Roxy Music have been eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ever since their debut single “Virginia Plain” turned 25 in 1997, but they were always more popular in their native England than America and even members of the band are a little surprised they got in this year. “I always felt 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,” Roxy saxophonist Andy Mackay told Rolling Stone late last year. “It was very surprising to hear.”
Unsurprisingly, keyboardist Brian Eno — who left the group in 1973 and hasn’t appeared with them onstage since — didn’t show up for the ceremony. Drummer Paul Thompson was also a no-show even though he was a consistent member of the group from their first album all the way to their final reunion gigs in 2011. But lead singer Bryan Ferry, guitarist Phil Manzanera and Mackay were all on hand to accept the award, marking their first appearance as a group in eight years.
Bryan Ferry spoke to behalf of the entire band, thanking the various musicians, producers, personnel and artists who have worked with Roxy Music over the years. Here were his complete remarks following a speech by Simon Le Bon and John Taylor of Duran Duran.
I’d like to thank everybody for this unexpected honor, especially our fans around the world, who’ve supported us through the years. I’d also like to thank all the musicians, who played such an important part in the Roxy Music story, especially Paul Thompson and Brian Eno. Eddie Jobson, who’s here with us tonight. It’s quite a long list of bass players I’m afraid. And with that I’d like to thank Graham Simpson, Rik Kenton, John Porter, John Gustafson, John Wetton, Gary Tibbs, Sal Maida, Rick Wills, Alan Spenner and Neil Jason.
Moving on to the Avalon years, I’d like to also mention Andy Newmark, Allan Schwartzberg, Jimmy Maelen, Paul Carrack, Neil Hubbard, Yannick Etienne and Fonzi Thornton.
Also, the band helping us tonight … Jorja Chalmers… and the legendary Chris Spedding.
We’ve always had a great team behind the scenes, including our producers Rhett Davies, Chris Thomas, John Punter and Pete Sinfield. … And the master of mastering Bob Ludwig. Our managers were Mark Fenwick and David Enthoven … and Christian Wainwright, and the late great Dr. Simon Puxley, who was our professor of public relations.
Finally, the album covers. Thanks to Anthony Price, Karl Stoecker, Eric Bowman, Graham Hughes, Neil Kirk, Peter Saville and my old college pal, Nick De Ville. Thanks to all of the above and thanks to you.