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Clip: Fall tour melts down...in other news, the sun rises in the east

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  • Carl Z.
    The last time I saw the Fall (in 1998) was a couple of days before Smith assaulted his girlfriend/keyboardist with a telephone, causing his incarceration, the
    Message 1 of 1 , May 9, 2006
      The last time I saw the Fall (in 1998) was a couple of days before
      Smith assaulted his girlfriend/keyboardist with a telephone, causing
      his incarceration, the breakup of that version of the band, and (I
      suppose it goes without saying) the premature end of the tour.


      The Fall Tour Descends Into Chaos

      Amy Phillips reports:
      "The Fall Tour Descends Into Chaos"...well, duh. Is Mark E. Smith
      capable of doing anything that doesn't descend into chaos? I feel like
      he goes to brush his teeth in the morning, and the next thing you
      know, the sink is shattered, wild dogs are tearing up the bathtub, and
      there's toothpaste and blood all over the place.

      The Fall's current American tour, which kicked off on May 2, has been
      no different, although there doesn't seem to have been any toothpaste
      involved. Last night's show at the Brick House in Phoenix was cut
      short when Justin Williams, frontman for the tour's opening act, the
      Talk, threw a banana peel at Smith's head. A banana peel! That's gotta

      According to Williams, the peel-throwing was the culmination of days
      of frustration with Smith. In a MySpace bulletin entitled "FUCK MARK
      E. SMITH HE SUCKS," Williams wrote: "MARK E. SMITH a.k.a MR. BURNS has
      managed to piss off his band so bad they quit and left him in america
      with his crazy wife slash one fingered keyboard player... MARK pulled
      a corkscrew on his bass player poured beer and ashed on the head of
      his tour manager while driving (who has also quit the tour) and played
      only one full set without slithering off stage to his R.V. to dive
      into a bottle of scotch."

      (The Fall's booking agent confirmed that the tour manager had quit,
      but countered that Smith had indeed played full sets at all of the
      trek's three previous shows.)

      Williams continued, "the man is in his late 40's and looks older than
      my dead grandfather i'm sorry to those out there who are fall fans but
      you do not know this guy he is an idiot the three other members of the
      fall are great guys nice as can be and i wish the best for them..."

      As far as the incident in Phoenix, Williams wrote, "i was told by the
      falls tour manager he and the rest of the band were going home without
      mark knowing and this would be the last show this really pissed me off
      BAD!!! if this had happened a few years ago i would have beat the shit
      out of him but i'm older now so i picked up a dirty banana peel ran
      onto the stage and threw it in his face as hard as i could and walked
      away he ran after me with some 1800's English boxing hands and wanted
      to fight i laughed and walked away knowing in my head this man has
      only a few years left..."

      Pitchfork reader Jeff Moore, who attended the show, wrote in to say
      that Smith returned to the stage a few minutes later. "Mr. Smith
      distractedly continued the set while removing bits of flung matter
      from his hair, several times smirking. After several half-hearted
      attempts to reassert his trademark amp-twiddling, mic-disdaining stage
      persona, he approached [wife Elena] Poulou at the keyboard. After a
      brief discussion, the two left the stage, once again leaving bass,
      guitar, and drums to finish the song in a vocal vacuum. At the close
      of the song, they too stoically filed offstage."

      "Several minutes later Ms. Poulou returned to the stage to announce
      that the Fall would be unable to continue the show. Her brief
      announcement was cut from the 'we were not shown the respect that we
      deserve' mold, which was not well received by audience members since
      the assault came not from members of the crowd, but from the opening
      band. She also referenced technical difficulties early in the set
      before telling the crowd "'I'm sorry' and vacating the empty stage to
      a chorus of booing and chants of 'USA, USA'."

      "USA, USA"??!! WTF? Is this a punk show or a NASCAR rally? Reader Bill
      Smith added that the crowd also yelled "Down with the British!" Come
      on, people, what's wrong with you?!

      Williams offered an apology: "p.s. sorry to everyone in phoenix i
      threw a banana at mark during the show i know you payed good money to
      see that shit but if it was not for us talking the rest of the band to
      come to phoenix they would not have even showed up so be lucky you
      even got that much do not be mad at us be mad at MARK E. SMITH he does
      not care if you were there or not he does not care about his fans
      trust me i know first hand"

      The Fall's official website said only, "Apologies to all for the
      curtailed set, caused by technical problems." I guess bananas do
      technically count as technology...if you're a monkey.

      As of right now, the fate of the rest of the tour is obviously in
      doubt. But we'll keep you posted about what's going on-- whether it's
      another fight, more fruit projectiles, or just plain old drunken


      05-09 San Diego, CA - House of Blues *
      05-11 Pomona, CA - Glass House *
      05-13 Los Angeles, CA - Knitting Factory *
      05-14 San Francisco, CA - The Independent *
      05-15 San Francisco, CA - The Independent *
      05-23 Los Angeles, CA - Knitting Factory *
      05-25 Salt Lake City, UT - The Depot *
      05-26 Boulder, CO - Boulder Theater *
      05-27 Kansas City, MO - Record Bar *
      05-29 Minneapolis, MN - Varsity Theatre *
      05-30 Chicago, IL - Logan Square Auditorium *#
      06-01 New York City, NY - Knitting Factory *$
      06-02 Brooklyn, NY - Southpaw *$

      * with the Talk
      # with the Cairo Gang
      $ with Vaz

      The Fall have a few shows scheduled after the American tour. We don't
      know what's going on with those either. Sorry.

      06-10 Manchester, England - New Century Hall
      08-12 Oslo, Norway - Oya Festival
      08-26 Reading, England - Reading Festival
      08-27 Leeds, England - Leeds Festival
      * The Fall: http://www.thefall.info/fallsite/index.php
      * Narnack Records:
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