Ian North

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Ian North
Born (1952-03-24) 24 March 1952 (age 63)
Origin New York, United States
Genres Punk rock, rock and roll, protopunk, hard rock, new wave, synthpop, electronica
Occupation(s) Musician, Painter
Instruments Vocals, Guitar, Bass guitar
Years active 1971 –
Labels Island Records, Polydor, Jet Records, Aura Records, Cherry Red
Associated acts Milk 'N' Cookies

Ian North (born 24 March 1952 in New York) is an American musician, producer and painter known for being part of the bohemian punk movement in United States with his power pop band Milk 'N' Cookies. A self-taught artist, he was also interested in painting.


Early Years[edit]

Ian North was born in Brooklyn in 1952. He grew up in Long Island. He received his first guitar at age 12, but being virtually tone deaf, could not play any songs other than those he composed.

In 1970, he slowly started to get serious about his artwork.

Milk 'N' Cookies[edit]

In 1973, North formed a power pop and glam outfit called Milk 'N' Cookies along Justin Strauss on voice, Jay Weis (replaced by Sal Maida, later in Roxy Music and Sparks) on bass and Mike Ruiz on drums (later in Paul Collins' Beat).[1] While the album's release was initially delayed and largely ignored upon release, it has subsequently become a cult classic.

After its reissue in 2005, the band was headlined the Radio Heartbeat festival in 2007 without North,[2] where the band played alongside a slew of younger bands that now claimed Milk 'n' Cookies as an influence.[3] Since then, the band has garnered even more attention as groups like Nobunny and Cheap Time have gained in popularity.[4][5]

British punk and new wave scene: Radio and Neo[edit]

After the split of Milk 'N' Cookies, North dedicated to the then-new punk movement in Britain, forming Radio with Sparks bassist Martin Gordon and the Simon brothers, Paul and Robert. That group transformed to Neo after Gordon's departure (he joined Radio Stars) and changed line-ups, with North being the only remaining member until 1979, when his visa ended and returned to his native USA. The same year, 12 Neo tracks were released in Britain by Aura Records as North solo album (called Neo).[6]

Return to USA and solo career[edit]

Back in New York, North took to newly affordable synth technology and recording equipment, first on his debut full-length album as a solo artist, My Girlfriend's Dead, and then on his Rape Of The Orchids EP.[7] During this time he also produced material for The Fast; he also filled in as the band's bassist in the music videos for their songs Kids Just Wanna Dance and Love Me Like a Locomotive.[8]

From 1983 to 1993, North worked sporadically on the album Torch Songs & Arson. While the label originally slated to release the album folded in the decade over which it was created, it has since been made available for free download.[9]

In 2009, North ended the longest period of musical inactivity in his life, releasing the groundbreaking 12-song album, E Z Listening For Suicides, under the moniker "Darkjet".[10]

See also[edit]