Subject: Fish 99 - Prompt in the Fog!
Dear Fishheads, Freaks, Fans and the Company,
Well most of you were a bit shocked at the developments in the last week or so but all I can say is that you should have been there! We were wandering around the venues hearing those voices from Quake's prisons! "Make it stop! Make it stop!".
It got so weird that the most bizarre events became the norm. How about this. I take Richie Duncan our much hassled on the road chef for lunch on the ferry into Dover on the return journey. We sit down, the water gets choppier as we indulge in our chilled Chablis and Dover Sole. 2 minutes later Richie's cheeks are exploding as he tries to keep his stomach contents behind a taut napkin in front of his face. I sat in the restaurant alone for the rest of the crossing as Richie came to terms with vomiting 30 pounds of lunch into the disabled toilets. (the gents were out of order!)
As I said yesterday there were signs and directions offered.
First of all the movie "Salvation's Door" had come on line and I was expecting to start this in Lowestoft on the 10th November directly after the tour. With Yatta out of action and my job spec increased I was worried about the script as I couldn't find the time to really sit down and work on the character and the lines. I'd been talking to the director/writer John Hales during the tour and we had agreed that my part was to be "Duck", a principal supporting role to the central character Leon.
On the ferry over I got the call telling me that John had finally received major funding from an Oil Tycoon anxious to get into movies and that the new bankroll meant that he was now shooting on 35mm and that they had the money to pay everyone including attracting other name actors for principal roles.
The shoot now is held until February and in the meantime I have to get down the gym for body building exercises and prepare for martial arts training and boxing instructions. My character has now been expanded upon and John has written him into more scenes in a movie which everyone feels will be the "Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" of next year.
Here's a press release that I sent to John for the now postponed launch party.
"In 1998 soon after returning from yet another arduous concert tour around the planet which I swore never again to repeat I was contacted by my agent who had been patiently waiting on his chance to resume work on my acting career. I was asked to come down to London to audition for a movie that as yet was still in planning stages but could provide an opportunity in the future should it go ahead.
I was the last interviewee of the day and had plenty of time before my flight back home to Scotland. The first time I met John Hales I was captivated by his drive and enthusiasm. Rather than jettisoning me to the streets after the expected customary short audition he spent a considerable time explaining the potential roles as well as his hopes and aspirations and the overall vision of "Salvation's Door". After an hours worth of discussion I was convinced that this was something special and the script that soon followed me home added to my excitement that this was not a pipedream but a project that was moving forward quickly fuelled by John's ambition and self belief. I knew I had met a like minded person and our meeting covered topics where we found ourselves on mutual territories that convinced me even more that this was someone I really wanted to work with in the future. We parted with a promise to keep in touch on developments
This year the ball really started to roll and once again we were talking about the possibility of one of three characters for me to play all of which John saw me capable of carrying. I had been worried that with a short tour coming up that it would just be my luck to lose out due to other commitments but I was overjoyed to discover that the time frames overlapped perfectly. John finally decided that I would be best suited to the character "Duck". His "Old World" sensibilities and unswerving loyalty wrapped up in a potentially lethal frame of a young man committed with a deep friendship and devotion to not only his best friend but to the "community" he grew up in greatly attracted me. He has the power but also the sensitivity and the ability to control his environment to maximum effect. His old fashioned characteristics in the modern world of "new age" gangsters will always provide conflict. An honest man totally devoted to a dishonest lifestyle in which he has never perceived any wrong. This I can relate to totally from my own experiences.
The message on my recent return from Europe that major funding was now in place and that "Salvation's Door" was now being held back till early next year in order to fully realise the production was wonderful news. John's excitement was tangible. After all his efforts in the last years and his never ending sense of direction combined with a drive and enthusiasm rarely found these days I am convinced that "Salvation's Door" will become one of the most talked about and anticipated productions of next year.
I am proud to be involved in the project and am totally committed to taking my place in a team that can fully realise John's dream. "Salvation's Door" is the opportunity that I have been waiting on for a long time and will surely provide British cinema with yet another jewel to hold up to the World and bring another great British writer and director to it's stage.
I await rehearsals with great impatience.
Fish 20/10/99 "
I bought a couple of Brazilian machetes in Prague (30 Deutschmarks - a bargain!) and will be starting to cut down over 50 years of undergrowth and ivy from the ruin we are trying to get planning permission to rebuild. I need to expose the site to get an idea of the structure and the amount of potential stonework we can work with. This should prove a useful preparation for the "Salvation's Door" set! Tammi is over the moon that at last I have the motivation to get my body into shape! :-)
As well as "Salvation's Door" I have been told that the "Genesis Man" is now under consideration at ITV and if funding is found then this could represent 6 months TV work as a lead actor in late 2000. I met the writer Eddie Nimmo in Amsterdam on the tour and we had a great time discussing all the potential game plans. He is very confident that this will come off this year.
On Monday I have a meeting with a director to discuss a possible role in the filming of "Rebus", two 100 minute TV dramas based on the Inspector Rebus character created by Scottish writer Ian Rankin. John Hannah will play Rebus but with the books all based around Edinburgh there must be a great chance of getting involved somewhere.
I have been out with Ian Rankin a few times and we discussed the filming just before the tour began. I've read all his books and an opportunity like this is invaluable to get involved in a series which could be of "Taggart" sized popularity.
I am still waiting to hear from the producers of "Clarinda" the Robert Burns film scheduled for filming in early Summer next year. Although a much smaller role this is a major International production and would be a perfect chance to learn about Big Time filming!
So you see the tide is turning in other areas and the luck shines out from the direction I really feel that I should be concentrating on now. The two months gained from the postponement of "Salvation's Door" means that I can literally put my house in order as well as tidy up a number of issues. On top of that I am now under instructions to prepare the synopsis for both a novel and a screenplay after discussing ideas with 2 separate individuals both of whom are in a position to commission.
Putting all this with the potential film work and all the background study and preparation for the submission of planning applications on the ruin (including a possible archaeological recce of the site to back our arguments - Chris Brown the Lighting Director is an archaeologist and has offered to help lay an examination trench) it's going to be busy next year.
There will be an album written and recorded next year but the method of release is as yet uncertain. The only touring will be limited and subject most probably to Scotland's qualification through to the next round of the European Football Championships.
Should our National team's luck turn then I will be touring in Holland and Belgium around the matches and combining the live dates with another Haddington Corn Exchange and other Fan Club Conventions at least in Holland and Germany.
This will probably total 4 weeks live work maximum (working on the thesis that if we beat England then we will still be returning home in our customary fashion - ie early!)
I think at the moment that all touring will precede the album's release and that the Internet and mail order systems will be in place at least 3 months before the album goes to retail outlets. The rest of the details will be put in place early next year as the pre-planning for this album is of vital importance. There is no consideration for singles or videos on this release and as I have already mentioned in the previous e-mail the working title at the moment is "Candlelight in Fog". Tony Turrell, Liz Antwi, Dave Stewart, Steve Vantsis are all already on the work sheets with John Wesley and Steve Wilson also already volunteered. It will be produced by Elliot Ness.
Direction? Listen to "Plague..." live!
I have still to work out the live album from this tour but at the moment there are a couple of options. News later this month!
So the cunning plan takes shape.
To close with some other news!
There is a rumour about a show in Liverpool on the 4th November. This is untrue and should not be acted upon. The L2 had a couple of free dates and I was asked to play there. I turned it down as it would have meant 7 shows in a row which at this moment in time as I recover from this infection would have been totally unrealistic to consider. The option of playing at the end of the UK leg is also out as Wes goes back the day after Cambridge. I would have had to find a new guitarist as his flights are booked! The gig is not on!
I was also asked to sing at Miku Hakkinnen's private party in Stuttgart to celebrate his potential World Championship win! As Wolverhampton is booked and selling well it was a no go! Shame!
There are some SAS dates in England in December that I will be taking part in. No definite shows yet but you will hear asap. My job at the moment is to recover from this shitty infection. I was at the Doc's today and am now on steroids for the next 5 days in order to free my system up. What a wonderful world! :-)
Thanks again for all your e's in the last 24 hours . Much appreciated and welcomed. Forgive me for not replying to all but as you can guess it's all a bit overloaded here!
Nothing I can't deal with! :-))))
all the best
lots of love
Onkel Fish x
Email 21st October 1999