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    Stan Ridgway

    4/5/1954

    Stan Ridgway

    Biography

    Stanard "Stan" Ridgway (born April 5, 1954) is an American singer-songwriter, and film and television composer known for his distinctive voice, dramatic lyrical narratives, and eclectic solo albums. He was the original lead singer and a founding member of the band Wall of Voodoo. Stan Ridgway was born in Barstow, California, in the "high desert", and raised in Los Angeles. He claims to have been a budding ventriloquist who spent his first night in jail at the age of 12 for stealing street signs. Ridgway also had a childhood fascination with folk music, pestering his parents until they bought him a banjo at the age of 14. The band was named over-linking by Ridgway before their first show, in reference to a comment made by a friend of Ridgway's, while recording and overdubbing a Kalamazoo Rhythm Ace drum machine, which was a gift from voice actor Daws Butler. While listening to some of the music that created in the studio, Ridgway jokingly compared the multiple-drum-machine- and Farfisa-organ-laden recordings to Phil Spector's Wall of Sound, whereupon the friend commented it sounded more like a "wall of voodoo" and the name stuck. Wall of Voodoo's music was a mix of New Wave and Ennio Morricone's Spaghetti Western soundtracks of the 1960s. Adding to the music's distinctiveness was percussive and textural experimentation, i.e. mixing drum machines with unconventional instruments such as pots, pans and various kitchen utensils, raw electronics with interlocking melodic figures as well as twangy spaghetti-western guitar. On top of the mix was Ridgway's unusual vocal style and highly stylized, cinematic narratives heavily influenced by science fiction and film noir, sung from the perspective of ordinary people and characters wrestling with ironies inside the American Dream. Ridgway embarked on a solo career in 1983, shortly after Wall of Voodoo's appearance 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 Francis Ford Coppola's Rumble Fish, starring Mickey Rourke, Matt Dillon and Dennis Hopper, he released his first proper solo album, The Big Heat (1986), which included the top 5 European (including UK) 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, and Holiday in Dirt (2002), a compilation of outtakes and previously unreleased songs. Ridgway's album Snakebite: Blacktop Ballads and Fugitive Songs (2005), features the narrative song, "Talkin' Wall Of Voodoo Blues Pt. 1", a history of his former band in song. 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. ... Source: Article "Stan Ridgway" from Wikipedia in English, licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0.

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    Stan Ridgway

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