Soon : ROMAN TOTALE'S DEATH SONG
The death of Mark E Smith doesn't just mark the departure of an epochal last man standing , it's the parting of a significant catalyst of my youth.
Looking back now at pictures of the young Mark I remember how callow and how, well, like me he looked.
He was as near my own age,17, as any off his rocker was in that awesome year when I first saw him in the flesh.
1979 Mark stood on the stage of a near empty The Harp Belfast , the Fall played and Smith's then girlfriend Kay Carroll frightened (geddit) us with her slow, swirly, druggy, demonic dervish dancing on the floor.
It all sounded and felt like ...mettle tested, barrier broken, something dangerous out in the open.
Repetition in the music and he was never gonna lose it , yeah
Local showband Stiff Little Fingers, who'd taken the name of my fanzine to write a local anfeem, it wasn't.
Strangeness at night, or was it afternoon?
Dave McMaster of Protex, who supported The Fall, has a memory of it being a matinee-ish do.
In the vanished world nature of Fallhistories not much seems to have been recorded of the gig thats made it online.
Like all those locations pyschogeographically collaged on Fall sleeves gone now and all that's left is the excerpt.
Some months later Mark, perhaps seeing some of the ill advised 'kill the father' shit I and others had writ about El Tel admonished us, in his column in aforementioned AU, told us we should appreciate the likes of Hooley more.
He was dead right of course and.. now?
He's just dead and right.
I got emotional last year with some medical crises of me own and when Mark came into my mind... I got more emotional.
I had further contact with him, a lot with his music, in the years after The Harp gig.
Those Fall early singles, Rowche Rumble, How I Wrote, Various Times and mid and later stuff - Hit, Hit The North astonishing, deathless music. And This Nations Fall Heads Rolls Curious Oranj and so on?
More great albums than whole swathes of generations manage.
He's the only person I ever fell asleep interviewing.
For the NME in Holland, circa Bend Sinister release.
We'd got through the whisky and Mark had his extras which were somewhat different to that widely favoured in our area.
"The old dope really sends them to sleep, don't it?" he noted as some revellers from fellow band on the bill, Australia's legendary The Triffids, fell by the wayside.
I was joining em, dozing in my hotel chair , by the time the ever attentive Brix came to drag Mark to their room. He was still talking: I was heading to nodland.
The legacy he left is a victory for the power of primal underground rock and prole/working class art and sheer doggedness of spirit.
I know pictures of Mark over the course of his life show a degeneration, a wasting of body and a wizening of face.
His last visit to Belfast also involved Hooley and seemed to encapsulate the chaos of his later life.
But a clear mark of the disintegration of the culture in which he once cawed and scavenged like Ted Hughes crow is how the Enema has removed all trace of the story from its website.
What got me emotional when he died (yeah, ok, ok so.. I'm an emotional old fucker) was the way the chaterati began to explain, understand, appropriate and, in some way, own his remarkable Life's work.
Of course Mark was like me - a working class, silverfish crawling on nylon bedspread, wearing hand me downs, coal fire in grate, boy - who had gone to Grammar School.
So maybe some sort of personal identification or projection was involved but the tribute, a holding back the tide King Canute attempt to claw back some of the aforementioned appropriation, vomited out of me quite quick.
It should be totally ready VERY soon.
Never made a recording this way before, music being created in tandem of words by my multi instrumental, producing, Cornwall- based, supremely talented and quick, quick, quick working pal Martin Bell,, ex of (among others) Wonderstuff
Its a banger this tune, a flyer.
Im knocked out by it, myself.
Twitter lyric Hashtag #TMRMES
No flam, no excerpts - at this point.
But that's the title up top - #ROMANTOTALE'SDEATHSONG
No drugs, no guns, no slam or spike in this flat.