Spoiled to Death

When you first met your favourite dilettante, I’d just gotten off a bus in Montreal to see one of my favourite bands play one of my favourite albums in it’s glorious entirety. Never mind that you’ve never heard of the band, darlings, because I insist that is still your loss, and I will endeavour to correct that grievous oversight.

King is likely my favourite Marillion song of all, and I’m happy to say that I have seen them play it live, and if my cheeks were tear-stained, well, what of it? It was transcendental.

The song is a warning — a cautionary tale of sorts — of achieving fame — of what it costs, and the madness of being worshiped and adored. What was once your art and your passion becomes simply a product that you spit out, and you lose yourself in a cult of celebrity, until you don’t even recognize yourself, and, like the song says, “you’re sick to your stomach at the sound of your voice, and the shape of your face, and the sound of your name.”

The song reaches an emotional climax, where the singer urges and pleads that:

I hope for your sake you’ve got what it takes to be spoiled to death.

Spend a few minutes to be blown away, darlings. I wouldn’t lead you astray.

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14 responses to “Spoiled to Death

  1. I always find the best new stuff through you. Thank you.

    On another musical note, did you ever see “Suck: The Movie”? It is Canadian, and it is musical, and I think you might like it if you haven’t already watched.

  2. Beautiful. You have inspired me to post a music video-with a tribute to you and link to your blog. Hope that’s ok. I still don’t know how the pingback works, so I’m sending this heads up.

    • I love Natalie Merchant. Not only her voice, but her humility and the beauty of her songwriting. I saw an interview with her once where she talked about how much she loves the “only just famous” quality of her celebrity, in that she can go to the supermarket like a normal person and not be recognized. She is a true artist, not some vain diva. Love her! Thank you so much for the shout out, darling!

  3. I’m afraid I’ve never heard of that group before, but I liked the song. It has a great message; I can see how it’d be so easy to get swept along by the mad rush of fame and lose yourself gradually.

    • They started in the early ’80s, and in their earliest days were sort of a prog-rock band a la Genesis, and though the times have moved on and so have they, they have had a really hard time removing that albatross from their necks. And so they remain the best kept secret, adored by their loyal fans who travel all around the world to see them. When I was in Montreal, there were people who traveled from as far away as Brazil to come to the show.

  4. I must confess to not having previously heard of this band but this song was brilliant. And filmed just down teh road from where I’m from as well 🙂 If it was in the Wolverhampton Civic Hall that is where I saw Nine Inch Nails for the first time. A suitably atmospheric/grungy venue!

  5. Helena,
    This is something that my biographer will be able to add to the book he will write about Le Clown, but here’s a little known fact: Le Clown’s favourite band during high school was Marillion, the Fish-era Marillion. Just this week he was driving while listening to Real to Reel, and air drumming on “Forgotten Sons”, to the delight of car drivers around me…
    Le Clown

    • As much as I love the first four albums, darling, I find the reverence some fans have for them a little off-putting. And it’s sad that those albums have, in fact, crippled the band from the recognition they deserve. Nearly thirty years on they are still getting called a prog band. That’d be like King Crimson having to contend with the tag “Jazz Fusion” hanging over their heads. Marillion have matured and improved SO much from those early days, and if you haven’t given their latter-day music a listen, dear clown, then you owe it to yourself to correct that!

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