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The Thomas Dolby Timeline

What happened.

 

"a ribbon of space, a river of time"

Welcome

I've long had some vague idea of the order in which Dolby music has been released, but as recently as the summer of 2001 I still had no real idea of just what happened and when. This is a bit silly for a fan like me, when even the names Seligman and Armstrong really didn't yet mean that much. Time to do a little digging around, I thought. With enough facts, figures and insight I might just be able to throw together some sort of documentary programme for my radio show.

I gave myself a mission to discover just how T Dolby's career progressed through the years, and also try to see if there was much more material out there to collect. Lately I've found that when there's a topic I want to know more about, I quite enjoy researching and making notes as I go. At least this is a useful quality to have as a computer programmer! It only took an hour or too of enjoyable web-browsing to put most of this page together. Standing back for a moment it dawned on me that some people could actually find this rather sad. Worrying, even. But hey, it's done now, so it would be a waste not to put it online.

I hope Thomas doesn't think "uh-oh, nutter alert" - I'm thinking more along the lines that fellow fans of his music might gain more insight into how it all came to be. As I explore further and find more information on Alloy, I'll add any relevant nuggets of information here as I go. It's something to do in those long rainy lunch hours!

It can be difficult to place events precisely in time, especially with conflicting tales. Also, "At age 20" could mean 1978 or 1979, due to the October birthdate for example.
Errors and omissions expected. 2001-Oct-13

1958

Here's where it all starts.

October-14 : Thomas Morgan Robertson leaves the womb, in Cairo as legend has it, the youngest child of six. Martin, his father, is a professor of Archaelogy - world-renowned scholar of Greek and Etruscan pottery and a Cambridge don.

1961/2

"At the tender age of three, I was hooked to a machine, just to keep my mouth from spouting junk" (Hyperactive!). Probably not an approved course of action for modern childcare, but with my experience of some 3 year-olds it seems worth a try ;o)

1965

"I started out playing percussion on my mother's kitchen spoons and pans. I was about six or seven at the time, and my heroes were The Shadows"

1970

Taught himself to play guitar, aged 11 approx. "I did a pretty bitching version of Joan Baez 'Kum Ba Ya' at a school concert"

1973

"Then at 14 I tried taking piano lessons, but gave up after a few months because I was only really interested in Dave Brubeck and Thelonius Monk, who were not on the school curriculum."

"My first electric keyboard was a Wurlitzer piano around 1973 that I later swapped out for a Fender Rhodes."

1974

"At fifteen I became the roadie and soundmixer for the one rock'n'roll band in my school, 'Amberband.' Eventually I graduated to being their keyboard player, and wrote my first dance/funk opus, 'Truck Along the Sidewalk.'

Inspired by Roxy Music's Brian Eno on a late night TV show called The Old Grey Whistle Test.

?? performed with Jamaican R&B band and played jazz in restaurants ?? (just after jul 74)

1975

Having dropped out of school to pursue music, aged 16, Thomas firstly works in a fruit and vegetable shop in Notting Hill Gate, West London, living in a tiny bedsitter in Wandsworth.

"Labored at various jobs including a stint making flea collars for cats"

Sees the Sex Pistols, enjoys playing 'Anarchy in the UK' at full blast, and dyes his hair spiky red on top.

"I spent a term at school in Montgeron, a small town a little South of Paris. I majored in French Literature at A-level at age 17. (And scored a measly B.)" after dropping out of school at 16?!!

1976

Composes music in his bedsit... "I got my first synth, a Transcendent 2000 kit ... then a Crumar String Synth and a MicroMoog. About that time I had a Teac 2-track reel-to-reel that allowed ping-ponging of single tracks to build up a composite.

Started building synthesizers, aged 18

"at 18 I hitchiked to Paris to (1) Fall in love (2) Play guitar in the Metro to eat." I thought this was in 1981?

1977

Toured the UK and Europe with hand-built sound system for The Members, The Fall, The UK Subs and The Passions

1978

Oct : 20th birthday

1979

Meets Bruce Woolley (who wrote "Video Killed The Radio Star"), formed the band Camera Club with him, and toured the USA - meeting one Lene Lovich in the process. The new Teac Portastudio 4-track was a must-have for Thomas, and on afternoons off Thomas would develop his songwriting talent with it in his hotel rooms. "The very first one that I ever did was New Toy."

October : Leipzig produced.

December : Bruce Woolley & the Camera Club - English Garden LP 1979. The group contained BW, TD, Matthew Seligman on bass, David Birch on guitar, Rod Johnson on drums. The album contains the BW/Trevor Horn/Geoff Downes songs 'Video Killed the Radio Star' and 'Clean/Clean'. Horn and Downes re-do these two songs as Buggles within a year. Co-wrote WW9 and Goodbye To Yesterday

Thomas then left Camera Club, and having impressed Lene Lovich with New Toy, joins her on tour.

Back at home, more work on the Portastudio results in Airwaves, Flying North, Sale Of The Century as it was then called, which turned into Wreck Of The Fairchild, and Therapy/Growth.

1980

From Brussels With Love released - a various artists compilation that includes Airwaves, demo version made on Teac Portstudio 4-track.

Feb : Urges and Leipzig recorded, with the help of XTC's Andy Partridge, recorded "on a converted barge moored in the canal at Little Venice in London. ... released late in 1980 as a single on Armageddon Records, home of Robyn Hitchcock and the Soft Boys." Tom's good friend and band mate Matthew Seligman was now Robyn's bass player.

"At this time, I used to do bizarre one-man shows with my PPG 340/380 WavComputor, Henry. It was designed to turn Tangerine Dream's light-show on and off, but I adapted it to play drums for me." The size of a 'fridge, and rather temperamental, it eventually met its end falling down an elevator shaft.

TD and his friend Matt Seligman teamed up with Trevor Herrion to become Fallout Club, and produced a a couple of singles : Dream Soldiers released, b/w the TD song Pedestrian Walkway. Wanderlust (Herrion/Dolby) released, b/w Desert Song (arranged by TD).

Next, Tom and Matt are joined by Kevin Armstring as Low Noise, and release a cover of Joni Mitchell's Jungle Line (TD vocals). The B-side contains the instrumental version, and a studio version of Urban Tribal. "I think Low Noise is something I'll pull back together from time to time..."

1981

A deal with A+M falls through at the last hour, and with a wallet somewhat lightened by lawyers, Thomas hitches a ride to Paris in a refrigerated chicken lorry. Thomas ends up busking on guitar in the Paris Metro with a school friend, treating passers-by to Simon and Garfunkel songs while raising enough cash to eat.

While in Paris, a brief romance with 'Europa' is the origin of 'fruit juice everywhere', a line which ends up on Europa and the Pirate Twins. Tom leaves Paris, having been invited to play keyboards for Foreigner's multi-million-selling album '4'. This job takes him to New York and earns him enough to book studio time to develop the Golden Age of Wireless.

Feb-12 : Urges/Leipzig single released.

Feb : New Toy released by Lene Lovich, written by TD who played the keyboards too.

April : Advision, London - Europa and the Pirate Twins recorded and mixed. Andy Partridge plays harmonica

June : Bruce Wolley releases Ghost Train single, co-written by TD - CBS.

Formed the Venice in Peril record label, with permission from the committee, licensed worldwide to EMI.

Puts together a band consisting of Justin Hildreth and Mark Heyward-Chaplin (the rhythm section from Lene Lovich's band) and Kevin Armstrong on guitar, for Golden Age of Wireless.

Sept : Tapestry - recorded Airwaves, Flying North, Weightless, Commercial Breakup, Cloudburst At Shingle Street and Wreck of the Fairchild

October-3 : A just-released Europa and the Pirate Twins (including Therapy/Growth) enters the UK charts, for 3 weeks, reaching number 48

October : interview in Sounds Magazine

October-31 : New Music Express Interview

October : Tapestry - Commercial Breakup mixed

October : Aosis - Windpower recorded

November : Playground - mixed Cloudburst At Shingle Street, Flying North, Weightless

December : Playground - mixed Airwaves, Windpower, Wreck of the Fairchild

JOAN ARMATRADING - WALK UNDER LADDERS (LP)

1982

January : Airwaves released.

January : Marcus Music - Radio Silence (Golden Age CD version) recorded and mixed.

April : Radio Silence released

April : "musical consort to M (of 'Pop Muzik' fame)" - The third LP 'Famous Last Words'

May : TD directs the video for "She Blinded Me With Science", filmed at a real London sanitarium.

May-10 : The Golden Age of Wireless released, vinyl and cassette. The UK version has The Wreck of the Fairchild whereas the USA version has Leipzig and Urges. Airwaves differs in length, and the USA Radio Silence is different performance that never makes it to CD.

July : Windpower released

August-14 : Windpower enters the UK charts, for 8 weeks, reaching number 31

August : Odyssey - One of our Submarines and She Blinded Me With Science recorded and mixed

October-15 : She Blinded Me With Science released

Nov-6 : She Blinded Me With Science enters the UK charts, for 4 weeks, reaching number 49

Nov : Whodini, a NY duo release Magic's Wand/It's All in Mr. Magic's Wand, written, played, produced by TD, also played by Matt Seligman. Later remoulded into Puppet Theatre.

'Jack Heard' releases a cover of James Brown's Sex Machine b/w Adventures in Breeding. Keyboards and bass played by Dolby and Seligman.

live, Strathclyde University.

live, Riverside Theatre, London - Jungle Line recorded.

December : 'Noise!' interview - "what I'm trying to do is not make pulp in an area where pulp is the staple diet".

Dolby continued to develop his live show, taking up performer-in-residence status at London's Marquee Theatre with Armstrong and Seligman, adding new material and evolving existing pieces. Thomas had ventured into filmmaking through having made videos for 'Europa and the Pirate Twins', 'She Blinded Me with Science' and 'One of our Submarines'. By the end of 1982 he was contemplating another album and a UK tour.

1983

Flies to LA, meets Michael Jackson, etc... Thomas Dolby is now a household name!

Acquires his Fairlight, the third in the UK (Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush got #1 and #2). It cost around $140,000 and could play eight notes with a sampling time of nearly two seconds each.

Jan-20 : Def Leppard's 'Pyromania' album. In the credits, 'Booker T. Boffin' is "keyboard-specialist Thomas Dolby. He did some keyboard parts on Pyromania, but due to contractual obligations, his real name couldn't be printed on Pyromania."

Feb : One Of Our Submarines

March-11 1983 : The Golden Age of Wireless is revised and now available on CD. The Wreck., Leipzig and Urges are dropped in favour of She Blinded Me With Science and One of Our Submarines.

June : She Blinded Me with Science reissued

June : The Flat Earth album is recorded by Dan Lacksman in Brussels, Belgium.

July : Sounds Magazine interview with Tony Mitchell. "the second album which is being completed over the next few weeks in England". Some annoyance with stitch-up journalism. Previously 'one man with a computer, some keyboards, electronic drums, slides and video could create as much of a complete event as a conventional group. But he feels the time for doing that - for anyone - is past'. Now 'In fact Dolby's much more concerned with creating really good dance music'. And also "I've wanted for some time to get involved in soundtrack music" ... "I did some incidental music for the Comic Strip series, you know, Five Go Mad, The Beat Generation etc" ... "I live on the river at Hammersmith and I'm mixing the album on the river at Twickenham so I've indulged in a boat to get me there." - this may explain the Flat Earth credit to the Port of London Authority

July-16 : She Blinded Me With Science re-issued, enters the UK charts, for 4 weeks, reaching number 56

October : The Flat Earth album mixed by Mike Shipley in London, Notting Hill's 'Sarm West'.

October : The Dolby's Cube project kicks off with Get Out of my Mix - Parlophone. With free Flexidisc of Airwaves and Urban Tribal from the video Live Wireless.

Nov-9 : Live Wireless.

Adele Bertei: Build Me A Bridge - production

MALCOLM MCCLAREN - DUCKROCK (LP) 1983

1984

Henry (the PPG 340/380) 'accidentally' falls down a lift-shaft

Jan-6 : Hyperactive! released

Jan-21 : Hyperactive! enters the UK charts, remaing there for 9 weeks

Feb-14 : Hyperactive! reaches number 17, the highest charting of any Dolby single in the 20th century (we can live in hope, for the 21st!). The track is one of just four to break into the Top 40, and is included on the second ever 'Now That's What I Call Music' album.

Feb : The Flat Earth is released.

The Flat Earth Tour, around the world for 6 months. 'spring appearance at New York's Radio City Music Hall, the fifth date into the tour', The Dominion Theatre, London, Feb-26 : Odeon Theatre Birmingham

March : I Scare Myself released, includes Puppet Theatre

March-31 : I Scare Myself enters the UK charts, for 5 weeks, reaching number 46. It is to be four years before another Dolby single hits the charts, or another album appears.

April : Interview in Record Mirror.

June-15 : on radio show 'King Biscuit Flour Hour'

July : CREEM Magazine "The Case for Thomas Dolby" by David Keeps. "I have a house in the country and a place in London "

GEORGE CLINTON - SOME OF MY BEST JOKES ARE FRIENDS (LP)

Dissidents

With RYUICHI SAKAMTO, FIELDWORK (EP)

1985

July : May the Cube be With You

July-13 : Live Aid concert, Wembley Stadium, London. Plays keyboards for David Bowie, but barely manages to appear on screen.

July-20 : Sounds Magazine interview - in 1984 "Joni Mitchell and David Bowie, both wanted me to work with them at the same time, which was fairly ironic".

July-27 : interview in Record Mirror. Returning from TFE tour, "I didn't feel that much like launching myself into another solo project straight away, so I thought I'd spend a few months chasing up a few collaborations and it turned into about a year, strangely enough. I started off doing a single with Ryuichi Sakamoto, of Yellow Magic Orchestra fame, which I wrote with him and sung, and wrote and directed the video for him, which has been out in Japan. I hope it'll be out here fairly soon. I produced the 'Steve McQueen' album for Prefab Sprout, who I think are one of Britain's finest bands. And then I went to Los Angeles and co-produced an album with Joni Mitchell, who's been a big heroine of mine." ... "Then I hooked up with George Clinton. In fact we spent most of the time fishing, as I remember, but a little bit of studio work in between. I then went to Washington DC with him and performed in front of the P-Funk All Stars at the James Brown Testimonial Concert, in front of about 18,000 people, about two of whom were caucasian. I did a version of 'Sex Machine' in my best Oxford accent - 'Get up! Get on up!' James Brown was at the side of the stage, he loved it. George then suggested that we do something for me, so I decided to revive Dolby's Cube, who had released one dance 12" in 1984, this time really as a kind of occasional supergroup featuring some of these different people that I work with. The first one ('May The Cube Be With You') had George, myself and Lene Lovich on vocals, the Brecker Brothers on horns, the Funkadelic rhythm section, and members of Earth, Wind & Fire and parliament. Really a big mixture of different styles."

... "I met Grace Jones in London when she was here about a year ago, and I hooked up with her again when I was in the States. She's just starting to write material for her new album so I spent some time writing with her, and we got on very well."

FEVER PITCH - Score (Richard Brooks/ MGM)
"It was the first ever movie scoring work I did. Quincy Jones was one of the producers, and apparently had heard my music and approached me for the score. I recorded it all on the old MGM lot in Los Angeles, which was pretty romantic--the security guard at the gate waving me through every day with a "good morning Mr.Dolby!" and eating lunch every day in the Commissary, amid echoes of many a famous bustup between Kathryn Hepburn and Cary Grant.

"Unfortunately the director Richard Brooks--who is no longer with us--was part deaf, and would often react to my sampled music with comments like "what's all that banging?" So we got behind schedule and I was having to crank out about 6 original pieces of music per day. A bit of a heartbreak, as the movie was clearly not going to be a blockbuster and Ryan O'Neal was way below the fabulous form of his "Paper Moon" days. But the experience was fruitful for me nonetheless--and in fact, many songs that later showed up on my albums, first originated during those sessions."

"At the end of 1985 I sat down with my then manager and he said, 'Do you realise you've spent eight and a half months of the last year living in hotels in America? It would really be a lot more sensible if you just lived there for a while"

PREFAB SPROUT - 'TWO WHEELS GOOD' (named Steve McQueen in the U.K.) (LP) 1985

GEORGE CLINTON - 'SOME OF MY BEST JOKES ARE FRIENDS'. (LP) 1985

keyboards - STEVIE WONDER/HERBIE HANCOCK. Live GRAMMY AWARDS show in Los Angeles

1986

June-23 : single Howard the Duck - as Dolby's Cube with Cherry Bomb, with Don't Turn Away.

July-21 : Howard the Duck soundtrack released

JONI MITCHELL - 'DOG EAT DOG' (LP)

GOTHIC - Score (Ken Russel/ Virgin/ Vestron)

1987

Feb : Gothic (soundtrack) and the single (taken from it) The Devil Is An Englishman, with a remix by Martin Rushent (Human League?)

June-5 : "Don't Turn Away" (one with Thomas singing and another with Lea) overdubbed and mixed at Stevie Wonder's "Wonderland" studios in Los Angeles.

June-22 : TD flies to Mexico City to see England v Argentina in the quarter finals of the World Cup (Maradona-"hand of God" etc). Thomas bought and donned a replica USSR team shirt outside the Azteca stadium, and was from then on was referred to as "The Commie" by the England fans that he travelled back to LA with.

PREFAB SPROUT - 'FROM LANGLEY PARK TO MEMPHIS' (LP) 1987

Settled in LA "We lived initially in LA, for about seven years."

Forms the Lost Toy People from the want ads in the ReCycler, "The grooves I thought up to audition the band morphed into the songs contained on Aliens Ate My Buick." Tours, with soon-to-be wife Kathleen driving the van.

October : Aliens Ate My Buick tracks recorded at Soundcastle, LA

BERLINDA CARLISLE - HEAVEN ON EARTH (LP)

1988

February : Aliens Ate My Buick tracks mixed at Smoketree, Chatsworth CA

March : After a four year gap, a single is released... Airhead

April : TD appears on UK TV, ITV's (Night Network) Video View.

April-13 : Aliens ate my Buick is unleashed - EMI-MANHATTAN (Capitol)

April-16 : Airhead enters the UK charts, for 3 weeks, reaching number 53. Another four year gap follows before the next single

June : Dolby marries 'raven-haired actress' Kathleen Beller, Kirby Colby for two seasons on television's long-running night-time soap Dynasty.

July-6 : US remix 'Airhead's Revenge'

Oct : Turns 30.

THE BRONX ZOO - score. Episodic US TV drama

1989

Jan : Hot Sauce

Aug : My Brain Is Like a Sieve

The Golden Age of Video released.

OFRA HAZA - 'DESERT WIND' (LP-2 tracks) 1989

ABC TELEVISION FALL CAMPAIGN THEME - 'SOMETHING'S HAPPENING'. 1989-1990

1990

Produced PREFAB SPROUT - 'JORDAN THE COMEBACK' (LP)

June : Close But No Cigar recorded at NRG Studios, LA

Nov : Cruel recorded at Nomis Studios, London

Nov : I Love You Goodbye recorded in Crowley, Louisiana

Plays a part in Rockula - a comedy horror movie.

Keyboards - ROGER WATERS, THE WALL (LP). Pink Floyd's "The Wall" live from the Berlin Wall.

1991

Thomas and Kathleen's first child Lilian born.

May : Astronauts and Heretics tracks mixed at Smoketree, CA

produced EDDIE READER - 'WHAT YOU DO WITH WHAT YOU'VE GOT'. 1991

1992

March-31 : Animated film 'Ferngully, the Last Rainforest' released, with three tracks written by TD, two of those produced by TD also.

April-14 : Close But No Cigar

May-9 : Close But No Cigar enters the UK charts, for 5 weeks, reaching number 22 - the second highest position so far.

May : Astronauts and Heretics released, Virgin.

June-29 : I Love You Goodbye released

July-11 : I Love You Goodbye enters the UK charts, for 4 weeks, reaching number 36

September-14 : Silk Pyjamas released

Sept-26 : Silk Pyjamas enters the UK charts, for 2 weeks, reaching number 62, a dissappointing result. No more new singles are released.

Dec-14 : On The Edge (radio show) ? CD: 1992 US (Westwood One; Show #92-51) 13:56 Thomas Dolby: Close But No Cigar/Beauty Of A Dream/ Eastern Bloc 20:35 Thomas Dolby: Airwaves/She Blinded Me With Science/ Silk Pyjamas/Hyperactive/Europa and the Pirate Twins [interview segments with song snippets; show also features Mudhoney and The Rembrandts.]

Dec-15 : Toys movie. The Mirror Song is a Dolby/Trevor Horn/Wolley affair, with TD vocals, and Robin Williams and Joan Cusack.

"when I played live in Europe after the release of 'Astronauts and Heretics', we played mainly small clubs and I sat behind a piano and sang, backed by a very English band with their own style"

1993

Headspace formed, created by TDR and his personal manager Mary Coller. Headspace, they announced, would create music and sound for CD-ROM titles.

January : TD's second child, Talia Claire, was born (Lily #1)

'We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story' - LITTLE RICHARD - 'ROLL BACK THE ROCK'

VR : "My first program was debuted at the Guggenheim museum (NY) in October and November. That was based on a Mozart string quartet" "The Virtual String Quartet" done for the Intel corporation, utilizing its Pentium processors. When premiered, daily attendance was sold out and it earned Dolby Robertson a Computer World Smithsonian Award nomination.

lWERKS ENTERTAINMENT 3 FILMS

Location Based Amusement ride simulation film score, simulates a submarine's descent into Loch Ness

DIGITAL PICTURE/SEGA - 'DOUBLE SWITCH' - Score for the Interactive CD-ROM game, featuring Corey Haim and Debbie Harry

1994

Jan-22 : Hyperactive! finds popularity once more and enters the UK charts, for 4 weeks, reaching number 23 - just 6 places lower than the original outing.

Feb : Retrospectacle - the very best of T.D. - EMI

Feb : INTERVIEW WITH HYPERinterACTIVE! MAGAZINE - "The Virtual Thomas Dolby," By Phil Ward

Hyperactive! re-released, back in the UK charts.

March : 'Making Music Magazine' interview

September : INTERVIEW WITH NEW MEDIA MAGAZINE re: Guggenheim. "Virtual Strings and Mozart Colored Glasses," By Gaye L. Graves

Sept-30 : INTERVIEW WITH ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY. "Real Dolby Sound," By J.R. Griffin "The rest of the time, he, his wife, and their two daughters, ages 1 and 3, live in a small town about two hours outside of London that overlooks the North Sea "

Oct-8 : INTERVIEW WITH BILLBOARD MAGAZINE October 8, 1994, re: The Gate. "Dolby's Vision Drives Miramar Video," By Marilyn A. Gillen

Oct-25 : The Gate to the Mind's Eye (soundtrack) - Giant Records

Wolpodzilla (German) soundtrack.

THE DIVE! Los Angeles - Theme Restaurant sound effects design and music

VIRTUAL WORLD ENTERTAINMENT - Full audio production - upcoming game

CYBERIA - XATRIX CORP./INTERPLAY - Audio production, music and sound effects design.

TV : THE POWER OF DREAMS - Discovery Channel series

INTERVIEW WITH FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE - By Katherine Stalter

1995

Third child, Graham, born.

Quantum Mechanic released (from The Gate to the Mind's Eye)

TD and Headspace both move to Northern California. Based in a former suburban bank building in San Mateo, Calif., "I live about 20 minutes away on the coast."

Mr. Robertson came up with the idea for Beatnik in 1995, when he received a six-month grant from Interval Research, the Silicon Valley think tank founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, to study interactive music.

DARK EYE - INSCAPE - Dialogue production, music and sound effects design.

1996

February-2 : Alloy started by Paul Baily. "Alloy is the main character in The Gate to The Mind's Eye who (amongst other things) sees to the end of the current universe and the fresh beginning of a new one."

Feb-8 (?) : The first Online Music Awards took place on the America Online computer service. Thomas Dolby, the event's host, was connected to the Internet from the Los Angles House of Blues.

June-4 : Alloy list moves to smoe.org, thanks to Jeff Wasilko.

July-15 : 'HYPRactv8!' officially launches on America Online

Aug : Headspace "sonify" the Netscape Web Site.

Sept-1 : Headspace Inc., acquires Power of Seven Inc., the Minneapolis-based digital music content publisher best known for its popular Hip Clip Music series of original CD-ROM music libraries.

Sept-6 : Thomas lectures at MUSIG meeting, Sunnyvale

Sept-18 : listed as a featured speaker at the 'Business and Technology in the Next Millennium' Conference, Washington DC

Nov-25 : Newsweek - a short essay by TD appears on page 5 of Intel's ad supplement.

1997

The Tap Room (chat at http://flatearth.tdolby.com/cgi-bin ...) gradually fades away. Alloy takes over.

Feb-21 : Robin Th. joins Alloy.

March/April : Music and Computers (magazine) feature on Beatnik and Thomas Dolby.

May-15 : Alloy : Melissa suggests 'Fruit Juice everywhere' T-shirts and starts a ball rolling!

Aug : Premium Gold Collection released.

Aug : Ziff-Davis Press presents... "Thomas Dolby's Guide to Web Site Sound Design: Beatnik, RMF and Digital Audio", by Thomas Dolby (ISBN 1-56276-547-7). 400 pages.

Oct-9 : TMDR lecture and reception at Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco, CA - "He blinded you with science, now experience his vision of technology". Alloy's Stephen T., Mary, Monya, Steven McD., Phil Louie, and Brian Cl. attend, and present Tom with the birthday tribute tape 'Aliens Ate My Birthday Cake'.

1998

Feb : Headspace hires Lorraine Hariton as CEO, formerly an executive with Network Computing Devices, freeing Mr. Robertson to focus on creative ventures and evangelizing the technology.

July-19 Robin Thurlow takes over the running of Alloy

July : Thomas received a Lifetime Achievement in Internet Music award from Yahoo! Internet Life magazine.

Oct-14 : 40th Birthday. Is presented with Alloy's 'The Flattery Earth', a CD composed of tribute cover versions performed by various members of Alloy.

1999

Feb-3 : 'hyperactive' collection album released - Disky

March-13 : TMDR presents at the Bammie Awards in SF

March 29, 1999 -- Headspace, Inc release Beatnik Player 2.0

April-14 : Headspace changes name to Beatnik

April-30 : Thomas is guest on UK TV programme - Channel 4's "The Adam and Joe Show".

Aug-2 : 12x12 Original Remixes - EMI

Sept : Washington Post, 'Deafened by the Silence' - "Earlier this year, Headspace became Beatnik ("a timelessly cool" name, Dolby posits). It has about 40 employees and is poised to receive a cash infusion from a Silicon Valley venture capitalist. "

Sept : "the company received $11 million in its first venture-capital, led by Mayfield Fund, and is currently negotiating a second round.

Oct-9 : INTERVIEW WITH NATIONAL POST ONLINE. "Thomas Dolby: then and now" By David Okamoto

Oct-14 : 41st birthday. Alloy's present is the 'Bride of Aliens Ate My Birthday Cake' CD.

Nov : Beatnik acquires Mixman Technologies Inc.

"From just 12 employees at the end of 1999, Beatnik expects to employ as many as 170 people by the end of 2000."

2000

March-24: Thomas Dolby Robertson's talk about interactivity at Canadian Music Week.

June-19 : David Bowie gig at Roseland Ballroom, NYC - TDR joins in! "I'd arranged for Kathleen's sister and a couple of friends from New York to come to the show and still Kathleen was the only one who knew that I was going to play. It turned out that our VIP table had been given away and the Beatnik PR people told me that would were going to have to stand; they were really stressed out, so I strolled over to one of the roadie-guys and had a word. He got on his walkie-talkie and they figured something out for us, a perfectly placed VIP table for five on the balcony. I sat through an hour of the set and I had a copy of the set-list... hidden so that no-one could see it. I was completely enjoying the show, loads of oldies and I was having a fantastic time and then I thought Oh, I'm on in a couple of minutes, so I excused myself and said that I was going to the bathroom, and went backstage where they had my keyboard ready - still Kathleen was the only one that knew. They came off after the regular set; the band came off stage pouring sweat and everything, drinks and towels...

He [Bowie] said, "are you ready then?" I said, "Yeah", he said, "OK then" and ran back on stage and said, "I would like to introduce a special friend of mine, Thomas Dolby!" So I ran onto the stage and went straight into the opening bars of Heroes... I looked up into the balcony to where my friends and all the Beatnik people were, their jaws were all like hanging open. They all looked completely incredulous!"

2001

Mar-5 : Austria, speaker at Nokia conference

Mar-15 : Las Vegas, Nevada - speaker at IBM Websphere Conference

Mar-23 : Indian Wells, California - speaker at IRMA conference

Apr-4 : Chicago, IL. Keynote Speaker at Comdex

Apr-11 : Tuscon, Arizona. Speaker at the ROAM conference

Jun-6/7 : Tokyo. Intel Keynote

Jun-12 : Munich. Keynote at the BEA Conference

Jun-13 : New York. Keynote at the Wireless 2001 conference

Sep-8 : San Francisco. Keynote at the Internet & Mobile Conference

The world keenly awaits a new album... ;o)


With grateful thanks to Thomas Dolby, Robin Thurlow, Jonas WŚrstad, Paul Latham, Brian Clayton, Jeffrey Taylor, Russell Milliner, Alloy, and sundry websites.

Andy J finds it hard to give a flying funk about any copyright of his own that may apply here, but here we go...

(c) 2001 Andy J

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