Thanks to Spotify, I’m revisiting all sorts of music, that lies of scratched, unplayable LPs in the attic.
I’m so impressed by early Roxy Music. My friend, Simon Austin, waited for Hockliffes, in Bedford to open, the day the first album came out. He must have been one of the first to buy it. I remember him coming to the park, where we were hanging around on the swings and showed us the cover. That was mind-blowing enough. Ferry, Eno, Manzenara, Andy Mackay and Paul Thompson looked like exotic birds from a secret paradise. I wanted to be Eno before I’d even heard the album.
When I did, I remember it being a physical hit, like my first cigarette. It left me feeling dizzy, exhilarated and confused. nothing could ever be quite the same after that.
Listening to those first two albums, I’m amazed at how savvy Ferry and Eno were. The lyrics were so sophisticated and knowing. Ferry knew all about celebrity culture and how to manipulate it, way back then, when most people were really quite innocent and thought celebrities were actually special people. I don’t know if Ferry had travelled outside the movies, but he certainly comes across as a citizen of the world – an international playboy.
And Brian Eno – what can I say? He was my hero – all that knob-twiddling and mascara. Yes, I cut my hair like that and even tried to solder-up my own synthesiser.
I started listening to Emerson Lake and Palmer yesterday and soon got bored. They used the synthesiser like an organ extension – all twiddly-widdly-wah-wah.
Eno shaped the soundscape. If you listen for his work, it’s as fresh today as it was mind-blowing then. Did they consciously know what they were doing? Or was it a coming together of the right talents at the right time, plugged into the zeitgeist?