Three Minute Boy



Introduction: From A Conversation with Steve Hogarth of Marillion, February 3, 1999 by Roger Lotring. Steve Hogarth: "I was trying to create something that had the feel of, y'know, like, an outtake from Hunky Dory. That's exactly what I was trying [to do], in terms of the kind of ghost of it, rather than what it actually is. I wanted it to have that feeling. And when we mixed it, I made that point to the mixing engineer too. I said, "I want it to sound like Hunky Dory at the beginning. And then I want it to turn into Hey Jude at the end. [Laughs]


"So that was the tree I was kind of barking up, because the song is an attempt to kind of condense rock and roll anthropology, y'know, the story of the rock and roll life from day one. So it starts out painting this little picture of this kid who writes this song with his mates, just for a laugh, for a bit of fun, and it becomes a massive international hit. And he becomes a big star, and everywhere he goes, this song's on the radio, and he's suddenly hailed as a great talent or as the next big thing. It goes from painting that picture to trying to explain how he deals with it.

"There's loads of irony in it because I was trying to paint this kind of standard picture of what rock and rollers do and have always done. Because when I was a kid, the Beatles were the biggest thing, and the way the Beatles lived their lives, everything the Beatles did became a kind of cliché for rock and roll later on. Y'know, with marrying the model or the artist, leaving the first wife and going off with the really creative one, telling the magazines and the newspapers how in love we are, and giggling. It's something that kind of happened all over again, time and time again.

"Most recently, I was thinking of Noel Gallagher and Liam Gallagher [with] Liam marrying the actress who'd once been in a movie that you couldn't quite remember, and that sense of needing to conform to the rock and roll lifestyle-to marry the model, and to get married in the registry office. When I wrote "She made a movie / he almost remembered" I was thinking specifically of Absolute Beginners and Patsy Kensit. And then what rock and roll does to you, having done that and then having gone off and gone on tour and discovered that half the women in the world seem to want to sleep with you-coming to that and your new wife becoming lonely at home, waiting patiently for you, and then it all going wrong. So, I was thinking of Lennon, and I was thinking of Bowie, and I was thinking of Oasis, and I was thinking of myself.

"And I was even thinking of the kind of footballers-y'know, we've got this footballer here called Paul Gascoigne. He was in the World Cup squad, and he sort of famously came unglued because he was out late drinking, being out late in nightclubs when he should have been training - all of that. Basically, just the unrealistic pressures that are placed upon someone when they become massively famous. And they're suddenly supposed to be able to cope with so much. And a lot of these people aren't supermen; they're just ordinary guys, and they gradually come unglued.
"So, I filled the song full of-y'know, there's little one-liners in it that are nicked from other people's songs as well. There are things in there that are nicked from other songs, some of them I've lifted straight out. I know there's a disguised or paraphrased - I was trying to make a mish-mash of popular music throughout the last two or three decades and the damage done."

'They moved into a basement'
A paraphrase of Squeeze's Up The Junction - "We moved into a basement, With thoughts of our engagement"

'Too much love will do you in'
A paraphrase of Brian May's Too Much Love Will Kill You , widely believed to be a comment on Freddie Mercury's impending death at the time of writing.

'Girlfriend's gone off... ...mum and dad '
A paraphrase of The Kinks’ Lazy Sunny Afternoon - 'My girlfriend's gone off with my car and gone back to her ma and pa.'

Anyone with more nicks and paraphrases, please let us know!

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