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Picture This #1: Bryan Ferry

Ahhh, another series of fleeting encounters (now with photos!!!) with the famous and infamous. Number One, Jason Lewis bumps into Bryan Ferry

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by Jason Lewis, UK Music Editor for outsideleft.com
originally published: November, 2016
He adjusts his tie, loosens his scarf and perfects his pose.

'Bumping into' a famous person can be a disorienting experience! The moment our mundane lives collides with something  magnificent. But amplify that, imagine that your everyday life involves the banality of bin delivery...and imagine the 'celebrity' is someone who defined how you felt about music. 

Roxy Music had had a profound effect on me. Staccato vocals, alien  synthesizers and the occasional oboe. Lyrics that hinted at a peculiar, seductive and glamorous world. It was as if the players had landed from five separate spaceships and decided to make an utterly unique sound together. I'll let those album sleeves speak for themselves.

Meanwhile, on earth, I was working in marketing. I'd spent years promoting exhibitions at the city's main art gallery. But times had changed and I now had a new task: Bins.

Someone had to oversee the designs (and the re-re-re designs), of the promotional  blurb. Someone had to make sure all the mailings went out on time. That someone was me.

By the summer, I'd had enough. I reluctantly attended another lunchtime meeting. I demanded that my input be placed at the top of the agenda so that I could slip away and spend my lunch taking photographs. Someone Trumped me and I was demoted to second on the agenda...whoever that was, I thank you. Over and over again. Thank you.

I escaped with my camera, descended into the street and immediately turned to see a man walking towards me in a suave blue suit and cashmere coat...

As he walked past me, I momentarily froze. It couldn't be?  I turned, sped up, walked past him. It was! I turned to face him just as he was about to disappear into his chauffeur driven car.

"Bryan?' I quiver...
'Yes?' he enquires in a voice like minor royalty...
'I'm a huge fan...' I reached out my hand... 
He shakes it firmly (with the hand that wrote Virginia Plain for heavens sake!). 
'Can I take a photograph?'
I fumble for my camera.
He adjusts his tie, loosens his scarf and perfects his pose.
I nervously snap away. 

We say our goodbyes, and he eases himself into the backseat of his car.

Shaking inside, l turn and head back to my workplace.  I pass the Art Gallery that I used to work for and realise that Byran must have been visiting the Andy Warhol  exhibition that was showing there.  An exhibition at a gallery that I was no longer involved in. I think of this as I return to my office, find a Roxy album on my iPod and lose myself in it before reacquainting myself with the world of bins. 

Essential:
More of Jason's rocknroll photography is on Flickr

see more stories from outsideleft's Culture archive »»

Jason Lewis
UK Music Editor

Jason Lewis is a Birmingham based music, movie and arts obsessive. Jason's encyclopedic knowledge of 80s/90s Arts films is a debt to his embedded status in the Triangle Arts Centre trenches back then.

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