By: Amy Haben
I’ve always fantasized that Mark Burgess wrote the song ‘Second Skin’ nursing withdrawal pains caused by a lost love . I imagine The Chameleons singer chain smoking and sipping whiskey as the revolving door images of his ex-girlfriend project in his mind. The time she said she would love him forever, followed by her telling him she met someone else, and finally her and the new lover passionately necking. Especially with these lyrics…
“It’s like you fail to make the connection
You know how vital it is
Or when something slips through your fingers
You know how precious it is
Well you reach the point where you know
It’s only your second skin”
I was shocked to read that all along this song was actually about near death experiences. Which… (let’s face it) is pretty similar.
I imagined ‘Don’t Fall’ was about an intensely evil nightmare. I wasn’t too far out. In reality it’s a psychedelic drug induced living hell as Mark explains below.
“The Words to ‘Don’t Fall’ were written about an hour before our first ‘show-case’ in London. They came from an experience I’d had a couple of weeks before when, due to a combination of my own stupidity and lateness I’d found myself alone at night, wandering the streets tripping on magic mushrooms. It was a long night.”
— Mark Burgess
A room that’s running red
The place to be
Exists only in your head
And the focus of fear
In the creases of a dress
A female dress
How did I come to be drowning in this mess
This fuckin’ mess
A couple years ago, I witnessed The Chameleons (known as The Chameleons U.K. on some American releases) perform in Park Slope to a disappointingly small audience. They were singing the entire album of ‘Script Of The Bridge‘ and I was excited to have a front row view of the boys. Mr. Burgess had on some real tight blue jeans with knee high, black leather boots. His bulge was a bit embarrassing, as he was grinding the air that happened to be mouth level of my friend Ash. We had a good laugh out of it though, and they sounded as perfect as the album.
It felt surreal to listen to one of the few albums that I love from start to finish live. Their set was spot on and I left fully satiated with post-punk by the end. I even bought a t-shirt with that ugly ‘Script Of The Bridge’ album logo.