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CLAIM TO FAME
Lead singer of Roxy Music, the legendary art-pop British band he founded in 1971. The group topped charts with such hits as Virginia Plain and Love is a Drug. Ferry has enjoyed a solo-artist career since the band split in 1983.
After an 18-year absence, Roxy Music has reunited for a world tour. They will be performing at Vancouver's GM Place on Aug. 3. Ferry is working on material for his latest unnamed solo album to be released in the new year.
WHAT HAVE YOU MISSED MOST ABOUT BEING IN A BAND?
I think it is the scale of it. I was doing a lot of solo touring in the past couple of years in concert halls, but they were a little bit more sedate.
ARE YOU A CITY PERSON OR A COUNTRY PERSON?
A bit of each. I haven't been getting much time in the countryside [he has a home in Sussex, England], so today I'm enjoying it even though the weather is not great. I spend most of the time in the city [London]; that's where my studio is. It's quite nice to get a balance between the two.
HOW DO YOU RELAX?
I like to play the odd game of tennis. One day I'll take up golf, but not yet. I took some lessons a couple of years ago, so I did start thinking about it. I think I left lessons a little bit too late, because it's much harder than it looks.
ANY INTERESTING TENNIS PARTNERS?
I once played against [Prime Minister] Tony Blair. I not only lost, but I pulled a hamstring. I had a very good excuse. I did want to be a good sport. It was just before Blair came in to power.
YOU VISIT MOROCCO OFTEN. WHAT'S THE THRILL?
It's so foreign and is like stepping back several centuries. It's a very rich culture. I like going around the bazaar in Marrakech. It's also a very civilized place for tourists. You can see all of this medieval stuff and there are very good hotels that you can retreat to in the evening. I like walking around the amazing square. It's full of snake charmers and has all kinds of interesting things going on. It's one of the great places in the world.
IN DECEMBER YOU WERE ON A FLIGHT FROM LONDON TO NAIROBI WHEN SOMEONE ATTEMPTED TO TAKE OVER THE PLANE AND CRASH IT.
I wish I had been promoting an album that week, I got a lot of publicity [laughs]. It's one of those things that you hope won't happen again. It was pretty weird. That was the closest I've ever come to an end-of-life experience.
ARE YOU A NERVOUS FLYER?
I'm not for some reason, and I'm not a particularly brave person. You have to really sign off when you get on to a plane; there's not much you can do about anything.
HAVE YOU EVER USED AN APHRODISIAC?
[Laughs] Like dried rhinoceros horns? Well, always of course! Oysters and champagne are quite good for that sort of thing. I love oysters but it's not the right time of year here for them. My brother-in-law farms oysters in Ireland. When I go there I get very good oysters.
WHAT'S IN YOUR CD PLAYER?
I believe it's empty at the moment. I tend to like to play classical music, I like Maria Callas very much, so I play a lot of her. I find it soothing. I don't like playing rock 'n roll down here in the country much, it doesn't seem to suit the place. I like a lot of early jazz that you can get in box sets. CDs and remastering have been very good for the jazz world.
WHAT ARE YOU READING?
I just finished a really good biography of Bob Dylan. I like biographies because I like reading about other people very much. I need to start a new book for my tour. I'll probably go to the bookshop at the airport. The airports now are like great big shopping centres.
HAVE YOU FOUND INNER PEACE?
Not really, I worry too much. I never sit still for a minute. I'm always fussing about because I like to be busy. Inner peace is something quite elusive for me. I don't really have that kind of spiritual contentment, but one day, you never know.
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