Dazz Newitt's Cover
It all began with the bright lights…
Well actually it all began in a pub one summer evening in Wolverhampton, a few hours before Marillion played the Civic Hall.
I first met Jon Collins through the Marillion Monday meetings in Birmingham, which were a direct result of Lucy J's request to 'connect' with Marillion fans. It was through the MM meetings that I suggested a Marillion convention and I offered my services to design the posters and t-shirts for the event. The seeds of the UK Garden Party 2001 were sown (and maybe the first Marillion convention!)
Wolverhampton gig landed; it was that night that the 'UK Garden Party 2001 Flyers' were first distributed; Jon was impressed enough to tell me that he had just met Mark Kelly and discussed with him that he was considering compiling a book of Marillion fan stories. He asked me if I would be interested in designing the cover! (Is the Pope a Catholic?) I thought I knew from that moment who would appear in the book; the usual front row fans (and bar huggers) who go to every gig. This was long before the any of the band past and present had agreed to authorise and add to the book.
Anyway, that gave me the first concept for the cover "The Usual Suspects' guilty line up. I had also just read about the concept of the 'Anoraknophobia' album title, (anorak - no - phobia). Well that tied in neatly with the idea of "if the band can admit their guilt of being all anoraks, well, so can the fans". Jon loved the idea straight away.
I suggested an identity parade, with a fan looking through a one way mirror with the foreground showing clues to the history of Marillion, such as some old music mags on a desk, a 'missing Girl from Bristol' poster (Brave), a spider's web etc. I had the idea of representing the fan eras through the icons of the years; Jester, boy, torch, AoS angel, Barry, etc... (Oh, why didn't the AoS boy have legs..?)
After discussions with Marillion and the publishers (via Jon) they preferred the idea of just the identity parade being separated by a spine. This meant the past (Fish era) would represent the back cover, whilst the front would reflect H's more contemporary period. Well it worked it worked for me!
Whilst I felt the parade alone without the foreground would be a stronger image, I was sad there was no representation of Brave (one of my favorite albums) However, there was always the Dot Com screen. Well I wanted to keep this subtle, to reflect past ideology of both hidden & intense information reflected in the covers of both the Mark Wilkinson & Carl Glover eras (whom I owe the biggest thanks for approving my plagiarism).
For the Tech fans, all the characters were scanned from album covers I have collected, and the image was compiled using Photoshop 7.
I feel privileged to be asked to add to something so special. Thank you Jon for the opportunity to put my work in the hands of fellow Marillion fans worldwide.