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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.

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 diminutive 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.


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

Simon Long wrote: "According to one of the books I have on Marillion (probably Clive Gifford's The Script - Ed), 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.

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 blend with the background, but according to their mood and temperature.


Introduction: The story of a woman that left the boyfriend in whose pornographic films she had starred to become a mainstream actress. On the verge of her big break as the star of the show, on the opening night in front of the critics and about to launch into her soliloquay, she suddenly spots her former lover in the crowd and, terrified that he might expose the sordid past she thinks she's left behind, forgets her lines thus sealing the fate of the show and her career as the critics pen their reviews.


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'.

Lines such as 'son watches father scan obituary columns in search of absent school friends' originated in Crystal Epithet, a song put together by Fish and Diz Minnit prior to joining Marillion.

Fugazi - Torch's Version

Introduction: This page is the analysis of Fugazi by Torch, a contributor to the Freaks mailing list. Torch's explanations are much less concerned with the idioms and images etc that are the bread and butter of the Explanations, and are much more personal interpretations of the lyrics as a whole. They were regarded fairly highly on Freaks back in the day, and definitely help illuminate the songs but I wanted to separate them from my Explanations. This one was sufficiently long that it required a page to itself.

Cinderella Search

Introduction: Torch said: "Gorgeous little summery song about 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'.