Saturday, March 29, 2008


The name Marie Celeste probably rings a distant bell...or buoy. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle popularized the legend of the ghost ship that was found drifting, Friday the 13th, December of 1872, cargo intact but the entire crew missing.
His fiction piece was about the "Marie Celeste" rather than the real name, "Mary Celeste," just as Edgar A. Poe's "Mystery of Marie Roget" was a fictionalized account of the death of Mary Rogers. "Marie" just sounds more exotic, doesn't it?
The ship was commanded by Captain Benjamin Briggs, who had a seven-man crew and also his wife and two-year old daughter aboard. The best theory is that something spooked everyone into leaving the ship — quickly. And that they perished in the treacherous waters before making land or returning to the boat.
Fast-forward to 1971, when "And Then Perhaps" album by the group Marie Celeste, featuring a schooner on the album cover, leaning precariously on troubled seas. (Paul Simon's website tracks the song's recording date to 1968). The group, whom critics compared to Oberon, privately pressed (Audio Archives PAM 006) only 200 copies of the record. It has been rescued from obscurity and is now on CD via Hi-Note, who declare you will enjoy hearing all cuts for the "haunting twin female vocals, a unique hallmark of the band. A must for lovers of esoteric underground UK."
The band apparently disbanded long ago, with a new Marie Celeste (vocalist Patrik Gill) making minimal waves in the 80's. Once a band is dead, especially dead and obscure, it seems pretty easy to just grab the name, and so there's now yet another Marie Celeste, a trio from Rotterdam. They haven't come up with anything like this...

I AM A ROCK launched by MARIE CELESTE Listen on line or download. No pop-ups, code words or wait time.

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