Who is Virgile ?

La Rochelle, February 1986

My dear Epo,

It’s been a while, and I’ve been so busy with exams lately; but during a conversation with Colin ( not what you think about, we’re just elaborating plans to make him escape from Paris next year) he told me about your new addiction to “High Meanders”. It really pleased Virgile himself, he begins to understand all the interest there is to embark the youngest in our passion for music.
It must be said, he is a rather complicated character. But I know very few New Wave’s fans who are not, and it takes a certain amount of grudge to be really in the spirit. The fascinating elegy of this movement cannot accommodate with conventional good humor; but a little nonchalant cynicism will however find its place …

I think I’ve had to learn all this when I left my fishermen’s quarter to come and study in a city center High School. But curiously it was an asset, to know gruff guys; and scratch my fingers on bad guitars with buddies who wanted to play Joy Division. Without that I think I wouldn’t have been able to approach Virgile, and even less to forge the friendship that you know between us. Music is a great medium for guys like me to gently fuck the boys from the upscale neighborhoods (not as much as football but almost)

Virgile belongs to an excellent background, where I was very learnedly explained that he had his annoying mood from his mother’s neuroses, and he lost her a year after we got to know each other. But already before that, Virgile was kicking in the stretchers : for him it was out of the question to follow the royal road and to study medicine. He still conceded to his father a science baccalaureate which would allow him to access sound engineering. And of course, the fool that I was followed him in this adventure…

However, we often threw our equation sheets to listen to records. In 1983, The Sister of Mercy’s “Body Electric” had already been released, and it was the glorious time of “Alice”. We were quite intrigued by a band which started by creating his own label even before realizing its first LP; and by the time there were only singles from The Sisters Of Mercy. It was already a real universe though, carried by the production of John Ashton ( from the “Furs”) of course, but also highlighted by the lyrics like “ Pass the crystal, spread the tarots / In illusion comfort lies” that the voice of Andrew Eldritch makes emanate in meanders of smoke.

I have often seen Virgile sitting on his bed in astonishment when later he was listening to “First And Last And Always” , and it’s not hard for me to understand; it’s a mesmerizing album. We had talked about the tragic loss of his mum ( and maybe he’ll tell you himself about it) , but in these moments , only the catharsis of words, on a harsh guitar line “ Because the world is cruel / And promises are broken” ( Some Kind Of Stranger) could really help him. Emotions are kept inside , the voice is deep, and just the guitar weeps …

You have it now Epo, Virgile is the melancholic one among us ; and certainly the most inspired. I usually work at the bar on Friday evenings but my boss allows me to record “High Meanders” and I listen to it on Saturday morning while I’m taking my bath.
Not last time. It was a Friday off ; and I had the chance to have my bath by listening to “High Meanders” live … But he didn’t tell me that his former Londoner girlfriend , Sheeranee , had brought back precious recordings from the Southern Studio. And the end, oh, what a wonder … Promise, I didn’t think at all about using my toes to make soap bubbles anymore… (it is likely that the atmosphere of “High Meanders” is generally not suitable for it, but there even less)

You can’t imagine how much I’m happy that you discovered “Virus Meadow” at the same time; it really means you’re part of the great alchemy that makes us vibrate now. Tell me what you felt. Or write it, because we won’t see each other in February’s break. With dancer friends that I’ve known in High School, we decided to climb the Mont Blanc. I’m probably the least prepared of the bunch, but I’ll do my best to stay alive because I want to read your letter from Germany in March…

Meandrous hug and gothic kisses,
Alb

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