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Brix Smith Start pays tribute to ex-husband/bandmate Mark E Smith


Brix Smith Start met Mark E Smith in Chicago when The Fall toured America in 1983. They hit it off immediately, married soon after and had also joined the band as second guitarist. Her pop smarts and endless well of riffs brought The Fall commercial success in the UK and the Brix era is generally regarded as the band’s creative peak. It was a tumultuous relationship — they divorced in 1989 and Brix left The Fall and formed Adult Net. She rejoined The Fall briefly in the mid-’90s for two records (1995’s Cerebral Caustic and 1996’s The Light User Syndrome) and was also a touring member of The Bangles for a while, and tried out for Hole.

Brix, who has since had a career in TV and fashion, wrote about her time in The Fall (and the rest of her very interesting life) in her 2016 memoir The Rise, The Fall and The Rise, and currently fronts Brix & The Extricated which also includes ’80s-era Fall members Stephen Hanley and Paul Hanley. This morning, Brix penned a brief tribute to her late husband:

Mark defied convention and definition — he was a true artist. When I arrived in Manchester — a young American — he introduced me to pickled onions, pubs and punk. He was my music mentor, my cultural anchor, and my first love. I feel deeply saddened by his passing, but feel greater joy for having shared his journey.

He never once compromised, how many others can leave this life with such a singularity of vision?

“Check the guy’s track record
He is not appreciated” Now at last he is…

Brix was also on BBC6’s Radcliffe and Maconie show today, along with Ispiral Carpets’ Clint Boone, talking about Mark and “celebrating The Fall.” You can listen to that here.

The “Check the guy’s track record / He is not appreciated” part of her tribute is a quote from The Fall’s classic 1988 single “Big New Prinz” and you can watch the video for that below.

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