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Famous Like Me > Composer > R > Stan Ridgway

Profile of Stan Ridgway on Famous Like Me

Name: Stan Ridgway  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 5th April 1954
Place of Birth: Barstow, California, USA
Profession: Composer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Stanard Q. "Stan" Ridgway (born April 5, 1954 in Barstow, California) was the original lead singer for the band Wall of Voodoo, singing on their debut EP and first two albums, including the hit song "Mexican Radio". Ridgway left the band in 1983, shortly after the band's appearance at the US Festival. After collaborating on the song "Don't Box Me In" with Stewart Copeland for the soundtrack to the film Rumble Fish (1983), he released his first proper solo album, "The Big Heat" (1986), which included the top 5 European hit "Camouflage".

Since the early days of Wall of Voodoo (which was originally conceived as a venture to create music for low-budget horror movies) Ridgway has been interested in music for cinema. A list of films for which Ridgway has written scores and/or original songs is included below. Ridgway's album "Holiday in Dirt" was a quasi-cinematic project, with the release of the album accompaned by a showing of 14 short films by various independent film makers, each film corresponding to one of the songs on the album. A compilation DVD of the films was released in February 2005.

In 1994, Ridgway began work on a new project in the form of a trio called Drywall, the other members of the trio being Ridgway's wife, keyboardist/vocalist Pietra Wexstun (who had previously worked with Ridgway on "Mosquitos" and "Partyball"), and former Rain Parade drummer Ivan Knight. In 1995, Drywall released its first album (first of a "trilogy of apocalyptic documents"), titled "Work The Dumb Oracle." A short film directed by Carlos Grasso titled "The Drywall Incident" was released the same year. An extended, instrumental soundtrack album for "The Drywall Incident" was released in 1996. Drywall regrouped in 2005 to release the album "Barbeque Babylon," the third "apocalyptic document." The new Drywall lineup features Rick King on guitars and bass and Bruce Zelesnik on drums and percussion.

Ridgway and Wexstun also collaborated on a suite of short pieces to accompany an exhibition of artist Mark Ryden's paintings, which was released as the album "Blood" in 2003. Ridgway plays banjo and harmonica in Wexstun's group Hecate's Angels.

Ridgway has also contributed to albums by Frank Black and the Catholics, The Ray Campi Quartet, The Fibonaccis, and Roger McGuinn.


Wall of Voodoo

  • Wall of Voodoo (EP) (Index, 1979)
  • Dark Continent (IRS, 1981)
  • Call of the West (IRS, 1982)
  • The Index Masters (BMG/Restless, 1999) remastered release of "Wall of Voodoo" EP with additional concert tracks


  • Work the Dumb Oracle (IRS, 1995)
  • The Drywall Incident Soundtrack (Geffen, 1996)
  • The Drywall Project/The Drywall Incident (TWA, 1996)
  • Barbeque Babylon (redFLY, 2005)


  • The Big Heat (IRS, 1986)
  • Mosquitos (IRS, 1989) featuring backing vocals by Tori Amos
  • Partyball (Geffen, 1991)
  • Songs That Made This Country Great (Geffen, 1992) a compilation of older, published material
  • Black Diamond (Birdcage, 1995)
  • Film Songs (EP) (TWA, 1997) a compilation of individual songs written for various films
  • The Way I Feel Today (Impala, Disinformation, 1998) a compilation of cover songs
  • Anatomy (Ultramodern/New West, 1999)
  • Holiday in Dirt (Ultramodern/New West, 2002) a compilation of older, mostly unpublished material
  • Snakebite (redFLY, 2004)


  • Stan Ridgway Live: “Poolside with Gilly”: The “Partyball” Tour: The Strand, Hermosa Beach, CA 1991 (Dis-Information, 2001)
  • Stan Ridgway Live: The “Beyond Tomorrow” Show: The Coach House 3/16/90 (Dis-Information, 2002)
  • Stan Ridgway Live in NYC: The “Black Diamond” Tour: The Mercury Lounge 6/17/96 (Dis-Information, 2002)
  • Stan Ridgway Live: The Mosquitos Tour: The Ancient Town of Frankfurt 6 December 1989 (Dis-Information, 2002)

With Pietra Wexstun

  • Blood, Miniature Paintings of Sorrow and Fear (Dis-Information, 2003)


Year Title Chart Positions Album
US Modern Rock
1989 "Goin' Southbound" #8 Mosquitos
1989 "Calling Out to Carol" #13 Mosquitos
1991 "I Wanna Be a Boss" #13 Partyball

Film Scores / Film Music

  • Rumble Fish (1983), directed by Francis Ford Coppola (end title song "Don't Box Me In," with Stewart Copeland)
  • Terminus (1986), directed by Pierre-William Glenn (title song)
  • Slam Dance (1987), directed by Wayne Wang (title song)
  • Pump Up the Volume (1990), directed by Allan Moyle (song, "Talk Hard")
  • Future Kick (1991), directed by Damian Klaus (score)
  • Floundering (1994), directed by Peter McCarthy (title song)
  • Melting Pot (AKA "Race") (1997), directed by Tom Musca (score)
  • Death Smokes a Big Cigar (1997), directed by Franco Riccardi (score)
  • Error In Judgment (1998), directed by Scott Levy (score)
  • Desperate But Not Serious (1999), directed by Bill Fishman (score)
  • Speedway Junky (1999), directed by Nick Perry (score)
  • The Keening (1999), directed by Alex & Andrew Smith (score)
  • Simpatico (1999), directed by Matthew Warchus (end title song)
  • $pent (2000), directed by Gil Cates, Jr. (score)
  • Vengeance (2001), directed by Brian Belefant (songs)
  • Desert Saints (2002), directed by Richard Greenberg (song)

External Links

  • Official Stan Ridgway Site
  • Essays and Reviews on Stan Ridgway, by Prof. Sam Umland
  • Complete Discography
  • "Beyond Tomorrow" fan site
  • Stan Ridgway Lyrics

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Stan Ridgway