Paul Thompson (musician)

Last updated

Paul Thompson
Thompson with Roxy Music, LG Arena, Birmingham, England, January 2011
Background information
Birth namePaul Thompson
Born (1951-05-13) 13 May 1951 (age 70)
Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom
Genres Glam rock, rock, art rock
Years active1970–present
Labels Island
Associated acts Roxy Music, Angelic Upstarts, Concrete Blonde, Lindisfarne, Metaphors Andy Mackay

Paul Thompson (born 13 May 1951) is an English drummer, who is best known as a member of the rock band Roxy Music. In 1987 Thompson joined the Royal Auxiliary Air Force Squadron 2624 based in Oxfordshire, attaining the rank of corporal before leaving in 1993. [1] He is a member of Andy Mackay's project with the Metaphors and joined Lindisfarne in 2013. He was also the drummer for Oi!, Angelic Upstarts and the American alternative rock band Concrete Blonde.


Early life and education

Thompson was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland. He lived in Jarrow, north-east England from the age of six months and attended West Simonside Infants and Junior School. [2]


In 1965, Thompson joined The Tyme who played at local youth clubs. [3] His next group was a local band called The Urge which he joined when 17 years old. Fatigue from performing with them seven nights a week in local clubs and pubs, led him to fall asleep on his job as an apprentice metalworker and this resulted in his dismissal. [4] Alongside John Miles he became a member of The Influence. [5]

Thompson joined Roxy Music in 1971 and was credited as drummer on six albums, as well as touring and performing on solo records with his bandmates Bryan Ferry, Phil Manzanera, [6] and Andy Mackay [7]

In 1980, Thompson took leave from Roxy Music due to a arm injury. Later that year he left the band, owing to musical differences between himself and Bryan Ferry. [8] During this period Thompson played with rock band Concrete Blonde. [9]

In 2001, he reunited with fellow Roxy Music band members for a tour. He also toured with Ferry, supporting his Frantic album in 2003 and appeared at the Isle of Wight Festival 2005 [10] on 11 June 2005 with Ferry. During thos period Thompson played live gigs with Andy Mackay and The Metaphors and was credited on their self released live CD London! Paris! New York! Rome! in 2009. He joined the Newcastle upon Tyne Lindisfarne in 2013. [9]

Thompson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019 as a member of Roxy Music. [11]

Influence and following

Drummer Roger Taylor of the new wave band Duran Duran has stated that Thompson's drumming was a big influence over his development. [12] Fans of Thompson nicknamed him "The Great Paul Thompson", because of his drumming skills and power. [2]

Related Research Articles

Roxy Music English art rock band formed in 1970

Roxy Music were an English rock band formed in 1970 by Bryan Ferry—who became the band's lead singer and main songwriter—and bass guitarist Graham Simpson. The other longtime members were Phil Manzanera (guitar), Andy Mackay, and Paul Thompson. Other members included Brian Eno, Eddie Jobson, and John Gustafson (bass). Although the band took a break from group activities in 1976 and again in 1983, they reunited for a concert tour in 2001, and toured together intermittently over the next few years. Ferry frequently enlisted band members as session musicians for his solo releases.

Bryan Ferry English musician

Bryan Ferry CBE is an English singer and songwriter. His voice has been described as an "elegant, seductive croon". He also established a distinctive image and sartorial style; according to The Independent, Ferry and his contemporary David Bowie influenced a generation with both their music and their appearances. Peter York described Ferry as "an art object" who "should hang in the Tate".

<i>Country Life</i> (Roxy Music album) 1974 studio album by Roxy Music

Country Life is the fourth album by English rock band Roxy Music, released in 1974 by Island Records. It was released by Atco Records in the United States. The album is considered by many critics to be among the band's most sophisticated and consistent.

<i>Flesh and Blood</i> (Roxy Music album) 1980 studio album by Roxy Music

Flesh and Blood is the seventh studio album by the English rock band Roxy Music. Released in late May 1980, it was an immediate commercial success peaking at No. 1 in the UK for one week in June and then returned to the summit in August for another three weeks, in total spending 60 weeks on the albums chart in the United Kingdom. The album also peaked at No. 35 in the United States and No. 10 in Australia.

Phil Manzanera Musical artist

Phillip Geoffrey Targett-Adams, known professionally as Phil Manzanera, is an English musician and record producer. He was the lead guitarist with Roxy Music, 801, and Quiet Sun. 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.

<i>For Your Pleasure</i> 1973 studio album by Roxy Music

For Your Pleasure is the second album by English rock band Roxy Music, released by Island Records in 1973. It was their last to feature synthesiser and sound specialist Brian Eno, who would later gain acclaim as a solo artist and producer.

<i>Roxy Music</i> (album) 1972 studio album by Roxy Music

Roxy Music is the debut studio album by the English rock band Roxy Music. It was released on 16 June 1972.

<i>Viva!</i> (Roxy Music album) 1976 live album by Roxy Music

Viva! Roxy Music was the first live Roxy Music album. It was released in August 1976 and was recorded at three venues in the United Kingdom between 1973 and 1975. The recordings were from the band's shows at the Glasgow Apollo in November 1973, Newcastle City Hall in October 1974 and the Wembley Empire Pool in October 1975.

<i>Concerto</i> (Roxy Music album) 2001 live album by Roxy Music

Concerto is a live album by Roxy Music. All tracks were recorded during the group's "Manifesto Tour" at the Rainbow Music Hall, Denver, Colorado on April 12, 1979, except for Mother of Pearl and Editions of You, which were recorded earlier that month at the Oakland Auditorium, Oakland, California. The album was released in 2001; three years after it was previously released as Concert Classics in 1998. It was released again under the title Ladytron on August 19, 2002 on Superior Records. Roxy Music had no input to this album as it is not an official Roxy Music release but released under license.

<i>Stranded</i> (album) 1973 studio album by Roxy Music

Stranded is the third album by English rock band Roxy Music, released in 1973 by Island Records. Stranded was the first Roxy Music album on which Bryan Ferry was not the sole songwriter, with multi-instrumentalist Andy Mackay and guitarist Phil Manzanera also making songwriting contributions. It is also their first album without Brian Eno, who had left the band after the release of their previous album For Your Pleasure.

Andy Mackay Musical artist

Andrew Mackay is an English multi-instrumentalist, best known as a founding member of the art rock group Roxy Music.

Virginia Plain 1972 single by Roxy Music

"Virginia Plain" is a song by English rock band Roxy Music, released as their debut single in August 1972. Written by Roxy frontman Bryan Ferry, the song was recorded by the band in July 1972 at London's Command Studios. Backed with "The Numberer", an instrumental composed by Andy Mackay, as a single the song became a Top 10 hit in the UK, peaking at number four.

"2HB" is a song written by Bryan Ferry and first recorded by Roxy Music for their 1972 debut album, Roxy Music. Ferry also recorded a version for his 1976 solo album, Let's Stick Together.

"In Every Dream Home a Heartache" is a song written by Bryan Ferry, originally appearing on his band Roxy Music's second album, For Your Pleasure.

"Street Life" is the opening track of English rock band Roxy Music's third album Stranded, their first album with Eddie Jobson, who replaced Brian Eno. It was released as a single in the UK in November 1973 and reached number 9 on the charts. Its non-LP B-side "Hula Kula", a Hawaiian-like instrumental composed by Phil Manzanera, was re-released on "The Thrill of It All" boxset.

<i>Diamond Head</i> (Phil Manzanera album) 1975 studio album by Phil Manzanera

Diamond Head is the first studio album by English rock musician Phil Manzanera. It was released in 1975, originally on Island Records in the UK and in the US on Atco Records. The sound quality on the US album was deemed to be worse than the UK album, so the UK import became a popular seller in the speciality record shops who sold Roxy Music and other UK bands. The diesel locomotive featured on the cover art is a EMD E9.

Avalon (Roxy Music song) 1982 single by Roxy Music

"Avalon" is a 1982 song by the English rock band Roxy Music. It was released as the second single from their album Avalon. The single, with its B-side, "Always Unknowing", charted at No. 13 in the UK.

"All I Want is You" is a single by English rock band Roxy Music, written by Bryan Ferry, and taken from their 1974 album Country Life. It reached a peak of #12 on the UK Official Singles Chart, in an eight week stint on the charts. The single is also notable for its B-side, an instrumental track called "Your Application's Failed", which is the only track to date written by drummer Paul Thompson. The track was re-released on The Thrill of It All boxset.

"The Thrill of It All" is a single by English rock band Roxy Music taken from their 1974 album Country Life. The single was backed by the "All I Want Is You" B-side, an instrumental track called "Your Application's Failed", which is the only track to date written by drummer Paul Thompson. The track was re-released on "The Thrill of It All" boxset.

Trash (Roxy Music song) 1979 single by Roxy Music

"Trash" is a single by English rock band Roxy Music taken from their 1979 album Manifesto, their first after the comeback that followed the three years hiatus. It peaked at number 40 in the UK charts. "Trash" was backed by a softened arrangement of the same song, called "Trash 2", which was made available on the box set of The Thrill of It All.


  1. "Roxy Music - Paul Thompson's Solo and Session Work - on". Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  2. 1 2 "Paul Thompson biography". 25 May 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  3. "The Official Roxy Music Tour 2001 Paul Thompson Biography". 2001. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  4. "Interview: Roxy Music's Paul Thompson". Chronicle Live. 6 February 2009. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  5. Carson,Stephen Burgess,Mark Jangra Bimal Townsend, Richard. Webster,John (ed.). "John Miles". Retrieved 13 May 2021.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. "Paul Thompson credits". Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  7. "Paul Thompson". Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  8. "Interview: Roxy Music's Paul Thompson". Evening Chronicle Northeast. 6 February 2009.
  9. 1 2 Budofsky, Adam (November 2005). "Friday Nuggets: Paul Thompson's Trip From Roxy Music to Lindisfarne". Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  10. "Roxy Music on Isle of Wight bill". 18 March 2005. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  11. "Roxy Music inducted into Rock and roll hall of fame". 29 March 2019. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  12. "Interview: Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor". Retrieved 24 February 2013.