Back in December, Roxy Music were announced as members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019. Although the band hasn’t performed together since 2011, multi-instrumentalist Andy Mackay feels good about the chances for a reunion, even beyond the induction ceremony.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Mackay said, “We’ve been looking into how we’re going to approach the actual induction, whether or not we’re going to play. I’m hopeful that we will.” He added that the band members remain “friendly.”
“Generally speaking, we are in contact,” he continued. “We are all feeling quite optimistic about it, but I wouldn’t like to say for sure what’s going to happen. It could be complicated to figure out.”
One of the complications is the revolving door of musicians that the band has seen over the years. Mackay acknowledged that’s certainly an issue, especially given all the session musicians and bassists. “By and large, the four of us there at the beginning were there at the end,” he insisted. “That’s probably what counts.” He also reminisced on a number of names who played with Roxy in the past, particularly Eddie Jobson and even the late John Gustafson.
“I think we’ll come up with something,” Mackay added. “Obviously if the ceremony is in New York, if there’s someone based there that’ll be a bonus. But we’re still talking about it. I’d be very happy to do it. It would be nice to see the others and I hope they feel the same way.”
One of those “others”, of course, is original member Brian Eno, who hasn’t played with Roxy Music since 1974. Mackay said his era was a “difficult time,” ultimately conceding that “we’ve all had great careers.”
Whether or not Eno will show up, not even Mackay knows. “I really don’t know,” he admitted. “He’s shy sometimes, but I haven’t actually spoken to him about it. I’ve been very busy and I don’t know what he’s up to. But I really couldn’t say. I’ll just say, ‘You never know.’”
That notion also appears to be Mackay’s feelings toward Roxy Music’s future beyond the ceremony. He went on to address the band’s shelved album from 2007, which was to feature the band’s original members, including Eno. “It started well,” he recalled, digressing on how Bryan Ferry opted to work on his own material, which became 2010’s Olympia. “Personally, I’d very much like to revisit those tracks. I haven’t listened to them in a long time. I’d like to see if there’s some possibility in working on them… But Bryan is very busy. He likes working. He’s doing live work at the moment. He’s doing a lot of that, so he’s not really thinking about the studio now.”
Earlier this month, Ferry announced a special North American tour in which he’ll be playing songs from Avalon, in addition to other solo and Roxy hits. Even so, Mackay won’t write off further reunion activities beyond the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, including a tour. “It’s a possibility,” he said. “We have never actually advertised a farewell tour except in 1975. While we’re all still playing it’s always a possibility. Who knows? It’s been quite a long time now we haven’t played together. Maybe we’d find it a bit strange.”
“Also, we’d need to revisit the material a little bit,” he admitted. “We can’t jump around onstage playing the arrangements you were playing in your mid-twenties when you’re in your early seventies. It just doesn’t quite work, but there’s plenty of rock & roll still in us, so who knows? Maybe the Hall of Fame is the thing that will make us think about it.”
We’ll know soon. After all, the induction ceremony is just around the corner, going down on March 29th at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Whether MacKay’s optimism translates into reality, well, as he put it, who knows?
But we’ll see.