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My Record Collection: Michael Legge, the Smiths fan who LOVES Marillion…

The London-based Northern Irish stand-up and Vitriola music podcast co-conspirator tells it like it is.

"If anyone asks ‘How did you get into Marillion?’ I’m proud to say it was because of a deaf person."

"My closest friend at the time, Martin, is profoundly deaf, but he had a record collection and he was an Iron Maiden fan – the first band I ever fell in love with after their Running Free performance on Top Of The Pops. As well as loving Maiden, he’s a Marillion fan. As soon as I listened to Marillion I became obsessed with them and Script for A Jester’s Tear is my number one prog album ever. It’s very gloomy – which was great for a 14-year-old boy - and it had a song on it about Northern Ireland, a place ignored by music at the time, apart from by Boney M. I realised the person I truly was – a shambles of a human being – when I saw Marillion live in Belfast in 1985.

It would take balls for a predominantly English band to come over and play Forgotten Sons, a song about a British soldier lost in Belfast, in the 80s. Then the encore came and they did it. There were a lot of boos – to be fair that started during Lavender – but the worst moment came during the guitar solo. Steve Rothery, my idol, was three feet away from me. As he stepped forward to play his solo I shouted, ‘Tell it like it is, Steve!’ to which my hero actually had to turn his back because he was laughing. I have to live with that every day.

If Radiohead don’t know that they’re prog rock then they’re idiots.


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