Roxy Music 2001


Five Pin-ups on Tour
No band was more glamorous than Roxy Music. Now after an 18 year break the five pop musicians shine again from the stage.

Die Welt, June 2001
(Translation courtesy of Paul Bodine from Milwaukee, WI)

r. Ferry, is it very difficult to learn old Roxy songs?

BF: "For that, one needs more terms at the music academy. At first glance the songs are simple, but when one listens more carefully, one recognizes their subtle structure. Also, a Roxy song must produce a certain feeling. That doesn't come through from just playing the notes. I guess that is also the reason why there are hardly any acceptable cover versions of our songs."

How does it feel to go again on tour together after 18 years?

BF: "Roxy Music still generates great interest. I think that at that time we quit at the right moment. 'Avalon,' our last album, was so good in quality that people have kept us in memory. But now the expectations are naturally very high."

You once described the breakup as a mistake . . .

BF: "We had decided we could record another album, but at that time I felt this urge to work with other people. I am also not unhappy with my decision."

You have worked a lot since then. Is that an act of recompense ?

BF: "I believe so. I am trying to make up a little ground since the clock is ticking and it makes me nervous. Time will tell whether we can find time for another Roxy record."

Therefore after the tour there will be the usual live album?

BF "There are no concrete plans, but we will definitely record some shows live. You never know. If the tour goes well and we like the reception it is entirely possible."

Reunions hold the danger of ruining a myth...

BF: "I believe that we as a band are in a position to fulfill high expectations. People will see a better band than ever before and the sound will also put everything previous into the shade. Although I think that the original line-up of 1973 was a very good one - with outstanding musicians like John Porter or Brian Eno."

What do you feel when people confront you with photos from the 1970s?

BF: "I think that we were a rather colorful bunch. Our outfits were in equal parts futuristic and nostalgic. It had something provocative about it with which the young people could get something going]. If a band nowadays dressed like that they would certainly get attention. I mean, kids take pleasure over everything that is different to the standard format they are served daily."

Roxy Music was a reaction to the lack of any definite direction of the late Sixties.

BF: "Right. It's hard to reconstruct from today's perspective. We didn't originate from the drawing board of some record company or other and there was also no great plan behind the music. Since then what is referred to as a 'band' is, in the final analysis, only a thoroughly calculated brand product."

Pretty women were a central theme of all the Roxy covers. There was much protest . . .

BF: "At some time or other that became self-perpetuating. With the first album we asked ourselves whether it was necessary to have a photo of the band on the cover. Just five characters looking stupid. Why not a glamorous image like one of the pin-up girls? So that was simple."

The British radio guru John Peel has commented on your comeback with the words that it would be quite charming to see a band like Roxy Music in his local parish hall.

BF: "That is a damned clever commentary for someone who earns his money with dog food advertising, but perhaps we should please him and play there."

Which luxuries will you treat yourself to on the tour? Some kind of special catering?

BF: "That is a strict secret! But to be honest, I don't believe that it will turn out to be especially luxurious."

And how wild was the daily routine of touring at that time?

BF: "Wild? We never had decent catering, rather we had to break into the hotel kitchen at night to pick the refrigerator clean. So no comparison to the big rock bands like Led Zeppelin, who held one orgy after another."

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