February 12th, 2008 - New Bio
Stuart Davis / Year to Year
’71: Born January 11 in Des Moines, Iowa. Stuart enters the World surrounded by billions of corn cobs. What does it mean?
’72: Stuart’s first word: “Wow.”
’73: Stuart can dance. Not well. Not then, not ever. But in a hint of things to come, he enjoys a change of wardrobe. Although not formally trained in drama, he is theatrical. His Scandinavian relatives remark “…he’s a bit of an showboat.”
’74: A pair of skates. A stick. A puck. Something clicks. The Land of 10,000 Lakes discovers another gangly, gifted hockey player. Little boy Davis is skinny and maladroit, but he has the fire in his belly. And a wrist shot that often finds net.
’75: The Davis family attends Lutheran church often. Between Sundays, young Stuart rides his bike and innocently frolics in the glory of Minnesota’s two seasons: Winter, and Pre-Winter.
’76: Stuart finally summons the courage to confront his parents about their strange guests. When will they leave? He is stunned when his mother and father tell him, “Those are your brothers.”
’77: His hockey coach moves Stuart to the position of Center. It suits his generally curious typology, as he is free to roam the entire range of the rink.
’78: First kiss. A girl named Melanie persuades Stuart to lock lips one autumn morn behind John F Kennedy elementary school. A geyser of disorienting chemicals flood his already confused body. His mother soon learns of the tryst when she discovers a note from the girl. Stuart is in trouble. A new kind of trouble.
’79: Stuart hides the sugared cereal from his older brother Perry. Retribution is swift and severe. 99 noogies put Stu in his place. He gets a little better at sharing, and a lot better at hiding .
’80: Suddenly, it’s the 80’s. Like everyone, nine year old Stuart becomes rich, republican, and addicted to cocaine.
’81: Recovery. Stuart gets a job at a local grocery store. Can’t remember what days he’s supposed to work. Loses job at local grocery store.
’82: Stuart’s father teaches him three chords on an old guitar. Stuart learns to play “Amanda” by Waylon Jennings. It has two chords. Stuart has a chord left over. Profit.
’83: Stuart spontaneously takes the stage at his school’s Fall Fling dance. Backed by a cover band, he belts out Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Gimme Three Steps”. Young Stuart suddenly understands the meaning behind the Rush song “Limelight”.
’84: Stuart quits hockey in order to focus on music. Hockey players respond badly.
’85: Because of his new role as a songwriter, boys get tough with Stu at parties. Girls get soft with Stu at parties . He sells hockey gear, buys an electric guitar.
’86: Stuart records his first full length album, My Baby Is A Snake and duplicates hundreds of casettes. He sells them at his school.
’87: Davis follows the success of ‘Snake’ with a Self-Titled cassette, which he releases his Sophomore year of high school. The more introspective tone of this album widens his fan base to include art students and introverts.
’88: Stuart begins performing frequently. Coffee shops, parties, and pep rallies put him on the regional map as one of… many… songwriters.
’89: His senior year Stuart is crowned home-coming king. His reign is a sordid one, peppered with impropriety and indulgence. Leaning into the scandal, he releases Idiot Express. It features the single “Love Is A Punch In The Throat”, which scores big with despondent shoe-gazers all over the Midwest.
’90: College. Stuart majors in classical guitar and orchestral composition at the University of Minnesota Mankato. He buys a ferret. They party their asses off.
’91: Stuart transfers to Minneapolis. Performs more, studies less.
’92: Quits school, becomes full time musician. Tours Minnesota, Iowa, the Dakotas, and Wisconsin year round. Releases new CD, Big Energy Dream. St Paul Pioneer Press calls Davis’ voice “mellifluous”, sends Stu rifling through the Oxford English Dictionary.
’93: Stuart begins to expand his tour itinerary. Illinois, Missouri, and Colorado are added to the travel log.
’94: Davis releases Self Untitled, his first taste of radio and a wider audience. A critic’s favorite, it makes many “best of” lists for the year, and sells well. Minneapolis Star Tribune say “Not since Bob Dylan broke through has Minnesota produced such a confident and creative songwriter and social observer.” Bob Dylan withholds comment. The song Only Changing Drugs becomes a cult classic.
’95: Stuart’s life long fascination with languages inspires him to get a private tutor. He studies Latin, and names his next album Nomen Est Numen, Latin for “to name is to know.” The album features many career-making classics, including Stephen’s Exhibition, Female Friend, Amsterdam, Fall Awake, and Atavistic Viking. It receives national radio play, and puts Stuart on the nationally syndicated radio show The World Cafe. Stuart begins practicing Zen in the Soto lineage. The Lutheran community observes disapprovingly.
’96: Kid Mystic is released, dedicated to author / philosopher Ken Wilber, sparking a close friendship between the two men. The album includes Practice Dying and Jonah, two pillars in the Stuart catalog.
’97: Davis follows up with 16 Nudes, a live album that transforms his life and career. The album sells over 15,000 copies without any distribution or label. It becomes a milestone, revealing Davis’ comedic sensibility and outrageous approach to live performance.
’98: In balance to the kinetic energy of ‘Nudes’, Stu puts out Bright Apocalypse, an album about Spiritual awakening. This more contemplative collection of songs includes one bona-fide pop song hit: Seven Wonders Of The Soul.
’99: Stuart tours the Czech Republic, Germany, and falls in love with Berlin.
’00: The Late Stuart Davis is the artist’s second live album. It introduces Sugar Bullets, Grace , and the landmark Anesthesia Necrophilia, a pop song that moves the boundary between taboo and trendy.
’01: A major leap forward the release of the Self-Titled CD (affectionately called the Silver album by fans, for Stuart’s naked body on the cover adorned in metallic paint). The album boasts wall to wall classics, including the enduring Rock Stars and Models, Doppelganger Body Donor, Dresden, and the famous water trilogy Swim, Dive, Drown.
’02: Stuart begins working in visual mediums. His video diaries and sketches appear on the internet. They become Between The Music , a two volume DVD set of Stuart’s early video experiments.
’03: Stu falls in love and gets married. He moves to Colorado. He works with producers Alex Gibson and Tripp Lanier. His next CD, Bell explores the feminine divine and includes the classics Sexy Messiah and Wizard.
’04: Stuart has been touring non-stop for over a decade. He’s performed over 1,000 shows everywhere from Hollywood to Holland. He becomes a father when Ara Bell Davis is born.
’05: Back into the studio with producer Alex Gibson and executive producer Rupert Hine to record ¿What, a collection of new material that invigorates Davis’ career. The album includes many new fan-favorites such as Good Wyrd, AC-DC, Easter, Murder Suicide, and the indie anthem Parker Posey (Davis tried unsuccessfully to get the real Parker Posey to star in the video). The album re-asserts the artist’s standing as a critic’s darling and national favorite on tour.
’06: Stu releases the audio book Love Has No Opposite, a two-volume set combining edgy comedy and mystical spirituality. Stuart tours less and focuses more on his TV show. Eleven Episodes of a pro-type called The Stuart Davis Show are completed and received with great enthusiasm by tens of thousands of viewers. At home for months at a time, Davis also begins to paint profusely, producing numerous calligraphy paintings in a language he’s been constructing for years, called IS. The paintings and television show expand both Davis’ fan base and the nature of his career. He begins work on a book as well.
’07: Friend & director Steve Brill asks Stuart to write a song for Paramount Picture’s film “Drill Bit Taylor” starring Owen Wilson. The song Already Free is the result. Davis heads back to Hollywood to record another album with producer Alex Gibson, and while recording his next collection of songs, he finishes two original screenplays.
’08: Davis signs national distribution deal with Ryko-WEA, and releases his album Something Simple. Twelve episodes of the spiritual / rock ‘n roll comedy The Stuart Davis Show, shot in HD, are written and directed by Stu. His book Sex God & Rock ‘n Roll is released by Shambhala Books and distributed by Random House. Pre-production on Stuart’s feature length film begins. A new line of Stu apparel is launched. His annual festival Dharmapalooza is held for the fourth year in Boulder Colorado. Stuart tours the U.S. and Europe extensively in promotion of Something Simple.