Fish's Masks - 1982-1985 - by Thomas Spitzer

Fish's Masks - 1982-1985


Fish's Masks - by Thomas Spitzer - Marillion Setlists Site 1980-1988

Fish's Masks - by Thomas Spitzer


Fish used to have a painted face while performing live on stage - from the very beginning of Marillions career until the end of the "Real to Reel"-tour. In early interviews he said he was "too shy to sing to an audience" and decided to "hide behind the Mask" - in fact the Dr. Faust-look strengthened his charismatic stage performance and made him "one in a million"!

In 1985 the mask disappeared - like the jester on the "Misplaced Childhood"-cover! But what was it all about before that? Just a mood of the moment... or did the mask express more than we see at first sight? Its quite unbelievable that something happened by surprise - when its about Fish! A reason for me to look behind the mask...

Moles Club, Bath - 17.07.1982

Fish - Moles Club, Bath - 17.07.1982 - Photo by James Stuart
Photo by James Stuart

She chameleon? No! HE chameleon!!
This photo shows Fish mask in the same colours as the background of the Moles Club!

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Thamesside Arena, Reading (Reading Rock '82) - 29.08.1982

Fish - Thamesside Arena, Reading - 29.08.1982 - Photo by AJ Samuels
Photo by AJ Samuels

The famous Reading Festival was one of the biggest open air festivals in the UK.
Marillion was ready for the big stage: they got attention nationwide and Fish told the audience that the band signed a record deal with EMI.

A historic moment emphasised by Fish's Union Jack-mask: blue, red, white!

Union Jack  Royal Air Force

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Unknown Venue and City - 1982

Fish - 1982 - Photo by Robert Ellis
Photo by Robert Ellis - Kerrang! No. 93

Fish in full make up! That was - live on stage - the jester we all know from Marillion covers!

Single - Market Square Heroes (E.P.) Album - Script For A Jester's Tear Album - Script For A Jester's Tear

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Rundsporthalle, Baunatal - 01.10.1983

Fish - Rundsporthalle, Baunatal - 01.10.1983 - Photo by Fritz Vennemann
Photo by Fritz Vennemann

This was Marillion's first indoor-show in Germany! Look at Fishs cheek: it's black, red, yellow - the colours of the Bundesflagge - the german flag!

Deutsche Bundesflagge

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The Concert Bowl, Milton Keynes - 21.07.1984

Fish - The Concert Bowl, Milton Keynes - 21.07.1984 - Photo James Stuart
Photo by James Stuart
Assassing artwork by Mark Wilkinson

Single - Assassing (Cover)

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Civic Centre, Aylesbury (Friars) - 22.12.1984

Fish - Civic Centre, Aylesbury (''Friars'') - 22.12.1984 - Photo James Stuart
Photo by James Stuart

Real To Reel was one of the longest tours for Marillion so far - they played 40 shows all over europe - and the last night belonged to their "homebase" Aylesbury.

It was final show in 1984, the last Friars appearance... and one of the last masks!

After so many weired and colourful outfits soccer fan Fish had a simple yellow/black mask which are - besides green and white - the colours of local soccers Alyesbury United!

A nice way to say "bye bye" to all of this!

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Nürburgring, Adenau (Rock am Ring) - 26.05.1985

Fish - Nürburgring, Adenau (''Rock am Ring'') - 26.05.1985
Snapshot of TV appearance

The first show in 1985. This wasn't really a mask anymore... Its been a very hot day, so maybe this was just sun protection?

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Thomas' Fish Impersonation: Bochum - 1986

eMail from Fish

To avoid more interpretations and to get a first-class answer to all my questions I wrote an email to Fish on Feb. 2nd 2004. He replied immediately... Thank you Fish!!! He knows... you know!

Hi Thomas,

Sorry I didn't pick the colours to suit "venue decor" but did occassionally go for specifics ie The Union Jack and an RAF roundel in 81 at a base near Aylesbury.

Most of it was done on the spur of the moment and allowed me a bit of "reflection" while daubing!:-) Also on how stoned I was :-)))

Interesting site though! :-)
All the best, a now thankfully make up free Fish (apart from film roles :-)

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