Aged 18 Ian was in a group called Milk n Cookies in Long Island, New York who by 1974 had been picked up by ex- Johns Children bass player and now Sparks manager John Hewlett, for management. Ian wrote all the songs for their only album, eponymously titled, recorded in London and originally shelved after just one single released from it, but when Punk happened in the UK in ’76 was rush released by Island Records to capitalise. The band better fitted the New York scene where after the London debacle they had been playing on the circuit with Blondie, The Ramones, Talking Heads, Television, The Marbles, The Fast. Milk n Cookies also featured bass player Sal Maida fresh from a stint in Roxy Music and soon to tour with Sparks. The proto punk glam of Milk n Cookies continues to chime with fans of the era and has been reissued twice, with the follow up single ‘Tinkertoy Tomorrow’ also written by Ian recently used in an episode of the Netflix TV series Firefly Lane to represent that period.
As the UK witnessed the arrival of synth-pop with Gary Numan, The Human League and Ultravox late in 1979 so Ian, unbeknownst, produced the first synth-pop album in the US. He wrote and recorded ‘My Girlfriends Dead’ using largely Korg technology. He was even slightly ahead as when he completed the album and touted it around the UK record companies he was told “you can’t make albums with a drum machine”. John Foxx then came out with Metamatic and the same people said “oh it’s just a fad”. Ian’s album was only released in the US.
Ian built a recording studio in Manhattan called INS Recording which successfully caught the next musical movement in New York as recorded there were the first Public Enemy album, the first Wu-Tan Clan single and the first three Keith Sweat albums.