Monday, August 11, 2008

How old is Alan Vega, anyway?

Alan Vega, frontman of Suicide, and all-around top artist whose palette ranges from confrontational horror to quintessential pillow talk, recently celebrated a milestone birthday, but is it really his 70th, as some sources say? If Wikipedia and Mojo magazine are to be believed, yes, but others say he was born in 1948 rather than 1938. Interesting.

If Mr. Vega really is 70, this means that Suicide formed when he was in his mid-30s, and released their first album when he was 39, their second album when he was 41, and those first two wonderfully eccentric rockabilly-influenced solo albums would have come out in his early forties. He would have been in his twenties in the '60s, which makes me wonder, what was he doing then? Seems odd that he didn't surface as a New York underground artist until later, but hey, I of all people know what it is to be a late bloomer, if this timeline is indeed correct.

Anyway, whether you are 60 or 70, I salute you, Alan Vega. Thanks for the raw, naked courage you brought to the stage, and thanks for the thrills and heart you have shown us over the years.

5 comments:

Ian Schultz said...

Well, they played there first show in 71 opening for the New York Dolls but I do think he is about 60, 70 isn't quiet right, but I could be wrong, he never did look young afterall...

J Neo Marvin said...

True, and also I recall reading interviews with him where he talks about his life being changed when he saw the early Stooges, and it's harder to imagine a 31-32 year old guy in 1969-70 saying "I wanna be like Iggy Pop!" than a 21-22 year old one. Not impossible, but harder.

Davis Jones said...

He is so sexy.

Ian Schultz said...

The mystery of Alan Vega's age has been revealed...
He is officially 69 years old, and to celebrate his 70th birthday the record label Blast First Petite is releasing eps of Suicide covers by The Horrors (awesome newish British band), Spiritualized, Peaches, Grinderman (Nick Cave's side-project), Julian Cope, Vincent Gallo (yes that annoying fuck who directed/wrote/starred and did everything else in Buffalo 66) and Bruce Springsteen (who was one of the Suicide's very first fans...). So the unsolved mystery of Alan Vega's age has had a unsolved mystery esq. update he is 69 going on 70!

J Neo Marvin said...

I hope that all this birthday joy leads to the remastering and reissuing of those first two Vega solo albums. They rank up there with Suicide at their best, in my not-so-humble opinion.

I'm glad you are in agreement with me about the insufferable Vincent Gallo, Ian. Buffalo 66 robbed two hours from my life that I'll never get back, and I still resent him for that. ;-)