bookmark | print | email

Phil Manzanera Biography

Band Biographies


Phil Manzanera, the longtime guitarist for legendary British art-pop sophisticates Roxy Music was born Philip Targett-Adams in London on January 31, 1951. The child of an English father and Colombian mother, he was raised in various spots including Hawaii and Cuba, and while living in Venezuela began playing guitar at the age of eight. Profoundly influenced by both Latin music and rock'n'roll, while attending school at London's Dulwich College in 1966 Phil Manzanera co-founded the psychedelic band Pooh and the Ostrich Feather, later rechristened Quiet Sun concurrent with a move towards a more avant-garde approach. When the group dissolved in 1972, Phil Manzanera replaced guitarist Dave O'List in Roxy Music, joining in time to record their self-titled debut LP.

Phil Manzanera's contributions to a series of classic Roxy Music albums followed, as did a relentless touring schedule, but upon completion of 1974's Country Life, Phil Manzanera returned to the studio to record his first solo effort, the largely instrumental Diamond Head. Around that same time, he contributed to solo efforts from fellow Roxy Music members Bryan Ferry (on Another Time, Another Place) and Brian Eno (the groundbreaking Here Come the Warm Jets and Taking Tiger Mountain [By Strategy]), and Manzanera even found time to cut a Quiet Sun reunion LP - Mainstream.

Phil Manzanera continued balancing his Roxy Music duties with solo projects and session dates, in 1975 producing the up-and-coming New Zealand group Split Enz; with Roxy Music entering a state of suspended animation a year later, he formed the short-lived 801 before touring with Ferry. The 801 aegis was revived for 1977's Listen Now!!; upon completing the follow-up, K-Scope, he joined the revived Roxy Music for Manifesto, their best-selling album in the U.S. He remained with the group through their last studio album, the 1982 masterpiece Avalon, and following their final tour he reunited with ex-Roxy saxophonist Andy Mackay as the Explorers, also recording a 1986 LP with onetime Asia frontman John Wetton.

His 1990 album Southern Cross featured extensive vocal contributions from onetime Split Enz member Tim Finn, but Phil Manzanera was largely absent from the studio during much of the decade to follow, primarily focusing on live performances (including appearances at the Guitar Legends and WOMAD festivals); in 1999, he issued the Latin-influenced Vozero, closing out the year by backing Bryan Ferry at the British Gas Millennium Concert, their first joint performance in 18 years. In 2001 he rejoined Bryan Ferry, Paul Thompson and Andy Mackay to take his rightful place as an original member of the reformed Roxy Music, an association which continued with a further reprise for Roxy Music in 2003. His stylish playing, still a distinctive and essential element of the Roxy Music sound, has remained a constant over the years, with his ability to interchange with supporting guitarists such as Chris Spedding or Neil Hubbard a notable quality.

Phil Manzanera also continues to make interesting music outside of his Roxy duties as well as his parallel career acting as a producer to many acts both at home and in South America. In March 2004, he announced a forthcoming succession of releases, beginning with the album 6PM in June 2004, and including contributions from Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, Robert Wyatt, and three fellow Roxy Music alumni - Brian Eno, Andy Mackay and 'The Great' Paul Thompson.


Visit Phil Manzanera's Home Page here

Phil Manzanera's illustrated singles discography

Phil Manzanera's illustrated album discography
Roxyrama's Blog