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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Who is Bryan Ferry?

Who is Bryan Ferry? The entertainment and music world knows him as Bryan Ferry, Ferry  is an English singer, musician, and songwriter. Ferry came to public prominence in the early 1970s as lead vocalist and principal songwriter with the band Roxy Music, who enjoyed a highly successful career with three number one albums and ten singles entering the top ten charts in the United Kingdom. Ferry began his solo career in 1973, while still a member of Roxy Music, which continues to the present day.

Biography

Before Roxy Music (before 1971)




Ferry was born 26 September 1945, Washington, County Durham, UK into a working class family (his father, Fred Ferry, was a farmer who also looked after pit ponies),[1] Ferry attended Washington Grammar-Technical School (now called Washington School) on Spout Lane from 1957 and achieved nine O levels, then studied fine art at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne under Richard Hamilton.[2] His contemporaries included Tim Head[3] and Nick de Ville.[4] He became a pottery teacher at Holland Park school in London.[5] Ferry formed the band The Banshees, and later, together with Graham Simpson, the band The Gas Board.[6]

Roxy Music and solo years (1971–1983)

Ferry formed Roxy Music with a group of friends and acquaintances, beginning with Graham Simpson, in November 1970. The line-up expanded to include saxophonist/oboist Andy Mackay and his acquaintance Brian Eno, who owned tape recorders and played Mackay's synthesiser. Other early members included timpanist Dexter Lloyd and ex-Nice guitarist David O'List, who were replaced respectively by Paul Thompson and Phil Manzanera before the band recorded its first album. (Early Peel sessions for UK radio station Radio 1 feature O'List's playing.)[7]
Roxy Music's first hit, "Virginia Plain", just missed topping the charts, and was followed up with several hit singles and albums, with Ferry as vocalist and occasional instrumentalist (he taught himself piano in his mid-twenties) and Eno contributing synthesiser backing.
For many years, Ferry has collaborated with fashion designer Antony Price for clothing and image consultations. Price is famous for his shop on London's Kings Road. He created suits recognised worldwide for their elegance, and gained fame when celebrities and rock stars dressed in his designs.[8] Indeed, one comment by Nicky Haslam about Ferry was that he was more likely to redecorate a hotel room than to trash it.[9]

After their second album, Eno left Roxy Music, leaving Ferry its undisputed leader. Ferry had already started a parallel solo career in 1973, initially performing cover versions of old standards on albums such as These Foolish Things (1973) and Another Time, Another Place (1974), both of which reached the UK Top 5. After the concert tours in support of Siren, Roxy Music temporarily disbanded in 1976 though band-members Paul Thompson, Phil Manzanera and Eddie Jobson took part in recording Ferry's subsequent solo material. In 1976, Ferry covered a Beatles song, “She's Leaving Home” for the transitory musical documentary All This and World War II. He went on to release three solo albums during this period, Let's Stick Together (1976), In Your Mind (1977) and The Bride Stripped Bare (1978), but by this time his career had begun to wane.
Roxy Music reconvened in 1979, with Ferry, Manzanera, Thompson and Mackay (Jobson was no longer a member). The band recorded the albums Manifesto (1979), Flesh + Blood (1980) and Avalon (1982), the latter two reaching number one in the UK album charts.[10] The band also achieved their first and only UK number one single, "Jealous Guy", released in 1981 as a posthumous tribute to its author John Lennon who had been murdered some months earlier. It was the only one of their singles not written by Ferry.
After lengthy tours to promote the Avalon album in 1982, Ferry decided to put Roxy Music on hold and continue as a solo artist.

After Roxy Music (1985–2001)

Ferry continued to record, and released his sixth solo album, Boys and Girls, in 1985. The album reached number one in the UK, his first and only solo recording to do so, and also became his biggest selling album in the US.
In July 1985, Ferry performed at the London Live Aid show, again accompanied by David Gilmour.[11] He was hit with technical difficulties on sound, the drummer's drumstick broke at the start of the first song "Sensation" and Gilmour's Fender Stratocaster went dead, so he had to switch to his candy-apple red Stratocaster for the rest of the performance.[12] The difficulties in sound were overcome for "Slave to Love" (featured on the soundtrack to 9½ Weeks) and "Jealous Guy". As with other successful Live Aid acts, his current album, Boys and Girls, remained in the chart for almost a year.
After the Avalon promotional tours, Ferry was rather reluctant to return to life on the road; however, a change of management persuaded him to try touring again in 1988 to promote the previous year's Bête Noire release. Following the tour, Ferry teamed up again with Brian Eno for Mamouna (collaborating with Robin Trower on guitar and as producer). The album took more than five years to produce, and was created under the working title Horoscope. During production, Ferry simultaneously recorded and released another covers album, Taxi in 1993, which proved to be a greater commercial and critical success than Mamouna would be when it was finally released in 1994. In 1996, Ferry performed the song "Dance With Life" for the Phenomenon soundtrack, which was written by Bernie Taupin and Martin Page. In 1999 Ferry appeared with Alan Partridge (played by Steve Coogan) on BBC's Comic Relief.
After taking some time off from music, Ferry returned in 1999. He began to perform a mix of 1930s songs and songs of his own, including several from the Roxy collection, and recorded them on the album As Time Goes By, which was nominated for a Grammy award.[13]

Roxy Music reunion and continuing solo career (2001–present)

Ferry, Manzanera, Mackay and Thompson re-reformed Roxy Music in 2001 and toured extensively for a couple of years though the band did not record any new material. In 2002, with the help of Manzanera and Thompson, Ferry returned with his next studio album, Frantic, which also featured a collaboration with Brian Eno. The album was a mix of new original material and covers - something that Ferry had not attempted on a solo album since The Bride Stripped Bare in 1978.
In 2003, Ferry provided the entertainment for the Miss World election, a show with an expected 2 billion viewers worldwide.[14] In 2004, Ferry starred in the short film The Porter. In 2005, it was confirmed[15] that Roxy Music (Ferry, Eno, Mackay, Manzanera and Thompson) would be performing further shows at that year's Isle Of Wight festival and that they would also be recording a further album of new and original songs, with no indication of when such a project would reach completion.[16] Brian Eno confirmed[17] that he has worked in the studio with Roxy Music once more and has co-written songs for the new album. However, Ferry later debunked the idea of a new Roxy Music album and stated that the material from these sessions will most likely be released as part of his next solo album,[18] and that "I don't think we'll record as Roxy again."[19]
In October 2006, Bryan Ferry modelled clothing range Autograph with British retailer, Marks and Spencer. In 2007, Ferry released the album Dylanesque, a tribute album to Bob Dylan. The album charted in the UK Top 10, and Ferry undertook a UK tour.
On October 7, 2008, Ferry was honored as a BMI Icon at the annual BMI London Awards. He joined past Icons including Peter Gabriel, Ray Davies, Steve Winwood, Van Morrison, amongst others.[20]
In 2009, Ferry provided vocals on DJ Hell's record, U Can Dance. A new version of the track was recorded for Ferry's new studio album, Olympia, released in October 2010. The album contained the material he had been recorded with his former Roxy Music bandmembers, and also featured an impressive cast of other musicians such as Nile Rodgers, David A. Stewart, Scissor Sisters, Groove Armada, Michael "Flea" Balzary, Johnny Greenwood and David Gilmour, and also featured model Kate Moss on the front cover. The album recieved excellent reviews and made the UK Top 20 as well as entering the U.S. Billboard Charts, pushed by it's lead single "You Can Dance".

Personal life

Several of the women Ferry has been involved with have appeared as cover models on the Roxy Music albums. Ferry dated singer and model Amanda Lear, who was photographed with a black jaguar for the cover of the For Your Pleasure album. She later went on to date David Bowie.[21]
Ferry then began a relationship with model Jerry Hall. Hall appeared in several of Ferry's music videos, including "Let's Stick Together" and "The Price of Love." Ferry first met Hall when she posed for the Roxy Music album cover for Siren in Wales during the summer 1975. Hall's autobiography Tall Tales describes the photo session, and she elaborates on how the blue body paint she wore to look like a mythical siren would not wash off; Hall says that Ferry took her back to his house, claiming he would help her to remove the paint.[22] Her stay at Ferry's Holland Park (London) home, following the album cover photo shoot, marked the start of their affair. Hall and Ferry moved in together, sharing homes in London and in the ritzy Bel Air section of Los Angeles. His relationship with Hall ended when she left him for Mick Jagger in late 1977. To this day, Ferry rarely speaks about Hall, but fans often speculate that his song "Kiss and Tell" from the Bête Noire album was Ferry's response to Hall's tell-all book about their relationship.[23] Ferry often refuses to discuss his feelings about Hall or talk about their romantic history during interviews. Bryan Ferry's solo album The Bride Stripped Bare is widely believed[24] to contain allusions to his break-up with Hall—particularly the song "When She Walks in the Room". Ferry's original songs on the album were in fact written some time before the relationship ended, although it was recorded afterwards.
Ferry eventually settled down to married life with Lucy Helmore, and they had four sons, including huntsman and political activist Otis, Isaac, Tara and Merlin.Tara was performing in a rock band called "Rubber Kiss Goodbye" and simultaneously studying at Chelsea College of Art and Design, according to the Sunday Times (28 Sept. 2008). Merlin studied at Marlborough College for his "A" Levels.
Ferry and Helmore split in the early 2000s and were divorced in 2003. After their separation, British newspapers photographed Ferry with Katie Turner, 35 years his junior, naming her as his new 'girlfriend'.[25] Ferry and Turner met while she worked as one of the dancers on Roxy Music's concert tour in 2001 (and is featured on the DVD of the 2001 Hammersmith Odeon Show). She went on to appear with Ferry on several TV shows to promote the Frantic album, and also performed on the Frantic tour in 2002. After their break-up, Ferry had a relationship with Lady Emily Compton, a socialite.[26] In 2006, he resumed his relationship with Katie Turner for some time. Ferry is now in a relationship with Amanda Sheppard, who previously worked in public relations, until she quit her job in 2009 after Ferry offered to financially support her.[27]

Political views

In 2008, Ferry alluded to support for the Conservative Party, referring to himself as "conservative by nature," but essentially apolitical. Without elaborating, he stated he was "proud" of his son Otis and declared the ban on fox hunting "futile." He also alluded to an opposition to "left-wing bitterness" and the spectre of "political correctness," but the model of free speech he cited was the anarchic 1970s and not the Thatcher era or a more distant past.[28] In a 2009 interview, Ferry stated: “I would support a Cameron government. I have met him, and he’s a bright guy. I hope they do well. I don’t like the way the present Government has done things, most of all putting my son in prison for four and a half months, totally unlawfully ... and that’s not just my opinion: judges, all sorts, have said it was a stitch-up. It was politically motivated. The poor lad just wants to live the traditional country life.”[29]
Ferry is a supporter of the Countryside Alliance and has played concerts to raise funds for the organisation.[30]

In other media

In 1985, Ferry contributed the song "Is Your Love Strong Enough" to the Ridley Scott-Tom Cruise film Legend. The song (featuring guitar work by David Gilmour) plays during the end credits of the U.S. theatrical release, and was released with the Tangerine Dream version of the soundtrack on CD (although this is out of print and rare). A promotional music video was created, integrating Ferry and Gilmour into scenes from the film; this is included as a bonus in the 2002 "Ultimate Edition" DVD release.
In 2005, Ferry appeared in Neil Jordan's movie, Breakfast on Pluto, starring Cillian Murphy as a young Irish transvestite who goes to London in the glam 1970s to find his mother. Ferry, appearing in a bit part as Mr. Silky String, played a suave but creepy john who picks up the sexually ambiguous young man and, after a short conversation, attempts to strangle him in the front seat of his car.
Ferry is referenced in the comedy show The Mighty Boosh in the episode "Hitcher", as Vince Noir's adopted father and King of the Forest. At the end of the episode, it is revealed that 'Brian Ferry' actually resembles Terry Wogan.
The song "Which Way to Turn" from the album Mamouna, is the feature song in the 2007 Woody Harrelson movie The Walker. Ferry's song "Slave to Love", from the album Boys and Girls, was featured in Bitter Moon, a 1992 film directed by Roman Polanski; the entire song is also played in a scene in the 1986 movie Nine 1/2 Weeks by Adrian Lyne.

Discography

 Studio albums



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