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Roxy Meets Dali, Climbs Out On Ledge
When Alice dallied with Salvador Dali, the world stood up and took notice. So England's super-svelte transsexual band Roxy Music decided that a day with Dali might help polish its already shimmering career. The group cruised up to the Hotel Meurice in Paris, took the elevator to Dali's apartment, rang the bell, and waited for an explosion of absurdity. They were sadly disappointed. The master of surrealism ushered them in, told them he'd invited a TV crew but that it had failed to show up, and offered them the consolation of a cup of tea. After half an hour of spirited silence, Roxy finally left for their own hotel. As if to make up for the anticlimax of the summit meeting with surrealism's master, at a party that night in a stately Parisian restaurant Roxy's friend and opening act Lloyd Watson got drunk, made several flamboyant speeches, threw a dozen butterknives at the wall, then climbed out a window with a wine glass in his hand, crawled along the ledge on the outside of the building, and crawled in through a window twenty feet away. Announced Lloyd to the flabbergasted waiters as they barred and shuttered every window in the room, "It's all a part of the act.
By Lance Loud
Picks of the month
Eno - Here Come The Warm Jets (Island)
Rating: one heart [Love it!]
Charter Member of both Roxy Music and Portsmouth Sinfonia, Eno has spent most of his free time working on this first solo excursion and the time was well spent. Dwelling in an eerie realm fluctuating somewhere between Fantasia and early Sixties British pop, Eno dabbles in a musical world untouched by human hands so far, anyhow. The solid drumming lurks in the shadows, the synthesized melodies dart in and out of the vocal lines, the guitar work soars overhead and the vocals ? Well, they change from song to song: nasal twangs become effeminate whispers, high whines evolve into low, breathy commands. Its as strange as all that plus some. Well produced.
ENO: Eno is a throw off from Roxy Music. Along with Bryan Ferry, he was the other self-confessed nonmusician in the group who, after recording two albums with them, left by mutual consent. One nonmusician in the band is enough, Bryan sniffed in comment when the split occurred.
But Eno didnt just sit back and paint his nails! No sir!! He bounced back stronger than ever with a solo album titled Here Come The Warm Jets (Island) and is one of the most ingenious talents to come out of the closet, into the rock world. He abstains from performing live, preferring to spend all his time in the recording studio. He is a true artist and his medium is music, painting light-hearted surrealist jaunts. For minute tours of one comic book angle for life or another, scored with tunes that are simple but with production that is among the most inventive today. Sometimes, while listening to this album, it sounds as if he were almost trying to create life with the stereophonic concoctions that he mixes up.
This one man dynamo of new musical hysteria is a powerhouse in other fields as well. In Hollywood, California, in the dressing room of Whiskey A Go Go, the West Coast Mecca of trend setting rock, all the teeny pouting lovelies have been carrying a bit of news around about Eno that once and for all proves that all the young dudes arent where its at anymore.
Shortly after Mr. Eno hit town, those gorgeous little muffins who had here-to-fore known him as the balding eunuch of glam fascination would sooner or later, usually sooner, come into contact with his insatiable appetite and, from that day out, remember him as the "One Man Orgy. When asked exactly why this was true, most of these glorious gammins would just roll their eyes and titter. Finally one teen age trend setter gave a Mae West roll of the hips and purred in reply, If the shoe fits, honey, wear it
The enterprising and ever-esoteric Brian Eno doesn't depend entirely on theory to execute his exciting and unique "solo" albums. "I've developed a new system of writing lyrics," he confided to a British Journalist, regarding his new opus, Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy). "One of which is panic. Practically all the lyrics were written in fifteen minutes, but they're based on suspicions which existed for some time."
Though he's quite taken with the possibilities and intricacies of electronic audio technology, Eno hasn't forgotten that spontaneity is rock's heart and soul. "The thing about writing fast," he admitted, "is that you don't guard yourself. Because the problem with writing lyrics is that one can become very self-conscious. The printed word can look very over-specific; that's why I don't have the lyrics printed on the sleeve."
Just as his omnisexually attractive appearance and voraciously notorious libido reveal Eno to be in the vanguard of avant-garde morality, his rock and roll is likewise radical. "It's always time to question what has become standard and established," he proposes. "I'd like to suggest greater freedom in the way people approach music." Eno's musicians on his third solo sortie into the musical unknown include once again Phil Manzanera, the brilliant and powerful guitarist who continues to act as a link between Eno and Roxy Music, which he helped to create. Other studio aces making contributions were Brian Torrington on bass (from the Winkies, Eno's touring band), and Fred Smith on drums.
The most enticing Eno news, however, reopens the possibility of the eccentric egocentric bringing his madness to the concert stage. Although he had previously regarded live performance a secondary consideration, the recent availability of King Crimson founder Robert Fripp may have changed Eno's changeable mind.
ENO: Another Green World (Island) Then there are those who WANT to be neglected.
Last year Brian Enos Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy established him as a bona fide cult favourite without in the least disturbing the buying patterns of the American consumer.
Sioux City, Iowa Journal, 1977, reviewing 1976s neglected albums.
- Earlier this year it was announced in the MM [Melody Maker] that Polydor were planning to release new albums by Phil Manzanera and Brian Eno, but since then nothing has been heard of these projects. What has happened?
- Brian's involvement on the exceptional, but controversial new Bowie album, "Low," has been well documented, and my special choice is the track "Warzsawa," with music by Brian. But I'm wondering about the collaboration, on this track especially. It is said that Brian wrote and performed all the music and Bowie then added all the vocals, but did either of them realise exactly how it would eventually sound, having written it in this way?
- Is Brian's soundtrack to the remarkable Derek Jarman film Sebastiane available?
- Brian was rather enthusiastic about his own "Discreet Music" and I believe it was released on his Obscure label, but it is proving almost impossible to track down. Can you give any information on his other productions for Obscure?
- In the MM 8 Days A Week feature Brian said he would be leaving Britain for "the hopefully more stimulating atmosphere of Amsterdam." Does he intend to carry out this threat?
Geraldine Schenk de Regniers, Edgware, Middlesex.
"The Manzanera and Eno albums will he released in September. The album "Low" evolved without a precise final condition in mind. I shall at some stage be compiling an album of film music which will include some of the Sebastiane pieces, with other film and TV work I've done. Polydor are due to release all seven Obscure albums which have previously been released, plus four new ones, including one by myself. The threat to leave for Amsterdam has abated due to unforeseen circumstances - England seems to be waking up again after its long winter. God bless the new wave: they are preparing the soil for something truly interesting to happen. As far as Im concerned, the fact that the business is utterly bewildered by them is refreshing."
BEFORE AND AFTER SCIENCE Brian Eno Island ILPS 9478 Producers: Brian Eno and Rhett Davies List: 7.98
This is one of the most important techno-rock albums yet produced. Previously available only as an import, the LP has finally been released in the U.S. While the music is similar to Bowies recent efforts in many respects, Eno is more melodic and closer to standard musical styles. Many of the cuts take more than one listen to appreciate but they stand up to close inspection. Here He Comes, among others, might even have pop potential.
Cash Box / April 15, 1978