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Subject: alt.music.marillion FAQ [1/2]
This article was archived around: 13 Oct 1998 08:08:06 -0700
Maintainer: Jeroen Schipper
Copyright: (C) 1992-1997 Jeroen Schipper
= MARILLION FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS =
Part 1 of 2
Welcome to the Marillion FAQ! The purpose of this FAQ is to
provide some basic background information about the band and their music.
This will (hopefully) prevent these questions from being asked over and
over again by new subscribers to the list, which can be irritating for
other readers who have seen the answers before. Many of the given answers
to the questions are taken from back issues of the Freaks digests. I'm
sorry, but I can't credit everyone whose explanations I used to put this
list together. It's teamwork!
Special thanks go to Brian Vogelsang for writing the first section and
proofreading this FAQ list, to Ken Bibb for proofreading and correcting
the second version and for setting up the automatic posting of the list.
To Geoff Parks who helped a lot with Garden Party / Fifteen Stone First
Footer / Geezabun and other questions! Thanks to Tim Glasswell for
providing the discography for the Europeans and How We Live.
Other thank-you's go to Jason Giles, Jose Garcia, John Nash, Kristine
Kuss, Micheal J. Loux, Jr., Steve Chew, David Halm, Steve Smoot, Magne
Bergland, Andrew Brooks, Jeremy Lawrence, Lorna Banks, Dan Newcombe, Ben
Jos Walbeehm, Kenneth Drew, Frans P. de Vries, Duncan J. Batey, Erwin
Gavic, John McCartney, Mikko Hanninen, Fraser Charlton, Tim Kirby, Tim
Hudson, Mike Collins, Tim Glasswell, Bert ter Steege, Angus Mair, Dave
Robbins, Per-Karsten A. Nordhaug, Julie Wynne and Tony Wood for their
feedback on the faq list. Thanks all!
Mention to Graham Orndorff for starting the original Freaks list. You are
remembered :). And mention to Ken Bibb who started firstname.lastname@example.org, when
Graham had to give up "his" list, and later moved it to arastar.com and
assisted in the move to ax.com. Also a big thank-you to Pierre-Yves Lochou
for converting this FAQ into hypertext format.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me via
Jeroen Schipper (email@example.com)
0. General information on this FAQ list
0.1 What has changed since last time?
0.2 Where can I find the latest version of this list?
0.3 Copyright issues
1. E-mail server and anonymous ftp questions
1.1 What is firstname.lastname@example.org?
1.2 How do I subscribe to the Freaks list?
1.3 What addresses do I need to know to use the listserver?
1.4 How do I receive the Freaks list in digest mode/bounce mode?
1.5 How do I unsubscribe to the Freaks list?
1.6 How do I post a message to the Freaks list?
1.7 Are any files available via an archive server at ax?
1.8 Can I request back issues from the mailinglist?
1.9 What else can I do with the listserver?
1.10 Where can I find Marillion-related files via ftp?
1.11 Where can I read Marillion info on the World Wide Web (WWW)?
2. General freaks-list information
2.1 What is netiquette?
2.2 What's this "old" list someone mentioned?
2.3 When is the new album coming out?
2.4 What do these abbreviations mean?
2.5 This list has T-shirts? Where can I get one?
2.6 Where can I find lyrics to this song?
2.7 Is there a complete discography available?
3. Marillion with Fish
3.1 Who started Marillion and when?
3.2 Where does the name Marillion come from?
3.3 Which band members were/are in Marillion?
3.4 Who's Mark Wilkinson?
3.5 What albums can be found on the cover of "Script" and "Fugazi"?
3.6 What are the spoken words in "Chelsea Monday"?
3.7 Can anyone explain the lyrics of "Garden Party"?
3.8 What does Fugazi mean?
3.9 What's Brixton Chess?
3.10 What is said in "Incubus"?
3.11 What does Slainte Mhath mean?
3.12 What's the story behind Geezabun?
3.13 Who are the people on the cover of "Clutching at Straws"?
3.14 What is the Fidra Lighthouse?
3.15 What's a raincheck?
3.16 Alternative Misplaced Childhood?!?!?! Please elaborate!!!!!!
3.17 What's the Heart of Lothian and the Royal Mile?
3.18 Three boats down from the Candy is where???
3.19 Fish shouts something at the beginning of Margaret, but what?
4. Marillion with Hogarth
4.1 When and why did Fish leave Marillion?
4.2 Who is Steve Hogarth and what did he do before Marillion?
4.3 What is a banquo?
4.4 What is a fifteen stone first-footer?
4.5 Will there be a reunion show with Fish?
4.6 Who is Privet Hedge?
4.7 What's Brave all about?
4.8 Who's John Helmer?
4.9 What is the French bit that's in between CSB and Beautiful?
4.10 I heard something of a Brave movie?
4.11 Isn't The Rakes Progress a painting?
5. CD's, books, videos and bootlegs
5.1 What studio albums and singles were released?
5.2 What books are there on Marillion?
5.3 What videos are there?
5.4 What's a bootleg?
5.5 How many bootlegs are there?
5.6 Where can I buy bootlegs?
6.1 Addresses of Marillion fanclubs
6.2 What about the official bootlegs?
7. Other bands
7.1 I like Marillion. What other bands can you recommend?
7.2 How can I subscribe to another (related) musical mailinglist?
Subject: 0.1 What has changed since the last version?
Version 4.2 is updated so it has the right information about the new
address for the freaks mailinglist (ax.com).
Version 5 of the FAQ is a long overdue update with the latest info about
the new marillion.com domain and a number of corrections / additions. I
also use a script now to generate the html version of the FAQ, to avoid
maintaining both a TXT and an HTML version.
If you find any incorrect/incomplete/just-not-there information in this list,
drop me a line!
Subject: 0.2 Where can I find the latest version of this list?
The FAQ can be viewed on the Word Wide Web as:
This FAQ list is posted on a regular (monthly) basis to the newsgroup
news.answers and crossposted to some other newsgroups.
It is also available for ftp as
It is also archived on the FAQ webserver at http://www.faqs.org which is
also an excellent location if you're looking for another faq!
You can get the list via e-mail by sending mail to email@example.com
with in the body:
Because of the size of this list it is split into two pieces.
You can also get it in one part from the Freaks mailinglist server. E-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org with NO subject line, and the first line in the
body of the message left justified reading:
get freaks faq.1
get freaks faq.2
The FAQ should also be available on the CompuServe RockNet forum (GO ROCKNET).
If that version is out-of-date I'd appreciate if you can upload the latest
Lastly, this FAQ is included on the Wallnut Creek Internet CD Rom and
various other Internet CD roms I've seen, but those are not the latest
version. It is supposedly also printed in some Internet books, but I
haven't seen it yet.
Subject: 0.3 Copyright issues
This FAQ copyright by Jeroen Schipper. It may be electronically distributed
on an unlimited scale, feel free to upload it to a public news service if
you think it is appropriate. The only condition I put on distributing this
FAQ is that it is complete, no parts should be deleted and/or modified!
Use of this faq for commercial purposes or in any printed form is not allowed
without prior written permission of the author.
What this means in English is that if you want to reprint or quote the FAQ in
a book or on a CD-ROM, I want to know about it, in advance, and reserve the
right to put conditions on such activities.
Subject: 1.1 What is email@example.com?
firstname.lastname@example.org is a mailing list for the discussion of Marillion, Fish,
related bands and topics.
Subject: 1.2 How do I subscribe to the Freaks list?
E-mail email@example.com with any subject line (the subject is ignored)
and the first line in the body of the message left justified reading:
subscribe freaks `your name here'
In place of `your name here' enter your REAL name, first and last. For
example, if your name was Sharon Stone you would say:
subscribe freaks Sharon Stone
Notice: you do NOT need to include your internet address in the message,
and please remember to keep the line left justified.
If you have problems, email firstname.lastname@example.org NOT email@example.com.
Subject: 1.3 What addresses do I need to know to use the listserver?
There are three addresses you need to know to properly use the listserver:
1. firstname.lastname@example.org When you mail email@example.com your email message is
sent to every person on the list. This is the
account that you email when you want to post a
2. firstname.lastname@example.org This is the address that you should use to
subscribe, unsubscribe, get help, or get
information or statistics about the listserver.
freaks-request uses the auto reply feature of
3. email@example.com This is the address that reaches the mailing
list owner. Use this if you have any questions
that the auto-reply freaks-request address
Subject: 1.4 How do I receive the Freaks list in digest mode/bounce mode?
There are two ways of receiving the Freaks mailinglist: bounce mode or
digest mode. Bounce mode means that every message that is sent to the
listserver is bounced back to you. It is easy to send replies this way.
Many people prefer receiving one daily digest that has all message combined.
This usually means it is harder to send replies, unless you have a reader
that can decode the digest (which is RFC1153 compliant).
To receive the list in digest format, email firstname.lastname@example.org with
NO subject line, and the first line in the body of the message left justified
set freaks mail digest
To receive the list in bounce format, email email@example.com with
NO subject line, and the first line in the body of the message left justified
set freaks mail ack
If you have problems, email firstname.lastname@example.org NOT email@example.com.
Subject: 1.5 How do I unsubscribe to the Freaks list?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with NO subject line, and the first line in
the body of the message left justified reading:
Notice: You do not need to include your internet address to unsubscribe.
If you have problems, email email@example.com NOT firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subject: 1.6 How do I post a message to the Freaks list?
Email email@example.com with your message included. Your message will echo
to every person on the list. You should see your message included in the
next digest issue (if you are in digest mode) within 24hrs. If you are NOT
in digest mode, you WILL NOT RECEIVE A COPY OF YOUR POST. If you must see
a copy of your post send email to firstname.lastname@example.org with NO subject
line, and the first line in the body of a message left justified reading:
set freaks mail ack
Please read section 2.1 for some general guides for posting to the
Subject: 1.7 Are any files available via an archive server at ax?
Yes, a large number of files can be requested from the Freaks listserver,
including this FAQ list, the bootleg list, a comprehensive Marillion tour
history file compiled by Bill Frech and the results of a Freaks poll done
in January 1994. There are also lots of lyrics and guitar tabs available.
To get an index of all available files, E-mail email@example.com
with NO subject line, and in the body of the message left justified
Getting files is easy:
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with NO subject line, and in the body of the
message left justified the files you want to get:
get freaks faq
get freaks bootlist
Subject: 1.8 Can I request back issues from the mailinglist?
To get a back issue, send Email to email@example.com with NO subject
line and the first line in the body of the message left justified reading:
get freaks freaks.90
All back issues are listed in the index, see 1.7
Another way of viewing backissues is on the WWW. The Web Online has
an interface to read backissues at: http://www.marillion.com/freaks/
Subject: 1.9 What else can I do with the listserver?
For more information on the listservers features, send Email to
firstname.lastname@example.org with NO subject line and the first line in
the body of the message left justified reading:
For example, this will tell you how to request an overview of who is
subscribed to the mailinglist:
The recipients command will list all subscribers including their full name.
Statistics will show you how many messages each subscriber has posted to
the list. To be excluded from the recipients list, you can use the "conceal
no" command on the listserver.
Subject: 1.10 Where can I find Marillion related files via ftp?
Several Marillion and Fish related files can be found at the ftp site:
This is an anonymous ftp site; this means you use "anonymous" as a
login, and your own email address as the password. The directory to look
Use dir to see the files available. Many files are compressed with Unix
compress(1), which adds the .Z extension to the files. Use uncompress to
restore the files. uncompress also exists for other operating systems
including OS/2 and DOS.
Subject: 1.11 Where can I read Marillion info on the World Wide Web (WWW)?
The official Marillion homepage (The Web Online) can be found on the web
Marillion's record company, Racket Records, also has a website (The Racket
Club Online) which offers information on both the band and Racket Records,
and sells the Official Bootlegs and other Racket Records releases online
These pages are part of the Marillion Web Ring which is a chain of all
registered Marillion websites. Simply follow the chain to visit all the
An index of all registered sites in the Web Ring can be found
Subject: 2.1 What is netiquette?
Netiquette is general guidelines on good behavior while using the
Internet. Everybody on the Freaks list is kindly asked to keep this in
mind. A short summary:
4 or 5 lines will suffice. Longer signatures usually bother people,
especially those who read the digest format of Freaks.
Posting personal messages:
Keep in mind that whatever message you post will bounce to everybody
on the list. Posting personal messages is not appreciated and should
be avoided whenever possible.
Posting test messages:
Don't! Messages like "Is this list still running?" are very
irritating to others. If the list is still running and you don't
receive any mail, you're probably not subscribed (anymore). Try
resubscribing or contacting the listowner. You can also request an
overview of who is subscribed to the list by using the freaks-request
auto reply feature. See section 1.3 for more info. Remember, there
is always a chance the list may be temporarily down.
When quoting someone else's message, quote only the part to which you
are responding. Leave out the rest (like the signature of the other
person), as it is a waste of bandwidth and annoys other people.
Sending unfriendly messages to Freaks is called flaming. Flaming is never
appreciated so don't. If you really must send a flame then do it using
private e-mail. A number of flame wars terrorized Freaks in the past,
help us to keep Freaks flame-free!
Please keep these basic guidelines in mind when posting to Freaks@ax.com
(and any other mailing list or UseNet as well).
Subject: 2.2 What's the "old" list someone mentioned?
Back in October 1990, Graham Orndorff started the Marillion mailing list
Freaks, at andrew.cmu.edu. This list ran successfully for quite a while,
but at some point Graham stopped moderating it when he got a job in the
"real world" which demanded all of his time. Nobody was able to contact
him anymore but the list went on. (Un)subscribing was no longer possible
as it was not automated but done by Graham himself. This runaway list went
on for quite a while, but died a slow death.
Every now and then Graham's Ghost still reappears on the mailinglist... ;)
In September 1992, Ken Bibb started a parallel list at bnf.com. That list
ran good for a while, but it was moved again in August 1994 to arastar.com.
In february 1996 the list was moved to ax.com, Ken no longer had the
time to run the list on his machine. The list is now run by Brian Vogelsang
and Jeroen Schipper.
Subject: 2.3 When is the new album coming?
To know the answer to this question, subscribe to the Freaks mailinglist
and read it on a regular basis. "The New Album" is always a hot topic
and as soon as it is released somewhere is the world (though usually
first in Europe) you'll read about it.
Up-to-date information about the new album can always be found on
the Web Online pages in the news section: http://www.marillion.com/news/
and directly from Marillion in the News section of The Racket Club Online
Subject: 2.4 What do these abbreviations mean?
Often people do not type the whole title of an album they are referring
to, but use acronyms like CaS, HiY and SftM instead. This can be confusing
for people who have just subscribed, and also for people who 'lost the
thread'. I prefer writing the first word in full and abbreviating the
rest, which makes the acronyms easier to understand.
CaS = Clutching_aS = Clutching at Straws
HiY = Hooks_iY = Hooks in You
SftM = Songs_ftM = Songs from the Mirror
AOS = Afraid of Sunlight
Further, a lot of "regular" net acronyms are used. More comprehensive
lists are available:
IMO = In My Opinion
IMHO = In My Humble/Honest Opinion
FYI = For Your Information
RSN = Real Soon Now
Smileys are also used a lot (turn you head 90 degrees to the left):
:-) Smile! [often means "this was meant humorously"]
;-) Wink [often means you're being sly or that you've
just said an inside joke]
8^) One of the endless variations |*)
Subject: 2.5 This list has T-shirts? Where can I get one?
At times Jason Giles offers T-shirts for purchase by the members of the
Freaks list and Marillion/Fish fans in general. So far there has been
an "All the Best FREAKS Are Here" shirt, a Fish solo shirt, and also a
Hogarth Marillion shirt. He sometimes carries extras so it never hurts
to ask. When he re-orders the shirts, he will post to the net with all
the pertinent information.
At the moment of the release of this list, Jason is designing no less than
TWO new shirts. You can contact him at: email@example.com. To see some of the
designs, go to: http://www.crl.com:80/~jgiles/shirts.html.
[Note from the editor: these shirts are great! check'em out if you can!]
[Agreed! Buy the whole set!! Wear them to progfests for easy
Subject: 2.6 Where can I find lyrics to this song?
Some time ago Jose Garcia put together a lyrics book that contains every
single lyric available for both Marillion and Fish.
He says: "The idea was to have a high quality document with all the
lyrics, and being these as accurate as possible, not the official versions
that appear on the CD booklets or the LPs."
The lyrics book is available via anonymous ftp. See question 1.8 for more
info on ftp. For more information about the book, see:
The book is in postscript format and has several nice logos included; it
looks really nice! Jose is working on a plain ASCII version of the book,
which he'll upload to the ftp site as soon as it is finished. Before
downloading the lyrics-book, get the above mentioned readme file.
NOTE: Many people have difficulties printing the PS book, because of its
size. Unfortunately Jose Garcia did not leave the sources behind,
we're still trying to get a hold of him (he left the Internet).
However I have paper proof at home that the current ps files *do*
print, if you have a printer with enough memory!
Subject: 2.7 Is there a complete discography available?
Yes - there is a comprehensive discography available. Is is maintained by
Bert ter Steege (firstname.lastname@example.org) and can be viewed on the World Wide Web
The documents will also be made available thru the mailserver of Freaks.
At the end of the sections 3 and 4 there's a brief listing of which
albums and singles were released.
Subject: 3.1 Who started Marillion and when?
The very beginning was a band called 'Electric Gipsy', started in 1979
with Mick Pointer, Doug Irvine and Andy Glass.
In 1979 Steve Rothery (guitars) joined Mick Pointer (drums), Doug Irvine
(bass), and local keyboardist Brian Jelliman in an instrumental band. There
was also a guitar player and a keyboardist, but that didn't last more than
a week. Their names are unknown. There was no singer, but in the winter of
79/80, Doug took up the vocals and they recorded their first demo which
included the songs "Alice" and "Lady Fantasy". These demos, and some
instrumentals can be found on the bootleg "Haunters Having Lots of Fun" (see
the section on bootlegs).
Subject: 3.2 Where does the name Marillion come from?
When the band needed a name, the book "Silmarillion" by J.R.R. Tolkien
happened to be laying on the table so the band decided to call themselves
"Silmarillion". Later, to avoid legal problems, they dropped the "Sil"
part and "Marillion" was born.
It may be a coincidence, but Tolkien also once gave a speach on Beowulf.
This is the classic story on wich the song Grendel is based. The speach
is considered a landmark in Anglo-Saxon studies.
Subject: 3.3 Which band members were/are in Marillion?
Here's a short overview of all member changes Marillion have had:
1979: Steve Rothery (guitars) 19 Aug 1979 ---
Mick Pointer (drums) ??? 18 Apr 1983
Doug Irvine (bass + vocals) ??? ?? Nov 1980
Brian Jelliman (keyboards) ?? Oct 79 ???
1981: Diz Minnit on bass 2 Jan 1981 26 Mrt 1982
Derek William Dick (Fish) vocals 2 Jan 1981 12 Sep 1988
Mark Kelly on keyboards 28 Nov 1981 ---
1982: Pete Trewavas on bass 28 Mrt 1982 ---
1983: Andy Ward on drums 12 May 1983 8 Aug 1983
John Martyr was on drums ?? Aug 1983 ?? Aug 1983
Jonathan Mover on drums 25 Sep 1983 12 Oct 1983
1984: Ian Mosley on drums 1 Jan 1984 ---
1988: Fish leaves Marillion and goes solo in the game... 12 Sep 1988
1989: Steve Hogarth on vocals 2 Feb 1989 ---
This leaves the current line as:
Steve Hogarth (vocals) (born 14 May, 1956 in Kendal)
Pete Trewavas (bass) (born 15th January, 1959 in Middlesbrough)
Ian Mosley (drums) (born 16th June, 1953 in Paddington, London)
Mark Kelly (keyboards) (born 9th April, 1961 in Dublin)
Steve Rothery (guitars) (25th November, 1959, Brampton, S-Yorkshire)
Subject: 3.4 Who's Mark Wilkinson?
Mark Wilkinson is an artist who has done the cover art of every Marillion
album and single (up to Clutching at Straws). Recently, he has done cover
art for Fish's first 2 solo albums and singles. The concepts for the
paintings always come from Fish, and usually contain many symbols that are
somehow related to the lyrics.
The album covers are extremely detailed, and only come to their right on
LP's (the CD booklets are just too small). The covers of the singles are
usually much simpler and less detailed.
Mark Wilkinson has also done album covers for other bands. Recently he
did the cover for Judas Priest's albums "Ram It Down", "Painkiller" and the
single "A Touch of Evil".
Fish's cover album "Songs from the Mirror" was not done by Wilkinson. He
and Fish decided they "needed a break" from each other. Rumors say that
Wilkinson _will_ do the cover of the forthcoming album "Suits".
Subject: 3.5 What albums can be found on the cover of "Script" and "Fugazi"?
On the back of the album "Script for a Jester's Tear" you will see the
following albums lying on the floor (from left to right):
"Do You Dream in Color?" - Bill Nelson
"Saucerful of Secrets" - Pink Floyd
"He Knows You Know" - Marillion
"Market Square Heroes" - Marillion
On "Fugazi" there are also some albums on the floor (left to right):
"Punch and Judy" - Marillion
"The Wall" - Pink Floyd
"Fool's Mate" - Peter Hammill
"Over" - Peter Hammill
The paintings that are hanging on the wall on Fugazi are real paintings
that were painted by Mark Wilkinson's wife.
Subject: 3.6 What are the spoken words in Chelsea Monday?
In the beginning of the song you hear a man selling newspapers. What
exactly is said is not clear. According to Fish it is:
"Evening Standard: final one!"
This may not be correct. More accurate is:
"Evening Standard: late one!"
"News or Standard: late one!"
The speaker of the words is a Newspaper seller who, in London, stands
outside the subway stations selling evening papers to commuters on their
way home. The Evening Standard is a well known London newspaper published
in two editions. The Evening News was around for many years; it met it's
end when the London Area could no longer support two multiple-edition
evening newspapers (both the *Evening* Standard and Evening News were just
that - newspapers published during the afternoon for people to read in the
evening; there would be at least three editions of each published...)
For quite a while the Standard had "Evening News" in small type at the top
of the paper on the front page; it may well be that the Standard actually
"bought out" the News.
Halfway through the song, the following text is spoken, it describes what
was in the newspaper:
VOICE: "Hello John, did you see The Standard about four hours ago?
Fished a young chick out of the Old Father
Blonde hair, Blue eyes
She said she wanted to be an actress or something
Nobody knows where she came from, where she was going
Funny thing was she had a smile on her face
She was smiling
What a waste!"
The Old Father is the river Thames, which runs through London, including
the Chelsea Area.
Subject: 3.7 Can anyone explain the lyrics of Garden Party?
Garden Party seems to raise many questions, therefore I have included
a long -but good- explanation of this song. I have included the full
message that was posted to the (old) Freaks list on March 13, 1991, by
Geoff Parks. Later he made some modifications to the original message:
[=== Start of included message ===]
> Anyway, on with today's song : 'Garden Party' [insert kermit's "yeeee-
> aaah" here].
Having spent 8 years of my life at Cambridge University I am in a good
position to pontificate about this one!
> I won't offend your intelligence by stating what the subject of this
> song is supposed to be :-) .
> invites call the debs to play : this is an idiom I am totally unfami-
> liar with. Anybody ?
`Deb' is short for debutant. By tradition, the daughters of the `ruling
class' in Britain are presented at court (i.e., introduced to the king or
queen) when they reach the age of 18 - they make their debut in social
circles, hence the term `debutant'. Over the summer which following this
these debutants attend all the `essential' social events and each host a
`coming out' party. The object of all this is to find a husband. It is all
a very elaborate mating ritual!
By extrapolation the term deb is applied to any girl from the upper
classes whose main purpose in life seems to be to find a rich (or
potentially rich) husband. There are lots of these at Cambridge!
> edgy eggs ??? Cumbers : in Latin 'cumbere' means 'to lie down'. Is
> this too far-fetched ? It would fit in nicely with the slumber.
> Or does 'cumber' exist in English ? If so, what does it mean ?
`Cumber' is short for cucumber (the salad vegetable). Two of the most
common delicacies at garden parties are cucumber sandwiches and egg
sandwiches. In Britain the construction of a sandwich is much simpler than
here in the US - it is: slice of bread, butter, filling, butter, slice of
bread. At the `best' garden parties such sandwiches will have had the
crusts removed and be cut into little triangles. Many hundreds of these
will be consumed hence `The Great Cucumber Massacre' sub-title.
> The 'Cam' waters. I don't get this one.
The river which flows through Cambridge is the River Cam.
> The first verse clearly pictured the preparations. But you all knew
> Straafed, eaves : anyone can give the meaning (my guess at straafed is
> that it means 'tortured'. eaves, like in eavesdropping ??)
Straaf is originally a German word I believe. I've always understood it
to mean `to bomb to bits' or something similarly destructive.
During WWII, Stukas were known for their straafing runs. Think back to
the old WWII movie footage of the fighter swooping down and firing bullets
down a road, across a field, etc. That is strafing.
Eaves are the part of the roof that hangs over the wall. The area
underneath the eaves is called the eavesdrop.
> Punting on the Cam : Is Cam a game of sorts ? played in water ?
> Beagling ? Rugger is the tops ?
`Punting' is a leisure pursuit. A punt is long shallow rectangular boat.
This is propelled along the river by standing at one end with a long pole
which one pushes against the river bed. It takes quite a bit of practice
to get the thing to go in a straight line. Usually a bunch of friends go
punting. Each takes a turn doing the `driving'. The others sit in the punt
talking, drinking, trying to catch ducks etc. On a nice day and in the
right company it is actually quite a pleasant way to while away the hours.
`Beagling' is a low budget version of foxhunting. A beagle is a type of
dog similar to a fox hound. To go beagling one assembles a pack of these
dogs and a bunch of hunters (on foot) and sets off across the fields in
search of a hare, rabbit or some similarly inoffensive creature. I knew
someone who used to go beagling at Cambridge and, as far as I know, they
never actually managed to catch anything. They did however get lots of
exercise and large cleaning bills out of it!
Rugger is another name for rugby (the game). The two most important sports
played in Cambridge are rowing and rugby. University sport in Britain has
nowhere near the status it does in the US but the annual rowing and rugby
contests between Oxford and Cambridge (the Boat Race and the Varsity
Match) are televised nationally. `Rugger is the tops' simply means `rugby
is the most enjoyable sport'. Incidentally, the term `rucking' which
appears in the song is a technical term from rugby.
> I guess ye can all see I haven't experienced one of these parties yet.
> Lucky me !
> To chalk another blue ?
> Come on guys, enlighten me !
A `blue' is a sporting honour. To obtain a blue you have to represent
Cambridge University against Oxford in a major sport. You could be in the
team all year but if you miss the Oxford game due to injury you don't get
your blue. The major sports are rowing, rugby, football (aka soccer),
cricket, (field) hockey, boxing + perhaps one or two others. If you
represent the university in a minor sport (eg. tennis, squash, badminton,
ice hockey, basketball...) you get a `half-blue'. Receiving a blue
entitles you to numerous privileges, such wearing a hideous light blue
blazer (dark blue at Oxford), and gives you considerable status amongst
those who consider athletics more important than academics.
[=== End of included message ===]
Further comments added later:
Thus `Angie chalks another blue' can on one level be interpreted as
meaning that Angie is a sort of sports groupie, who is perhaps trying to
sleep with all the members of the university rugby team and has just
succeeded in bedding another player - and chalked up (tallied) this
conquest on her personal score sheet.
In addition, this line can also be taken as a reference to snooker (a game
with some basic similarities to pool which is popular among the upper
classes in Britain). One of the balls used in snooker is blue. Also the
chalk rubbed on the tips of the cues used in snooker is blue - so
conceivably this line contains all sorts of phallic imagery!
[actually, I've heard that it's slang for taking uppers, ie blues.
there are other references to blues in Quadraphenia.--kbibb]
[There is a simpler explanation. Here in England someone who is somehow
connected with the royal family, or a Lord, Peer, etc., is said to be "blue
blooded". Hence "blue" from the song.--Paul Irvine]
So, in conclusion, this one line (four words) manages to make allusions to
three different aspects of upper class decadence - a fine example of
Fish's lyrical brilliance.
All lyrics were written by Fish. He says on the subject: "The Garden Party
lyric was actually written in Ettrickbridge in Scotland before I joined the
band.It came from my experiences in Cambridge with Diz Minnitt."
Subject: 3.8 What does Fugazi mean?
Fugazi is a word that was used by Americans in Vietnam, and is slang
concerning those who died in ambush (something like that), so the acronmym
is Fucked Up, Got Ambushed, Zipped In.
This explains pretty well what Fish is trying to say with the album: "This
world is totally fugazi". Fugazi is close to a popular net-acronym, Foobar,
which is derived from Fubar and means "Fucked up beyond all recognition"
(sorry for the language...)
Fugazi is definately _not_ a vietnamese word as there is no Z in the
Subject: 3.9 What's Brixton Chess?
Brixton is a suburb of London where there were major riots in April 1981.
(These events coincided with the first Space Shuttle flight, which may
explain a lack of coverage in the US media.)
"Chess" has several levels of meaning. The chess game is used as a
metaphor for conflict in general. The riots were partly race riots (for
want of a better term), and "Chess" implicity refers to black and white in
opposition. It also suggests a larger game beyond the knowledge of the
pawns - this refers to the political power play in the background. An
inquiry into the riots partially blamed them on the economic policies of
Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government, which seemed to inflict the
poor with the economic cost of restructuring while leaving the more
affluent (the Conservatives' major supporters) relatively unscathed.
Which is all consistent with the themes of Fugazi.
Subject: 3.10 What is said in "Incubus"?
The correct line is:
"An irritating speck of dirt that came from absolutely nowhere..."
Subject: 3.11 What does "Slainte Mhath" mean?
Slainte Mhath means literally "Good Health" - slainte translates
vaguely as health, "mhath" is the feminine form of "math" (pron.
"maa"). In Scots Gaelic, we aspirate to make an adjective feminine.
Thus the name "Mairi" (Marie) is given extra feminine emphasis by
aspiration - "Mhairi" (pron. "Varry").
It is a gaelic word, too, which is where Fish picked it up. Irish, gaelic
(scottish), and welsh are all related languages.
Pronounce "slainte mhath" as Fish does - "Slanzh'va", and utter it
when someone buys you a drink!
Subject: 3.12 What's the story behind Geezabun?
This is ancient Marillion history. It seems that once during a break
between songs (possibly while some technical problem was being fixed) Fish
entertained the audience at a gig with the following "joke":
Q: How does an elephant tell you it's hungry?
While impersonating an elephant, using his arm as a trunk, Fish gave
A: It says "Geezabun".
[Explanatory notes for non-Brits:
1. "Geezabun" = "Give us a bun" said very fast by a Scotsman.
2. Many years ago children used to be allowed to feed buns to elephants
at British zoos, so buns are widely held to be part of the standard
3. A bun is a fairly simple form of cake. There are two standard
varieties: the currant bun (slightly sweetened dough mixed with dried
currants) and the iced bun (slightly sweetened dough covered with
icing [frosting]). There are also specialist buns, eg. the
hot-crossed bun (traditionally eaten on Good Friday), Bath buns,
Chelsea buns etc.]
Anyway, the telling of this joke became standard procedure at Marillion
gigs and members of the audience would bombard the stage with buns at the
Note that the choir on Fish' version of "Fearless" is called Geezabun!
Also the bootleg "The Mask" contains a disc that has Geezabun on it (which
is the only recording available on bootleg). It's also on the "Live At
Sheffield City Hall" boot listed as "Anthem". This boot is the last date of
the Clutching_aS tour.
Subject: 3.13 Who are the people on the cover of "Clutching at Straws"?
The people you see on the cover are all famous people that died of
drugs/alcohol. Fish was influenced by most of these people.
On the front from left to right:
Robert Burns, Dylan Thomas, Truman Capote and Lenny Bruce
On the back from left to right:
John Lennon, James Dean and Jack Kerouac
Here's the story behind those people:
James Dean died in a car crash, but was probably drunk when it happened.
He was an alcoholic and also used drugs. Jack Kerouac died of alcohol
poisoning, but also used drugs. Dylan Thomas also died of alcohol
poisoning. Truman Capote died of a combination of alcohol, drugs, and
whatever pills (probably suicide). Robert Burns died of alcohol poisoning,
Lenny Bruce died of an overdoses heroine... John Lennon does not exactly
fit in this (pleasant) group of people, he was not an alcoholic, nor a
heavy drugs user. But, as someone put it: he probably died of an overdose
Subject: 3.14 What is the Fidra Lighthouse?
From Warm Wet Circles:
"She nervously undressed in the dancing beams of the Fidra Lighthouse"
Fidra is a small rocky island just off the coast of East Lothian (East
of Edinburgh, Scotland). There is a nature reserve on this part of the
coast and is the type of place that people go "to be together" and
alone. It's a beautiful area. There is a small automatic lighthouse on
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