Glossary entry for
railway carriage charm

This reference has been much discussed and debated on the Van mailing list. The most promising explanation comes from a recent (September 17/95) contribution to that list:

Van explained this term to the audience at a gig in Manchester this year. A railway carriage charm is the name for speed pills that he and Them used to take.

In a January 19, 2001 posting to the vantrades list, Allan Gill gives slightly different specifics, but confirms the gist of the story:

On the 4/28/95 Sheffield, England concert during "Vanlose Stairway" Van stopped playing and said that during the 60's the group (I'm sure he was referring to THEM) used to be on the road for 18 months at a time and that they would be suffering from serious exhaustion. The management would send them to a doctor (he calls them "quacks") who would give them these little bottle of pills (speed) to keep them going. He states that he called them "Railway Carriages".

Van references in:

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