A public apology to Fish

Album artwork for Field of Crows, by Fish. Showing fish walking through a field.
The album cover for Fish’s latest album, Field of Crows.

I’d just like to take this opportunity to make a public apology to Fish. Sorry for accosting you in Borders book store this evening. I was the one who approached you quite boldly exclaiming “Mister Fish!” while you were trying to pay for whatever-it-was you were buying.

What an amazing week I’ve had so far, and it just gets better and better. First I get a job, then we find somewhere to live, then Scotland beats England 18-12 at Murrayfield, and then I see one of my all-time musical heroes standing in the queue in front of me at my local Borders book store. I couldn’t possibly not say hello.

“Mister Fish!” I exclaim offering my hand to shake his.

Fish (real name Derek W. Dick) turns and looks at me, with an expression of “Should I know you?” written across his face, while taking my hand and shaking it.

“I just wanted to say hello,” I said. “… I’m a big fan,” I went on to ‘explain’.

And that was it. That was my encounter with the mighty Fish.

You know, I don’t really go in for the whole celebrity game — people are people, as Depeche Mode once sang — and I count among my friends a handfull of people that you might class as famous. I don’t get awestruck by the supposed wonder of ‘celebrity’; just because someone is on telly, or radio, or has written a book, or an album doesn’t make them a demi-god in my book.

That said, there are some people that I truly admire for their talent, their longevity, their inspiration. Fish is one of those people that I admire. I love his music, his lyrics and his concerts are legendary. My favourite review appears on his website front page:

“…being at one of his gigs is like being entertained by a boisterous host at a particularly loud private party.”
(Graeme Smith, S1play)

And then there is his sheer determination, struggling through the collapse of parts of his business and his relationships, and his vulnerability and honesty in sharing some of what he’s gone through in the lyrics of his songs. I’ve personally found him quite inspiring, helping me through numerous dark days and fellini nights.

I could hardly sign the receipt slip for my book (I’ve still not got a Chip and Pin card) I was still shaking. The last person that I saw that made me shake because I was so excited to see them was Doddie Weir, the former Scotland No. 8 (and legend!).

Anyway, my name is on the official Fish website. Fish used to work on the Bowhill Estate, near my home town of Selkirk. In June 2003 the Selkirk Weekend Advertiser ran an article about Fish’s connection with that area of the country, which I scanned and submitted to the Fish website. There is now a copy of that article along with a kind thanks to me on Fish’s biography page.

Back to the apology: Fish, sorry for randomly accosting you at the checkout but please know that you made my day.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Former Scrum master at Safeguard Global, Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

7 thoughts on “A public apology to Fish”

  1. ‘Mister Fish’?

    You should have addressed him as ‘Onkle Fish’ then he would have known that you were a true fan!

    Still. I’m dead jealous – I’ve never met the man himself…

    Did you see that he’s doing a proper fanclub weekend at Haddington in August? It’ll be fab.


  2. I have met him several times, I normally get so nervous i throw up afterwards! I am unfortunately going through hell at the moment with chemotherapy,Fish’s wonderful lyrics are helping me through this dreadful time. the man is a true hero.

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