Mark E. Smith reveals his favourite books, film and music in classic 1981 interview


The Fall were notorious thanks to their legendary, one of a kind leader, the late Mark E. Smith who sacked more members over the years then he had cigarettes. He explained the band’s sliding doors policy succinctly when he said: “It’s a bit like a football team. Every so often you have to get rid of the centre-forward.”

Smith took part in NME’s regular feature “Portrait of the Artist as a Consumer” in 1981 where he proved that there were some things he did enjoy in life and curated a list of his favourite writers, comedians, books, films, and musicians.

Gulcher – Richard Meltzer
A Small Town in Germany – John Le Carré
A Scanner Darkly – Philip K. Dick
The Sirens of Titan – Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
The Deer Park – Norman Mailer
The Black Room – Colin Wilson
Ritual in the Dark – Colin Wilson
Cogan’s Trade – George V. Higgins
At the Mountains of Madness – H.P. Lovecraft
Beyond Good and Evil – Frederich Nietzsche
U.S. Civil War Handbook – William H. Price
How I Created Modern Music – D. McCulloch (a weekly serial)
True Crime Monthly
Private Eye
Fibs About M.E. Smith by J. Cope (a pamphlet)

Claude Bessy

Wyndham Lewis
Malcolm Allison
Virgin Prunes
The Worst live, Marchester Dec. ’77

Lenny Bruce
Alan Pellay
Bernard Manning
All Ian Curtis derivatives

Polanski’s Macbeth
Mel Brook’s (sic) High Anxiety
Fellini’s Rome
The Man with X-Ray Eyes and The Lost Weekend starring Ray Milland
Visconti’s The Damned
Days of Wine and Roses with Jack Lemmon
Charlie Bubbles with Albert Finney

John Cleese adverts

Take No Prisoners – Lou Reed
Peter Hammill
Johnny Cash
The Panther Burns
God Save the Queen – The Sex Pistols
Raw and Alive – The Seeds
Pebbles Vol. 3 – Various
16 Greatest Truck Driver Hits cassette
Radio City – Philip Johnson (cassette)
Der Plan
Alternative TV
Land of the Homo Jews and Hank Williams Was Queer, live – Fear (L.A. Group)
We’re Only In It for the Money – Mothers of Invention