Everett True

A song I’ve been meaning to track down for three decades

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This video was a staple at the Rock Garden in Covent Garden in the early 80s (they really didn’t have that many other videos to play). Above, there was an eaterie for the posh tourists, downstairs an overpriced small venue with annoyingly-placed pillars where I saw Birthday Party play for the first time(in front of eight pe0ple, us reaching up to catch Nick falling into the ‘crowd’ only to withdraw our arms at the last second), The Go-Betweens, The Moodists (my 21st birthday), even my own college band Futile Hurling, New Order’s first ever gig (I think), The Sound, The Chefs (I’m fairly sure: at least I remember speed-talking to Helen in the crowd), Weekend’s post-Young Marble Giants debut gig (I shouted out for ‘Nostalgia’, and it got reported in the NME the next week), Josef K and all that crew (queued outside for 90 minutes before the doors opened), The Laughing Apple, Serious Drinking … dozens more. I lived and worked just around the corner in Soho most of the time I frequented the place.

We loved the song, me and Ian. Surreal and goofy and crucially it came out before the plethora of wacky 80s videos that followed.

Anyway. Here it is.

It was only a staple from 2.18, mind.

Fish heads fish heads
Roly poly fish heads
Fish heads fish heads
Eat them up, yum!
Ask a fish head anything you want to
They wont answer they cant talk.

I took a fish head out to see a movie
Didn’t have to pay to get it in.

They don’t play baseball
They don’t wear sweaters
They’re not good dancers
They don’t play drums!!

Not sure I like it as much now. Really not sure. It seems like those responsible are really annoying, actually. Plus, I heard it way too much back then. Still. It’s nice to know the culprits’ names. Barnes & Barnes.

I would avoid.

P.S. Now I think about it, that fish-head picture disc looks awfully familiar. Maybe I did track them down way back then but decided against buying it because I realised it wasn’t very good. Probably. Ah well, a mention of the song triggered fond memories – if not of the song itself.

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