Fugazi - Intro

Introduction: Fugazi was the second Marillion studio album. It features the first appearance of Ian Mosley on drums after a round of Spinal-Tap-esque drummer incidents (partly documented in the song Assassing).

The recording of the album was characterised by considerable difficulties, not least of which was producer Nick Tauber having a nervous breakdown and obsessing over minor details to the detriment of the whole.


Introduction:  From Steve Rothery's liner notes on A Singles Collection: "The germ of the idea came while we were writing at Mountain studios in Wales in the summer of '83. A strange mixture of rehearsal studio and hippy commune run by amongst others 'Sunshine' and 'Nutkin'. It had a Druids stone circle on a hill behind the house and was quite possibly the strangest place I've ever been. I'd just got my Roland guitar synthesiser and was experimenting with it, Fish had been driving us all mad by playing Islamic records he'd got from Peter Hammill at great volume all the time. We finished writing the song a months later, again in Wales, this time at Rockfield Studios in a house by the side of a river.

"We recorded Assassing at the Manor Studio in Oxfordshire, a beautiful old house complete with a snooker table, a pair of Irish Wolfhounds and a ghost."

Fish has often lamented adding the 'g' to the title, but the initial idea was apparently to create a neologism from 'assassin' and 'sassing' in the US sense of being rude to someone.

Punch and Judy

'Punch and Judy'
Brewer’s: "The name of Mr Punch, the hero of the puppet play, probably comes from the italian pulcinello, a dimunitive of pulcina, a young chicken. The story in its present form is roughly attributable to Silvio Fiorillo (circa 1600) and it appeared in England about the time of the Restoration. Punch in a fit of jealousy strangles his infant son, whereupon his wife Judy belabours him with a bludgeon until he retaliates and beats her to death. He flings both bodies into the street, but is arrested and shut in prison whence he escapes by means of a golden key. The rest is an allegory showing how the light-hearted ('wife beater' surely? - Ed) Punch triumphs over i) ennui (boredom - Ed), in the shape of a dog, ii) disease in the shape of a doctor; iii) Death, who is beaten to death; and iv) the devil himself, who is outwitted."


Introduction: Fish said: "When you watch kids doing jigsaws, they'll always take the eye of the koala bear or whatever and sit on it, just for the dominating factor of putting the last bit in. You get to the point where you lie about the last piece, you deny that you've got it. The other person is aware that you're lying and they hold back four or five pieces so that you can't put in the last piece. Eventually you tear up the jigsaw and say ' We'll do it another day'. That can grow into relationships - where no matter how important that piece is to the other person or the relationship. In general, the song is about the relationship that splits up and forever comes together again. It gets worse because each time it comes back together, more pieces of the jigsaw have got lost, and you can't get them back."

Emerald Lies

IntroductionSimon Long wrote: "According to one of the books I have on Marillion, I seem to recall that Fish explains that it is about a relationship being destroyed by a lack of trust - guy goes to a party with his girlfriend and sees her flirting (innocently) with several men, repeatedly questions her and makes accusations of infidelity, and discovers that all along she has been telling the truth - but that his questions have destroyed the trust on which the relationship was based.

"I guess the 'Emerald' of the title is green for jealousy. Torquemada was one of the Spanish Inquisitors: it's a reference to a figure trying to extract a confession. 'To be the prince of possession' - desire to own the woman in question. 'Suffering your indiscreet discretions' - watching her flirt. 'You accumulate flirtations' - ditto. 'Looking in shades of green through shades of blue' - jealousy tinged with sadness. 'Ravaging your letters, unearth your plots' - going behind her back, snooping for clues to her infidelity. ' Innocence - what a surprise' - discovery that she had been faithful after all'. 'I trust you trust in me to mistrust you' (incredible lyric!) - I hope you'll believe that I don't trust you. 'Courtroom drama' - 'set the wedding rings dancing' - divorce, end of relationship. If you know what it is about, the lyrics all make sense... "

She Chameleon

Chameleons are probably best known for their ability to change their colour to suit their surroundings and that is certainly the sense in which Fish uses the metaphor. However, Chameleons do not change their colour to suit the background, but according to their mood and temperature.


Transcript of the introduction given by Fish on the show filmed at the Chippenham Golddiggers for the BBC's Sight and Sound series, broadcast 17th March 1984 (and hence all the references to watching his language):
"Here's where we shave the bone oh-so close! Do you remember, for those that have seen us before, on the previous tour, there was a story regarding a song called The Web, which was about a relationship that had split up?


From Jeroen Schipper’s FAQ: "Fugazi is a word that was used by Americans in Vietnam, and is slang concerning those who died in ambush (something like that), so the acronym is Fucked Up, Got Ambushed, Zipped In." (Presumably the ‘Zipped In’ refers to body bags - Ed.) This explains pretty well what Fish is trying to say with the album: 'This world is totally fugazi'. Fugazi is close to a popular net-acronym, Foobar, which is derived from Fubar and means 'Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition'. Fugazi is definitely not a Vietnamese word as there is no Z in the Vietnamese alphabet.

Fish had been reading a book called Nam by Mark Baker, a book of Vietnam reportage from the US soldiers that were there. It was from this book that Fish first encountered the word 'fugazi'.  

Fugazi - Torch's Version

This page is the analysis of Fugazi by Torch, a contributor to the Freaks mailing list. It was sufficiently long that it required a page to itself.

 said: "Fish is, as usual, pissed and depressed. He clutches his 'vodka intimate' as he courts 'isolation', playing the role of the lonely martyr. His apartment, or 'cell' is in Blackheath, a not unappealing area of London that reminds one that he described the first three albums in the Misplaced Childhood sheet music book as Script was bedsit thoughts, Fugazi was hotel thoughts and Misplaced Childhood is home thoughts.'

Cinderella Search

Introduction:  Torch said: "Gorgeous little summery song about going on the pull...? 'On the rebound' and constantly getting rejected, our hero 'forgives rejections in cigarette city' as he survives constant disappointments whilst he has a drink and a ciggie to hand. He is pretty much always four parts pissed... 'five dimensions down and reeling... three dimensions down, dissolving...' and so 'fumbles all the lines'. However there is always a 'light at the end of the bottle'.