You Say It's Your Birthday: Youth of Killing Joke

Today is the birthday of former Killing Joke bassist Youth, born Martin

Glover on this day in 1960 in Africa. Killing Joke's efforts to bridge the

gap between punk and disco mixed with their energetic stage-show were

trail-blazing in the early '80s and helped establish industrial rock as a

legitimate genre. The group formed in 1978, just as disco and punk were

beginning to take off. Legendary DJ John Peel was so impressed with

their first single, "Waterdance," that he incorrectly assumed it was

by a bigger act performing under a pseudonym. The energetic

music delivered on Killing Joke's first three albums -- 1980's Killing Joke,

1981's What's This For...! and Revelations; Ha! Killing Joke

Live -- earned the group a devoted cult-following in the U.K. and even in

the U.S., where their albums were only available as imports. Both

"Psyche" and "Follow the Leader" landed on the Billboard disco

charts in spite of the group's punk spirit.

The group briefly disbanded in 1983 but came back without Youth and

guitarist Geordie on

1985's Night Time. Fearing the Apocalypse, Youth hid out in Iceland with

original Killing Joke keyboardist and vocalist Jaz Coleman. When Youth

returned to London, he began working as a producer. Killing Joke continued on

in varying forms but

never again packed the power they once had. Youth still produces records

in addition to running his own U.K. indie-label, Butterfly. Thus far, he

has produced such artists as Tom Jones, The Orb, Paul McCartney and Heather

Nova. In addition, Youth has collaborated with Coleman on two symphonic

tribute-albums: 1994's Symphonic Music of the Rolling Stones and, most

recently, Us and Them: Symphonic Music of Pink Floyd. Youth was also

a co-producer

of the Verve's highly acclaimed Urban Hymns.

Other birthdays: Mike Pinder (Moody Blues), 56; Les

Maguire (Gerry and the Pacemakers), 56; Tracy Nelson, 53; Mick Jones

(Spooky

Tooth/Foreigner), 53; Larry Byrom (Steppenwolf), 49; Terry Bozzio (Missing

Persons), 47; David Knopfler (Dire Straits), 45; and Karla Bonoff, 45.