by Paul Cashmere, Noise11
Gary Numan says that his Tubeway Army classic Are Friends Electric is about a robot prostitute and had the BBC known at the time the song would never have been played.
“It was a futurist version of getting pornography in the post, what comes in a brown envelope so your neighbours don’t know what it is,” he told Dutch TV NTR. “These machines that look human are doing various services in these grey coats and they all look the same. If the BBC had known what it was about they would never have played it. They would never have let me go on Top of the Pops. Thumbs up for obscure lyrics”.
Numan also agrees that Are Friends Electric didn’t fit the format of what made a hit song at the time. “When you think about a hit single it really doesn’t have any of the things going for it that you would expect,” he said. “You can’t dance to it, it doesn’t have a chorus, it is really long and it’s about robot prostitutes”.