“I have an an­nounce­ment to make: it would seem I’m not a ‘real’ man”

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Front Page -

Ladies and gen­tle­men – but let’s face it, mostly ladies – I have an an­nounce­ment to make. I know this will be hard for you – it cer­tainly is for me – but I feel it’s some­thing that needs to be said. The web of lies has been stretched to break­ing point.

What I am about out to re­veal has been creep­ing up on me slowly over the years, but in the past few weeks it has be­come im­pos­si­ble os­si­ble to deny. The truth is I am just t not a “real” man.

I had as­sumed d that be­cause I drank and swore re and was good fun at par­ties that at this meant I was an al­pha male. But as it turns out, it just st means I’m an in­cred­i­bly y rude and charm­ing al­co­holic. co­holic.

The truth first t be­gan to dawn on me while I was watch­ing my son n play soc­cer and I re­alised he wasn’t so much play­ing soc­cer as s per­form­ing a se­ries of in­ter­pre­tive re­tive dance moves oc­ca­sion­ally lly in­ter­rupted by a ball. It was more like rhyth­mic gym­nas­tics as­tics but with­out the rhythm. thm. And, if I am to be com­pletely mpletely hon­est, the gym­nas­tics. nas­tics.

You know that t when your first­born son n is too soft for a foot­ball code e whose pri­mary ob­jec­tive e is to dive to the ground scream­ing ream­ing in pain that you re­ally haven’t made a man of him. Yet de­spite all my years of train­ing in mu­si­cal the­atre I couldn’t fig­ure out where I’d gone wrong. The sec­ond big wake-up call came a few days later when I started the long and tor­tur­ous process of buy­ing a car. It wasn’t a shock to me that I am not par­tic­u­larly good with cars – if I was I wouldn’t have to be buy­ing a new n one – but I was shocked to learn I wasn’t wa even good enough to kill them. them “Surely you un­der­stand th this?” my me­chanic im­plored as h he asked for the pa­per­work to take t to the wreck­ers. “You. Did. No Not. Put. Oil. In. The. Mo­tor.” Shortly after I asked h him what a mo­tor was, my m me­chanic in­sisted on ac­com­pa­nyin ac­com­pa­ny­ing me to all fu­ture vis­its in my qu quest for a new au­to­mo­bile. Ther There­upon he would have an­i­mat an­i­mated con­ver­sa­tions with v var­i­ous sell­ers in a lan­guage that to me might asw as well have been Urdu, and in some cases prob­a­bly was. “It’s the cran crank­shaft!” he’d tell one. ““It’s the tim­ing bel belt!” to an­other. “C’mo “C’mon, mate, what about the diff?” I al­ways thou thought the diff was som some­thing that sho should be split, but ap­par­ently in the au­to­mo­tive world that is not a good re­sult.

It was ob­vi­ous that I was not the man for a man’s job. De­spite al­ways prid­ing my­self on my work­ing­class back­ground, the truth is my back­ground is nei­ther classy nor work­ing. Re­ally, I was just raised by a sin­gle mum on a pen­sion. I didn’t even know how to lift a toi­let seat un­til I was 15 years old, let alone a bon­net.

In ret­ro­spect all this should have been ra­di­antly clear: I never played proper foot­ball, I never learnt how to fix a car and I still use phrases like “ra­di­antly clear”.

But even if I couldn’t fix my car, I thought I could at least fix my mis­takes and make my son a bet­ter man than me. I tried to get him to kick a ball and fight fair and drink wa­ter…

Well, turns out I’m not the man for that job ei­ther.

Still, he does have some pretty wicked dance moves. And I know he didn’t get them from his mother. Joe co-hosts Stu­dio 10, 8.30am week­days, on Net­work Ten and is Ed­i­tor-at-large for News.com.au.

It’s been 46 years since your de­but al­bum. How does it feel to lis­ten to the Bryan Ferry of 1972? It brings a tear to my eye, of course. Poor lad didn’t know what he was let­ting him­self in for. Work­ing in mu­sic for over 40 years, I ab­so­lutely do not re­gret one minute of it. I used to kind of re­sent tour­ing be­cause it was keep­ing me out of the stu­dio. Now that I’m not mak­ing so many al­bums, the com­pro­mise is [that] I get to tour all around the world. Do you get nos­tal­gic for the styles you rocked in that era? Fash­ion has been very much a sec­ondary thing for me; be­hind it was al­ways the no­tion that you made an ef­fort to go on stage. You didn’t just drag your­self out of bed and get up and per­form. I al­ways thought you owed it to your au­di­ence to make an ef­fort, in the same way Duke Elling­ton made an ef­fort or Count Basie, or even the wilder ones like Char­lie Parker. They looked their best and gave it their best. For the first year of Roxy Mu­sic, we were quite flam­boy­antly dressed and it was part of the ad­ven­ture of that time; peo­ple walk­ing down the street looked much more bizarre than to­day. We be­gan ton­ing down the act be­cause we didn’t want to be known for our hair­cuts – we wanted to be known for our mu­sic. Who do you think wore the white suit bet­ter then – you or John Tra­volta? Oh well, it’s no con­test [laughs]. He’s prob­a­bly the bet­ter dancer, you know. When he danced with Uma Thur­man [in Pulp Fic­tion], that was very good. Your other sig­na­ture was putting mod­els such as Kari-ann Muller, Amanda Lear, Jerry Hall and Kate Moss on your al­bum cov­ers. Would you do that again? I’m not sure. If there was an idea that pre­sented it­self, that I thought was in­ter­est­ing... I don’t know. I know I wanted the al­bums to look and hark back to a more glam­orous time. They also turned into a se­ries be­cause they be­came iden­ti­fi­able: “Oh, that looks like a Roxy al­bum.” Bet­ter than a bunch of guys look­ing un­com­fort­able stand­ing in a back street, which most of the cov­ers at that time were. How much nicer to have a fab­u­lous look­ing woman. Are any con­tem­po­rary bands rem­i­nis­cent of the sound and style of Roxy Mu­sic? There’s an Aus­tralian band I thought were a bit Roxy­ish [and] who I re­ally like called Tame Im­pala. They were on Jools Hol­land’s show [UK TV se­ries Later… With Jools Hol­land] one time when I was on. They sounded great to me. You seem to be on a never-end­ing world tour with a Roxy Mu­sic-heavy set list… It’s kind of a ret­ro­spec­tive show through the dif­fer­ent pe­ri­ods of my work, with Roxy Mu­sic and solo. I wanted to do mainly songs I had writ­ten rather than cov­ers. And most of the best songs I’ve writ­ten were with Roxy. So it’s a huge part of my oeu­vre, a big part of my life. What’s changed for you most when it comes to per­form­ing? I’m not quite as fear­ful as I was. I’ve had enough shows now to know it usu­ally goes great. Tour­ing is less of an ad­ven­ture than it was be­cause I know how to do it now. Some­times you miss the ramshack­le­ness of the early days – but gen­er­ally I pre­fer it now. Bryan Ferry tours Aus­tralia in Feb­ru­ary and March 2019. Tick­ets are on sale from to­mor­row at fron­tier­tour­ing.com/bryan­ferry and aday­on­the­green.com.au.

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