January 28, 2004

you've got to keep your wits about you

* Mark E. Smith recounts the time an American taxi driver overheard Coldplay discussing business in the back of his cab - leading him to believe they were stockbrokers. [via
no rock and roll fun]

"I got this taxi in America, and I always say I'm a building engineer if anybody asks, though I told this particular driver I was a sound engineer.

"And he said, 'How's business?' and I said, 'It's alright apart from musicians.' And he goes, 'It's funny you should say that because I picked up three guys the other day, three British guys like you, and they were going on about 25 per cent this and 25 per cent that and five per cent this and they looked pretty scruffy.'

"So he got them to where they were going and said, 'Have a good day, hope you have a good stockbroker meeting,' and they go, 'What's that? We're Coldplay!' And he goes to me, 'Have you heard of Coldplay?' I said, 'Yeah, they're big in Britain.' And he said, 'I thought they were fucking three fuckinging stockbrokers.' And I said, 'You're damn right.'

'Cos that's what they are, fucking middle-class businessmen. 'Cos their moms and dads are all bank managers, money is all they're bothered about. If they were my children I'd say, 'Get a fucking proper job. Do something useful. Be a scientist.'"

* An interview with Mark E. Smith. an excerpt:

Interviewer: You always dress normally?
MES: I've always been like that - ever since I was 14. It's always best to remain anonymous. Having a name like Smith makes you anonymous for the rest of your fucking life! And it's really good. At school the teacher would never ask you anything - they'd look down the list and pass over Smith, and they'd see some really weird name, y'know "what's this, I'll ask him the question". You can stand at a bus stop and old fellas will talk to you. If you dress up like a punk, old fellas don't talk to you 'cos they're frightened of you. It's their fault but I don't like to be restricted in anything I do. We went over to Ireland to play with the Virgin Prunes, and they really dress up - pearls and dresses - they're all guys - and they're really into good music, but we went into a pub and people were hassling us all the time. People wouldn't serve us in pubs, and I reckon that's all just a waste of time. It's two points of view. You can either get into the system or...you've either got to be totally bland or if you're going to dress up, do it, that's great, but I like my advantages. How can you talk about the world from the position of a punk? No-one will talk to you, they all think you're just fucking idiot, and maybe they're right.
Interviewer - What's 'How I wrote Elastic Man' about?
MES - Writers, which is why Dave McCullough didn't like it. It's about a guy who wrote a book called 'Elastic Man' and everybody gets on his back about it, he's a celebrity and it fucks up his art.

* The difficulties of being in The Fall were discussed in a Guardian article last week.

* Mark E. Smith Font.


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