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Author Topic: I understand that 'Romeo & Juliet' was written solely about Holly and not Kathy  (Read 12383 times)

Offlinealabhaois

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Hi, all. I know there's a discussion going on about the meaning of R&J but I can't find it-- so I thought I'd start my own post. (Still getting used to the interface-- bear with me)

Apparently, briefly, Ed Bicknell became Holly and the Italians' manager, thanks to Mark.  She actually broke up with him on the phone right before he was headed out for a performance (nice timing). Here are some links:

This song [R&J] was inspired by Mark Knopfler's broken romance with Holly Vincent, who was the leader of the band Holly And The Italians. Some of the lyrics indicate that Knopfler felt she used him to boost her career...

The line, "Now you just say, oh Romeo, yeah, you know I used to have a scene with him," came from an interview where Holly Vincent was quoted as saying: "What happened was that I had a scene with Mark Knopfler and it got to the point where he couldn't handle it and we split up."
http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Romeo-and-Juliet-(song)

AND

This song is actually about Knopfler's ex-girlfriend, Holly Vincent. She treated him badly, dumping him over the phone when he was on tour in America. He wrote Romeo and Juliet about her, and Love Over Gold shows his contempt of her - he's talking about the love he had for her, that she let run through her fingers like dust - and it echoes the sentiments of Romeo and Juliet - 'You can fall for chains of silver, you can fall for chains of gold, You can fall for pretty strangers, And the promises they hold, You promised me everything, You promised me thick and thin, yeah, Now you just say, oh, Romeo, yeah, you know I used to have a scene with him'.
http://www.songmeanings.net/profiles/submissions/17295117/comments/

FWIW
 :disbelief


« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 09:25:45 pm by alabhaois »

OfflinePottel

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Woud you think he still thinks back whenever he dreams away, singing the song?
any Knopfler, Floyd or Dylan will do....

Offlinedmg

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Woud you think he still thinks back whenever he dreams away, singing the song?

Judging by the emotion with which he sings it these days, I would say the only thing he's thinking of is what the lyrics are so he doesn't get them mixed up. ::)
"...if you don't do your twiddly bits, the world's not right for people."

OfflineLis

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Woud you think he still thinks back whenever he dreams away, singing the song?

Judging by the emotion with which he sings it these days, I would say the only thing he's thinking of is what the lyrics are so he doesn't get them mixed up. ::)
My favorite sounding live version of R&J is from A Night In London (1996), and from the video from the concert, he looks like he was in the moment.  I haven't seen anything since.... 

BTW... who is Kathy??  (I had always heard it was about Holly)
If you ain’t got whiskey
Don’t tell me that you ain’t got gin

Offlinesweetsurrender

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Woud you think he still thinks back whenever he dreams away, singing the song?

Judging by the emotion with which he sings it these days, I would say the only thing he's thinking of is what the lyrics are so he doesn't get them mixed up. ::)
My favorite sounding live version of R&J is from A Night In London (1996), and from the video from the concert, he looks like he was in the moment.  I haven't seen anything since.... 

BTW... who is Kathy??  (I had always heard it was about Holly)

Correct me if I'm wrong. Kathy is Mark's first wife. he married her when he was quite young (don't know exactly how old) while working in a farm. 

Offlinesuperval99

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This is the page we discussed R&J, Kathy, Holly etc:

http://www.amarkintime.org/forum/index.php/topic,350.0.html

The newspaper cutting I scanned is still there:
   
http://www.divshare.com/download/5922450-468    click on to "previous"

« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 10:00:16 am by superval99 »
Goin' into Tow Law....

Tracker Tour - Manchester, Newcastle, London 02, RAH 26th May

DTRW Tour - Leeds, Newcastle, Verona

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I would think Mark rarely writes about "a person" as such - even "Imelda" was more about the syndrom, not Mrs. Imelda herself.
Romeo & Juliet might be influenced by the feelings there were after their relationship split up. But the "Juliet" in that song is never a "real girl"...

Mark wants his songs to be for general interst for people in all kinds of live situations, so the song has to hit a certain applicability for the listeners.

So I would commentthat Romeo & Juliet was neither written about Holly nor Kathy. It was written from out of his very own broken heart.

 ;)

LE

Offlinealabhaois

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He was certainly referencing Holly when he paraphrased her callous interview comment and incorporated it into the song. It's a wonder he could stand to sing any of those songs, what with the pain involved in them and his being such a private person.

Now Kathy (first wife, preceded Holly) really obliterated him.
See http://www.divshare.com/download/5922450-468

Maybe the story is apocryphal, but it does have a ring of truth to it.

I'm SO glad he found happiness with Kitty. He richly deserves it. 

Cheers,

a.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 09:26:34 pm by alabhaois »

OfflineJF

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Kathy is the main subject in 2 first albums : water of love, setting me up, six blade knife, follow me home, where do you think you're going, even if he sung this song thinking of Holly in late 79 (the famous version Ed talks about in Oldfield book)

from early to late 79, Mark wore a neck lace like on this pic :
http://www.gettyimages.fr/detail/photo-d%27actualit%C3%A9/mark-knopfler-from-dire-straits-performs-live-on-photo-dactualit%C3%A9/94103657
he didn't wear it in late 78 (e.g. chorus) and neither in late 79 (live on Arena)

so I've always wondered if this neck lace is linked to holly Vincent (a gift ?), because I guess their relation was between these dates.

OfflineRkd

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I have always been surprised by Mark's response to questions about R & J since he seems to view Romeo as  ridiculous rather than tragic. His typical response is similar to this one given in an interview with Robert Sandall.

Romeo and Juliet
*Robert Sandall : "One of your most romantic songs is 'Romeo and Juliet'. Is it a personal song for you?"
 
*Mark Knopfler : "Well, actually I was living in Camberwell (laughter) at the time with Romeo and Juliet and I was actually sitting on a floor - I didn't have any furniture and I'd moved down the road from Deptford and I remember just writing that just sitting on the floor. Basically, pretty desperately in need of furniture. I remember thinking that the Romeo figure was a figure of fun because there's always a time, when you've been dropped by a girlfriend, or something. But there's always a time afterwards when you laugh about it, you know. And I just bore that in mind, the tragic figure of Romeo, if you like, was a figure of fun. It was a semi-tongue-in-cheek thing, you know."   

 

OfflineLis

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I have always been surprised by Mark's response to questions about R & J since he seems to view Romeo as  ridiculous rather than tragic. His typical response is similar to this one given in an interview with Robert Sandall.

Romeo and Juliet
*Robert Sandall : "One of your most romantic songs is 'Romeo and Juliet'. Is it a personal song for you?"
 
*Mark Knopfler : "Well, actually I was living in Camberwell (laughter) at the time with Romeo and Juliet and I was actually sitting on a floor - I didn't have any furniture and I'd moved down the road from Deptford and I remember just writing that just sitting on the floor. Basically, pretty desperately in need of furniture. I remember thinking that the Romeo figure was a figure of fun because there's always a time, when you've been dropped by a girlfriend, or something. But there's always a time afterwards when you laugh about it, you know. And I just bore that in mind, the tragic figure of Romeo, if you like, was a figure of fun. It was a semi-tongue-in-cheek thing, you know."
Thank you, Rkd, for the material from the Sandall interview.  It is interesting how MK treats the R&J background as ridiculous, whereas so many of us find that it must have come from heartbreak. 

One way to deal with such personal questions is to deflect...  and it seems to have worked... :)

In some way, this also reminds me of MK's comment about his red strat as "kind of a joke" in the Arena documentary...  (In other interviews, however, he explains that it was the object of his longing since before he got his first guitar.)

If you ain’t got whiskey
Don’t tell me that you ain’t got gin

Offlinealabhaois

  • Guitar George
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He's not only a musical artist, he's also a writer, and I've read that he gets a lot of his material from "real life" (e.g., "Money for Nothing"-- what if he hadn't been in that particular store and heard the guy complaining about MTV? I shudder to think!!). I also read that MK's agent has been approached a number of times by writers wanting to do his biography, and he's always refused. That, in itself, doesn't necessarily mean anything, but when you consider all the baggage he has, I can understand it. 

Re the necklace-- I've seen it only in old photos-- in the 70s or thereabouts.

Thank you, JF, for the info about his past songs and who he wrote them for. And Rkd-- yes, I would say those songs were a catharsis for him. You guys know your stuff!

a.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2013, 12:41:24 am by alabhaois »

 

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