ROXY RE-UNITED — British art-rock band Roxy Music reunited as they were welcomed into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the Class of 2019’s induction ceremony at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center last Friday. Frontman Bryan Ferry, guitarist Phil Manzanera and saxophonist Andy Mackay were joined by a band and backup singers and kicked things off with For Your Pleasure’s “In Every Home a Heartache,” looking like shadows, as they were washed in white lights. The keyboard wormed its way around Ferry’s voice until things kicked into a psychedelic spectacle.
They played a charging rendition of Country Life’s “Out of the Blue” with Ferry duetting with Mackay’s oboe and an electric violin.
They followed that with shortened versions of their Siren single “Love Is the Drug” and their biggest hit, Avalon’s “More Than This.” On “Avalon,” Ferry slowed things down, playing keys and crooning into the mic as the band settled into an easy vibe. Ferry stood back up again and led the band through a sax-blaring rendition of For Your Pleasure’s “Editions of You.” As the audience cheered, the band waved and smiled before they left the stage.
The performance marked Bryan Ferry’s first time playing alongside his Roxy Music bandmates since 2011. The group’s drummer Paul Thompson and keyboardist Brian Eno, both inducted along with their bandmates, skipped the ceremony due to previous commitments.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Mackay admitted he didn’t think Roxy Music would be voted into the Rock Hall. “I always felt that we were a little too far out there for the general public in America even though we have a strong following in some pockets over there,” he said. “It was very surprising to hear.”
Mackay added that the Rock Hall performance could, potentially, serve as a springboard for a Roxy Music reunion.
“It’s a possibility. We have never actually advertised a farewell tour except in 1975. While we’re all still playing it’s always a possibility. Who knows? It’s been quite a long time now we haven’t played together. Maybe we’d find it a bit strange,” the saxophonist said. “Maybe the Hall of Fame is the thing that will make us think about it.”
Roxy Music and Ferry have always been monsters in my wheelhouse. Ferry is simply amazing. I remember when he first started doing Dylan-covers … I questioned it heavily, but in my opinion, he’s become one of the best interpreters of Dylan’s music.
Watch this interview from last week’s CBS Sunday Morning with Ferry. Brilliant. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9O1gzVtRc0Q
EAGLES TAKE VEGAS —Eagles will play their 1976 album Hotel California in its entirety during two concerts at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas later this year.
The Sept. 27 and 28 shows are billed as the band’s only North American performances of 2019. Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit will be joined by Vince Gill and Deacon Frey for the shows, as they have been since the 2016 death of founding member Glenn Frey.
Because the Hotel California album clocks in at less than 44 minutes, Eagles will also perform a greatest-hits set at these two shows.
Three of the classic LP’s songs — “Hotel California,” “Life in the Fast Lane” and “New Kid in Town” — were played at each stop of the band’s most recent tour and, presumably, at every single Eagles show since the album’s release.
As for the rest of the Hotel California songs, according to Setlist.fm, “Try and Love Again” hasn’t been performed live by the group since Nov. 5, 1979, at the Capital Centre in Landover, Md. “Wasted Time” was last heard on Nov. 21, 2005, and “Pretty Maids All in a Row” on July 29, 2015. “The Last Resort” was played at each of the band’s three 2017 Classic East / West / Northwest appearances, while “Victim of Love” last turned up on July 17, 2018.
Tickets for the Vegas shows go on sale to the public on April 12, with prices starting at $179 (not including applicable service charges or fees.) You can get complete information on various exclusive pre-sales at the band’s official website.
SHORT TAKES — Writer Brad Balfour interviewed entrepreneur Wendy Stuart Kaplan last week for his Music, Art, Film podcast. When it’s posted; we’ll link it here … I finally watched Avengers: Infinity War last weekend. Yes, I know it came out last year, but the follow-up movie to it, Avengers: Endgame comes out in two weeks and I felt I’d better get to it. As I’ve admitted before, I grew up a comic-fan and The Avengers were my favorite. I liked Infinity War, but there were so many costumed heroes, that it was a bit much to keep track of. Also, unlike the first two Avengers-movies, whenever there was an out-and-out battle, there were no onlookers; no one on the streets. That seemed a bit of a cheat. I realize that with each comic-book-movie, the stakes are raised proportionately, so strap-in-and-watch seems to be the mantra. I also watched the original Ocean’s Eleven (with Sinatra, Davis and Martin) from 1960 and loved it like I did the first time I saw it. Amazing times for sure … Mike Greenly has many credits: former Fortune 500 VP, journalist, author, speechwriter, PowerPoint creator, speech coach, guest speaker and award winning lyricist. Last weekend he hosted a book signing event for charity for The CHANGE self-empowerment book series. The signing was held at the Mark De Alwis Salon and benefited Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids (BC/EFA). Congrats Mike … Last night’as season finale of NBC’s This Is Us was good. It didn’t have the gravitas of the mid-season finale … but, it was good. Rebecca is not well and Jack’s brother Nicky is there … NBC’s The Enemy Within continues to be, well, superlative. Leads Jennifer Carpenter and Morris Chestnut continue to surprise. Last night’s script was especially well-written. Kudos … WOR’s Tom Cuddy in Tribeca … Mark Bego’s new book written with Efrem Harkham, Living the Luxe Life, is out May 7. Look for an event in NYC during Book Expo week. Details to follow.
Names In The News — Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Jacqueline Boyd; Tony Smith; Curtis Urbina; Mark Bego; Sarah Clarke; Dave Marken; Tony Moran; Efrem Harkham; Jay Cassell; Skyhorse; Cindy Adams; James Edstrom; Tony King; Deb Caxponetta; and CFS.