of mostly instrumental and orchestral pieces to accompany an exhibition of postmodern surrealist artist Mark Ryden's paintings, which was released on CD in 2003 as Blood — Miniature Paintings of Sorrow and Fear in a unique 3-panel packaging design by the artist which quickly sold out of its limited pressing of 7,500. Ridgway plays banjo and harmonica in Wexstun's group Hecate's Angels. Postmodernity (also called post-modernity or the postmodern condition) is a term used by philosophers, social scientists, art critics and social critics to refer to aspects of contemporary art, culture, economics and social conditions that are the result of the unique features of late 20th century and early 21st century... Surrealism is an artistic movement and an aesthetic philosophy that aims for the liberation of the mind by emphasizing the critical and imaginative powers of the subconscious. ... Mark Ryden Mark Ryden (b. ... Hecates Angels is a musical group from Los Angeles, California that has been described as having an arty, futuristic cabaret sound. ...


Ridgway's most recent solo recording is Snakebite: Blacktop Ballads and Fugitive Songs (2005). Stan Ridgway and Drywall regrouped in 2006 to release the album Barbeque Babylon, the third "apocalyptic document" with the single "The AARP Is Following Me". The new Drywall lineup features Rick King on guitars and bass and Bruce Zelesnik on drums and percussion. Current logo for AARP, in use since January 2007 For the AppleTalk protocol developed by Apple Computer, see AppleTalk address resolution protocol (AARP). ...


Ridgway has also contributed to albums and projects by producer Hal Willner, Frank Black and the Catholics, The Flesh Eaters, The Divine Horsemen, The Ray Campi Quartet, The Fibonaccis, and Roger McGuinn. Hal Willner (born 1957, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is a music producer working in recording, Films, TV and live events. ... Frank Black (born Charles Michael Kittredge Thompson IV on April 6, 1965) is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. ... The Flesh Eaters 1980: Chris D., DJ Bonebrake, Dave Alvin, John Doe, Steve Berlin, Bill Bateman The Flesh Eaters are a Los Angeles deathrock band whose peak of popularity was in the late 1970s and early 80s. ... The Divine Horsemen were a punk/roots band founded in 1983 by Chris D.(Desjardins), formerly of L.A. punk band The Flesheaters. ... Ray Campi (b. ... The Fibonaccis were an art rock group from Los Angeles. ... James Roger McGuinn (born July 13, 1942) is an American singer-songwriter, who was born as James Joseph McGuinn III in Chicago, Illinois. ...

Contents

Albums

Wall of Voodoo

  • Wall of Voodoo (EP) (Index, 1980)
  • Dark Continent (IRS, 1981)
  • Call of the West (IRS, 1982)
  • Granma's House (IRS 1983)
  • The Index Masters (BMG/Restless, 1999) remastered release of "Wall of Voodoo" EP with additional concert tracks

Wall of Voodoo is a New Wave art - punk group from Los Angeles best known for the 1983 hit Mexican Radio. ... An EP released by Wall of Voodoo in 1980. ... Dark Continent is Wall of Voodoos first full length LP. It originally came out in 1981 on IRS Records. ... Call of the West is a 1982 album by American New Wave band Wall of Voodoo. ... The Index Masters is a 1991 compilation album from L.A. New Wave band Wall of Voodoo consisting of the original 1980 EP and live tracks from 1979. ...

Drywall

  • Work the Dumb Oracle (IRS, 1995)
  • The Drywall Incident Soundtrack (Geffen, 1996)
  • The Drywall Project/The Drywall Incident (TWA, 1996)
  • Barbeque Babylon (redFLY, 2005)

Drywall is a musical project of Los Angeles singer-songwriter Stan Ridgway, which he has variously described as an electro/experimental noise combo, a mad apocalyptic project, and an experiment in terror, a collection of rants, laments and media overload. ...

Solo

  • The Big Heat (IRS, 1986)
  • Mosquitos (Geffen, 1989)
  • Partyball (Geffen, 1991)
  • Songs That Made This Country Great (IRS, 1992) a compilation of older, published material
  • Black Diamond (Birdcage, 1995. Re-issued 2002, UltraModern/New West )
  • Film Songs (EP) (TWA, 1997) a compilation of individual songs written for various films
  • The Way I Feel Today (Impala, Disinformation, 1998) a compilation of big band cover songs
  • Anatomy (Ultramodern/New West, 1999)
  • Holiday in Dirt (Ultramodern/New West, 2002) a compilation of older, mostly unpublished material
  • Snakebite (redFLY, 2004)

DVD

  • Holiday in Dirt:14 short films of the Music of Stan Ridgway DVD (Ultramodern/New West, 2005)a collection of short films of songs found on the Holiday in Dirt Album

Solo--Live

  • Stan Ridgway Live: “Poolside with Gilly”: The “Partyball” Tour: The Strand, Hermosa Beach, CA 1991 (Dis-Information, 2001)
  • Stan Ridgway Live: The “Beyond Tomorrow” Show: The Coach House 3/16/90 (Dis-Information, 2002)
  • Stan Ridgway Live in NYC: The “Black Diamond” Tour: The Mercury Lounge 6/17/96 (Dis-Information, 2002)
  • Stan Ridgway Live: The Mosquitos Tour: The Ancient Town of Frankfurt 6 December 1989 (Dis-Information, 2002)

The Mercury Lounge is a music venue in the Lower East Side section of New York City. ... December 6 is the 340th day of the year (341st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays 1989 Gregorian calendar). ...

With Pietra Wexstun

  • Blood: Miniature Paintings of Sorrow and Fear (Dis-Information, 2003)

Pietra Wexstun is an electronic musician and singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, California. ...

Singles

Year Title Chart Positions Album
US Modern Rock
1989 "Goin' Southbound" #8 Mosquitos
1989 "Calling Out to Carol" #13 Mosquitos
1991 "I Wanna Be a Boss" #13 Partyball

The Modern Rock Tracks chart is a music chart that has appeared in Billboard magazine since the early 1980s. ... See also: 1989 in music (UK) Musical groups established in 1989 Record labels established in 1989 other events of 1989 list of years in music 1980s in music // January 7 - Genesis 88 and Sunrise/Back to the Future stage large-scale illegal Acid House party in London January 14 - Paul... See also: 1989 in music (UK) Musical groups established in 1989 Record labels established in 1989 other events of 1989 list of years in music 1980s in music // January 7 - Genesis 88 and Sunrise/Back to the Future stage large-scale illegal Acid House party in London January 14 - Paul... See also: 1991 in music (UK) Musical groups established in 1991 Record labels established in 1991 // 1991 was the year that grunge music made its popular breakthrough. ...

Film Scores / Film Music

  • Rumble Fish (1983), directed by Francis Ford Coppola (end title song "Don't Box Me In," with Stewart Copeland)
  • Terminus (1986), directed by Pierre-William Glenn (title song)
  • Slam Dance (1987), directed by Wayne Wang (title song)
  • Pump Up the Volume (1990), directed by Allan Moyle (song, "Talk Hard")
  • Future Kick (1991), directed by Damian Klaus (score)
  • Floundering (1994), directed by Peter McCarthy (title song)
  • Melting Pot (AKA "Race") (1997), directed by Tom Musca (score)
  • Death Smokes a Big Cigar (1997), directed by Franco Riccardi (score)
  • Error In Judgment (1998), directed by Scott Levy (score)
  • Desperate But Not Serious (1999), directed by Bill Fishman (score)
  • Speedway Junky (1999), directed by Nick Perry (score)
  • The Keening (1999), directed by Alex & Andrew Smith (score)
  • Simpatico (1999), directed by Matthew Warchus (end title song)
  • $pent (2000), directed by Gil Cates, Jr. (score)
  • Vengeance (2001), directed by Brian Belefant (songs)
  • Desert Saints (2002), directed by Richard Greenberg (song)

Rumble Fish is a 1983 film directed, produced and co-written by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the novel by S.E. Hinton (ISBN 0-440-97534-4). ... Francis Ford Coppola (born April 7, 1939) is a five-time Academy Award winning American film director, producer, and screenwriter. ... Stewart Armstrong Copeland (born July 16, 1952) is an American musician, best known as the drummer for the band The Police and is an influential drum stylist. ... Wayne Wang (Chinese: 王穎; Hanyu Pinyin: ; born January 12, 1949) is a Chinese American film director. ... Pump Up the Volume (1990) is a dramedy written and directed by Allan Moyle and starring Christian Slater and Samantha Mathis. ... Matthew Warchus (Director), studied music and drama at Bristol University. ...

Trivia

  • "Peg and Pete and Me," from his album Mosquitos, features backing vocals by then-unknown Tori Amos.
  • "Calling Out to Carol," also from his album Mosquitos, has an opening chord similar to the one in an early Wall of Voodoo song, "Me & My Dad"

This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...

Press Quotes

  • "Stan Ridgway is equal parts Raymond Chandler and John Huston, Johnny Cash and Rod Serling." NME
  • "Some know him just as the long lost singer with the great Wall Of Voodoo, others as one of the great unsung maverick geniuses of our time." MELODY MAKER
  • "For Stan Ridgway life is like an old detective movie, full of furtive con men and tough dames who hide their daily crimes in the gray mist of the city. This is mature music, short on sentimentality, long on imagination and style." PEOPLE MAGAZINE
  • "Stan Ridgway has a cast of thousands at his fingertips, and a wealth of tales in his head. A rare and famous talent. Not part of any club or click, just a maverick in his own right." LONDON MIDWEEK
  • "Stan Ridgway is one of the most unique and talented songwriters around." RECORD MIRROR
  • "Haunted by America's pulp serial past, Stan Ridgway has become his own wireless theater." THE FACE
  • "Filtered through his sardonically insightful wit, these stories become engaging not only for the details he includes, but the ones he chooses not to expose as well." THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE
  • "Stan Ridgway tells stories from the underside of America. It's the dream gone sour; the dream that never even took root. Tales of losers who battle on and play the game their own way, with a glamour-less beauty and a bath of realism...slices of lives that knew the rules have been drawn up 'someplace else'; characters that have to bluff to get by." FOLLOW MUSIC AUSTRALIA
  • "Ridgway has transformed himself into a decidedly offbeat version of Johnny Cash and Captain Beefheart, Rod Serling and Tom Waits all rolled up into one." -- LIVEDAILY

External links

  • Trouser Press entry

Related Artists


 
 

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