Email 6th September 2000

Subject: Fish 2000 - SAS USA and UK shows - camera rolling!

Dear Freaks, Fishheads, Fans and the Company,

Hibs just went through to the next round of the Scottish League Cup and I have more news on the SAS US trip.

I told you yesterday that it was unlikely that there would be more shows apart from the private Microsoft gig. Spike phoned today to tell me that he has organised a special showcase at the Troubadour in LA on Sunday 17th September.
This is what I received from the Spike meister!

"The SAS Band is coming to Los Angeles for its American Debut performance!
THE GIG IS CONFIRMED for Sunday 17th Sept at the Troubadour, Los Angeles
Address :-
9081 Santa Monica Boulevard (between Robinson & Doheney)
Tel 310 276 6168
Please email and fax everyone you know in L.A.
This is a bums on seats gig and we want to fill it!!
For this very special performance The SAS Band will consist of:-
> Paul Young ("Every Time You go away" "Wherever I Lay My Hat")
> Chris Thompson ( Manfred Mann's Earthband "Blinded by the Light & Davy's on the Road Again")
> Fish, ( Marillion who's agreed to sing "Kayleigh" !!!)
> A 4 piece band consisting of;-
> Jamie Moses on gtr (The Pretenders, Brian May Band)
> Steve Stroud on Bass (Eric Burdon, The Hollies)
> John Martyr on Drums (Frankie Miller, Marillion)
> Spike Edney on keyboards (Queen, Duran Duran)
> 2 girl singers Susie and Zoe (Ex Bjorn Again) Known as FABBA ( they do all the B.V's plus an ABBA Tribute) and a 2 piece horn section
> Andy Bush on trumpet
> Steve Hamilton on Sax that play with Radiohead and Blur
> Performance times tba"

I'll be singing more than Kayleigh as you may have surmised and if the audience has a very Fishy feel then Spike and the boys will give me a LOT more leeway with the set! :-)
Play this right and the SAS band (and myself) could become regular visitors. Spread the news to all and sundry that you know on the West Coast. Spike and the band are already talking to friends and ex partners about Special Guests in LA. There will be some very special contributions on the night! I say no more! :-) Be there or be exceptionally very square!!
The SAS UK tour is also coming together and I can announce that I'll be with the gang in Southampton Brook on the 7th December and Chiddingfold on the 8th and 9th with the usual "Specials" for the Warm Up shows. The tour will flow from there and the dates will be announced as soon as Spike tells me the story. The only other definite confirmation is at Manchester Apollo on the 15th. Manchester is a tribute gig to Paul Young with all proceeds going to his widow, Pat Young. It will be a Star studded night and your presence will guarantee a Fellini Moment!
News on booking and tickets as soon as I get it in.For those of you who saw last years epic at Chiddingfold you know not to hesitate! News coming at you tomorrow will maybe help you decide! :-)
The LA gig is important and as Spike said anyone you know who may be interested in going or who can supply any sort of promotion locally or otherwise is a friend of the bands.I don't need to tell you that a successful Troubadour show creates more awareness of my own personal profile. Who knows? An American Fellini Day next year! :-))))))

lots of love
Onkel Fish x

Ps Jester / Troubadour - is there a difference? :-)))))


Subject: Fish 2000 - Camera speed on the movie of "The Cunning Plan"!!

Dear Freaks, Fishheads, Fans and the Company,

Weird weather up here at the moment. Haddington was flooded to a depth of nearly a metre last week. The Tyneside Tavern flooded out, the Waterside went under and nary a drop spilled at Spittalrig. It wasn't totally fog free! The ceiling in the TV room had water streaming through it in 2 different places in the same week, once from a bust radiator and the other from a leaking shower tray in the bathroom above. Finest foggy moment was our wee sit-on garden mower going up in flames. My Dad nearly had a pair of roasted old chestnuts but luckily he'd stopped for a coffee break to let the overheated engine calm down. We were sitting out in the back garden in the sun when my Mum smelled burning rubber. Wandering to the front garden our pace quickened as we saw "Tommy the tractor" engulfed in flames. I ran for the extinguisher in the house but it was too late. Two years ago that flood would have hit us (even though we are on a hill) and I would have found out the insurance policy didn't cover garden equipment operated by fathers of raingods. Today the sun is still shining and glinting off the bonnet of our brand new upgraded tractor. I'm hobbling around with a return of an old knee injury (from Barcelona 97) but with a glint in my eye. I know the signs and have been reading them in the stars for a few weeks. The deciphering and caution required kept me quiet and controlled as the pieces began to fit together. I now have the ability to see through fog!

I can now begin to start rolling on the brand new souped-up cunning plan and let you into the secrets.
I am off to San Diego next Tuesday for an SAS gig. This is a private show for Microsoft so please don't ask me for tickets as there are none available. Spike tried to get more shows but I believe promoters felt that the time span was too short to advertise effectively. I am therefore holed up in the city for 7 days to play one show of approximately an hour. With all the discussion about American touring on the Freaks list it seems so extravagant to be able to be playing an hour long private show on that continent when I can't afford to get a band over for a tour off my own reputation. Needless to say I will be tracking down Bill at the bar for a quiet word about Fellini Days! :-) I refuse to give up on America!

I'm back on the 20th and prepare for the writing sessions with the new set up. The writing team has completely changed and the live outfit may have John Wesley as longest-serving member. Wes arrives here at the farm to begin work on Fellini Days in the first week in October.

The new keyboard player is John Young who some of you may know from his work with - amongst others - Asia, Quango, John Wetton, Bonnie Tyler and many more over his long career. He has just finished an album with Greenslade and their touring commitments in November have fitted in reasonably well with my plans. I have heard some of John's (JY) recent writing and I find it fits perfectly with my conception of where the new album should go.

The new drummer is Alan Brown from Grangemouth who is the closest thing I have ever found to Dave Stewart who is now effectively retired from touring. Alan is 25, 6 foot 3, built like a blacksmith's laddie and to top all that is good-looking enough to have spent the last 2 years in a boy band called "Bliss" in Asia. When I first saw his CV with photo I though that there was no way a guy this good-looking can play drums that well. I heard his tape and signed him without an audition. He is Berklee trained and has a wide array of styles that fit the profile I need in a drummer.

I am hoping as is Steve Vantsis that he will be in the line up but as always we must find a compromise on time as he now employed full time at an advertising firm and his pay cheque is more than welcome in the Bubbles household. Like most musicians deriving a living from the wonderful world of the 21st century music business, wedding gigs and cover version sets in Greenock clubs are not paying the rent. The dilemma is always the desire to play against the guaranteed income from a less glamorous source. It is Steve's decision and I know that he is desperate to come out with us. I understand and respect any decision that he will make in the coming weeks. Should Steve have to pull out then there is a replacement already in the wings which both Steve and I have nominated and who is eager to join the outfit.

I have not made a decision on a backing vocalist yet as the material will dictate the requirements.

I will not be signing to a Major label and have every intention of playing the Indy card to it's fullest potential. Fellini Days will be pre-sold through Fish Information Services on behalf of my new label Chocolate Frog Record Company Limited. This company will run all the albums including the Roadrunner catalogue once we have finalised a deal in the next few weeks. All the material will be sold through F.I.S. using our new secure credit card system, and around March next year I plan to release the album to retail using Voiceprint records as our international distributors. I am not planning any singles and I am not anticipating any elaborate promotion. If this album is as good as we all think it could be then Fellini Days will speak for itself. I don't expect to compete with the Bon Jovi's or Radioheads and don't intend to try.
My target for sales is realistic and if Fellini Days hits around 50,000 units by next Summer I will be happy. This is a Fish album with no pretensions to charts or otherwise. The style as discussed with Wes and JY is based around the "heaviness" and attack of Sunsets with the atmospheres and melodies that were the core of Plague. Anything goes as long as it feels good and there is that inherent soul that many have come to expect from my work. We have complete artistic control and it will be used.

Elliot Ness returns to engineer and produce with Calum Malcolm nominated for mixing and mastering. The same production team as on the last 2 albums.

The album will be recorded in a number of locations more of which I'll explain in future posts but we will be pursuing a unique procedure.
The principal location will be here at the farm. I lost the permission to develop the Ruin a few weeks ago and had to completely rethink my future. The house is not sold and everyone who has viewed the house has the same reserved judgement on the studio part. With this in mind, I have decided to split the house from the studio and sell it separately. I am now drawing plans with an architect to develop a residential property onto the existing studio where Tammi, Tara and I will have a family home and at the same time I will retain a property which is far more valuable as a recording environment for both Fellini Days and future projects. The local planners have so far been totally supportive as they understand the need to split the property in order to make it more attractive to would-be buyers and at the same time retain the profile of having a studio in the county. The proposition should be put before them officially in the next two weeks and I am supremely confident that this plan suits all concerned in a highly positive manner. This will also mean I can still stay in East Lothian and my family can continue to grow up in a county we have all come to love dearly.

All these moves have prevented the organisation of a Fan Club convention in Haddington this year and the pre-sell of Fellini Days. I had nightmares of everything going foggy and the advance payments for gigs and albums getting lost in the financial twister of an upheaval which contained house sales and company restructuring. I refused to allow a position to occur where I could have lost my integrity or the respect of a fan base that I am looking for to support possibly the best cunning plan yet. That is why I refrained from organising a convention or pre-selling Fellini Days so far.

News on the details of what I intend to do with this pre-sale will also be fed out in the coming weeks and I will pass on all the information to you when I am confident that we have all bases covered and a package to offer you which is value for money, attractively packaged and contains something special for those of you willing to back me. The advance sales will pay for session fees and other associated recording costs and enable me the freedom to write and record without having to compromise on a commercial level.

I am discussing endorsement details with studio equipment suppliers, all of whom are excited on a technical level with what we intend to do with Fellini Days. With the existing studio together with these new endorsement deals we are more than capable of recording to a high standard. Again more later.
There is still a lot of organising required and funding for building work etc. to be found but as far as I am concerned the studio will now be reopened although it will be purely for my projects. Millennium is no more and has followed Dick Bros into the history books.

Every day I still get e-mails about touring and I have always said that live work will still be part of my arsenal. I choose the dates and as long as they are financially and logistically feasible and as long as I have new material to play, gigs will happen.
I will know more later this week but the plan is as follows and in discussion to establish an itinerary that suits all concerned. As well as writing and recording in October I will be putting together a live set whose first destination, I am happy to say, as being South America.
So far I am waiting confirmation on 5 dates in Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Costa Rica. Please do not e-mail me on suggestions or confirmations etc. All will be revealed as revealed to me by my South American promoter.
This tour is scheduled for first week of November. Following this we will be playing a fan club convention somewhere on the Dutch/German border for both the major Mainland European Companies on the 17th and 18th November, the first night being an acoustic gig in a special venue and the other an electric night. Both nights are intended to preview material from Fellini days which at that time will be a work in progress. With JY having "Greenslade" commitments my life will float round the studio environment but on around the 29th we head to Kosovo for 4 major shows for the UN forces. I plan to set up a small studio in a Kosovo hotel suite to continue recording. We return from Kosovo around the 4th December when we all break and I head off on a UK tour with the SAS band between the 8th and 18th.
I will then go for a family holiday and return on the 27th to reassemble the band for a UK tour which will take us hopefully to Edinburgh on New Year's night and the first gig of the real Millennium. This as with the other shows is not confirmed. We are talking with the promoters.
After the 4th of January we finish up the UK leg and then head into mainland Europe where we will be gigging for around 4 weeks.

PLEASE DO NOT E-MAIL EITHER MYSELF OR MO ABOUT THE DATES AS THEY ARE UNDER DISCUSSION ALREADY WITH THE RELEVANT PARTIES. WE APPRECIATE YOUR EAGERNESS BUT NEITHER MO NOR I CAN ANSWER A DELUGE OF MAILS AND WE DON'T WANT TO APPEAR EITHER UNGRATEFUL NOR IGNORANT. AS SOON AS I HAVE NEWS YOU WILL BE NEXT TO HEAR AND ANY AND ALL OPTIONS ARE BEING CAREFULLY CONSIDERED.

I am being very careful about the length and intensity of the touring module. All fog must be eliminated and my energies and those of the band will be healthily split between studio and live environments, hopefully positively benefiting both.

Mark Wilkinson will once again be cover artist and we already have a work in progress on Fellini Days which will be detailed in the Masque book available in November this year. This is the culmination of a great deal of work, particularly from Mark, and the realisation of a dream we had way back in 88. The quality and content is superb and both Mark and I are very proud of our achievement so far in making this happen. No-one will be disappointed I assure you. The book is a work of art in itself. Once again more news will become available as the weeks go by and the organisation behind the release is set in place.

Round about the same time as the initial touring and the run-up to Christmas, I plan to release a double live album taken from the Pre-Fog touring in Europe in 99. I have excellent recordings from the desk of Amsterdam, Koln and Poznan. This will be released as an "Official bootleg" to retail, and once again will help fund the moves I am making on Fellini Days.

The live CD from Bosnia 2000 will be given away to fanzine subscribers in December/January as a freebie similar to the Issue 30CD.
There will be a fanzine issued around late October detailing all of the above and another in December with the traditional Xmas card with Fellini Days artwork!

I am also talking to various people about warm-up shows and I am confident that I will have at least 3, one of which will be just outside London and deemed as a mini fan club convention which I hope will both appease the travelling fraternity that have crawled up to Haddington from down South for the last few years and also enable others to sample a Fishy-type Fellini Day for themselves.

There's more happening as the days go by but for now you have the drift of the Plan. All will become clearer as the weeks go by and we move to Camera-action.

More news as it comes in and the Plan is set in concrete.

And oh by the way, I shoot "Nine Dead Gay Guys" in October in London, I start work on "Clarinda" with Johnny Depp and others too early to mention in March (and I have 2 tracks on the soundtrack album) and I am currently researching and planning my "Real" first script with a French Canadian writer for a movie called "In the Footsteps of Angels" which we will be pitching in February to a Major studio! Just in case you thought the acting stuff was a Fogbank!

My role in Taggart is scheduled for UK broadcast on September the 14th and I recently did a SAS live TV set for LWT scheduled to be shown just before the UK tour in December. I sang Just Good Friends with the Fabba girls on BV's! Very sexy! With the SAS gigs preceding my shows there is a great chance for parallel promo and with Taggart providing excellent opportunities to talk with the Mirror and other major media the joint career plan is unfolding as I hoped it would back in December 99.

Hibernian top of the league and Scotland 3 points up on their opening World Cup campaign. Life is beginning to feel good again. However I know my place. There are no unrealistic hopes. The foghorns are tuned and ready and I have Fallback positions at every point on the Road. Live the moment and smile at the opposition. It worries them!

In control, poised and ready to hit the curve of the night!

locked and loaded, safety on and feeling very dangerous

sorry to have been away for so long - hope you all understand! :-)

anyone know about DVD's! :-)

lots of love
Onkel Fish x :-)

ps We are planning a DVD for the beginning of next year! :-))))))

pps I just want to publicly thank Per Hansson and Claus Nygaard for all their work on the Company Scandinavia. They both have new commitments in their lives and I am overjoyed that we had some great Fellini days along the way. I wish them both sincerely all the best with their new curves and I am proud to have had their support and friendship over the years. Great Company!! I'd choose you every time guys! see you in January 2001!

ppps Haddington Convention next year - already in discussion with promoters!
 

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