Alan Vega AKA Alan Bermowitz, the hollerin' half of '70s art/noise/punk duo Suicide, turns 76 today! Dag, he's my DAD's age and STILL making records!?!
A visual artist/agitator during the '60s, he was inspired to make
music noise after seeing the Stooges in the summer of 1969. A few months later via the Project For Living Artists, an art collective where a clutch of the NYC glam/art groups were fermenting their "sounds," he met collaborator Martin Rev. The two formed their "band," Suicide, and began performing crazed noise alongside the rest of the now famous New York City punkers. In that ensuing melee, Suicide had the most singular sound. Y'all, I dunno know how to properly gauge the depth of relevance on today when considering the music these two made, but Suicide has proven a Genesis piece for all the electronic/art/noise which has followed. Their first album was barely 30 minutes long, but it's shaken EVERYONE who has ever heard it.
Suicide officially split around 1980 (tho' there was a reunion album, A Way of Life, in 1988) and Vega continued on as a solo performer. His first two LPs are great: Alan Vega and Collision Drive. Beyond those two... well, honestly, I lost interest with his two Elektra label albums, Saturn Stip and Just A Million Dreams. Tho' interesting pop synth, they were a bit too radio-friendly for my tastes. Thankfully, in 1990, he dropped his pop notions and recorded Deuce Avenue, a smart return to fractured noise. Oh, all y'all noise freaks might consider taking a stroll through some of his '90s biz. Just dig the intensity of his "Shadow Lights" from Étant Donnés' 1999 album Re-Up!! Vega is still a working visual artist and continues to make music; I hope I'm going that strong as I approach 80!