Dismiss Notice
We are making some updates and reconfigurations to our server. Apologies for any downtime or slow forum loading now or within the next week or so. Thanks!

Mark E. Smith- The Fall - R.I.P.*

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by JuanTCB, Jan 24, 2018.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. ATR

    ATR Senior Member

    Location:
    Baystate
    Yeah, that's good and expected of someone like Jeff Beck to be dismissive of The Fall. And of Mark E. Smith to enjoy the notoriety.
     
  2. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    God knows how, where and when Jeff Beck would have been listening to the Fall in 1982 though!
     
    JoeRockhead and Man at C&A like this.
  3. bzfgt

    bzfgt The Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Clapton was a huge fan and turned him on to Totale's Turns.
     
  4. vertigone

    vertigone Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    Here's a really good remembrance/tribute by Kay Carroll...

    "It's been a long couple of days now since the news of the shocking death of The Smith... my head forever spinning with triggers, travels, and lyrics. So much so that I have felt compelled to say something that would be both anecdotal and amusing, but not surprisingly, I struggled to find some stories that would encompass both of them at the same time. He was, to me, quite simply an enigma. I have thought of many stories over those seven or so years we spent together, as his friend, his lover, cohort, and manager of The Fall. Some very personal reminiscences, some totally Fall business and/or combinations of both, and although most of them started off as really interesting and amusing, they would however end up making me angry and pissed off. It is the nature of the beast I suppose. So for the prevention, I think, for my sanity, and his dignity, it feels appropriate to tell of the last meeting Mark and I had, and it’s the word Serendipity that springs to mind...

    I was visiting England for three weeks in the summer of 2011. I’d been thinking of trying to make contact with him once I got to Manchester. I still had some unresolved issues with him that I wanted to address, but had been warned by more than a few people that he had become quite the recluse, and tended not to answer his calls; both phone and door. So I thought, ah well screw it,why bother? The day after I had arrived, I was showing my daughter and now ex- husband around Prestwich village. We had just come out of a thrift store near the Foresters. I turned around, and there at the bus stop, six feet away stood himself. My family went off in a different direction, so I walked over to him, and with that iconic plastic shopping bag in hand, I said "Hiya Mark." I think I kind of stunned him a little at first. It had been some time since we last met (New York 86). He said "I thought you were living in America." I said "I still am." “What you doing here then?" he said. "Oh I decided to come back and kill you." I said with a straight face, and held the comment there for a few seconds, then burst out laughing. He laughed too, but it was obvious to me, he still wasn't sure. Anyway we exchanged some pleasantries. He said he was off to Berlin in a couple of days but would be back in two weeks and to give him a ring, and we could meet up then. I asked, and he gave me his phone number as the bus was fast approaching. He got on it, shouting "Call!" and he was gone.

    Two weeks later, my US family returned back to the States so I could spend the last week or so with my UK family and friends. Time to give Mark a call. Of course I got voice mail. I left a message and not surprisingly, no response. I did that another couple of times over the next 2 days and pondered to myself, “Maybe I really have come back to kill him.” Finally I decided to hell with it and moseyed over to his house in Sedgley Park and knocked on his door. There was a rustling of the blinds at the side of the bay window. I knocked again, but still nobody came to the door. I opened the letter box and shouted “I know you're in there ya daft sod! Open the bloody door!” His voice echoed back, and he came out with some crazy ramblings on why he couldn't open the door, and our conversation continued through the letterbox. So after a few more choice comments from me, I angrily retorted back through the letterbox "OK have a good life!! and walked away. Over the years, in retrospect, I have found myself laughing out loud every time I think of our letterbox meeting. Anyway, that day, a little pissed off, I just shook it off, got on the bus and went back to the village. I thought I would drop by The Foresters to see if any old friends were in there. I had just stepped inside the lounge, through the back door, when my cell phone went off. It was Mark. "Sorry about that. Wanna meet at the Woodthorpe on Friday?” So we did.

    It was a beautiful summer evening, and there he was, sat outside on the patio of the Woodthorpe. Pint in hand, as though he had been waiting there for years. Nothing seemed to have changed.We looked at each other. He stood up. We smiled and hugged. He offered to buy me a drink, but I wasn't sure how he would react after I told him I had been in sobriety since 2006, (still am). As per usual, Mark surprised me. He didn't say a word. No put downs. No smart arsed comments. Nothing. He just offered to buy me a non alcoholic drink and a few more after that, and those momentary thoughts, previously of killing him, just drifted away.

    We talked about his dad, especially knowing this pub was his dads local, and who had since passed away. If you knew Mark, you knew his dad, the apple didn't fall far from the tree. I asked, and we talked about his mum and his sisters who he loved a lot, and of course the freakin music biz, which was spoken by us both, with its usual passion and chagrin. He seemed even more disillusioned than ever. Obviously due to the arrival of the internet, with its downloads, copyright infringements, and such. We spoke of and reminded ourselves, with lots of laughter of "what happened to…” conversations, and of all of those characters, both friends and foes, who had drifted in and out of our lives all those years ago.We also spoke of the ones who were with him now, and his plans, and ideas and of course those sardonic perceptions of his. It felt like time had just stood still for me. I got my issues resolved, and I flashed back to remembering the love, the magic, and intensity of just being together. Before I left, I thanked him for getting me involved, as well as other things including becoming the manager of The Fall, even though I knew he had some ulterior motives.We laughed at the way in which he had finally coerced me into the “job” by saying "You can be like, Faye Dunaway in Network.” Mmmm, I think I got close, but I think I was a little more sensitive, and had softer edges than Diana Christensen.

    There were no regrets from each of us, and we told each other. So, I called a cab, and told him I wouldn't have missed it for the world, and how amazing things seem to have worked out. "Great seeing you Kay" he said. "Same here, Mark.” I offered him a ride when the cab arrived, but he said "No, I like to walk". It was the last thing he said to me and then we laughed again. One final hug and kiss. The exorcism was over.

    He was supposed to come to New York with The Fall this February. My friend Katy, who rescued me back in Boston when I walked away from the band in 83, had tickets lined up for us, and I was going to fly out,but it got cancelled due to his poor health.

    You were a complex character my friend. Unwavering, a brilliant writer of prose and poetry. A visionary. You perceived things that not many people could see, let alone wanted to see.You were at times so funny and loving, and yet could be so infuriating, hard arsed, and yes cruel, but you also knew how to turn on the charm and reset the bar, and it changed people, and for me, it was for the better. There was nobody quite like you MES. A true Northern soul, and I felt this world change when you left on the 24th. The old paradigm just shattered into a thousand pieces. Poof! Gone! So now it’s time to create a new one, and I know you would want that, in whatever form it came in. In fact you would insist upon it. So my old friend, farewell. You gave it everything you had babe, and more. And for myself I thank you for all those wake up calls, and to also listening to mine too.
    With love and kick ass always your friend K xxx"
     
  5. bzfgt

    bzfgt The Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler

    Location:
    New Jersey
    As good as it gets:

     
    RomanZ and not yonder like this.
  6. Dave Gilmour's Cat

    Dave Gilmour's Cat Forum Resident

    Thanks for this. Where was it posted/published?
     
  7. Guy E

    Guy E Senior Member

    Location:
    Antalya, Turkey
    Yes, the videos I've seen of Mark E. Smith performing last fall are an odd combination of inspirational and depressing.
     
    Neonbeam likes this.
  8. Guy E

    Guy E Senior Member

    Location:
    Antalya, Turkey
    Some of Mark E's writing took effort to penetrate, and I'm sure the song "Pat-Trip Dispenser" was baffling to most fans.

    Pat Clark was a friend of mine, an amusing character on the music scene. He died of AIDS in the late-80's. He was The Fall's road manager on a couple of US jaunts. He lived in an apartment above Maxwell's, which was so-named because it was a block from the Maxwell House Coffee factory in Hoboken. Among his many hustles, Pat would buy powdered caffeine from one of the workers there, residue from the decaffeinating process. He'd stuff it into capsules and sell it as speed (yes, pretty sleazy) and Mark E. Smith wrote the song about him:

    Pat-Trip Dispenser

    He moves slow at the petrol stop
    It's Pat the trip dispenser
    He came with solvent in his hair
    The trip dispenser

    Spine-Fuhrer of Hoboken
    It's Pat the trip dispenser
    Friend of syndicate of sound
    Pigeon toed band

    McGinty thought he could fool The Fall
    With his imitation speeds
    But he had not accounted for the psychic nose
    He did not know there are no big shots on The Rock
    And even if there were, McGinty would not be among them

    His head was full of icy calm
    A clarity of nothing
    It's Pat the trip dispenser

    He paid at the generic supermarket
    With paper
    With paper
    It's pat the trip dispenser


    Knowing Pat, the song makes perfect sense. It's a rather ruthless putdown, but oddly affectionate, and they must have liked him... he worked with the band more than once. I also remember seeing Fall manager Kay Carrol at his funeral. Pat probably distributed substances that were more psychedelic than "his imitation speeds," but he was also dispensing the road trip itself as their road manager/driver.

    His head was full of icy calm
    A clarity of nothing


    ...captures Pat perfectly. He projected an even-handed control, perfect for shepherding a crazed band in a van. But there didn't seem to be a whole lot going-on upstairs behind the unflappable facade. His bemused demeanor often betrayed confusion.

    By all accounts, Smith was a difficult character, but he sure did have a keen eye and a way with words.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
  9. vertigone

    vertigone Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    Her Facebook initially, but then re-posted on Fall Online.
     
    Dave Gilmour's Cat likes this.
  10. bzfgt

    bzfgt The Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Fantastic stuff! I hope you don't mind I added this to my annotations to the song:

    Pat-Trip Dispenser

    Let me know if you want anything amended or the credit to be different, I attributed it to "Guy E".
     
  11. Guy E

    Guy E Senior Member

    Location:
    Antalya, Turkey
    It's fine. Pat died 30-years ago, he was an only child, his parents are long-gone... there are no reputations to protect or feelings that might get hurt.
     
    Instant Dharma, lschwart and bzfgt like this.
  12. not yonder

    not yonder Forum Resident

    Oh my!!! I never knew about this annotated Fall website!

    I know how I'm going to spend most of today (currently 6.32 am)
     
    Instant Dharma, RomanZ and bzfgt like this.
  13. Guy E

    Guy E Senior Member

    Location:
    Antalya, Turkey
    You should add that Patrick - a.k.a. Pat-Trip - is pictured on the back of the C.R.E.E.P. single, seated to the right of Scanlon and Hanley in the middle photo.

    The precise meaning of other lines in the song isn't so easy to suss-out.

    Spine-Fuhrer of Hoboken…
    that sounds mock-aggrandizing. He was hardly a major drug dealer.

    Friend of syndicate of sound…
    that may refer to his friendship with Maxwell's owner Steve Fallon.

    There are no big shots on The Rock, and even if there were, McGinty would not be among them…
    I don't know the inside joke of the "McGinty" nickname, but Pat was a rock scene guy. He created Mod Monday's at Tramps on 15th Street. He managed a couple of bands including Phosphenes and Drunk Driving, predecessor of Missing Foundation. Bob Bert was DD's drummer.

    Pat was getting out of the music scene when he died; he'd taken a job managing the porno department at Tower Records, north of Lincoln Center. It seemed like a perfect fit for him.

    I'd guess that more than 200 people attended his funeral. He was an adopted son, an only child. His parents didn't know that he was gay or that he had died of AIDS until somebody made an unwitting comment to his mom while offering sympathy. It was terribly sad.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
    bzfgt likes this.
  14. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Syndicate of Sound could be a reference to the band of the same name who recorded Residents' favourite, "Little Girl". McGinty is no doubt from the (fake Irish) song, "Paddy McGinty's Goat". This is probably on that Annotated Fall website!
     
    bzfgt and Guy E like this.
  15. Guy E

    Guy E Senior Member

    Location:
    Antalya, Turkey
    I know the band Syndicate of Sound, but "friend of" a one-hit wonder from the mid-60's doesn't make much sense given the subject of the song. I tend to think that Smith was using the [onerous-sounding] phrase to reference a shaker and mover within the NY/Hoboken rock scene. I suppose that it could be simpler than that... a record that Pat loved, that he had on cassette and played endlessly in the tour van. They couldn't have been actual friends; SoS were from San Jose CA, Pat grew up in NJ and would have been a child when that band was active.

    I saw the "McGinty" explanation on the annotated Fall website. It makes sense.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
  16. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    MES in 'not making much sense' shock!
     
    Dudley Morris and Guy E like this.
  17. Guy E

    Guy E Senior Member

    Location:
    Antalya, Turkey
    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: The thing is, his lyrics do make sense... if you can find a way to get behind the curtain. That's why I posted my "inside scoop" on Pat-Trip Dispenser.

    The NY/Hoboken music scene had no shortage of ambitious people. Thinking about it further, "Friend of syndicate of sound" may refer to a booking agent (Robert Singerman? Frank Riley? Bob Laughton?). They had a pretty tight grip on the Indie/Post-Punk touring circuit and I'm sure The Fall were booked by one of them. Pat knew them all and aspired to being on their level... he was probably recommended by one of them as tour manager. That makes the most sense to me.

    This sad, R.I.P. thread has run its course, so I don't feel like I'm derailing it with this song-specific sidebar. Brix is quoted on the annotated Fall site, describing Pat as, "a fun-loving, beer-drinking kind of guy." That's how I remember him too. I did some freebie artwork for him, flyers for bands that he was managing. I don't think I knew that he was gay until word went around that he was gravely ill.

    Anyway, Pat is seated to the right of Scanlon and Hanley in the middle photo... dispensing his trips, as usual.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
    bzfgt likes this.
  18. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    I didn't expect it but there was a very nice little tribute at the end of Saturdays Match of the Day (you can watch it on the iplayer).

    And on Sundays show they ended with Hit The North!
     
  19. Exit Flagger

    Exit Flagger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    That Kay Carroll tribute was wonderful.
     
    bzfgt and noahjld like this.
  20. noahjld

    noahjld Der Wixxer

    To wear Chanel you have to shave first.
     
    bzfgt likes this.
  21. Neonbeam

    Neonbeam All Art Was Once Contemporary

    Location:
    Planet Earth
    Well, I got a shock when "Hip Priest" blasted from a local mainstream radio station last Saturday. One week earlier that would have been totally impossible....
     
    JL6161, Jim B. and bzfgt like this.
  22. Neonbeam

    Neonbeam All Art Was Once Contemporary

    Location:
    Planet Earth
    Not if you use eau de parfum
    :laughup:
     
    noahjld likes this.
  23. HiFi Guy 008

    HiFi Guy 008 Forum Resident

    Location:
    New England
    My go to Fall is still, after almost 30 years, a cassette recording I made of WFNX's broadcast of The Fall live at The Channel in Boston around '88, as it was being performed.

    The Fall was already so big in the smart cool Boston area that I was getting tired of hearing them being played on the radio. And the record stores, like Newbury Comics, were always stocked chock full of Fall records. And Newbury St was always slathered with Fall bill posters. But I recorded the concert anyway, and was bowled over by how much better they sounded live - on the radio. The drums were just gut punching. The band was so tight, and Mark's delivery timed so perfectly. I still have this tape today, recorded on a Nakamichi CR1A, with a Proton receiver, on to Maxell tape. I remember the broadcaster calling this a "very muscular performance by The Fall." Most of their studio recordings just sound less engaging to me in comparison.

    That concert - heard over the radio of all things - is what got me into The Fall. I believe there's a cd bootleg out there of this concert, but I doubt it has the oomph of my tape.
     
  24. not yonder

    not yonder Forum Resident

    gut punching muscular oomph


    Those words capture it perfectly. Everything Hurtz taped off Peel is my favourite example. Another one is side 2 of Shiftwork that Peel played in its entirety one night - and it was the vinyl he played so you didn't have White Lightning interrupting the flow as it does on the CD version.
     
    HiFi Guy 008 likes this.
  25. extravaganza

    extravaganza Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, CA USA
    Over the past few days been watching a lot of random Fall clips ... tons I had not seen. Others here have probably seen this but I was shocked by this clip from early 90s with MES playing faint but audible rhythm guitar during instrumental breaks. (Bonus points for featuring a flute and announcing the song as a tribute to Frank Zappa.) Are there any other clips of Smith playing guitar? I know from the book "The Fallen" that in the proto-Fall days he was originally playing guitar in the band before ditching it.

     
    John Porcellino and vince like this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

molar-endocrine