The erstwhile Roxy Music guitarist and record producer Phil Manzanera has always been passionate about joining the musical dots. He tells Pierre Perrone about how he makes the most of his skills as a cross-genre maverick
“I always was around tape recorders. My father had one in South America. I loved that side of things. I realised that if you could hear yourself back, you could improve yourself,” recalls Phil Manzanera. Fittingly, he started out mixing the sound for Roxy Music before becoming their guitarist with the Gibson Firebird VII in 1972, the most iconic model in a long line of instruments that started out with the acoustic his Colombian mother used to teach him in Havana when he was seven.
His peripatetic childhood, including spells in Hawaii and Venezuela, and a move to the UK in the mid-60s, is documented on The Sound of Blue, his current solo album that can best be described as “an instrumental memoir, a travelogue.” He reflects on the effect his unusual background had on him. “Being brought up in South America, there’s a lot of people who don’t have a lot but once the music starts, it gives them a lifeline of happiness, they can dance their troubles away. Music is a beautiful, wonderful thing.”
One of the tracks Phil Manzanera selected for his playlist was Pernett’s ‘Cumbia Computer’. To read the full interview and find out the other tracks Phil Manzanera chose, pick up a copy of the latest issue.