mark e smiththe fall pam vander

Mark E Smith RIP

It’s with a heavy heart we post the sad news of Mark E Smith’s passing – one of the UK’s last great musical mavericks.

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 25 Jan 2018
  • min read
It’s with a heavy heart we post the sad news of Mark E Smith’s passing – one of the UK’s last great musical mavericks.

His manager Pam Vander and record label Cherry Red confirmed the news yesterday (Wednesday), adding that he died at home that morning aged 60.

Vander said in 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.’

Since 1976, The Fall founder consistently tore up the airwaves with his snarling wit and single-minded sonic vision, getting through around 60 band members in the process.

The first Fall line-up came together after Smith went to see the Sex Pistols in Manchester as a teenager, roping in mates Martin Bramah and Tony Friel to help see through his anarchic ideas.

The band – in its various forms – went on to release over 30 post-punk records, including 11 top 40 albums, such as 1993’s The Infotainment Scan.

Championed by the late BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel from the off, The Fall had 27 songs within the top 100 of the UK singles chart in the 30 years between 1984 and 2004.

Always volatile, the band were a thrilling live proposition, with Smith regularly taunting his band and fans, railing against the accepted norms at every turn.

Over the years, Smith also helmed ground-breaking collaborations with artists including German electronic duo Mouse on Mars (for the Von Sudenfed project in 2007), Gorillaz, Inspiral Carpets, Coldcut and Elastica.

He influenced countless other bands, who not only emulated his style but held his fiercely independent spirit in high regard.

The Charlatans’ frontman Tim Burgess said on Twitter: ‘A true uncompromising musical maverick. A genius, a curmudgeon and someone whose company it was an honour to share. So long M.E.S.’

The KLF tweeted: ‘I will say nothing more about Mark E Smith than the fact that John Peel loved him. That is all you need to know and understand.’

Gorillaz added: ‘God help us. RIP Mark E Smith.’

Photo credits: Pam Vander