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Thanks. Good stuff.huh wrote: I think Rob Chapman's been good, these several salient tweets:
Ja. That's exactly what he is saying there.johncoan wrote: The end of that article says something like " 'the cause of death is yet to be confirmed' - no, it needn't be"
Christ, I'd held it in until now but that made me well up. God bless you, Kay.rossmorgan158 wrote: Kay Bateman (née Carrol... Kay Carroll love) posted the best tribute to Mark. She gave me permission to post it here:
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
He would be a good man to write that book about Smith's actual work given his take on Barrett. Was he still in Glaxo's when that album came out? No matter. I know Rob a bit and I like his tweets above especially the one about MES not being so unique (of course he was very special mind). There's a temptation to eulogise too much sometimes. I'm sure Mark would agree - the prole art threat is not confined to one man. New iconoclasts can emerge. Rob would be good at myth-busting and clearing away the bullshit and really getting to grips with Mark's influences and work. Massive task of course but I do hope it happens one day.Chubby Round Jowls wrote:Thanks. Good stuff.huh wrote: I think Rob Chapman's been good, these several salient tweets:
I just finished his Syd Barrett book last week.
I can just about remember buying Glaxo Babies' Nine Months To The Disco in Rough Trade when it fiirst came out.