Inspirational Images: Secrets of a 1974 Siren

1970s, Hair and make-up, harpers and queen, Inspirational Images, jim lee, mermaids, roxy music, siren
Swooning sailors never knew that seaweed and shark's oil were responsible for their tempresses' looks.

Swooning sailors never knew that seaweed and shark’s oil were responsible for their tempresses’ looks.

A stunning photo, an incidental to illustrate a beauty article, which pre-dates the legendary Roxy Music cover for ‘Siren’ with Jerry Hall.

Photographed by Jim Lee.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Harpers and Queen, June 1974.

Inspirational Images: Bryan and Lucy Ferry

1980s, antony price, bryan ferry, Inspirational Images, lucy ferry, paparazzi, richard young, roxy music

bryan lucy ferry paparazzo

Photographed by Richard Young leaving a Mick Jagger party in Chelsea, 1986.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Paparazzo! The Photographs of Richard Young, 1989

Inspirational Images: Roxy Girl

antony price, bryan ferry, Inspirational Images, roxy music, seventies fashion

Photographer uncredited. Circa 1974.

Scanned from Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music by Dafydd Rees and Barry Lazell (1982)

Legs and Co

Anita Mahadervan, Eighties Fashion, flick colby, Gill Clarke, haute naffness, legs and co, lps, Lulu Cartwright, Patti Hammond, Rosie Hetherington, roxy music, Sue Menhenick

This is actually one of my most favourite things in the whole world right now. When I found it the other day, I texted Mr Brownwindsor to gloat that I had found the best LP ever. I still stand by that statement, although with adjustment to the best LP cover ever. Because the songs contained swing from sublime to ridiculous; from Roxy Music to Phil Collins, from The Teardrop Explodes to Bucks Fizz.

I love the haute Eightiesness; the hair, the bacofoil clothes, the clumsy crotch shots, the make-up, the headbands! Absolutely the best £1 I’ve ever spent.

(for the uninitiated, Legs and Co were Flick Colby‘s follow up to Pan’s People and Ruby Flipper…)

Wunderlich in Pink

haute naffness, Inspirational Images, interesting record sleeves, pinkness, roxy music, seventies fashion

Oh lordy. I cannot believe how long it’s been since I last blogged, nor how sporadic my blogging has been. It’s been one of the most all-consuming jobs I’ve done in a long while, and left me more than a little numb inside. Only the thought of getting back to blogging and vintage-ing has kept me going!

So I’m easing myself back in gently (I finish tomorrow night, thank goodness) with a little toe-in-the-water blog post.

I like to think of myself as someone who is developing a nice collection of tasty vinyl (mainly Roxy Music and Fox recently…I’m moving on to Living in a Box next, just to maintain the rhyme), of course. But occasionally I simply have to buy something just for the amazing cover. Everyone knows the Top of the Pops albums, and their variations, so I try to scout out the more unusual ones. Although it’s hard to justify beyond ‘it’s for the blog’ and then I forget to scan them in. Like this one. Someone had obviously had a major Wunderlich clearout, but I couldn’t justify buying a whole bunch of dodgy-looking Seventies women at £1.50 a pop. So I picked my favourite, and she’s definitely the least dodgy-looking. She’s pretty incredible, to be honest, and I just couldn’t get over the pinkness. Enjoy!

Mensday: Roxy Rule, OK (Bryan Ferry Interview)

bryan ferry, Mensday, roxy music

This is Bryan Ferry of the dead-pan face and the doomy, recorded-some-where-out-in-space voice. One minute he and Roxy Music did not exist. The next minute they had arrived. An immediate hit with Virginia Plain, a best-selling album, then another hit single and album.

Then Bryan went and made a solo smash with a shockingly electronic version of Bob Dylan’s classic Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall. How sacrilegious!

Even worse, thought all the critics, was the way his voice went to work on some pristine standards, such as It’s My Party, The Tracks Of My Tears, and the almost unmentionable sin, a rolling version of a ‘Thirties’ evergreen, These Foolish Things.

”I must admit, I did freak a bit when all the critics panned my first solo album.”

But that didn’t stop it selling, nor fail to enhance Mr. Ferry’s reputation as a solo star.

With an air of controlled panic, Bryan paced about his ground-floor apartment in London’s Earls Court. He had two hours to go out, get his hair cut, pack enough clothes for a month-and-a-half tour of Europe, and leap on a plane for Sweden.

The phone rang fairly frequently. ”Sorry. wrong number,” Bryan answered in a disguised voice.

”My number’s still in the book—I haven’t had time to become ex-directory. And people keep ringing up and asking for Rod Stewart. It’s very mystifying.”

Despite some nice touches around his flat, such as ‘Fifties’ ashtray stands, and curious picture frames. Bryan insists he’d like a more pleasing home.

”The trouble is. I only sleep here and I don’t have the time to create the sort of environment I really want.”

A large grand piano, adorned with a framed photo of Kim Novak in a classic ‘Fifties’ pose, dominates the living room.

”The piano has been lent me for a year by a harpsichordist friend. The trouble is I’ve got really fond of it and I’m dreading having to give it back.”

Elswhere, the room is stacked with records. Mostly old numbers.

”My inspiration, in a lot of cases, for the things I’ve written,” Bryan explained, and put on a Staple Singers album. But one can learn more about Mr. Ferry from his books than his records. Cole Porter, Shakespeare, tomes of art history, Edna O’Brien, The Carpetbaggers, Portnoy’s Complaint—funny books, beautiful books and old books.

As one might expect, the urbane Mr. Ferry is clearly no helpless bachelor, surrounded with empty tins and overflowing ashtrays. His home is immaculate to the point of being unlived in.

”Probably what I didn’t realise when I got involved with Roxy was that rock music means total commitment. You just do not have any home life or any social life at all. That’s why I’m never home. I’m either on tour, recording, rehearsing, doing photo sessions or interviews.

”For me to organise just going to the pictures is a major or event and practically impossible. Probably the only social thing I ever do is to go out to dinner—but that’s often to talk business. I’m not complaining about it, but I like to think that the time I’m putting in now will earn me a bit more time later in life.

“As it is at the moment, I m missing things such as exhibitions at art galleries, which I’d like to see, but I’ve resigned myself to the fact that my life is not my own any more.”

The paintings on Bryan’s walls, his desire to see exhibitions, his art books, give some clue to his rather unusual background.

“At school, I decided I was to be a great artist! But somehow I got side-tracked into music.”

Young Bryan, son of a miner and born and bred in the village of Washington, near Newcastle, got his first taste of what show-biz was like at the age of eleven.

”I won a Radio Luxembourg competition where you had to place Bill Haley’s hits in order of merit. The prize was an LP and a ticket to see the band in action. I’ll never forget those ridiculous tartan jackets they wore and the way they jumped about on stage, playing rock ‘n’ roll.

”I went to university still determined to be an artist. But I’d joined a soul band and, ultimately, I had to take the decision whether to concentrate on music or try to get a degree in fine arts.” For the time being, fine arts won. Bryan gave up music, and worked hard for three years to gain his Bachelor of Arts degree while attending Newcastle University.

”Although that set me back perhaps three years in terms of music, I don’t regret it. The people I met at university influenced me, established a life-style. I wouldn’t be what I am today if I hadn’t been there. And yet, still I felt more involved in music. I’d had to drop out of the band I was in when I decided to work for my degree, so that didn’t exist once I’d left university.”

Much to the bewilderment of his parents, Bryan decided not to pursue a future as an artist.

“I found I could write songs, so I decided I’d have to come to London— and so I did, but nothing happened for three years. “I did all sorts of things to keep myself going. I taught art at a girls’ school, which was quite nice. They were all 16-year-olds and I was the only male on the teaching staff!

”I’d bring my records to art classes and they’d bring their reggae records. It was more like a disco. I don’t know if I was a good teacher or not. I did other jobs, such as working in antique shops and delivering goods.”

But with time passing, he wasn’t established as a singer.

I was twenty-five and beginning to think it was too late, and that I was getting too old.”

Then a reunion with a member of his old soul band led him to success with Roxy Music.

‘We rehearsed for a year and then I started trudging round the record companies with tapes. None of them wanted to know. They looked really puzzled when I played them our music, and was told to come back in three months’ time. They always asked to keep the tapes, though, and I wouldn’t ever let them!”

Being forced into a ‘hustler’s’ existence was an effort for Bryan, who says, credibly, that he is quite a shy person. “One day I auditioned for King Crimson and met Robert Fripp, who was the most intelligent musician I’d met. He put me on to a management company.”

From then, Roxy Music began to happen. And now the pressure of being a star is on Bryan. And with constant touring, Bryan has discovered what life as a performer is like.

“Everything you do during a day is, in fact, preparation for the one hour spent on stage that evening. It’s a ritual of building up towards a climax. I do get nervous before ! go on stage. I need to, and I work myself up to it. To such an extent that with each performance—which seems to pass very quickly—it takes me at least two or three hours to come down afterwards.

“There is so much tension inside when you finish performing that I can well understand why some rock people find it necessary to smash up hotel rooms.

”The problem is that when we’ve finished playing there is never anywhere, except an hotel, where we can go and unwind. Everything is always shut down by then.”

Bryan remembered that he should have been at the fashionable hairdressers Smile half-an-hour before—jumped into his small beaten-up car and drove there.

At Smile, he removed a long Navy surplus-type raincoat and velvet jacket. (The off-stage Bryan Ferry is certainly a different proposition to the glamorous, space-suited figure he cuts with Roxy!) He got the kind of reception any regular customer expects.

“Shall I take your jacket, sir?” asked the receptionist.

“Hold on,” he replied, “I’ve already taken two coats off!”

“I feel one must appeal to an audience on as many different levels as possible. It’s not enough to give people music to listen to. They need something to look at, as well. That’s why we’ve worked so hard on the visual image of Roxy Music.”

Along with David Bowie, Roxy Music certainly helped bring glamour back to rock music. But as the Top-Ten glitter pop groups cheapened the idea, it’s been noticeable that Bryan Ferry has taken to wearing black suits and white shirts, or vice versa. Whatever his apparel, there’s still the melodramatic stare and the gaunt, distant blue eyes which distinguish him.

When asked about his, as yet, unexpressed ambitions, he admits that films hold a great deal of fascination for him.

”I did quite a lot of acting at school, and I was quite actively encouraged to pursue it—but music and art were foremost. But I’m still interested and I’d like the idea of co-directing.”

For now, though, his immediate aim was to get his hair dried, pay the bill, get packing and catch that plane.

Across the road from where I live, someone has written in white paint: Roxy Rule, OK. A phrase Bryan Ferry popularised himself. After the successful conquest of Europe and a tour of America, it seems, somehow, a rather fitting tribute. ANNE NIGHTINGALE

19 Magazine, March 1974

Oh! to have had Bryan Ferry as my art teacher!

Monsieur Le Stud

haute naffness, joan collins, lps, roxy music, the stud, the sweet

A few weeks back I discovered the soundtrack album to The Stud in a charity shop in Hove. At a mere £1, and featuring my beloved Sweet and Roxy Music, I couldn’t resist.

I was also entertained to discover an advert on the inner gatefold for ‘Monsieur Le Stud’, a range of aftershaves etc with a brilliant description of what the pong must have been like….

Legendary are the powers attributed to musk and ginseng from which the fragrances of life and love have been extracted. Now in union, carefully balanced and blended with essences from exotic flowers, mosses and herbs to create a pleasing distinctive masculine fragrance.

We warn you that wearing ‘Monsieur Le Stud’ can be very demanding.

Some things never change, do they? Wanky perfume descriptions and novelty perfumes least of all. Saying that, I am now somewhat desperate to find a bottle to give to M. So if anyone comes across it, and can bear to part with it, please do let me know!

Now I don’t like to cast aspersions upon Monsieur Le Stud but I suspect that it might be a little overpowering, so you might need to open a window. Which brings me to Sweet’s ‘Love is like Oxygen’, as featured on the soundtrack. I need no excuse to post Sweet videos, really, but I thought I would make the effort…

An open letter to Bryan Ferry

amanda lear, bryan ferry, jerry hall, kari ann muller, kate moss, marilyn cole, roxy music

Dear Mr Ferry,

There seems to be some sort of immense cock-up, re. your new album. Those wags at the record company appear to have placed something called ‘Kate Moss’ on the front cover. How strange! How careless! Perhaps they need a little reminder of what a Roxy cover girl should really be like.

How kind of you to take the blame for them, by saying it was all your own idea. You’re such a gentleman. Although a little foolish, for who could believe that the BryanGod would ever deem Kate Moss to be a suitable Roxy girl?

You see, the big problem is that I wish to purchase your [surely] superb new piece of work, but I have an allergic reaction to Moss and cannot, therefore, get within a mile of it without breaking out in a rash. What a dilemma! What a pickle!

I look forward to purchasing from you again in the future, when sanity has been restored.

Yours faithfully,

Miss Peelpants

Let’s get together, the two of us, over a glass of champagne

champagne, diana rigg, emma peel, linda thorson, patrick macnee, roxy music, sailor, steed, tara king, the avengers
Drumroll please….

I don’t quite understand why the champagne ‘bowl’ or ‘coupe’ style of glass is so out of vogue in the world at large these days. Although this is nothing new, there is much I don’t understand about the world at large. For any fan of The Avengers, and assorted other Sixties films and tv shows, the coupe is surely the definitive silhouette?

For sure, there’s a certain novelty love for the Babycham-printed versions you often find in charity/antique shops. But all events, weddings and homes seem to be kitted out with the more ‘elegant’ champagne flute, and I’d be buggered if I could find any coupe-style ones once I started looking in charity shops.

I’ve been keeping my eyes ‘peeled’ for a while now, ignoring Babycham examples for their ubiquity, and was starting to despair of ever succeeding (with minimal outlay at any rate, they’re inevitably going to get broken in champers-fuelled high jinx when I am [clumsily] involved). Then, lo and behold, where should throw up a fine set of three (plus one slightly non-matching) for a mere £1.50 but East Grinstead of all places. I forgot to photograph them (for they now reside at M’s) but they probably don’t really warrant a photograph. They’re very simple, and simply do the job. Instead I will show you some photos of Steed, Emma and Tara enjoying their coupes…

Five minutes down the road, I also happened upon the superb Trouble album by Sailor on vinyl for £1. Coincidence, much? For this album contains one of my favourite songs of all time, which is also the greatest Roxy Music song that Roxy Music didn’t do, A Glass of Champagne.

Steed and Mrs Peel-style clinkin’-drinkin’ elegance has been attained. And I will toast that….

Soul Soothers

lemon pipers, noosha fox, prince, psychedelia, roxy music, svensk, the who
I have been soothing my soul with music this week. Brutally flicking past nearly everything on my player except for a few, err, exceptions.

Roxy Music – Out of the Blue (and pretty much the whole of Country Life. Love times a bazillion).

Svensk – Dream Magazine (from brilliant psychedelic compilation album Piccadilly Sunshine)

Prince – Girls and Boys (And pretty much the whole of Parade right now. I particularly love the line “She had the cutest ass he’d ever seen, he did too they were meant to be”.)

The Lemon Pipers – Green Tambourine (Perfect pop. Makes you happy without making you want to vomit)

The Who – My Wife (and most of Who’s Next. This one in particular always seems to make me laugh.)

Fox – He’s Got Magic (I very rarely skip past Fox songs. The lyrics are brilliant, baffling and beautiful, which is possibly partly to do with Noosha’s style of singing. Love.)