I’m not sure I will write up the kind of remembrance or encomium that many folks are producing out in the wake of the news that The Fall’s frontman Mark E. Smith died yesterday. I tend to write at a slant anyway. But I will say that I wouldn’t have much of a crime fiction career without his lyrics. Some would doubtless argue I still don’t have much of a career at all, but what I do have — that I don’t owe to Mr B — I owe to MES (and some to Aitch as well because I probably wouldn’t have picked up Renegade without that crazy night on the tube reading out lyrics from the Orange book in German and English after the show where he made me miss John Cooper Clarke opening and his brother got hit by a bus [non-fatally–it didn’t even slow him down]).
It would be easier to list the stories and books that weren’t inspired by lines from Fall songs. So many: I suspect MES shared that same weird phenomenon where a word or phrase gets stuck in your head and the best way to exorcise it is to use it in something. I guess I will keep on doing that. You will be missed, Mr Smith.