Blog | Soundtrack of my Life – Marillion


In the back alley of my mind the soundtrack constructs memories. Scatting the vocals of `Script for a Jester’s Tear’ together and shouting out loud the raucous  ,,Garden Party” phrase “I’m rocking, I’m F*cking!” loud and vigorously. Me and my school friends engaged in endless discussions accumulating music and beer. With my friend Lodewijk, successor to the Swinkels brewery, I hung out playing music and visiting concerts. We were young, so young. Fueled by our passion it sparked fervent debates; we were going to change the world, we discussed anarchy.


Those days were innocent, but the times were changing. Punk had taken over in the UK and the European mainland displayed a change of left-wing radicals matching the anarchistic accolades of punks. Mohawks, spikes and grim atmosphere meandered through our lives. In Germany the far-left extremist Rote Armee Fraktion, also known as the Baader-Meinhof Group, went on a spree of aggression versus the residing capitalists. The RAF engaged in a series of bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, bank robberies, and shootouts with police over the course of almost three decades. 

Its activities peaked in late 1977 through mid-eighties, which led to a national crisis that became known as the “German Autumn”. The RAF is held responsible for 34 deaths, including industrialist Hanns Martin Schleyer, the Dresdner Bank head Jürgen Ponto, federal prosecutor Siegfried Buback, police officers, American servicemen stationed in Germany, as well as many cases of collateral damage, such as chauffeurs and bodyguards, with many others injured.


Against this backline we were growing up, ready to change the world. Little did we know we had to harbor our own beliefs and not engage into the maelstrom of every-day society. Binding us in trends we discovered new music. Marillion stood out baffling England and its post-apocalyptic punk-scene. Their neo-progressive symphonic music lured us in, with `Script for a Jester’s Tear’ as the ringing debut heralded a return to Gabriel-era Genesis. propelled by the extravagant stage presence and vocal prowess of lead singer Derek William Dick, known as Fish. His evocative lyrics resonated with us, reflecting the raw intensity of our own nascent experiences of life.

“Listen as the syllables of slaughter cat with calm precision.
Patterned frosty phrases rape your ears and sow the ice incision.
Apocalyptic alphabet casting spell the creed of tempered diction
Adjectives of annihilation bury the point beyond redemption.
Venomous verbs of ruthless candour plagiarise assassins fervour”

(Dick – Assassing, 1984)


An exemplary instance of Fish unleashing his lyrical prowess is evident in his response to former drummer Mick Pointer’s public remarks about his departure. Fish’s eloquent and assertive lyrics leave no ambiguity, showcasing his mastery of dramatic expression and poetic wordplay. This exemplifies the giant’s keen sense of drama, conveying profound emotional reflection and social critique. With his towering stature and adorned with battle mask face paint, Fish’s stage presence further emphasizes his pressing resolve. Pointer’s criticism of his former bandmates obviously crossed a line, prompting Fish to respond fittingly.

In the light of these roaring times, we were teens developing our own taste and preferences. Led by my uncle’s musical diversity, introducing me to a wide array of musical styles influencing my musical taste for decades to come, me and my friends went visiting concerts experiencing live music. 


As Marillion graced the European stages, their latest album, `Fugazi’, encapsulated everything we craved. The album delivered intense symphonic prog compositions, showcasing intricate musicianship and incisive social commentary from the master himself. The band’s chemistry was electric, drawing upon their musical heritage to fuse elements of progressive American rock with the neo-classical prog reminiscent of bands like Yes and Genesis, thus forging a distinctive and captivating style.

Me biking my way to the village next to my hometown, I brace the plastic bag. The orange bag hosts the brand-new album of my favorite proggies and I am on my way to surprise my uncle with this new record. He’s not home, my grandma states and I decide to await his arrival, in the meanwhile playing the album. Soup is being served and I am allowed to play the new vinyl on the B&O sound system he owns. As an audiophile, he only wants the best, making his decision one for my own future.

I let the album slide from the orange bag and gaze at the artwork. Tantalizing colors, intense scenery of the Jester lying on the sofa partially undressed holding a glass of wine. His imaged mirrored in the back, as the (anti-hero) Jester from the debut album, linking both albums. The re-appearing chameleon and magpie on the draped couch revealing a skull underneath, while the back cover links more of their past and lyrical present. Mr. Punch atop the tv, the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle on the floor alongside singles of the album. 


It is impressive how artist Mark Wilkinson blends lyrical content with past and present, keeping the anti-hero Jester as main character intact, perfectly covering the musical magnitude and appeal of the band’s music. 

“Waiting, the season of the button, the penultimate migration.
Radioactive perfumes, for the fashionably, for the terminally insane, insane
Do you realise? Do you realise?
Do you realise, this world is totally fugazi
Where are the prophets, where are the visionaries, where are the poets?
To breach the dawn of the sentimental mercenary”

(Dick – She Chameleon, 1984)

The spirited lyrics resonate with me strongly. The world is spinning fast, going ‘Fugazi’, f*cked up and crazy. The term hails from Mark Baker’s novel “Nam”, slang for the ‘screwed up’ situation soldiers found themselves in. The title is a concoction of ‘Fucked Up, got ambushed, zipped in’ depicting how they could easily fall prey to the onslaught of war, while being close to the popular net-acronym ‘Fubar’ (fucked up beyond all recognition). 


In this modern-day madness we find refuge in the comfort of our homes, especially being nurtured at my grandma. Time passes and I am in my 3rd spin of the record, enjoying in high res on the headphones, the music displaying its deepest layers perfectly. The wailing emotions, the scattering brutal fragments; it is all there. The musical interplay is tremendous and powerful pumping and swirling keyboards roll forward alongside wonderous guitar licks and melodies. Blessed with rock solid foundation, the turmoil is shaken up with stagnant breaks and impressive groove, enhancing the scattering turmoil of the music. 

Withering is the wonderful entrance of the aggression spiked ,,Assassing”, while the poppy ,,Punch and Judy” bring to life the puppetplay with fierce bass and keyboard interaction. I lay back and let it all soak into my brain, while spinning the album into my favorite tracks the tear evoking power-ballad ,,Jigsaw”, and the progressive marvels ,,Incubus” and ,,Fugazi”

It all accumulates with my memory of the apartment of my grandma, her green obnoxious parrot Sjakko, and the smell of fresh vegetable soup. The memory laced with later memories of the spirited discussion with friends and fellow-music aficionados. Those discussion were endless and timeless, as is this record.

Let’s discard the memory of my uncle’s entrance, not overly excited by me owning the new album. 

“When she moved, her presence speared me
When she spoke, her words ensnared me ”   
(Dick– She Chameleon, 1984)



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