Email 18th February 1998

Subject: Fish 98 - 0000's?

Dear freaky laddies and lassies!
How are you? I see the list is generating heat again! I'm glad to see it getting interesting as I was getting bored scrolling through Top Ten lists which I grew to hate years ago when it was obligatory to fill them in in order to get a wee bit space in a magazine with your picture next to it!! I can remember getting into a fight at school over who was the fastest/best (In those days it meant the same!!!) keyboard player, in the red corner the caped crusader Rick Wakeman or in the blues corner, the Blade himself, Keith Emerson.....!!! The teacher broke it up....Jon Lord was third!! Why don't you, if you're really bored, break it down to best classical style, best sequencer operator, best lead, best chord improviser..... Yawn!!:) If you link with the dudes playing that's what it's all about, that's why I never like to contribute, it's all down to personal taste.
But I tell you what George Formby is THE Number 1 ukulele player in the WORLD!!!!!:)
Some of you have been asking about the triple zero Fish Head Curry CD's and I sensed a few raised eyebrows!!!
The story is this :- I decided to go with a numbered limited edition run of another live show from the 95 tour to follow the Krakow concert CD. as the Lucerne show was excellent and another totally different experience from the TV audience atmosphere. I didn't want to have another live CD on official release and I didn't want another catalogue item hanging around so I decided on a 5000 numbered limited edition available to fan club members only, in short a collectors item!! I thought they would have moved fast but they hung around for a long time and I had to take the albums on the road as merchandise to move them along! I was also offered a chance to sell them to an export house who moved them at a higher price into the World!! That was why we put a sticker inside covering the paragraph about " If you paid more etc...." . This avoided irate fans hassling innocent shopkeepers!!! I knew that by the time the units arrived in the shops the price would be out of my hands as they determine retail prices not me!! The price would obviously be higher than the one we could offer at the fan club . Not many units went out this route! Most were sold on the road!
To manufacture a numbered limited edition is a lot more complicated than a normal CD run. In this case when we received the shipment from our manufacturers we found about 800 CD's missing. Tammi had to go through the entire shipment, boxing them in sequence to find the missing individually numbered albums! Once we had the numbers we contacted the supplier who told us they couldn't operate a run for these numbers but would replace the 800 units and send us the CD's with triple zero booklet numbers. We could then have the individual numbers printed on a separate booklet print run and hand insert the replacement inner sleeve! Are you with me so far!!
So we ended up with boxes of triple zeroes and a box of numbered sleeves. The days went by and we sold the numbered run in no particular order until one day in the USA I noticed a "tz" in the merchandise . I phoned home and told them about the box of numbered sleeves and arranged to have them sent out to replace the TZ's. Dave wasn't aware of the story and had been selling TTZ's for a while!!! The inserts didn't arrive and I forgot to follow up. They were never sent and I've forgotten all about the box of numbered sleeves until the other day. I searched for them and found the sleeves in a cardboard CD box at the end of the shelf containing the last of the Fish Head Curries!!
So to pacify anyone who's a wee bit disgruntled I suggest the following :-
Anyone who has a Triple Zero FHC sleeve, send it back to us at-
"The Company"
East Lothian EH41 3TA
and we'll send you a replacement numbered sleeve. It was our screw up so we'll pay the postage this end.
BTW there were only 200 promos made in order to supply crew, band, journalists etc.
On the subject of pricing I noticed with dismay that Dave McMann took a barbecuing recently! I have to say that Dave has always been diamond with me and his recent e's of support and his relaying of orders to us has been much appreciated. He has got me to people I couldn't otherwise reach and I more than anyone appreciates the perils and benefits of a free market economy.
My penny worth is this -
If I want to reap the benefits of the retail price and want to keep control of an item's price I only issue on mail order. As soon as I sell it on I lose control and the next parties can charge as little or as much as they want. If someone undercuts me then I have the option of dropping my price and cutting my profit margin--or not selling to that dealer!!! As principal member of the food chain in this situation no one should beat you unless they're deliberately putting you out of business and accepting the losses from selling something cheaper than they buy it!! This has happened with chain stores who discount one hip title to such an extent in order to attract people to the store knowing they'll probably buy other titles thus cancelling the loss on the hip title!!! God help you if you're the artist involved!! You'll wonder why your royalty statement has so many "Free Goods" or "Special Discount" percentages!!
The problem lies in the discounts given to retailers some as much as 25 per cent. These don't normally get given back to "fans" but are used in High Street Market Share Wars. It's a fact that there are many stores out there in the UK who realise I have a loyal fan base and price accordingly. i.e. the singles though sold at enormous discount are still priced at 3 pounds plus! because the shop knows The CD will be approached as a collectors item rather than just as a chart single!! It happens, nothing I can do about it except not sell to them!!
But as far as my catalogue goes I try to keep it fairly priced as I want to try to give a good deal and at the same time maximise my income from my catalogue without being greedy!
I have to be competitive.
The only other problem I have is that my catalogue is limited and I can't rely on other titles to make up a wage. My turnover is smaller therefore the profit margin is more important to me than someone who has a diverse catalogue and a higher turnover!
In the end it's my choice how I price CD's. If people choose not to buy then I re-evaluate!! It's simple. I'm glad I seem to have my prices right!!!
Used car anyone!!!
BTW, the first stereo system I ever bought was an eight track and I can still remember that wonderful dramatic pause and metallic clunk in the middle of close to the edge. Eight track was never designed for progressive rock!!!
It seems that the Edinburgh show on April 19th is in question. A license still has not been given to the promoters for this concert and it now seems unlikely that this gig will happen. Please don't make any travel arrangements until we know for certain that this gig is going on.
To end on a positive note, I have decided to hold a fan club convention in Haddington on Saturday May 30th. Details have not been worked out yet. Tickets will be 10.00 pounds and will be available in the next few weeks. I will provide more details when we have them. Hopefully by then we will have a couple of new tracks to play all things going well!:)
All the best, Onkel Fish
p.s. I am still working on the merchandise list of memorabilia and artwork etc it has taken a lot longer than expected, but it should be ready by the beginning of next week. As well as checking out our website check out Torch Song It's a great site, highly recommended.

Site content ©1981-2012 Derek W. Dick/Fish. Artwork ©1983-2012 Mark Wilkinson.
Text, images, sound clips and code may not be copied without permission. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions apply
Chocolate Frog Record Company Ltd. registered office: 6th Floor, New Baltic House, 65 Fenchurch St., London EC3M 4BE. Company No. 04007392