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Phil Manzanera (born Philip Geoffrey Targett-Adams, 31 January 1951, in Londonmarker, Englandmarker) is a musician and record producer. He was the lead guitarist with Roxy Music. In 2006 Manzanera co-produced David Gilmour's album On An Island and played in Gilmour's band for tours in Europe and North America. He wrote and presented a series of 14 one-hour radio programmes for station Planet Rock entitled The A-Z of Great Guitarists and his new instrumental album, Firebird V11, was released in 2008.

Early years (1951–1970)

Manzanera was born in London to a Colombian mother and an English father, and spent most of his childhood in different parts of the Americas, including Hawaii, Venezuela, Colombia and Cuba. It was in Cuba that the young Manzanera, aged 6, encountered his first guitar, a Spanish guitar owned by his mother. His earliest musical accomplishments were Cuban folk songs inspired by the Cuban Revolution.

In Venezuela the eight-year-old Manzanera started experimenting with the sounds of the electric guitar. During his teenage years he was absorbing the twin influences of 1960s rock and roll and Latin American rhythms of merengue music, cumbia, and particularly the boleros of the Mexican Armando Manzanero.

In his late teens Manzanera -- then a boarder at the public school Dulwich College in south east London, England -- formed a series of groups with his friends Bill MacCormick, later a member of Matching Mole and Random Hold, MacCormick's brother Ian (better known as music writer Ian MacDonald) and drummer Charles Hayward, later of This Heat. The final incarnation of this succession of bands was the progressive rock quartet Quiet Sun with keyboard player Dave Jarrett which broke up when McCormack joined Matching Mole, although Manzanera briefly revived the band in 1975 to record an LP of their original music during the making of his first solo album Diamond Head.

Roxy Music (1971–1983)

Manzanera was determined to join a professional band, and in October 1971 he was one of about twenty players who auditioned as lead guitarist for the recently formed Roxy Music. Although he did not have the same art school background as Ferry, Mackay and Eno, he had a wide-ranging interest in music, which had been equally influenced by his childhood sojourns in Latin America and his stints at boarding school in the UK, where he saw bands like Pink Floyd and Soft Machine. Manzanera also knew several prominent musicians including Soft Machine's Robert Wyatt and Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, who was a friend of his older brother.

Although the group were impressed with his playing, Manzanera lost out to David O'List, former guitarist with noted UK psych-pop combo The Nice, although Roxy did ask Manzanera to become their roadie. However a few months later O'List quit the band abruptly after an onstage altercation with drummer Paul Thompson, during their audition for David Enthoven of EG Management. Manzanera was invited to the next rehearsal on the pretext of becoming their sound mixer but was asked to sit in on guitar. Unbeknownst to the rest of the group, he had secretly learned their entire repertoire and as a result he was immediately asked to become O'List's permanent replacement, joining on 14 February 1972.

His Roxy bandmates at this time were Bryan Ferry, Brian Eno, Paul Thompson and Andy Mackay. Roxy’s rise was meteoric, with the band being hailed as the stylistic influence of the early 1970s. During the next 12 years, until 1983 when the band members went on a "long break", Roxy Music released a series of internationally best-selling albums, achieving ten UK Top 10 albums and touring extensively throughout the world. In parallel with Roxy Music, Manzanera has always pursued solo projects, both recording his own albums and producing for others. All his previous solo albums have been digitally remastered and re-released with new artwork on his own label, Expression Records.

Solo work (1983–2001)

As a writer, producer and solo artist, Phil Manzanera has worked with many of the luminaries of modern music, such as Steve Winwood, David Gilmour, John Cale, Godley & Creme, Nico and John Wetton. He has co-written material with many artists, including Brian Eno, Tim Finn, Robert Wyatt and Gilmour. Manzanera co-wrote Pink Floyd's single "One Slip" from their 1987 A Momentary Lapse of Reason album.

In the 1990s Manzanera performed in concerts all over the world, including at Guitar Legends, the five-day guitar festival in Seville, where he was musical director for the event as well as playing with Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, Jack Bruce, Vicente Amigo, Dave Edmunds, Joe Satriani, Steve Cropper, Aterciopelados, Robert Cray and Richard Thompson. He has also played in Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Spain, France, Italy and the UK, including a ten-date European tour with the Cuban band Grupo Moncada. He played at WOMAD festivals in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Manzanera ended the 20th Century by appearing with Bryan Ferry at the British Gas Millennium Concert at Greenwich, the first time they had performed together in 18 years. Manzanera produced in 1993 the highly acclaimed album Severino from the Brazilian rock band Os Paralamas do Sucesso, which included a participation by Brian May.

Roxy Music reunion and later work (2001–present)

The Roxy Music "long break" came to an end in 2001 with a critically acclaimed, sold-out, 52-date world tour. In the summer of 2003 Roxy played 10 dates in the US, followed by 13 European gigs in 2004, including performing at Live 8 in Berlin.

Manzanera has a state-of-the-art studio, Gallery Studios, in West London. The first recording was Robert Wyatt's album Cuckooland, and the client list also includes Brian Eno, David Gilmour, Annie Lennox, Kevin Ayers, and Chrissie Hynde. Wyatt's critically acclaimed album, Comicopera, was recorded at Gallery in 2007.

Manzanera began singing on his own albums with Vozero in 2001, followed by 6pm in 2004 and 50 Minutes Later in 2005.He appeared at the Strat Pack celebration concert at Wembley Arena in 2003, alongside other great players such as Hank Marvin, Ronnie Wood and David Gilmour.

He also collaborated with Eno and David Byrne on 2008's Everything That Happens Will Happen Today.

Other efforts

  • Manzanera appears briefly playing a guitar solo in Red Dwarf series 6 episode "Psirens". Only his hands appeared playing the guitar, and his credit on the Internet Movie Database lists his role as "Hands of Psiren Lister". [113787] On screen he is credited as "the hands of Phil Manzanera".

Selected discography


  • 1975 Diamond Head
  • 1975 Quiet Sun: Mainstream
  • 1976 801 : 801 Live
  • 1977 801 : Listen Now
  • 1977 801 : Live at Manchester University
  • 1978 K-Scope
  • 1982 Primitive Guitars
  • 2000 Rare One (rarities during 1975-1991)
  • 2000 801 : Liva at Hull (live in 1977)


  • 1985 The Explorers(Manzanera & Mackay) : The Explorers (later aka The Complete Exploer in 2001)
  • 1986 Wetton Manzanera : One World
  • 1988 Nowomowa - The Wasted Lands
  • 1988 Manzanera & Mackay : Crack the Whip
  • 1989 Manzanera & Mackay : Up in Smoke
    • 1991 Manzanera & Mackay : Manzanera & Mackay (compilation above two albums)
  • ?(1997) The Explorers : Live at the Palace
  • 1990 Southern Cross(aka A Million Reasons Why)
  • 1990 Phil Manzanera & Sérgio Dias : Mato Grosso
  • 1991 Manzanera & Tania Libertad : Boleros Hoy
  • 1992 Manzanera Moncada : Live at the Karl Marx, Havana


  • 1999 Vozero
  • 2001 801 : 801 Latino
  • 2004 6PM
  • 2005 50 minutes later
  • 2008 Firebird V11

As producer

External links

  • Viva Roxy Music Site about Manzanera's work with Roxy Music and his solo work, collaborations and sessions]
  • Phil Manzanera, Expression Records and the Roxy Music Archive]

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