Thursday, August 16, 2007

The opposite of Michael Buble: I am very unaffected to be here: famous actors and singers with or who had monotonous or rather droning voices

The opposite of Michael Buble: I am very unaffected to be here: famous actors and singers with or who had monotonous or rather droning voices

Joey Ramone
- lead signer of the punk/rock and roll band The Ramones, a loner in his youth and he had Obsessive-compulsive disorder during his adult life, there has been speculation that he had Marfan Syndrome, which I guess could be an explanation for his very tall and slender build, and there has also been some speculation about Asperger syndrome.

Nico - real name Christa Paffgen, born in Germany, ground-breaking singer-songwriter, model, actress, Warhol associate, heroin addict, had odd eating habits, apparently a stranger to soap, bleak themes feature in her work, Nico is described as having had a “deep narcotic monotone voice” and has been identified by some as a possible case of Asperger syndrome.

Marlene Dietrich – legendary German-born actress, singer, fashion icon, cross-dresser and bisexual. She had a very cool and aloof public image.

Bryan Ferry – English singer and songwriter of the defunct band Roxy Music, has been described as a “lounge lizard”. Ferry and Dietrich both recorded versions of the classic blues tune “You go to my head”.

Ed Kuepper – German-born Australian singer, songwriter and guitarist, famous for music made under his own name and in the defunct but recently reunited Brisbane punk band The Saints, has had a number of different backing bands, has a reputation for being reserved and arrogant and was rather alienated from his peers in his teen years.

In one of those fasinating convergences of discovery that one occasionally finds in the histories of the arts and the sciences, The Saints and The Ramones simultaneously and apparently independently invented the punk rock sound (harsh guitar sounds, shouting vocals and a fast tempo) in 1975 in the US and in Queensland in Australia. The thing that I find particularly interesting about this simultaneous rebellious originality is that both bands had highly influential members who displayed autistic traits (Joey Ramone with his droning voice, solitary youth and OCD, and Ed Kuepper with his monotonous voice, aloof manner and tendency to not make eye contact while being interviewed). Did punk rock naturally evolve from the socially non-conforming "extreme male brain" psychology of the autistic spectrum? And its also worth mentioning that Joe Strummer from the punk band The Clash also had a very monotone voice.

In recent years Kuepper has made very loud live soundtrack music for weirdo arts festival short movies with bright swirling colours and flashing strobe lights. My central nervous system is still recovering.

Steven Morrissey – English lead singer and lyric writer in the legendary defunct band The Smiths and also a solo artist. Themes of alienation, depression and sexuality feature in his lyrics, but it is unclear whether he is straight, gay, celibate or some other sexual orientation, and quite frankly, who cares after all these years?

Mark Seymour – lead singer, guitarist and songwriter in the defunct Australian band Hunters and Collectors, a band that had an image of brutish, working-class masculinity that was almost ridiculous, that was initially influenced by “Kraut-rock” and had themes of alienation and sexual politics in their songs. I think there is a similarity between the music of the Hunters and Collectors and the music of Ed Kuepper, especially the use of horns. The Hunters’ horn section was known as the “Horns of Contempt”.

Sylvester Stallone – American movie actor, screenwriter, director and producer, apparently he started his cinema career with a role in a blue movie, famous for playing ridiculously muscular characters in ultra-macho action movies, has a mumbling way of speaking that has been parodied, is left-handed and Stallone has a son who was diagnosed with autism.

Ian Curtis - was a singer and lyricist in the Manchester band Joy Division, he is the subject of a new biographical movie titled Control, had epileptic seizures on stage, has been identified as a possible case of Asperger syndrome, bleak themes feature in Curtis’ lyrics including alienation, he had an unusual deep singing voice that has been described as eerie, monotonous or “a less tuneful Jim Morrison”, Curtis comitted suicide at the age of 23.

Joe Strummer - was the lead singer of the English punk rock band The Clash. Left-handed. Another punk superstar with a monotone voice? Seems like a pattern here.

Nick Cave - of the Bad Seeds and The Birthday Party. Australian post-punk, alternative musician, songwriter, author, screenwriter, and occasional film actor. His voice is more of a drone than a monotone. Dark, intense gothic themes are a feature of his work.

The Nihlists from Ronnie Johns Half Hour


Anonymous said...

look at the way Strummer moves on stage and works himself up, really reminds me of Craig Nicholls. apparently when he was off stage he kept a low profile and an unassuming personality though.

Lili Marlene said...

I'm not much of an expert on The Clash. I'll have to check that out.

I find it amazing how many people without singing voices found fame as singers.