“You never miss your water ’til your well runs dry”

It was the beginning of the long hot summer of 1976.
The dance music of the day reigned supreme at the local rugby club discos, and we sure as hell loved it, but some of us were looking elsewhere.
There was something in the air. We didn’t know what it was then but something was happening. It needed to. It already was happening.
It was hot and sweaty but people were still dancing. People looked good. They were getting brown. The sun was shining and shining and shining.
We were dancing, we looked good, tans coming on. We were shining and shining and shining.
The truly brilliant Real Thing were number one and even the rocker boys and girls loved The Real Thing.
Britain was getting funky, dancing the summer away while the world of rock music was staring into the abyss. The album charts were full of Beatles, Beach Boys and Rolling Stones’ compilations along with Nana and Demis from Greece and John from Rocky Mountain High.
Glam had lost its glitter, prog had it’s head up its arse and we were too young and carefree to appreciate clever US bands like Steely Dan or Australian maestros such as Little River Band. We would appreciate them some years later. We wanted to fucking dance – oh and go out with girls.
But amongst it all Bowie was still being Bowie and Station to Station was still on repeat in many homes. Not that we knew it but we were five months away from Low. Then of course there was Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music.
Four years on from when we blown away by Virginia Plain the art school rockers still had it. Whatever “it” may have been.
And in amongst The Manhattans, Melba Moore and Midnight Train to Georgia – Ferry sashayed into the charts.
The heat was turned up considerably and if you are going to sweat in this heat then you have to sweat like Bryan Ferry does on this (his) latest single, Let’s Stick Together.
It’s Ferry at his swaggering best.
A cover of a blues song by Wilbert Harrison that started life as Let’s Stick Together became Let’s Work Together and then went back to Let’s Stick Together. Canned Heat had the big hit with Work in 1970. It was great but Ferry’s version is on another dancefloor.
Led by Chris Mercer’s sax, driven on by John Wetton’s bass and ripped to pieces by Chris Spedding’s guitar. It is glorious and thankfully it has been captured on film…
Ferry in his white Anthony Price suit, white shoes, navy shirt and 50s printed tie, slicked wedge haircut and pencil moustache – he has never looked better.
So fucking cool.
But others shimmer. Spedding in full leather. Biker jacket, drainpipe leather jeans and preposterously high heels. Eddie Jobson on piano looking like one of The Ramones and then of course in walks Jerry yelping like a dog in the night.
Long left leg first, off the shoulder slinky dress, long tresses and cherry red lipstick.
When Bruce Springsteen later wrote, “We learned more from a three-minute record, baby than we ever learned in school” he wasn’t wrong.
Love is The Drug and Both End’s Burning a year before, and now Let’s Stick Together – what a way to end second-phase Roxy Music/Ferry.
It would be different in the years to come. It would still be brilliant but Dance Away is undoubtedly different to Let’s Stick Together.
As I say film and later video recalls it all. But back then when we were seventeen going on eighteen and dancing, style and girls meant everything there was nothing better than David Bowie, Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music.
And thanks to Bryan Ferry, along with The Real Thing, Elton & Kiki, it was the sweatiest and sexiest summer ever.
Viva Roxy!
Viva Bryan Ferry!

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