Digital Man

Background and Commentary

“The title character in ‘Digital Man’ is he who left behind his identity as the analog kid. The digital man is the creature of a world of high-speed technology, of the breakneck pace, of a rat race in which human beings sooner or later wear down or burn out because they are forced to try to match the pace of tireless, instant-replay machine. He is pretty much the same image as the humanoid, only here the focus is less on his denatured degradation as it is on his function as a cog in a wheel. . . . In some ways, the perfect example of the digital man is Winston Smith, the hapless anti-hero, the card-carrying member of the party, of George Orwell’s nightmare masterpiece, 1984. Digital man as a species may be ascendant, but his fate is sealed. The mechanical world of which he is a part must eventually collapse under its own weight. The human spirit will burst forth like the Phoenix from its own pyre, and on that day we’ll see the emergence of the New World Man.”—Carol Selby Price and Robert Price, Mystic Rhythms

“The digital man character was running in the fast lane, faster than life. (Jim Ladd Interview) It was our first attempt at juggling disparate stylistic influences—ska, synth-pop, and hard rock—and at the time we ended up with three pieces of one song held together by Crazy Glue (Metal Hammer)—Neil in Merely Players

“Everyone was reaching for a new direction. The band even had one of its few arguments with Terry [Brown, long-time producer] over ‘Digital Man.’ He did not like it. They did. Usually, they would come around to his point of view. This time they did not.”—Bill Banasiewicz, Rush Visions

“It was really a necessary thing, not out of any disrespect for Terry or any problem in communicating with each other, but a matter of our band falling into a dangerous rut. We could anticipate his input abd structure our music around that. At the time [of making Signals] we wondered if some songs could not have been better if they were treated in a different way, but we were confused as to what our direction should be. We were so close to Terry. He was in the band almost, and he wasn’t objective anymore. We wanted to put ourselves into a kind of shock treatment, some kind of outside attitude to make us less insular and maybe help us learn more about what we were doing. We needed someone with new ideas and a new point of view to point out things in our music that weren’t growing as rapidly as we’d like, ways of writing songs that maybe we hadn’t thought of using. We felt like we weren’t getting that, because our friendship had become too comfortable.” (Only Music)—Geddy in Merely Players

“The digital man refers to Peter Jenson, who did the digital mastering on Moving Pictures as well as Signals. Babylon symbolically stands for any corrupt existence or the material world.”—Robert Telleria, Merely Players


His world is under observation
We monitor his station
Under faces and the places
Where he traces points of view

He picks up scraps of conversation
Radio and radiation
From the dancers and romancers
With the answers but no clue

He’d love to spend the night in Zion
He’s been a long while in Babylon
He’d like a lover’s wings to fly on
To a tropic isle of Avalon

His world is under anesthetic
Subdivided and synthetic
His reliance on the giants
In the science of the day

He picks up scraps of information
He’s adept at adaptation
Because for strangers and arrangers
Constant change is here to stay

He’s got a force field and a flexible plan
He’s got a date with fate in a black sedan
He plays fast forward for as long as he can
But he won’t need a bed
He’s a digital man

Tablature (Bass)

Excerpted from Fretplay.

e q e+H+q e q e+q e e e e e e e q e+Q+q e e e e q e q e q e e e e
| 8:—|———–|——-4———4—|———4—4—|—–2-2-4-4-2—–|

q e+H+q e q e+e e e e e e e e e q e+q e e e e e e e

e e e e e e e e e e e e q e+H+q e q e+Q e e e e e e

e e e e e e e e e e e e q q q q q q q e+H+q e q e+q e e e e e e e

e e e e e e q q q q q q q q q H H +H+Q+q e q e+H+q e

q e q e e e e Q q e+H+Q +H+Q+q e q e+H+Q q e q e q e q e q e+H+q e

q e+q e e e e e e e q e+q e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e

q e+H+q e q e+Q e e e e e e q e+Q+q e q e q e q e q e q e

q e q e q e q e q e q e q e q e Q q e Q Q Q Q e e e q e

q e q e q e q e q e q e q e Q q e q e q e q e q e q e q e q e

For complete tab, go to Fretplay.


“Digital Man” guitar cover

“Digital Man” bass cover

“Digital Man” drum cover

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~ by rvkeeper on February 6, 2011.

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