Music critic and fan of the Fall, Richard Pearmain profiles Mark E Smith.
The Madness of King Mark
Like everyone who says they remember where they were when they heard about President Kennedy’s assassination, I always remember the first time I ever heard the Fall. It was on the radio, approximately 3.02pm, as a student on vacation, and not just a vacation for me either – Steve Wright, then the mainstay DJ of primetime Radio 1, was off on his jollies, and who was sitting in for him? John Peel. “Hello, everybody out there in radio land,” or words to that effect, “this is the Fall.” And there it was, Lost In Music, the Sister Sledge disco classic remade/remodelled in the most unlikely way. And there was that unmistakable voice, over the driving funk guitar (funk! The Fall!), Mark E Smith grumbling about “the brick refurbishment of pubs”. Not sure what Nile Rodgers would make of that….
Admittedly, I wasn’t immediately launched headlong into the Wonderful and Frightening World of they Fall, they were more of a slow burner. Of course, I knew who the Fall were, but they seemed a murkier proposition than the Smiths or New Order. However, I don’t know how, but they got me in the end. I think it’s fair to say that there is no such thing as a casual Fall fan – you’re either in, or you’re not. Continue reading…