Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mark Hollis

Since no one seems to be reading me these days, I'm gonna be totally self-indulgent. I give you part II of the "Men I'd Sleep With in a New York Minute" series. Here's who I'm in love with today...lots of day, actually:

I've written a lot about this band already (see here and here,) all I want to add today is that Mark Hollis makes me crazy. He's not particularly handsome, in fact many would say he isn't good looking at all. He's got a quirky face, big ears and he's skinny. But anyone who know me will tell you that a man with something strange about him (personality, music, humor) pulls me in more than anything else. And not only does Mark have the odd sometimes really attractive, sometimes really ugly look that I find so fascinating, he's amazingly talented. He put out however many records with Talk Talk, a solo album, then he faded into the English countryside, never to be seen or heard from again. Intriguing.

But mainly I love his voice. I can't put my finger on what quality it is that pulls me in, but there's something so haunting and sad in there.

By the way, Lee Harris, the drummer, runs a very close second for me.

He drums without a shirt on. With a ponytail. With black gloves. Ahem.


Catkins said...

Hi there

A quick comment from a fellow Hollis obsessive, who loved your comments about meeting with Jeep the musician (have you thought of locking him in your basement and refusing to let him out until he supplies lots of on-the-road anecdotes?????)

If you want to disucss the great Mark, there are two good fan sites. Within Without is in English
(http://users.cybercity.dk/~bcc11425/), but the discussion board format is not the most user friendly. There's also a good French language forum which is more active (my French is terrible but Babelfish is my friend!)http://talk-talk.zikforum.com/cheminons-jusqu-a-l-eden-c1/

If you want a little update, Mark has not "faded into the English countryside" but is hiding out in deepest South West London (Wimbledon to be precise). I saw him recently in a local deli, looking very little changed from the photos of around the time of his solo album. I'd have loved to have approached him but he was with one of his kids and just doing his shopping. There's a fine line between being a huge fan and a bit of a stalker and I decided not to cross it.....


Julie said...

Yay! Catkins, my new friend and Hollis fanatic! I would never lock Jeep in the basement...he's too nice! Plus he would never tell.

I can't believe you saw Mark in London. I'm so jealous. I saw a photo of him from about five years back...he looks older but still a doll. And I am really glad to hear he's not hiding out, per se. Just wish he'd come back and do some music. He's the best.

I know what you mean about not approaching him. Even though it's tempting, you have to remember he's just a person. Like us. Right? ;-)

You live in London? Thanks for all the info and for visiting!

Catkins said...

Hi Julie. Yep, I live in London, and was sooooo lucky to see Mark. Given his reputation for being shy and reclusive I don't think he'd appreciate me approaching him and his teenage son at the deli checkout. A man should be allowed to buy his groceries in peace, so I didn't scream, grab him by the throat and demand a second solo album (though I was sorely tempted). I can only report that he's still easily recognisable (not bald, grey haired and 100kg), and looking fit, healthy and quite dapper. Skinny little sod though - someone needs to force feed him biscuits to fatten him up a bit.

Did you know that the TT concert at the Montreux festival has just been released on DVD?

Hope to see you over at the TT boards sometime - come us tell us some Jeep stories!


Julie said...

Hey girl! I'm going to Jeep's house tonight for a Halloween party. I'll let you know if Mark shows. ;-)

Seriously, I don't think he has any stories, other than what I wrote on the other post, about him being "hard to get to know" or whatever it was.

Did you ever hear see that one video Paul O'Flynn used to have on YouTube, of a really early version of Mirror Man performed by whatever Mark's band was pre-Talk Talk? The name escapes me at the moment, but it was a BEAUTIFUL version of the song, so much better than what they later did with it. He's now taken it down, sadly.

I'm off to celebrate Halloween, so BOO!

leonicat said...

Julie, I absolutly agree with your comments about Mark and Lee (ahem !)
my english is terrible so I'm going to stop now, and I'm also very very very jealous of catkins but she knows :D

thanks for your site, that's great !

(leonicat from the french forum of TT ^-^)

Julie said...

Leonicat! Bienvenue a mon site! Je suis francophone et tu peux parler francais, mais ton anglais est excellent!

Oui, le choix entre Mark et Lee est difficile, non? Et moi aussi, je suis jalouse de Catkins...:-(

leonicat said...

merci pour ton accueil ;)

jealous of Catkins... as she let the address of the shop, I planned a lot of things like : try to work there ! but I gave up... :D

I also loved a lot your pumpkins, especially the last one, even if with the dwarf we have in France I absolutly can't laugh on... hem hem ;)

no I joke : the cat was my favorite one ;)

hope the world will have a great news tonight ;)

Julie said...

Moi aussi...je ne vais pas dormir cette nuit...

Catkins said...


Congratulations on your new President! and nice to see you over on the French TT boards)

The original version of Mirror Man must have been by 'The Reaction'. I've got 'I can't resist', 'I am a case' and 'talk talk talk talk', but not that song. I didn't even know that more than three songs from Mark's first band existed. Paul O'Flynn appears to have taken down the majority of stuff on his fansite. Gahhhhhh!

Julie said...

Yes, it was The Reaction's version of the song, and it was amazing. Paul used to have it up on YouTube too, but he told me it was going to be temporary and damn him, it was. I've emailed him to ask if he'd send me a copy but we never got it together. I may contact him again.

And thanks for the congrats! I'm still reeling from the elections, it was so amazing!

Dave said...

As a heterosexual male, I can't really empathise with much of your post on Hollis, but his qualities as a musician, well, that's another thing.

Listening to his solo album atm, it's such a great record (though itunes has replaced vinyl).

We've written a couple posts about Talk Talk, here (my favourite song full stop) and here (a close second).

Like your blog by the way. Like the Edie Sedgwick reference.

Catkins said...


As you mentioned The Reaction, here's a copy of "I am a case", the b-side to their one and only single "I can't resist". You have about 5 days to download it.


Dave - it's amazing how many fans have 'New Grass' as their favourite TT song. I saw an interview with Guy Garvey of Elbow last month in which he said it was the song that would be played at his funeral.


Anonymous said...

Well finally, good to see there are other female admirers of Mark. I am in my respectable thirties, happily married with 2 kids,and have been crazy about Mark Hollis since years, although i never ever met him of course.He is the cutest guy, especially in hir earlier videos such as My Foolish friend and Today, but my god, where has time gone, thats already 27 years ago now, when i saw a picture of him recently, you can indeed easily still recognise him, although with the long hair, i found him looking very different. Would love to hear more on his private life, wife ? kids ?

Anonymous said...


As a heterosexual man, Mark's voice could persuade me over to the other side ; ) Pure goosebumps.

Anonymous said...

I saw someone, in Wimbledon Village as I was driving through, last week. Recognised the face & ears, but it was a 1-second glance. Been racking my brain to remember where I have seen the face. Finally realised it was Mark Hollis! Yes still in Wimbledon area!

Sabrina said...

Love you Mark!

Debbie Thomas said...

Hi there,
Wow, so good to see there are others slightly obsessed with Mark - I keep watching the Montreaux gig (amazing!!)- there is something so magnetic about him, he's not your usual good-looker, but he is beautiful in a different way - just wish he performed more without the shades on so I could see his eyes!! Yes, another obsessed fan. Must get down to Wimbledon sometime ;-) !!

Carissa said...

Happy I found this, better late then never. I'm a huge Hollis obsessive too. Have been since I heard It's my life back in High School 1997, took me forever to find out who they were and I've been hooked ever since. I also believe I might be the only black girl in the world to love him and Talk Talk. I was made fun of and called white for my love of his music. I still don't care and hope to one day see Mark Hollis live and to simply say Thank you! You helped me through high School

nancy said...

If I see Mark, I am gonna scream, and not let him finish his shopping!!!! LOL Nancy from San Antonio, Texas!

misty said...

Mark, I would love to hear you play 'Pavane pour une infante défunte' on piano.

Bea, Sheffield

Anonymous said...

Great to have found this blog. Since I loved talk talk so much in the past, I went looking for where Mr, Hollis was in 2013. Thanks for this material.


Anonymous said...

I love him..was in love with him from the first time I saw his videos, and his voice aah just like heaven..

Yael Bolender said...

I am surprised to find this blog, I didn't know so many people were still waiting for our charming wonderful genius!
I must admit I can't understand how someone so talented and passionate about music, could stop just like that? Being married and having kids doesn't imply abandoning everything we loved before that. I really don't get it. What happened to him?
He looked so joyful at the beginning of his career, and a little less around the end.
It is not only stopping the job, it is also hiding, that is very strange for someone who was used to camera...
Actually, it makes me very upset, because an artist with so much talent should at least create during 20 or even 30 years. I don't even want to imagine what we all have missed...
His kids must be adults or almost now, what is he waiting for, to come back?
Anyway, we miss you Mr Mark Hollis, Mr Genius, charming and beautiful in your own way. Let's hope he will hear my wish, for the benefit of all of us.

Daria De Lazzari said...

Good to hear I am not the only one in love with this chaming genius...!

Yael Bolender said...

After months of research concerning our Mr Charming Genius Mark Hollis, and even though I would love to see him come back in Music, I think I am starting understanding, at least supposing why he left.
I still think it is a huge talent spoiled and that we probably are missing a lot. but he is also a man, a human being and he is allowed to have some peace.
However he has so much to teach to all of us... If he was coming back, I would be the first one to jump on my chair... of joy.
I think he is one of the most clever artist still alive. Don't only listen to his Music or his lyrics, take also the time to read or listen to his interviews. He is so fascinating!

AmieCliffen said...

Wow, it's like 7 years since you wrote this and people have been commenting like each year after... I wonder if you still check it?

I thought I was the only person in the world who had a massive obsession with Mark Hollis! I am completely besotted by him, well and truly. I can relate so well to what gets you interested in a guy; something different in the face, a sense of humour etc.

I saw the 'Such a Shame' video and I must admit, those cheeky little grins he makes at the camera drove me wild, and he was so sexy during his long hair and sunglasses period, the way he carried himself on stage, holding the mi close to his lips and whipping his hair around.... what an absolute hunk. I adore his long nose and beautiful tired eyes, it was actually his talent that drew me to him first though, I had always liked a bit of Talk Talk, I love 80s music (Depeche Mode, Gary Numan etc) and I started to listen a bit more to them, and eventually his voice just caused this stir in me, such a hauntingly beautiful voice, then one day BAAAAM insane mega girl crush!!!!!
But in all reality, the way I feel about Mark isn't some silly little crush, I respect him so deeply, I think he is a wonderful person with an immense talent and appreciation for music and all 'cutey in sunglasses' aside, his music AND his words about music and art have actually helped pull me out of some extremely dark and sad times in my life. So I guess this is one of the reasons I just, well, love him really!
I wonder if he is still in Wimbledon now, what is he doing? Watching TV maybe, or taking a shit? Who knows, I just hope he's well and that he's happy

Are any of you guys going to the Spirit of Talk Talk evening on 25th November? it's at the Clapham, I'm going alone as none of my friends know Talk Talk, would be nice to have someone to drink and sing with (and I have given up any hope of Alan Wilder or Mark himself being there)

AmieCliffen said...

Also hey Yael ^^^ I have seen your display picture on a bunch on Talk Talk videos! Guess you are a fellow obsessor too haha

Anonymous said...

I have his full address but even I wouldn't invade his privacy even though I'd love for all the band members to sign my Spirit Of Eden book


Anonymous said...

Let me know in which part of London lives, Mark? I would love to see it and even tell him Good morning. If anyone has a full address, please send an email to mag.roz@onet.pl

La Huerta de Priss said...

El dejo la musica para cuidar de su mujer y su hijo recien nacido.
No necesita trabajar, porque se quedo con todos los derechos de musica de Talk Talk.
Cuando dejo la musica, dedico todo el dinero que gano en comprar viviendas y alquilarlas. Como hacen muchos artistas, compran y venden casas. Tiene tres sociedades. Una de compra y venta de casas. Otra de restauracion de casas. La ultima es de un estudio de musica.
El vive del dinero que gano inviertiendo los ingresos de Talk Talk.
Ya no lo interesa la musica. Es un amante del futbol y el y su mujer se dedican a controlar todas sus sociedades.