I CAN honestly say that (with the possible exception of my beautiful and clever friend Clare’s novel The Dying Of Delight), I’ve never looked forward to the publication of a book like I’m looking forward to the publication of Mark E Smith’s autobiography Renegade: The Lives And Tales Of Mark E Smith.
It probably says a lot about my cultural priorities, but there you go. I’m gagging for it.
I’ve got a couple of Fall-related Hip Replacements in the pipeline but for now, here’s the first interview I did with him.
It was a couple of months after I’d started work on Swan Street and I was just about to leave Leeds to live in Manchester. My opposite number at the London Big Issue, the very wonderful Tina, passed on the interview to me as a kind of ‘welcome to the organisation’ gift. It was my first big, nationally syndicated piece. It was all very exciting.
I might be wrong, but I think that the IRA’s explosive redesign of Manchester city centre occured at some point between interview and publication, because it doesn’t come up in the conversation and I’m sure it’s the kind of thing I would’ve mentioned.
One sunny weekday afternoon, I left the office, walked down to a boozer at the bottom of Oldham Road and met up with Mark and Julia Nagle. He pressured me into getting a load of cans in.
I didn’t mind.
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