Interview 17th August 1995

Fish presented a selection of videos on the German TV channel Viva2. This is most of the transcript from the one hour long show.

Fish:..... I had to play this track because they are one of the bands that combine rock music with folk music and do all the bits - and do it really well. So this is one of the old Led Zeppelin tracks

Video of Stairway To Heaven - Led Zeppelin was now shown

(The German show presenter says something in German - Yet again our German lets us down - Sorry!)

Fish: The Who. Yeah, it was Band Aid, the side of the stage. Pete Townsend, Daltry doing the whole bit. They were one of THE bands. I remember seeing Daltry in sequins and things, and going " I wanna do that - I wanna be that sort of singer" . The band, the album Quadrophenia, all the tracks they ever did were so stunning. I think that for me, they are still THE greatest British rock band. Even greater than the Zepellins. The Who, Townsend, the smashed up speakers, the kit going, and the irrepressible Mr. Keith Moon doing everything that every singer has ever wanted to do, and I've never done it yet - is throw the TV set out of the window because " I am Scottish, and I'm too mean and I keep on thinking of the bill too much"

Video of Won't Get Fooled Again - The Who was now shown

Fish: This is my daughter Tara. She was conceived in a hotel in Berlin. We know this because my wife and I met three times on the tour. Berlin was a place for romance and it was a place where my bohemian spirit burnt very brightly. This artist was on the Walkman all the time because it just seemed to be part of, it still is for me, part of Berlin. This is Joni Mitchell. This is Tara and this is Tammi, and I'm Fish.

Video of Night Ride Home - Joni Mitchell was now shown

Fish: Little boys - when you get into music, there is always certain artists that really captivate you. One of the first people that I ever got into was Marc Bolan. It was when I was a young adolescent discovering everything really. But in particular the confused sexuality and I never actually realised that Marc Bolan was supposedly gay. Is that allegedly? - Very effeminate though. At the time in school, when all the guys were kicking about together, it was frowned upon to like such an effeminate artist. David Bowie was coming out at the time, I think the big Lou Reed thing was at that moment. But I always remember, There was a guy who I won't name, he's an American, his father was a great friend of my father. He came across, and I always have this memory of dancing about in a room when we were about 11 or 12 years old. Squirting bottles of Ginger Ale over each other, listening to Jeepster. He actually eventually became an evangelical minister and currently works somewhere in Texas and I became a rock 'n' roll singer. There is something strange about that, that needs further investigation. This is Marc Bolan and T-Rex, I still remember.

Video of 20th Century Boy - T-Rex was now shown

Fish: Everybody still thinks that musicians and bands all travel about in limo's from day one, as soon as you put a record out, it's straight into the long wheel base limo. It doesn't really happen. I remember one time we went on a promotion trip to Canada when I was in Marillion. I think it was about 1984 or '85. They sent Mark Kelly the keyboard player, Paul Lewis the tour manager and myself. They said " Go up there and we will look after you, and then maybe we can take you to L.A., you can have two days off in L.A., maybe meet friends" . We got to Canada and suddenly things changed. They said " You have got to go to New York. We start the press on Monday, you get there on Friday. So you have got the whole weekend to yourself" . So we thought " Great, New York, let's party down - here we go" . I remember the last time I stayed there. They had put me in this big hotel and when they run the expense bill out it was " chugga, chugga, chugga, chugga, chugga, chugga, chugga, chugga...." . And I think for that very reason alone, Capitol Records decided that they were going to be very very careful about where we were going to be allowed to stay. So on the Friday night, Mark Kelly, Paul Lewis and I drove into New York from the airport thinking " this is gonna be great - a real happening weekend in a big hotel" . And we ended up in Hotel Hole. There was no restaurant, there was no room service, there was nothing. And then we found out that we had no money at all. We spent the next two days scurrying about New York trying to get food, trying to keep ourselves amused. On the Sunday just before the band was coming in, we decided to splash out on one big meal. We decided to have breakfast at the Hilton. So we went down and ordered champagne and we were impressing everybody at being very English and very rock 'n' roll. When it came to paying the bill, Paul Lewis our beloved tour manager handed over the credit card, and we were immediately surrounded by about 15 Chinese waiters armed with knives demanding the money for this breakfast. I am gonna play this one, just in memory of that whole scene. This is Talking Heads and Burning Down The House.

Video of Burning Down The House - Talking Heads was now shown

Fish: Apart from Freddie Mercury, there has never really been a brilliant frontman. Freddie was stunning, and I never thought I would ever find another frontman who I could actually go (Fish bows down in the " I'm not worthy" fashion) to. And I did. Again it was one of these bands that somebody plays to you in the back of a car, or a tour bus or whatever. And you go " Wo - I like that!" . This was a huge band that had done loads of albums. I eventually went along to see them in about 1989 when they toured the UK. This guy completely and utterly blew me away. I had never seen anybody move like that, I had never seen a guy take the whole sexual posturing to such an extent. I was just totally and utterly blown away, the man was simply stunning.

Video of Eat The Rich - Aerosmith was now shown

Fish: (Fish now says something in German about living in England in the early years and then moving back to Scotland)..... So I was never really part of any Scottish music scene. Because I was working in a very English band, I was one part of a band. It was sometimes difficult to express my Scottishness without disturbing the other members of the band. When I went solo, when I moved back up here, it changed. There were certain bands that I discovered that had a lot of the folk element that I mentioned earlier on with Led Zeppelin. There were a lot of bands that I started to take an interest in. One band in particular that I come across, we actually did a festival in Breast (France), in the pouring rain. I heard this great Celtic music and discovered a band called The Waterboys. Mike Scott who still operates and lives up here and still writes up here. I think could be put down as one of the latter influences. So we have got to do one of their songs. " Edinburgh boy you know!" .

Video of The Whole Of The Moon - The Waterboys was now shown

Fish: Sometimes it's difficult keeping tabs on everything that's new, and every now and then you will discover a band that will dampen your cynicism. Because you become this sort of " well it wasn't as good as it was when we were lads" . I was in Paris a few months ago. I was there with the distributors and we were kicking about in the Pigalle area, and they suggested that the night was still young and that we should go along to a club, because there was a very good English band playing, so I went along. Blur were playing to about 120 people and I walked in and saw an absolutely stunning performance by these guys. Strangely enough, we met them the following day in Disneyland were we were doing a radio show and we got talking. I have bought the album and discovered a really fascinating group of musicians. I just hope they can break through a lot of this hype that is surrounding them at the moment, and this whole acceleration of their careers. I think they are a very exciting bunch of musicians, as exciting as the Kinks were a long long time ago, so this is one of the tracks from " the acclaimed album" . This is Blur, no less, this is modern. It's happening.

Video of Park Life - Blur was now shown

Fish: So with that, I have got to say goodbye. So it's Tschuss from me, the only singing, dancing and talking fish live for you in Scotland, to you in Germany. Tschuss.
 

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