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After a failure you start from scratch with nothing. A clean slate. It's the same sentiment Bob Dylan proposed in "Like A Rolling Stone
" with the line, "When you've got nothing, you've got nothing to lose." The song was written by the band and released on their second album.
Like most songs by The Fixx, their lead singer Cy Curnin wrote the lyrics. "When you're on the floor, you can't fall further, you can only go up," he told us. "Life was starting to get more full with distractions, and I'm a sort of minimalist at heart. I always fight for that space. So it was a sort of a mantra that came from some of the teachings that I was learning back then with my earliest dipping into Buddhism. It was East meeting West for me. It was Eastern ancient philosophies that people live as a daily code over there to necessity. And we in the West absorbing this Buddhism, at the time it wasn't a necessity for functioning life, but it was a necessity for calming the mind and getting to a place of no mind and losing frustration and ego. So that's where it was for then." (Here's our full Cy Curnin interview
The video for this song was a favorite in the early days of MTV. In the book MTV Ruled the World - The Early Years of Music Video, Fixx lead singer Cy Curnin talks about the making of this video: "We had Brian Grant chosen for us to shoot 'Saved By Zero' by the record company. By this time, MCA had woken up to the fact that videos were important. They had been penny-pinching our earlier efforts, but now opened the vaults and in came the 'professionals,' with huge expense accounts that afforded us lunches, massages, and fourteen stylists to make us look like proper rock stars! The aftershock of the huge price tag to the 'Saved By Zero' video was that the record company agreed that Ostoj and Hine were in fact very talented at a third of the cost."
The first four Fixx albums, including Reach the Beach
, were produced by Rupert Hine, who also worked with Tina Turner, Howard Jones and many other popular artists. In our 2011 interview with Rupert
, he talked about coming up with the distinctive sound for The Fixx. Said Hine: "We came up with this very aggressive bitey but sort of shiny guitar, which was very different than any other bands at that time. And that certainly was a huge part of the band's success. I mean, the amount of interest that went into the guitarist was huge - quite rightfully, I think. Also the whole production technique we came up with was very new at that time. And still in a way sounds unique."
In America, this was used in 2008 commercials for Toyota, who used the song to promote their 0% financing offer.
Cy Curnin has learned over the years that many people have come up with their own interpretations of this song, which he considers equally important to his own. Among numerologists and mathematicians, it relates to the often under-appreciated number. Zero was the last of the digits to be discovered/invented. First (a couple of centuries B.C.) as a place holder in numbers and afterwards (a few centuries A.D.) as a number itself. Today zero is considered neither positive nor negative.
Curnin told us: "There has been the invention zero as a number by the ancient Indian mathematicians. Without that, calculations would have been completely wrong. Because we were following the Roman rhythmic calendar which believed that one was the first number. In fact, zero is the first number. Because what stops one being minus one is zero. It's nothing. That's a number. That's a plus unit. It's not negative one. There's no such thing as a negative zero, there's just zero, which is this side of the line. Which is lying in the decimal point. You have 0.1 and in the binary code and in all the other codes. Not that I was thinking that when I wrote 'Saved By Zero.' But, you know what, I'm taking it anyway."
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