Whatever happened to…

Thomas DolbyThomas Dolby

You know the guy, or maybe you don’t. If the phrase, “She Blinded Me With Science” sounds familiar you can trace it right to this guy. Dolby hit the scene in in the early 80s with an electronic flair worthy of the time. I remember it well.

You could not turn on the radio without getting blinded with science. This quirky 80s flashback sits at #13 on VH1’s One Hit Wonders of the 80s list.

MTV was in its second year of broadcast and the young network seemed to have a fatal attraction for anything synth-pop. They embraced Dolby’s little diddy like it was the second coming of rock.

The Dolby directed video featured Magnus Pyke, an eccentric British scientist known for waving his hands as he talked.

Thomas DolbyThat was then… So where is Thomas Dolby now?

The one-hit wonder of the 80s is a busy man in the 21st century.

Since 2001 Dolby has acted as Musical Director of The TED Conference, an annual event held first in Monterey, California, and subsequently in Long Beach, California. TED  attracts some of the world’s foremost thinkers, inventors, and speakers.

Dolby provides live musical introductions to sessions, sometimes with an eclectic TED House Band, as well as helping secure guest musicians and entertainers for the event.

He is actively engaged in various aspects of music and video game production with his own company.

Thomas Dolby trivia

Dolby also worked as session keyboard player on Def Leppard‘s 1983 Pyromania album. Dolby appeared on Pyromania using the alias Booker T. Boffin, as his affiliation to another record label restricted the use of his real name.

In 1985 Dolby performed at the Live Aid concert in London with David Bowie‘s band.

In a 1985 news clip about synthesized music Dolby was shown (along with the industrial musician, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails fame) with Trent’s early band, The “Exotic Birds”.

He supported Depeche Mode in their Rose Bowl concert on June 18, 1988.

In 1990 he appeared in the huge Roger Waters charity concert performance of Pink Floyd‘s rock opera The Wall in Berlin.

In July 1998, Thomas received a “Lifetime Achievement in Internet Music” award from Yahoo! Internet Life.

Dolby is member #00001 of the current incarnation of the Flat Earth Society, a pseudoscientific group.

5 thoughts on “Whatever happened to…

  1. Merujo

    “He is actively engaged in various aspects of music and video game production with his own company.”

    He just released his first studio album in 20 years and is currently – as in right now – on tour throughout the United States. (You have the promo photo for the tour in this article). :)

  2. Steven Maginnis

    I heard an interview with Thomas Dolby BBC Radio. I was impressed; he is one of the most intelligent men in modern music. And by the way, “blinding with science” is a time-honored British expression. When someone blinds you with science, it means he’s speaking in technical terms no one can understand, rather than in layman’s terms . . .like the Professor on “Gilligan’s Island.” 😀

  3. Mickey Mills Post author

    I was amazed to see his ongoing involvement with TED conference. But then… it does sort of make sense.

  4. trx suspension training

    For me he was part of the family of eurobloggers, and although this was just one part of what he was and what he did, I will remember him as one of the founders of the growing euroblogosphere – and I hope others will do so, too.

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