Legendary musician, vocalist and founder of the influential alternative-post-punk band The Fall, Mark E Smith has passed away at the age of 60.
Although no more details have been shared, the iconic frontman’s life was inevitably cut short due to “bizarre and rare medical issues”. Smith’s partner and manager of the band, Pamela Vander, shared a statement: “It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of Mark E Smith. He passed this morning at home. A more detailed statement will follow in the next few days. In the meantime, Pam & Mark’s family request privacy at this sad time.”
Smith’s former wife and band mate Brix Smith Start has commented “I’m taking the news in right now. I will put a statement out tomorrow. I hope you will all understand. Thank you for your lovely messages, they mean a lot. I love you, Brix”.
Mark E Smith formed The Fall in 1976 in Prestwich and remained the only constant member of the band throughout their lineup changes consisting of 66 different musicians over the years. He was known for his heated relationship with bandmates, frequently firing them. Alas, Smith was one of the few musicians at the time who did what most were afraid to do – single-handedly changing the face of rock music and DIY ethics celebrated among punk communities, rendering The Fall historically untouchable despite their complex nature.
The Playground were extremely lucky and privileged to have once worked with Smith during their last run of shows at KOKO, London. Watch The Fall perform ‘I’ve Been Duped‘ live below –
Here is a quote from our very own director, Warren Morris, on working with Smith and The Fall:
“One of the most interesting shows we had the honour of being a part of, hosting Poet, Satirist Mark E Smith and The Fall on the 1st June 2011 at KOKO. Mark and the band pushed into interesting territory, using old cassette players on stage, whilst recording vocal parts, drum parts, then replaying these sounds via the tape recorder into microphones with different delay and echo effects on them. Extremely unusual, but worked and made it all the more interesting. Extremely sad to hear of his passing!”
Rest in piece, you shall be sorely missed!