john foxx

My older brother used to play Jon Foxx records when we shared a room when I was a kid. Our tastes were pretty different then, he was a Folk, Goth, Rock and Indie boy and I was a Rap, Electro, Disco, House & Soul boy. But we met in the middle with Numan, Human League, OMD, Sakamoto and Jon Foxx – I guess because they used drum machines and synths. Years later I was being interviewed for BA Art Degree in Leeds during which I recognised the man who asked me the most questions as Jon Foxx, aka Dennis Leigh. I was over the moon when he offered me a place after the interview. I didn’t really have the guts to tell him I loved his records and art etc, and nobody on the course had really heard of his work. I never told him I was a big fan. I have bizzarely bumped into him over the years though random places in London. Once he tapped me on the shoulder when I was lying on the ground taking photos of brick walls in The Portobello Road. I was very pleased it was there, with me doing something arty, and not when I was coming out of Finches at closing time. I had also unknowingly bought some Acid House records that he was involved in at that time. He was also a succesfull illustrator who made many book jackets and record covers, working with collage. He is now being really recognised as the minimal electronic music and synthesiser pioneer that he is. His early music still sounds boxfresh, especially right now with the electronic revival, I spot his sound being echoed by a lot of the new cool synth undergroundy kids. I used to chat to him in passing at college but I only ever had one tutorial with him. He told what now seems like me a golden nugget of wisdom regarding collage, which at the time seemed like he was telling me a secret. It was a little tip about combining disparate elements and visual metaphors… it’s something that I experimented with and that I still employ now. You never realise when you’re being told something important – until years after… John Foxx, definately a big inspiration for me. He is coincidently the most gracious and charming man you could ever meet. Film One / He’s a Liquid / Plaza / Mirrorball / Numan on Foxx.

 

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