Shirley Manson Has Fish Eyes

March 29, 2008

What the @*#&! is up with that?

Pretty harsh words about the Garbage front woman, huh? Imagine how surprised I was to find that I was the one that made this statement despite the fact that I find her quite fetching indeed. Was I drunk when I said it? Had she just stolen my wallet? Had I tapped into some deep-seeded anti-Scottish prejudice which had been previously unbeknownst to myself?

It was none of those things. Instead, it was someone appropriating something I had written and incorporating their own feelings regarding the ichthyological aspects of Ms. Manson’s orbs. It’s one thing to be plagiarized – to have someone claim your work as their own – but something different to have someone attribute work to you which is not yours.

I found the quote while researching Manson and it caught my eye. When I pulled up the website to see what the deal was, I found an album review of the band Angelfish, which was a band for whom Manson sang lead prior to joining Garbage. it concluded by saying, “Shirley Manson has fish eyes. What the @*#&! is up with that?” which had not been in the review I had written. And there was my name attached to it.

My mind reeled. It was a small world! What if Shirley should come across these disparaging remarks attributed to me? Any fantasies of an evening of carnal bliss with Shirley I might have had – haggis and a hot oil massage – would surely have the same chances of success as that lone Angelfish album. I had to bring the miscreant that had misrepresented me to justice, but the website, aside from my review, was in Polish.

So, I did a search for the offending opinion. I got a match and to my surprise, the quote had been spoken by Shirley Manson. In an interview she had given, she spoke of how her childhood had been filled with cruel taunts about her exotic eyes. She spoke of how children would say, “Shirley Manson has fish eyes. What the @*#&! is up with that?”

It was quite a relief to know the truth. More importantly, it was a relief to know that Shirley, should she read my review, would know the truth. I could know occupy my mind with more pressing matters, secure in the knowledge that if I ever met Shirley, any advances I made could be rebuffed on their own merits and not for something she might mistakenly thought I had written.

Garbage – When I Grow Up
From their second album Version 2.0, this hyper kinetic track always makes me smile due to its nursery-rhyme-on-speed vibe and Manson’s playful delivery. Favorite line…”When I grow up, I’ll be stable.”

Garbage – You Look So Fine
Also from Version 2.0, this one is probably my favorite song in Garbage’s catalog. With its pulsating undercurrent, I’m drawn in from the first notes of this lush, dreamy track which closes the album. The hypnotic, almost indifferent manner in which Manson offers lyrics like, “You look so fine. I want to take you home. We’ll waste some time. You’re the only one for me,” makes her true intentions a mystery.

Angelfish – You Can Love Her
Angelfish only released one album which I suspect is long out of print. For the most part, it’s a fairly ordinary affair, indistinguishable from the numerous guitar-driven alternative bands of the early to mid-90s. In fact, this cover of a Holly Vincent (known for Tell That Girl To Shut Up with her band The Italians) song might be the best offering, particularly Manson’s sultry vocal take. However, it was an Angelfish video on MTV’s 120 Minutes program which got Manson noticed by producer Butch Vig as the missing piece for the band that would become Garbage.

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