[Here is Paddy's fourth article for the Newsletter. It appeared in the eighth issue (Christmas 1980).]
The sky is white, the weather's cold and, as December appears, the sleigh-bells of a balalaika Christmas jingle closer. I love this time of year, especially as I have just been discharged from the Chocolate Elephant Addiction Clinic--apparently the praline levels in my bloodstream went up so dramatically since issue number 6 that I had to undergo special anti-confection therapy. Anyway, that's all behind me now, although things did get out of hand: I was spending all my money on Chocolate Elephants. I couldn't get enough of them. They even started arriving in the post. It got to the point where I could identify the familiar rattle of a parcel containing one, and I would consume it without even hesitating to unwrap it. How much lower could I stoop?...
About a month ago Andrew and I hijacked a huge T.I.R. lorry in Brussels full of Chocolate Elephants. We took turns--one driving whilst the other mooched around in the back. The idea was to drive to EMI Manchester Square in London and use their postage-franking machine to send a Chocolate Elephant to all the people that have written in to us showing interest in these matters. Anyway, we bribed the border guards with a fistful of Bouchees and couple of KT sweatshirts, but by the time we got to Ostend, Andrew was in a state of chocolate paralysis and could be heard murmuring something about a Berlin bar. I was driving; the cab had filled up with wrappers. I could hear the rustling sounds from the real lorry driver, who we had tied up with some old video-tapes. He had worked his gag loose and was trying to convince me that all this was not a good idea. His English was not good, but as he chomped on a couple of Elephants that I had missed in the turmoil, he told me that what I needed was a jolly good haircut and that a short spell in the army would not do me any harm.
Three men in uniform crouch together, their backs pressed against the wall. A silhouette of a huge violin with arms and legs looms above them. They are draped in camoufflage, black smudges on their faces, trigger-fingers at the ready. I am the guy in the middle, Andrew is on my right. He's dressed as a British Army Sergeant--he has a plastic pistol in his hand. Gary is on my left, he has a tin hat on his head and is giving me cover with his automatic.
The silhouette gets bigger, it spins and turns to reveal Kate holding a double bass. These are the closing bars of Babooshka, whilst we wait to perform the live TV version of Army Dreamers. The scene is Veronica TV studios in Holland. There is a small audience of three hundred or so, and we are crouched down low so they can't see. They applaud as Kate rushes off stage to make a quick change. A d.j. is saying something about Kate in fast-flowing Dutch, occasionally dropping the odd Wuthering Heights and Man With the Child every now and then. A camera is pointed at him, its red light on. A couple of the audience gasp as Gary and I rush out into the recording area to take our positions. I must admit we look pretty mean. The d.j. concludes his intro., the light on his camera goes out-- click, click--this evening we are the singing, dancing Army Dreamers. Just over three minutes nineteen seconds later we are back in our dressing-room.
"Aha!" cried Interpol as they crashed through the door. It was no use, the game was up: chocolate fingerprints everywhere, and a trail of wrappers leading all the way from the lorry in the car-park straight to the dressing-room marked "Kate Bush Tanzers". It would never have occurred to me that they would mistake our prop army uniforms for the real thing, but as there was a NATO exercise on that weekend we convinced them that we were nothing to do with the band but had just dropped in to get Kate, Gary, Andrew and Paddy's autographs. They were very annoyed and drove off quickly in the direction of the Belgian border, leaving us somewhat surprised at our good fortune.
But enough of all this. May I be so bold as to remove my chocolate-coated tongue from my cheek and take this opportunity to say "thank you" to all of you for taking Never For Ever to number one in the charts here in the UK; and I hope that your Christmas stockings overflow with what you'd hoped they'd overflow with. And when you hear December, the single this Christmas, I hope that, like the big animals that live in the jungle with large, hairy, floppy ears and long snootlike appendages (reputed for their even longer memories), you won't forget that we made this one for you.
©1990 Andy Marvick