Hey! Marc Riley

Lyrics

(1)

Hey! Mark Riley had a home
In that home he had some lizards
Lizards here, and lizards there,
Lizards and spiders crawling everywhere

He had a manager called Khambatta (2)
We've always known him as a bit of a dancer
And we all know him as a pillock

Hey! Marc Riley!

One day Marc Riley went for a ride
Had his best stratocaster by his side
And he saw me coming over the hill
He'll never ruck and fuck again

Ha ha ha ha

See Mark Riley by the window sill
Wondering what's 'A New Face in Hell'
Grotesque here and a Dragnet there
Grotesque and Dragnet
Witch Trials everywhere     (3)

Hey! Marc Riley

 

Notes

1. Riley has come in for a beating fairly regularly since he left the Fall; he responded with "Jumper Clown," in the most heralded exchange of insult songs short of Ice Cube vs. NWA. Musically this is a retread of "Hey! Bo Diddley."

According to Zack, "Riley's snakes, lizards and spiders (or at least the tanks they called home) can be seen in the Creepers' music video for "Judas Sheep", which was apparently filmed in Riley's front room."

The studio version of this was released on the omnibus version of This Nation's Saving Grace under the title "Ma Riley." Harleyr points out that this may be in reference to the music hall act "Old Mother Riley."

^

2. Jim Khambatta is a keyboard player and erstwhile collaborator of Riley's; in the spirit of note 1, perhaps we could say that he was Riley's Jerry Heller.

^

3. Also Sprach Zackathustra: "The fourth verse likely refers to a major disagreement between Riley and Smith, which was Riley's desire to play 'the old stuff' or 'the hits.'"

Apparently Riley's antics on stage were out of control, also, as MES (who should be taken as telling the literal, gospel truth about this) says in Renegade that Riley insisted on donning a cowboy hat when the band played "Container Drivers," and "all that sort of thing."

^

 

Comments (8)

Mark
  • 1. Mark | 02/09/2013

The Creepers also did a version of "Bo Diddley Is A Gunslinger" around this time, which may or may not be related here somehow.

Mark
  • 2. Mark | 21/05/2014

Jim Khambatta also ran In-Tape Records with Marc Riley and was The Creepers' manager, I believe.

Zack
  • 3. Zack | 22/04/2015

The fourth verse likely refers to a major disagreement between Riley and Smith, which was Riley's desire to play "the old stuff" or "the hits."

Riley's snakes, lizards and spiders (or at least the tanks they called home) can be seen in the Creepers' music video for "Judas Sheep", which was apparently filmed in Riley's front room.

Antoine
  • 4. Antoine | 08/11/2015

There's a hilarious anecdote in Steve Hanley's book where Mark cajoles him into accompanying him to visit Riley at home after his sacking, needing his approval for some release of older material featuring him (or something close to that). Hanley's descriptions of MES visibly uneasy, sitting on a couch surrounded by tanks of tarantulas, snakes and the like are a real hoot. Seems Mark wasn't fond of creepy-crawlies!

Antoine
  • 5. Antoine | 08/11/2015

Oh yeah, and the lines "He had a manager called Khambatta / We've always known him as a bit of a dancer" seem to refer to Khambatta as a dancer, but they're more likely to be about that infamous incident in Australia where the band were all getting slaps in the face courtesy of MES for dancing at a nightclub after having performed a sloppy gig due to jetlag/lack of sleep. Come Riley's turn, he socks Mark in the face instead, resulting in a black eye that required much makeup to cover when the pair appeared on the "Sounds" program the next day. It was also Kay Carrol's idea that Marc should accompany him (the studio had told them MES and one more member were to appear but didn't specify who) to patch things up, seeing as they still had a tour to finish.

The punch is also referred to in Riley's "Jumper Clown" with the lines "Dare to dance on an Aussie Floor / Bloody nose, bloody bore."

bzfgt
  • 6. bzfgt | 23/11/2015

Antoine--right, Riley is probably the "dancer," rather than Khambatta!

harleyr
  • 7. harleyr | 04/12/2015

Ma Riley - might be a reference to the dance hall act Old Mother Riley: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Mother_Riley

dannyno
  • 8. dannyno | 06/12/2015

harleyr:

Almost certainly, I've drawn attention to this in the comments here on Sing! Harpy.

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