Nan Vernon

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Nan Vernon
Birth nameNancy Claire Vernon[1]
Born (1967-10-07) October 7, 1967 (age 51)
OriginToronto, Ontario, Canada
GenresAlternative rock[2]
Occupation(s)Singer, actress
InstrumentsLead vocals, Guitar
Years active1990–present
LabelsEastwest Records[3]
Associated actsDave Stewart and The Spiritual Cowboys

Nancy Claire "Nan" Vernon (born October 7, 1967 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada) is a Canadian singer and actress.[1] She is notable for providing the end credit music of both of Rob Zombie's Halloween films and for being part of the "singer-songwriter trend" of women nurturing folk music's rebirth.[4]


Early career[edit]

The Eurythmics' Dave Stewart discovered Vernon.[2] As she explains, "the story we used to tell was that I found Dave and Bob Dylan drunk and lost at a train station in Tijuana and that I gave them a ride home, but that wasn't how I met him. It was a call out of the blue from Wardrobe Stylist, Genny Schorr, who suggested that I might be someone Dave would like as a member of his band. Dave is the kind of person who encourages people."[5] She subsequently "sang backup as one of his Spiritual Cowboys on Stewart's 1990 release. Vernon parlayed "her high-profile acquaintance with Stewart into a record deal and released Manta Ray in 1994, through Stewart's Anxious Records."[2]

Recordings and reception[edit]

Tom Demalon praises her debut album, lauding the singer for "her keen sense of melody, articulate writing, and pristine vocals" that "make it more memorable than many other such releases. 'Motorcycle' kicks things off with a percolating road tale driven by grinding guitar, but the most of the material is of a more introspective nature such as the dreamy 'Tattoo Tears,' 'No More Lullabies,' and the gorgeous afterlife ballad 'The Big Picture,' all delivered in a breathy fashion....Manta Ray is a better than average debut."[2] John Koenig similarly describes her CD Manta Ray as "a collection of songs brimming with creative music and imagery."[6] Koenig goes on to write that her "exquisite live reworkings of songs from the '60's, like John Lennon's "Nowhere Man" and Jim Morrison's "Crystal Ship" give insight into her appreciation for rock music's classic poet/lyricists."[6]

More recently Vernon has provided covers of classic songs for the reboot of the Halloween series of horror films.[7] A new version of the song, "Mr. Sandman", recorded by Nan Vernon, is featured in Rob Zombie's Halloween.[8] She also performs "Love Hurts" for the film's sequel.


In an interview, Vernon said, "I really like theatrical music, like Brecht and that era. I love Eastern European music, the music of the Twenties and Thirties, Cole Porter. I love Elvis Presley. I love lyrical storytelling....I love Tom Waits and Billie Holiday. Velvet Underground. Of the newer bands, I like Belly and Bettie Serveert. I guess my favourite songwriters are John Lennon, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits".[5]

Personal life[edit]

Her father is the late Canadian actor John Vernon.[9] Her sister is Canadian-born film and television actress Kate Vernon.

Solo discography[edit]

Compilation and soundtrack appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b Matthew Tiller, "NAN VERNON: A BIOGRAPHY", The Land of Manta Ray.
  2. ^ a b c d Tom Demalon, "Nan Vernon - Manta Ray", Newstalk CFRB Toronto (2008).
  3. ^
  4. ^ BRUCE BRITT, "Women Nurture Folk's Rebirth: The singer-songwriter trend", The San Francisco Chronicle (April 2, 1995): PK - 27.
  5. ^ a b As quoted in John Koenig, "NAN VERNON: A Spirit in the Ethereal World", Muse Magazine (1995).
  6. ^ a b John Koenig, "NAN VERNON: A Spirit in the Ethereal World", Muse Magazine (1995).
  7. ^ Chris Gonda, "ROB ZOMBIE’s 'HALLOWEEN II' Soundtrack Features New Recordings", (July 30, 2009).
  8. ^ Matt Marcheschi, "Rob Zombie's Halloween soundtrack to include vintage recordings from KISS, Alice Cooper, Rush, Peter Frampton, Nazareth, Blue Oyster Cult, BTO, and More", SoundtrackNet (August 17, 2007).
  9. ^ Adam Bernstein, "Actor John Vernon, 72; Animal House Dean", The Washington Post (February 4, 2005): B06.

External links[edit]