Kevin’s Birthday Video

To commemorate my pal Kevin Stampfl’s birthday, it being today, allow me to present to you a video from one of his favorite bands in high school: Marillion, featuring the lead singer named Fish, who as you will see in this video had perhaps the worst hair of any working rock n’ roller in the 80s:

I mean, seriously: Stringy, wispy combover hair? With a bald spot and a rat-tail? Yes, that’s the way to charm the ladies. That and having the nickname “Fish.” On the other hand, the dude’s fiancee is pretty damn cute, so, clearly, what do I know.

In any event: Happy Birthday, Kevin! See you soon.

25 Comments on “Kevin’s Birthday Video”

  1. Burns! – LA. Not Louisiana. Los Angeles. – More fun than anyone I know. Probably more than anyone you know, too.
    Burns!

    Didn’t we all make poor hair choices in the 80s? If there were any photographic proof, I would point to my own mullet in the late-80s. Luckily, there are no photos, so that clearly never happened.

    Happy Birthday, Kevin.

  2. Burns! – LA. Not Louisiana. Los Angeles. – More fun than anyone I know. Probably more than anyone you know, too.
    Burns!

    Didn’t we all make poor hair choices in the 80s? If there were any photographic proof, I would point to my own mullet in the late-80s. Luckily, there are no photos, so that clearly never happened.

    Happy Birthday, Kevin.

  3. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, for rizzle.

    I made serious bad hair choices in the 80’s. Last year, too.

    I saw Rush on the Signals tour. Marillion opened. The crowd booed. Marillion kept playing. The crowd kept booing. Fish finally said, “We’re going to play our full fucking set so you better damn well get used to it.” Marillion played. The crowd kept booing.

    Finally they stopped. The crowd cheered. Rush came on. The crowd cheered more.

    That girl is cute. She’s gonna be Mrs. Fish?

  4. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, for rizzle.

    P.S. Happy Birthday, Stinking Kevin!

  5. What’s with the “Stinking Kevin” bit? I know from personal experience Kevin stinks not in the least. Indeed, he often smells of lilacs and honeydew.

  6. It is a bad hair style but before “Kayleigh” (either their break out or sell out single) the man was like unto a weird god with his face paintings, epics, weird albums. (Trying to track down the 17 minute “Grendel” was itself an epic.) Script for a Jester’s Tear, anyone? [Exits to YouTube it.]

  7. It is a bad hair style but before “Kayleigh” (either their break out or sell out single) the man was like unto a weird god with his face paintings, epics, weird albums. (Trying to track down the 17 minute “Grendel” was itself an epic.) Script for a Jester’s Tear, anyone? [Exits to YouTube it.]

  8. Thanks for the birthday wishes all!

    Ah Fish, your lyrics are so inscrutable. Good thing I mostly ignored them and instead listened to the sweet bass lines.

    Chang, today you are correct. I smell like beer and coffee from helping to clean up the messy result of a coworker’s pratfall in our office storage room.

  9. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, for rizzle.

    Oh, I would’ve thought a Python geek like you (and someone who knows about Marillion and Fish) would get the quote. Since you don’t, here’s some help.

    Kevin, on your birthday you get to smell however you want. Flowers, beer, coffee, poo, gun powder, cordite or crystal meth. It’s your day. Your smelly birhtday.

  10. Didn’t we all make poor hair choices in the 80s. No. Not all of us, my haircut hasn’t changed in twenty-four years, high & tight, #2 on the top. And I look fantastic. Chicks dig it, really they do, I have to beat them off with a stick. Makes my wife insanely jealous.

    The 70’s though, before I joined the military, let’s just not go there, shall we? (not that I can remember that far back anyway).

  11. Wow. A Marillion video on the Whatever. Will miracles never cease?

    Of course, Rothery’s put on a few pounds since then, and Mark Kelly has shaved his head and now looks like a total badass, and, hell, Fish has long since been replaced by H, but still…Marillion. Wow.

    Incidentally, their next album, Somewhere Else, comes out next Tuesday. My wife has already received the tracks from friends of hers in Finland, though. As to where they got them, she was told: “Don’t ask.” :-)

  12. Yea, well. It’s always nice to find a Marillion fan. Fish is now bald, shaves the rest of his head, divorced from the hot chick model he married during the Misplaced Childhood days and now engaged to the hot chick from Mostly Autumn. Apparently there is something to be said for the 6’5″ Scotsman. And Marillion STILL rocks! :)

  13. John, I always knew you were a man of good taste! And my wife (who is the one who introduced me to Marillion) will be pleased to hear it as well…in fact, I just told her, and she responded, “Oh, cool!”

    “All the best Freaks are here.” New tagline for the Whatever? :-)

  14. Total non sequitur (to this post) but I picked up “The Android’s Dream” last night and loved it.My flight was delayed and I was stuck waiting at the airport. I’ll confess, I was hoping one of the bookstores would have “Last Colony” (end of a trilogy and all) but this was what they had and I bought it and I enjoyed it very much.

    My husband has some quibbles with your characterization of kashrut, but otherwise a very enjoyable world. I can’t wait for “High Castle” (the sequel?) and in the meantime I still have to get “Last Colony”… Too bad your book tour doesn’t take you closer to Boston…

  15. Total non sequitur (to this post) but I picked up “The Android’s Dream” last night and loved it.My flight was delayed and I was stuck waiting at the airport. I’ll confess, I was hoping one of the bookstores would have “Last Colony” (end of a trilogy and all) but this was what they had and I bought it and I enjoyed it very much.

    My husband has some quibbles with your characterization of kashrut, but otherwise a very enjoyable world. I can’t wait for “High Castle” (the sequel?) and in the meantime I still have to get “Last Colony”… Too bad your book tour doesn’t take you closer to Boston…

  16. You know, for a while there I was gonna write a short story involving a cover band going by the name “All The Best Freaks.” It would involve everyone in the band going completely postal for various reasons, but that’s neither here nor there. I was also, at one time, imagining in great detail how I would arrange a choral (SATB) performance of the song “Fugazi.”

    Rush fans have been traditionally hard on opening bands, which is kind of a shame I think. I think the only opener to escape the booing wrath was Primus, ’cause, y’know, Primus. Wish I could have been on the scene when Marillion opened for ’em.

  17. “What’s so miraculous about Marillion? I’ve been listening to them for years.”

    You have to remember John, Marillion wasn’t exactly huge when they released Kayleigh, and that was their biggest hit EVAR. As far as the popular media are concerned, they ceased to exist 20 years ago. Not unlike a host of other bands that manage to continue on without being in top 100 and make a reasonable living at it with a decent sized fanbase (see a-ha, the Fixx, Colin Hay, etc.)

  18. Right, WizarDru. I’ve heard Marillion described as “England’s best-kept secret” and “the best band you’ve never heard of.” But their fans are a very loyal bunch; both Anoraknophobia and Marbles were financed by people pre-ordering the albums before they were finished. And I recall that, at the Boulder concert of theirs my wife and I attended, people had come from as far away as Montana to see them.

    As for Primus: They suck! (Which, when you’re talking about Primus, is a good thing…)

  19. What’s so miraculous about Marillion? I’ve been listening to them for years.

    It took me nearly 10 years to get back to Marillion after Fish left but now I can happily admit that H-era Marillion is every bit as good as Fish-era Marillion. The two-disc version of Marbles may very well be the band’s best album ever.

    Erbo: The new album came out in Europe on April 9th, though it doesn’t hit the states until the 26th. So the Finnish conspiracy probably isn’t quite as sinister as it would first appear. :-)

  20. I liked Marillion in the Fish years, for a while they were a good replacement for Gabriel-era Genesis. The current incarnation is good too, I need to listen to Marbles again now.

  21. I liked Marillion in the Fish years, for a while they were a good replacement for Gabriel-era Genesis. The current incarnation is good too, I need to listen to Marbles again now.

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