Toronto is Ready For Roxy Reunion - Sat 14th Jul

Toronto is Ready For Roxy Reunion
14 July 2001

The network of Roxy fans worldwide is working extremely well (so far) Thank you to John in Toronto for sending the link to this item in the Toronto Sun

Ready For Roxy Reunion
Frontman Bryan Ferry motivated by FANS AND DEATH OF FRIEND


Bryan Ferry says reuniting '70s sophisticated art-rockers Roxy Music for their first tour together in 18 years made sense to him -- for a couple of reasons.

First of all, the 55-year-old singer successfully test-drove a lot of Roxy material on his solo tour last year.

"At the end of my tour I began to think it might be a good idea," said Ferry, down the line from his home outside London prior to the North American debut of Roxy Music's reunion tour at the Air Canada Centre tonight.

"I liked doing the Roxy songs. As that tour progressed, I kept adding more and more Roxy songs to the show. I enjoyed doing them, and the audience was into it very much."

Secondly, and more importantly, says Ferry, were his own personal reasons.

He admits his much-publicized brush with death on a British Airways flight from London to Nairobi last December after a crazed passenger stormed the cockpit and grabbed the controls might have got him thinking about it more.

"It probably did," said Ferry. "I think when things like that happen and friends start dying around you ... One of my closest friends died just before I started my last tour. He was very much a part of Roxy Music, in the background, and in my solo career as well. I think that had a bigger impact on me, really, than the British Airways incident."

Also along for the 2001 reunion are original members Phil Manzanera on guitar, Andy Mackay on sax, and Paul Thompson on drums.

Formed by Ferry in London in 1971, Roxy Music was always more popular in Europe than in North America. Their influence shouldn't be overlooked, though, as they enjoyed some hits here in the mid-to-late '70s and early '80s with Love Is The Drug, More Than This, Avalon and a cover of John Lennon's Jealous Guy.

"It feels perfectly natural," said Ferry of being on stage again as Roxy Music's frontman after all these years. "It's been quite tiring, 'cause it's quite a big show and a lot of songs to sing. But it's been fascinating putting songs from the different periods together, from different Roxy albums, and trying to do a good cross-section of the different Roxy styles."

Ferry says he whittled down the set list from about 40 or 50 songs and the group rehearsed for two or three weeks before the June 9 tour launch in Dublin, Ireland. He says he didn't struggle with the nostalgia aspect of reunion tours.

"It seems that there haven't been any negatives about this Roxy reunion tour at all. Nobody has said anything bad about it, which is good."

Still, missing in action is one of the band's most notable original members: Brian Eno, the wildly experimental synthesizer god who left the group in 1973 to pursue a solo career. He became a producer of note with bands like U2, Talking Heads, David Bowie and Robert Fripp. Eno has gone on record as saying about the Roxy reunion: "I just don't like the idea. It leaves a bad taste."

For his part, Ferry says he didn't ask Eno about going on the road.

"Not really, no, not for this tour. I did speak to Brian a couple of years ago when we were writing together and he told me he didn't ever want to tour again. I took that as basically gospel. I saw him recently, about a week before we started, and he was very enthusiastic for us and was hoping it would go well, etc., etc. We were writing together and one of the songs is coming out on my album early next year."

As for any new Roxy releases, Ferry said fans should expect a live album as a result of the reunion.

"There's a very good chance that we'll be doing a live album at some point. It would make sense to do that if it sounds any good. Every night, something sounds really good, so I think that everybody's been amazed."

THE BAND LINE-UP for tonight's show at the Air Canada Centre (*denotes original member who all played on Roxy Music's self-titled 1972 debut):

*Bryan Ferry -- vocals

*Phil Manzanera -- guitar

*Andy Mackay -- sax

*Paul Thompson -- drums

Colin Good -- keyboards

Chris Spedding -- guitar

Zev Katz -- bass

Lucy Wilkins -- violin

Julia Thornton -- percussion

Sarah Brown -- backing vocals

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