World domination by December 1973
Plans laid shock!

January 1973 was spent recovering from the effects of the US tour, planning and rehearsing for the next album. And a continuing string of interviews as set up to keep the media pot boiling. The first two, one with Ferry and the other with Eno, reflected mainly on the band's US experiences and explored the likely content, look and feel of the album to come. Bryan's three-way interview for the NME seems, in retrospect, a study in how to say as little as possible and still get a two page spread in the UK's biggest selling music paper. His tone is somewhat weary and the remarks guarded. Perhaps the US had taken more out of the band than anyone realised.

One thing, however, was becoming clear. Brian Eno's profile within the media and amongst the band's audience was becoming increasingly prominent. No longer just the sound-effects man, Eno was a figure of intrigue and mystery. He also 'pulled the birds' like there was no tomorrow, having returned from the US with more than just a visa in his passport. A new young lady had arrived with him.

Setting the two interviews side by side (and with the 20:20 benefit of hindsight) it's clear that tensions were either already building between the band's two 'stars' or that they were inevitable. In the meantime, though, other personality issues came to the fore.

Back stageThe sacking of Rik Kenton created a bass playing void that would be filled by Bryan's long term aquaintance, John Porter. John had been part of Bryan's university band, Gas Board, and was a guitar player turned bassist for Roxy's purposes. While the band rehearsed, EG put together another UK tour and planned their first excursion onto the continent.

The tour would start on 15th March at Nottingham University but, after that, venues had been uprated from the 'varsity' to the 'City Hall' variety, reflecting their vastly increased status and audience pulling power. Their popularity was further underlined by their continuing performance in British music paper readers polls.

First came the NME's poll on 27th January. Their name was littered everywhere:

Best British Band: 14th
Most Promising New British Name: 1st
Best UK Male singer: Bryan Ferry 17th
Best UK keyboard player: Eno 9th
Best UK Miscellaneous instrument player: Eno 8th
Best UK single: Virginia Plain 2nd

Most Promising New World Name: 2nd
Best World single: Virginia Plain 10th

Happy familiesOn February 17th, came the Disc Reader's Poll where they headed the Brightest Hope for 73 listing and 'Virginia Plain' was listed as fourth best single of 1972. Accompanying these results was a Mackay interview with long term fan/supporter Caroline Boucher. Apart from giving a few insights into the recording process and the game away about who would appear on the sleeve (she being Amanda Lear and that she had been a he), the best part of the article came with her misinterpretation of the new single's title. A song entitled "Pyjama Armour" has still to be recorded by the band but is reason enough of itself for a Roxy reunion.

On 24th February, with the band coming towards the end of the 'For Your Pleasure' recording sessions, full page adverts were taken out in the music press announcing the new tour and their support acts: The Sharks and Lloyd Watson. Within a few days the Rainbow had sold out and a second night was slotted in.

The tour dates were:

15th March Nottingham University
16th March Manchester Hardrock
17th March Bracknell Sports Centre
18th March Birmingham Town Hall
19th March Leicester De Montfort Hall
24th March Plymouth Guild Hall
25th March Torbay Festival Hall
27th March Stoke Trentham Gardens
28th March Sheffield City Hall
29th March Newcastle City Hall
31st March London Rainbow
1st April London Rainbow
4th April Preston Guildhall
5th April Liverpool Empire
6th April Glasgow Green's Playhouse
7th April Edinburgh Odeon
8th April Leeds Grand Theatre
11th April Brighton Dome
12th April Southampton Gaumont
13th April Bournemouth Winter Gardens
14th April Bristol Colston Hall
15th April Cardiff Capitol

After a short break, the band would fly out to Italy for a short tour starting on 23rd April.

Meanwhile, as the tour plans were put in place, the band entered the famous AIR studio at Oxford Circus to record the new album. Various names had been bandied about as potential producers but, in the end, Chris Thomas (who had cut his recording 'teeth' working with the Beatles, Pink Floyd and Procul Harum) and two experienced engineers - the 'Johns' Middleton and Punter - were taken on board.

According to the NME, the sessions were due to start on 20th January and the songs would all be new ones, except for the previously heard 'Bogus Man' and 'For your pleasure'. The album had already been provisionally entitled 'For your pleasure' and the cover was said by the NME to feature "a young lady in what Ferry... described as "a very pleasurable state".

Within a few days of the start of recording, a new single had been identified. It would be the Ferry composition 'Pyjamarama' and the news was released to an expectant press on 10th February. "It's the first song I've written on guitar," Bryan was quoted as saying, "I even play a bit of guitar on the record." The B-side was to be an instrumental, 'The Pride and the Pain' written by Andy Mackay.

With their record company desperate for some 'product', 'Pyjamarama' was rushed through the production, cutting and pressing process. First reviewed in the week of the 24th February, the single hit the shops on 1st March and the charts a week later.

Phase two of the plan for world domination was underway. There would be casualties on the way...

John Porter
Born: 11th September 1947, Leeds
Height: 6'
Education: St Michael's School, Leeds; Allerton Grange; King's College; Newcastle University.
Influences: The Blues, Harpo Marx, Lord Buckley
Favourite Single: I Love the Woman, Freddie King
Favourite Composers: Robbie Robertson, Lennon & McCartney
Favourite Musician: Ry Cooder
Favourite Singer: Bobby Bland, Aretha Franklin
Favourite Band: The Band, Little Feat, Captain Beefheart
Favourite Filmstars: The Marx Brothers
Residence: Chelsea flat, married to Shadow.

John Porter on stage in Germany
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