Fish is without a doubt one of the leading singers in the neo-progressive genre.
He's mostly known from the band "Marillion", but he also has a glorious solo career.
(Photo: Fish Website)
1. He was born in Edinburgh Scotland on 25 April 1958 as Derek William Dick.
2. As a child he was influenced by artists such as "Genesis", "Pink Floyd", "the Moody Blues", "the Kinks", "T. Rex", David Bowie, and more.
3. In addition Derek Dick has been greatly influenced by singer Joni Mitchellת when it comes to lyrics writing.
4. The first show he ever saw was of the band "Yes", in 1974.
5. In his youth, Derek Dick worked as a gas station attendant and later as a gardener.
6. In the years 1977-1980 he worked as a lumberjack, where he was nicknamed "Fish" by his employer which refers to the number of times he would shower.
7. The first time he performed as a singer was in 1980, it was at a local pub.
8. In 1981 he joined "Marillion" and already in July of that year he recorded with them demos and first versions of the songs "He Knows You Know", "Garden Party"ת that will appear on the band's debut album, plus another song that will be released as a single "Charting the Single".
9. The band's first opportunity came when they were invited to the "Friday Rock Show" on BBC Radio, where they played the songs "The Web", "Three Boats Down from The Candy" and "Forgotten Sons".
10. The exposure led to the interest of the EMI Records which signed them on a recording contract.
11. The band's first single "Market Square Heroes" was released in 1982, when the song "Grendel" appeared as a b-side.
12. The material for the first album was written by the band during their many performances. The album "Script For A Jester’s Tear" released in March 1983, received rave reviews and the band received the credit for being responsible for reviving the progressive genre.
13. The comparison to "Genesis" and the attempt of Fish to sound like Peter Gabriel, was especially inevitable because he used to put on make-up, dress up in costumes and present the songs in a very theatrical way, as in the song "Forgotten Sons" where Fish used to dress up as a soldier.
14. Fish's singing style was different and unique, a sort of combination of Peter Gabriel's softness with Roger Daltrey's savagery, with Peter Hamill's influences.
15. The band's big break into the mainstream came with the concept album "Misplaced Childhood" from 1985, the band's third album, which included the hit "Kayleigh" among others.
16. In 1986, Fish was featured on the song "Shortcut to Somewhere" from keyboardist Tony Banks' "Soundtracks" album. This is a compilation album of tracks that Banks wrote for two films.
17. The band's popularity grew with the release of their fourth album "Clutching at Straws" which was released in 1987. But at the same time, there were frictions related to the musical direction the band would go on, as well as disagreements over finances and especially Fish's resentment over the band's manager.
18. The frictions led to Fish leaving the band, mainly because the band supported their manager.
19. His last appearance with the band was at "Craigtoun Country Park", on July 23, 1988.
20. In 1990 Fish embarked on his solo career with the excellent album "Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors". Already on this album the change in the musical direction compared to "Marillion" was noticeable, with Fish combining influences of Celtic music, folk, pop, and hard rock.
21. It is interesting to note that the song "View From The Hill" from the album was co-written with guitarist Janick Gers, (later from "Iron Maiden"), who also plays it.
22. In 1991, Fish was featured on two songs from keyboardist Tony Banks's album. This time he also co-wrote with Bank one of the songs - "Another Murder of a Day".
23. Fish's second album "Internal Exile" from 1991 deepened the Celtic influences, as also shown on the album cover.
24. In the song "Internal Exile" Fish expresses his pride in his homeland - Scotland and his strong aspiration for its independence.
25. His third album “Songs from the Mirror” was a cover album in which he paid tribute to artists who influenced him like "Genesis", David Bowie, "The Moody Blues", and "Pink Floyd", "The Kinks", "T-Rex" and more.
26. To date, Fish has released 11 studio albums as part of his solo career. His latest double and excellent album "Weltschmerz" was released in September 2020.
27. In 2008, Fish began airing a weekly radio show called "Fish on Friday", on "Planet Rock" radio station. When the station ran into financial difficulties he purchased it along with Tony Iommi, Ian Anderson, and Gary Moore.
28. In parallel with his musical career Fish has an acting career in TV series.
(Photo: Daily Mail)
29. Not many know but this career was supposed to start in 1986 so Fish got an offer for a role in the movie "Highlander" starring Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery. "Marillion" was also scheduled to participate in the film's soundtrack, but "Marillion" and Fish declined these offers, which led to "Queen's" participating in the soundtrack instead.
30. Fish married three times. His first wife - German model Tamara Nowy appears in video clips for the songs "Kayleigh", "Lady Nina" and "A Gentleman's Excuse Me".
Link to A collection album from his solo career: Here.