Subject: Fish 2002 - A Six Foot 5 Scottish White Rabbit (Bluddy late again!)
Dear Fishheads, Freaks, fans and the Company!
The PC crashed over the holiday, the e-mail prog wouldn't send, the Christmas cards were delivered by the printers on the afternoon of the 23rd after 3 print errors, I had a virus that kiboshed me for 4 weeks and is only now moving out, everything I need is in boxes that I can't find blah blah blah!!!! All true I swear!
This is the first week that I am getting back to a degree of normality.
Mo and Pete came up this weekend and sorted the PC enabling me finally to wish you a Happy New Year. Rumours that I hadn't sent cards or had deliberately gone for off-season Xmas cards as part of a deep tight Scottish trait are untrue. I am on the planet and operating. It was just that the last post was jammed in the mess and wasn't released till a few days ago made it appear that I was some kind of Scrooge or uncaring Onkel! Those who know me understand that I am a total eejit with technology and problems when they occur are monumental. But the boy is back and on-line! Apologies to all who were as frustrated as I was at my inability to communicate with this electronic pigeon post!
What happened in recent weeks?
I have become a yellow belt at assembling flat pack Ikea kitchen units although I need some plastic wood to fill the holes where I had to drill out the screws that were honestly marked in the wrong places on the instruction manual :-)
I have put up shelving which still remains on the wall after 48 hours.
I discovered a wonderful recipe for venison which I created by accident. Confidence was high after cooking an entire Xmas turkey dinner for 7 people. They all survived!
I sank to new depths and stole 2 houseplants from a hotel (which I put in my luggage from Holland and which in typical karmic fashion was lost for 2 days! The plants survived! :-)
I sang with a great Dutch band "De Kast" accompanied by one of my all time guitar heroes Jan Akkerman on Dutch RTL TV. Though I was still suffering from the virus it went well and we performed "Tiki 4" and "Our Smile" along with a low and bluesy Kayleigh. During the interview section with us all Seep, the Kast singer began "Gentleman's" which I added a low harmony before launching into a jammed song with Jan. That small vibe was enough to make us both smile and talk about writing something together. A great man and someone with whom I instantly clicked with. His "feel" on playing is very similar and his attitude identical to mine. The Kast are also great players and my kind of people and we will be doing something together later in the year.
It was so close to being cancelled as I was seriously ill. I'd seen a Doc on Thursday and I had called the producer on Sunday to prepare her for a no show. Luckily I started to clear on Monday and a cortisone injection on show day got me into the edge of performance capability. I was glad I made the effort as the reactions were very positive and a great many people in Holland discovered I was still alive and working! :-)
I appeared near naked on stage at Chiddingfold on the last night with the SAS band. A pink feathery boa and my Calvin's covered my willy which I INSIST was suffering from the frost outside! :-)
A red wig and cowboy hat added to the costume I had decided would suit my rendition of Dean Martin's "Amore"! Shock value was ace! :-) The band had no idea!
SAS songs were changed over the 4 nights with "Lucky" (yes I agree with the comments out there! :-) and "What do you Want the Girl to do" holding set all 4 nights and "Lavender", "Kayleigh", "Just Good Friends" alternating and "With a Little Help..." leading out my solo contribution. The gigs were great fun as always and there is a lot of discussion about moving the whole concept forward. Next song suggested for my set is "Take Me to the River". Good song for a guy named Fish! The Bass on my toilet wall sings it to me every time I flush the toilet! :-)))
I am stopping smoking next week. Time has arrived for serious decisions and the time is right on many levels.
I have been offered and accepted a role in the new BBC Scotland TV series "Snoddy". Starring Gregor Fisher (Rab C Nesbitt) the script by Johnny Crawford is hilarious and I will be the demented sidekick of a Glaswegian Robocop! Nuff said! I am potentially looking at 12 episodes in 2003.
I didn't get the Bond film. They held back on a final decision until today and I was told that the director was genuinely very impressed by the audition and that I will be seriously considered for his future projects. He also saw "Buzzcocks" and thought I was really funny and strong on camera! One of those auditions where you don't get the gig but get the "in"! Oh life as an unemployed actor!
Met Ian Mosley and Steve Rothery at Chiddingfold to discuss the release of pre-88 live recordings. The concept is workable but the execution and delivery needs care and consideration.
As you know I have taken and accepted criticism for my decisions to release so much live material and I hope I have remedied this by making the recordings available to Company members at what I like to think as "realistic" prices. (I came across "Sashimi" at an airport retail outlet - price 17 pounds!!! :-(((( ) I'd like to believe that the idea of releasing pre-88 material including rarities etc is a long term collectors concern and not perceived as a cynical exploitation of loyalty. I am sure that both Marillion and the parties concerned can find a solution that will satisfy the critics and fans alike and allow us to develop our independent profiles and careers in a positive manner.
The Haddington Convention will be in Autumn and will precede the release on mail order of "Field of Crows". Retail release will be after the European tour in October/November/December.
There will be a European Convention in Holland in early summer. Details are being worked out.
"Fellini Nights" recorded in Amsterdam Paradiso will be released on mail order in February.
A DVD of "Kettle of Fish" will be released in April.
A very limited edition of "Fellini Days" will be released on picture disc vinyl in the next 2 months. Mail order only.
All details on these releases will be announced in the next week.
The European shows will be preceded by a few UK gigs in special venues. I have talked today to my agent who is starting to book shows from June onwards and throughout the writing and recording period of June/July/August/September. I will be recording here at the Studio - just have to move the furniture and switch the TV off when the footy is on!!
All will be revealed in the coming weeks on the website and Fishheads and then expanded upon within the new Field Of Crows site which will be dedicated to the new project.
First lyric is in progress with the working title "Only Numbers" 12 other lyric sections are floating on the pages.
Anyone looking to buy a 1998 Volkswagen 2.5 litre turbo black Caravelle, 76,000 miles on the clock, MOT and fresh service - one dodgy owner! :-) As seen on speed cameras! :-)
Put a brick in the wall of fame at the Cavern in Liverpool! Wheelie you are a diamond geezer! Judith you are a doll!
Anyone confused about the Company Holland! Astrid and Harry are the official representatives of the Company in Holland and they are my spokespeople in Holland (as well as being close personal friends). I welcome anyone who wants to set up their own website or list and I sincerely appreciate the support. I cannot however recognise any set-up outside the Company as being official as it becomes too confusing and leads to perceived rivalries and creates frictions that are not part of the intentions or ideals of the Company. It's supposed to be fun, guys! Astrid and Harry will be working together with Mario at the Company Germany and Alex at the Company Belgium together with the other Company members in putting the European Convention together in June. This will be their swansong as personal commitments mean that they don't have the time to dedicate to the demands of the fan club. The Company Holland will be taken over by a new team led by the infamous Wilco who over the next few months will be shadowing and ready to take over the helm in July.
I've known Wilco for years and he is the perfect successor. The Company Holland is and always will be my official voice in Holland. Wilco is also a confirmed Hibby!
Hibs are in the relegation area but are in the League Cup semi-finals and in the next round of the Scottish Cup! It is not good! :-(
Elliot is in Africa! Where? No bleeding idea!
I have offered my services for Army gigs in Oman/Kuwait and Kabul! Response coming soon!
New tattoo on it's way. The guy who got the Bond part is a Maori! Could have made a difference! :-)
enough for now
lots of love
Onkel Fish xx
Stuart Adamson - rest in peace big guy. I hope at last you found it. Your heart was too big for your head and your passion too big for the world. It's a crying shame that they only want to hear what you had to say once you've gone. I wanted to listen to you when you were alive. You never called. You threw in the towel when all you were fighting were shadows and most of them were your own. A plague of ghosts.
Email 18th January 2002