6.1 Tell me more about "Primal Scream Therapy". 6.16 Is 'Laid So Low' about Curt?
6.2 What is 'Mad World' about? 6.17 Who is Roland talking about in the 'Cold' lyrics?
6.3 Where does the title Songs From The Big Chair originate? 6.18 Who is Roland's "old friend Nockles" in the song 'Cold'?
6.4 What is Roland going on about in 'Mothers Talk'? 6.19 Who is Mr. Godot?
6.5 Is 'Shout' a protest song? 6.20 Is 'Fish Out Of Water' also about Curt?
6.6 What is the "Great White Hope"? 6.21 What is "Neptune's Kitchen"?
6.7 Is 'Woman In Chains' a feminist anthem? 6.22 Where does the title 'Brian Wilson Said' come from?
6.8 Who are the "boys back in 628"? 6.23 What the heck is "Schrodinger's Cat"?
6.9 Who is "Politician Granny"? 6.24 What's the story behind 'Raoul And The Kings Of Spain'?
6.10 What does Roland mean by "Kick out the Style!"? 6.25 Where does the title 'Sketches Of Pain' come from?
6.11 What is the origin of the phrase "I love a sunflower"? 6.26 What does "Los Reyes Católicos" mean?
6.12 What is 'Swords And Knives' about? 6.27 What is "Davy Jones' locker"?
6.13 Is 'Year Of The Knife' on The Seeds Of Love a live track? 6.28 Who is Frida Kahlo as mentioned in 'Don't Drink The Water'?
6.14 What is 'Famous Last Words' about? 6.29 What is 'The Madness Of Roland'?
6.15 Who was Johnny Panic?

6.1 Tell me more about "Primal Scream Therapy".

Well, first of all the term "Primal Scream Therapy" is a classic misnomer. The process itself is simply called Primal Therapy, but it has been combined with the title of Arthur Janov's first book Primal Scream in some circles. The therapy, invented by Janov, involves the reliving of past traumas in an effort to better learn how to deal with your feelings. A better-detailed description of Primal Therapy than I could ever write is housed at http://www.primal.bc.ca/ptfaq.htm. Roland and Curt were both very enthralled with Janov's theories, and it eventually became their lifelong goal to travel to America for the purpose of receiving Primal Therapy. The Hurting was created as a means to this end - a way to introduce Janov's ideas to the mainstream while making enough money to foot the bill for such a venture.
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6.2 'Mad World' is a pretty big deal these days. What is it about?

According to the sleeve notes in the remastered version of The Hurting, Roland wrote 'Mad World' at the age of 18 while sitting in his flat, looking out at the Bath city centre. The song is basically just a record of his observations from watching the people down below his building.
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6.3 Where does the title Songs From The Big Chair originate?

"Songs From The Big Chair" is a reference to the 1976 television movie Sybil, starring Sally Field. Field plays a woman with a severe case of personality disorder (16 different personalities in all) who only feels comfortable when sitting in her psychiatrist's big chair. She had developed this disorder as the result of a harrowing childhood, so it's easy to see why this movie struck a chord with Roland and Curt. (Ironically, during the mid 1990's, the authors of the original story 'Sybil' admitted that much of the work was a hoax!)
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6.4 What is Roland going on about in 'Mothers Talk'?

A couple things, actually. The song is probably the closest TFF have come to a political anthem and is loosely based on the evils of nuclear power. The line "when the wind blows" is a clear reference to Raymond Briggs' similarly titled comic novel on the subject of nuclear war. As if to further clarify this point, the 'Mothers Talk' USA video is centered on a hyperactive father preparing a bomb shelter for his family. The other lyric of note, "my features form with a change in the weather", is a reference to the old wives tale that if you're "pulling faces" and the wind changes, your face will stick like that. Hence the title "Mothers Talk".

The song also apparently nicks a line from playwright Joe Orton. The last line of Orton's 1969 farce What The Butler Saw

"Let us put our clothes on and face the world."

The play is basically about Dr. Prentice, a psychotherapist who runs an asylum and attempts to seduce Geraldine, a young woman applying for the position of his secretary. As he is about to close the deal, Mrs. Prentice returns from a trip, accompanied by Nicholas, a young man who attempted to rape her in her hotel. She has taken pity on him because of his rough boyhood, and she tries to convince her husband to hire Nicholas as his secretary. Into this mess walks Dr. Rance, a bumbling and malicious mental health facility inspector. In order to explain why there is a naked woman--Geraldine--on his therapy couch, Prentice tells him a series of lies, which lead to all kinds of antics, including druggings, cross-dressing, and the commitment of several characters. Ultimately the play is about the desperate and immature behavior of those living under the whims of bumbling despots on power trips--a theme certainly echoed in Mothers Talk.

(special thanks to Jonathan Samarro for this last bit of info!)
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6.5 Is 'Shout' a protest song?

According to Roland - sort of. It's has a double meaning: on one hand, it gets across the point that you need to express your opinions in a democracy; on the other, it's yet another reference to Janov's Primal Scream book.
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6.6 What is the "Great White Hope" mentioned in 'Woman In Chains'?

The "Great White Hope" was originally a nickname given to James Jeffries, a white boxer defeated by the first black heavyweight champion, Jack Johnson, in 1910. A movie with the same title starring James Earl Jones (1970) was loosely based on this story. In the 'Woman In Chains' video, the protagonist's husband is a boxer and also a domestic abuser. It's possible this line is a metaphorical reference to domestic abuse.
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6.7 Is 'Woman In Chains' a feminist anthem?

According to Roland - again, sort of. It could be interpreted that way, but Roland's original idea behind the song was a reference to the feminine side in men, with a plea to "free her." As Roland said in an MTV Europe interview:

It's about sexism to a certain degree.
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6.8 Who are the "boys back in 628" mentioned in 'Badman's Song'?

As the story goes, TFF had just played a show at Denver Red Rocks on the Big Chair tour, and were back at their hotel. Now generally, the band booked a party room at each stop, and it just so happened that this night the room was adjacent to Roland's. The noise was keeping him up, so before he called over to tell the loudmouths to shut up, he put his ear to the wall just to make sure he had the right people - and when he did, he heard certain members of the crew slagging him and the band. Hence the line "here's to the boys back in 628, where an ear to the wall was a twist of fate." Roland came up with the chorus the next day, and was actually complimented on the lyrics by one of the offending crew members at that evening's soundcheck!
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6.9 Who is "Politician Granny" as mentioned in 'Sowing The Seeds Of Love'?

Margaret Thatcher. Roland was upset that Thatcher had been re-elected and wanted to write a protest song, which is how 'Sowing The Seeds Of Love' came about.
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6.10 What does Roland mean by "Kick out the Style! Bring back the Jam!"?

The band named "The Jam" was popular trio in the late 1970's and early 1980's that made punk-rock left wing political music. Their chief songwriter, Paul Weller, began to develop an interest in soul music, and his songs started to reflect this, which the other members couldn't stand. The group soon broke up and Weller formed "The Style Council". The Jam fans felt betrayed at the change of direction and reviled the band, which had some early success. Ultimately, The Style Council was dropped by their label in the early 90's, prompting Weller to continue as a solo act.
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6.11 What is the origin of the phrase "I love a sunflower" from 'Sowing The Seeds'?

According to Roland from a Melody Maker interview:

"I love a sunflower" is a piece of graffiti on a wall near my home. I see it every day. I didn't know what to sing on a guide vocal for the track so I sang that instead of "dada dada dada". Then all of a sudden, "Sowing The Seeds" is just about to come out and the Ecology Party do really well in the Euro-elections and their emblem is the sunflower. I didn't know that, it all seems to be fitting in now. These things are synchronous.
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6.12 What is 'Swords And Knives' about?

Roland and Nicky Holland wrote the song for Sid And Nancy, the film based on the relationship between Sid Vicious and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. Metaphorically, the song is about how IV drug use can lead to violence later in life (when life begins with needles and pins, it ends with swords and knives). According to Roland, the song was ultimately rejected by the movie's creators because it "wasn't punk enough."
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6.13 I hear crowd noise at the beginning of 'Year Of The Knife'. Is this a live track?

No, the crowd noise was added in the studio for effect. According to one fan, this sample was taken straight from a recording of a 1985 concert in Dallas, Texas, USA.
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6.14 What is 'Famous Last Words' about?

'Famous Last Words' was written as a scenario between two lovers together on the night "the big one" goes off. This song was penned in 1986 (and inspired by The Fate Of The Earth by Jonathan Schell), before the arms reduction, when such a possibility was still fresh in people's minds. The two lovers in the song would rather spend one night together in a "real life situation", sitting by candlelight and listening to the "band that made them cry" (Roland suggests Tears For Fears) instead of panicking and running for the hills.
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6.15 Who was Johnny Panic and what was his "Bible Of Dreams"?

Johnny Panic And The Bible Of Dreams was a collection of short stories, prose, and diary excerpts from author/poet Sylvia Plath, published in 1979 and named after one of its short stories. Based on her job at the time in the records office for mental patients at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, this story concerns a young lady who copies out the dreams of people who come in for consultation. She is keeping a parallel book of her own at home, which she calls "Johnny Panic's Bible of Dreams," and which chronicles the domain of Johnny Panic himself, the Maker of them all. There are no obvious ties between Roland's lyrics and Plath's short story, aside from the name.
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6.16 Is 'Laid So Low' about Curt?

It certainly seems that way. The bulk of the song was written after the split with Curt, and Roland admits the phrase "so low" is an intentional play on words (solo), however the chorus itself is a leftover from the Seeds Of Love sessions (released in its own right as the song 'Tears Roll Down', which was the b-side to 'Sowing The Seeds Of Love').
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6.17 Who is Roland talking about in the 'Cold' lyrics?

According to Roland in the Elemental EPK, this song is the account of an encounter with a photographer in Germany that was trying to take pictures of him while he was on-stage. She was trying to get Roland's attention, but he wasn't in the mood for photos and kept turning his face away and giving her the "cold shoulder", so to speak. He eventually received a note from her later on that said 'how can someone who makes such warm music be so cold?' Hence the title of the song.
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6.18 Who is Roland's "old friend Nockles" in the song 'Cold'?

Nockles is Nicky Holland, Roland's former songwriting partner.
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6.19 Who is Mr. Godot as mentioned in the song 'Dog's A Best Friend's Dog'?

The lyric "Tell Mr. Godot I'm walking the dog" is a reference to the Samuel Beckett play Waiting For Godot.
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6.20 Is 'Fish Out Of Water' also about Curt?

Yes. Roland has often referred to this song as his 'How Do You Sleep', in reference to the scathing song John Lennon wrote about former bandmate Paul McCartney. Curt released a formal response to this tune four years later, in the song 'Sun King' from his Mayfield album.
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6.21 What is "Neptune's Kitchen" as mentioned in 'Fish Out Of Water'?

Neptune's Kitchen is Roland's home recording studio.
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6.22 Where does the title 'Brian Wilson Said' come from?

According to Roland, the title is a backhanded reference to the Van Morrison song 'Jackie Wilson Said'. That particular song was written about one of Van Morrison's idols, and Roland wanted to do the same for one of his. Brian Wilson, of course, was the creative force behind The Beach Boys.
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6.23 What the heck is "Schrodinger's Cat"?

You ready for this?

"Schrodinger's Cat" is a famous example used to explain quantum mechanics. Erwin Schrodinger was an Austrian physicist whose work in the 1920's centered around quantum mechanics and the attempts to develop mathematical models to describe the behavior of atomic and sub-atomic particles and to develop theories and methods to explain the behavior of light waves. He developed the quantum wavefunction equations to quantitize measurements of atomic spin (clockwise versus counter clockwise). Schrodinger developed a set of equations which seemed to accurately describe this behavior; however, he discovered that his equations also exhibited what became one of the greatest paradoxes of modern physics. This paradox was encountered when he realized that the results obtained with his equations were valid only at the exact time the measurement was taken, and could not be used to describe predictions as to the atom's behavior prior to the measurement. This also implied, since the measurements were only valid for the exact moment they were made, that measurements made immediately prior to and after the initial one could be expected to cancel each other out. In other words, even though mathematics and logic would suggest that the before and after measurements should "average out" to something close to the actual measurement, in reality, they tended to cancel each other out and suggest the non-existence of the sample. He illustrated this concept by imagining (rather than actually doing) placing a cat in a box and closing the lid. The experiment detailed the isotope being connected to a Geiger counter. When the isotope decayed, an electrical charge was sent from the counter, causing a tube of hydrocyanic acid to break, thus killing the cat. He attempted to use his quantum wavefunction calculations to quantitize the probabilities surrounding the likelihood of the isotope decaying at a given time. Since the isotope was isolated inside the box and thereby removed from the observer's frame of reference, the only variable influencing the inputs to the equations was the presence of the cat. Oddly enough, the results showed that the probability of the isotope decaying at any given time depended solely upon a linear supposition (math speak for an educated guess) of the only two states which the cat could exhibit: alive and dead. In other words, the probability of the cat being killed at a specific time was an "average" of a live cat and a dead one. What does this mean? That was the whole point; the results were absurd and meaningless, and therein lay the paradox of Schrodinger's cat.
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6.24 What's the story behind the 'Raoul And The Kings Of Spain' song/album title?

'Raoul And The Kings of Spain' was a conceptual title many years before it was a song, much like 'Sowing The Seeds Of Love' was a title before it was a song. "Raoul and the Kings of Spain" is a reference to Roland's father and how he used to tell Roland and his brothers very proudly that they were related to the Presidents of Argentina (Roland doubts that this is actually true). Roland didn't think "Raoul and the Presidents of Argentina" sounded good enough for a lyric, so he changed it to RATKOS (as detailed well on the 1995 Stephanie Miller Show in the USA).
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6.25 Where does the title 'Sketches Of Pain' come from?

'Sketches Of Pain' is a play on the Miles Davis album title Sketches Of Spain.
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6.26 What does "Los Reyes Católicos" mean?

Literally translated from Spanish, the phrase means "The Catholic Kings."
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6.27 What is "Davy Jones' locker" as mentioned in 'Don't Drink The Water'?

The name Davy Jones dates back to at least 1751. In nautical superstition, he is the spirit of the sea; his locker is where he keeps sunken ships.
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6.28 Who is Frida Kahlo as mentioned in 'Don't Drink The Water'?

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter whose most famous works were self-portraits. The lyric mentioning her in 'Don't Drink The Water' is likely a reference to paintings that portray her numerous miscarriages. The paintings are of herself lying naked in bed covered in blood, hence the line "when you looked like Frida Kahlo curled up in bed". She suffered many miscarriages (likely the result of a freak accident from childhood) and was never able to fulfill her dream of having a child. Recent attention has been brought to Kahlo's story through the Selma Hayek movie Frida, which is based on a biography by author Hayden Herrera.
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6.29 What is 'The Madness Of Roland'?

'The Madness Of Roland' was a b-side from the 'Raoul And The Kings Of Spain' cd-single. The title may be a clever reference to the interactive computer novel of the same name, which first appeared on the market in 1992. The novel tells the legend of the Paladin Roland, Charlemagne's nephew and the most honorable knight in his service.
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