The Fall's Mark E. Smith Mourned by Garbage, Billy Bragg & More: 'A True Uncompromising Musical Maverick'
Mark E. Smith, frontman for British post-punk mainstay The Fall, died Wednesday (Jan. 24) in his Manchester home, per a statement from band manager Pam Van Damned. Smith was 60 years old.
Smith formed The Fall in 1976 with guitarist Martin Bramah, bassist Tony Friel, and keyboardist Uma Baines, and their debut EP, Bingo-Master's Break Out!, was released in 1978. While the band never cracked the U.S. charts, they cultivated an active legion of fans that followed the band through more than four decades and over 30 albums.
Fans and celebrities alike immediately took to Twitter to grieve:
Mark E Smith -- We will never forget you coming to see us play. Especially when you said watching us play was like watching paint dry. -- RIP— Garbage (@garbage) January 24, 2018
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 pic.twitter.com/P0rEU6CeC5— Brix Smith Start (@Brixsmithstart) January 24, 2018
Farewell dear heart. https://t.co/pCNbo88my2— Martin Bramah (@MartinBramah) January 24, 2018
Alas, the great Mark E Smith has passed away. Not merely a legend of indie music, but someone who, for me, was a gateway into that very genre. Will be blasting the A Sides album all week now. The Fall are no more, long live the Fall! pic.twitter.com/rsxFybINmn— edgarwright (@edgarwright) January 24, 2018
First we lost Ursula Le Guin, then Hugh Masekela, now Mark E Smith. Been a tough week for cultural icons.— Billy Bragg (@billybragg) January 24, 2018
R.I.P. Mark E. Smith and thanks for the music https://t.co/kHklkkPJgZ— Andy Bell (@Andybebop) January 24, 2018
So so sad to hear that we’ve lost Mark E Smith. A true uncompromising musical maverick. A genius, a curmudgeon and someone whose company it was an honour to share. So long M.E.S x x x pic.twitter.com/aZFGNXZuRW— Tim Burgess (@Tim_Burgess) January 24, 2018
I would never ordinarily advocate or endorse such a thing, but I feel as if the best tribute one could pay to Mark E Smith tonight would be to find a band playing in a club somewhere, wander onstage, and turn the guitarist’s amp down.— Andy Zax (@andyzax) January 24, 2018
Mark E Smith. An artist that knew no compromise. A total one off and original. What a legend. pic.twitter.com/SEnQM5lvVn— Paddy Considine ☠️ (@PaddyConsidine) January 24, 2018
Sad to hear Mark E Smith news. I once hosted a music industry awards do and, as I was introduced and made my way to the stage, he leant his chair back to block my path and said "you're going to fucking die up there." He was right. I did. And now he has as well. RIP, you legend.— Jon Holmes (@jonholmes1) January 24, 2018