Year for year, album for album, The Fall are probably the best band of the last three decades. The only constant in in those 30 years is frontman Mark E. Smith, he of the scabrous wit, unintelligible accent and proclivity for firing band members for the slightest infraction. He has said most famously that The Fall will never break up and that even "If it’s me and your granny on bongos, it’s still The Fall"
But where are all those cast-aside ex-Fall members now? Guardian writer and Fall fan Dave Simpson took it upon himself to try and contact all 40 of them (by his count) and the results of his month-long quest can be read here. Says Steven Hanley, who lasted nearly 17 years, ""Mark’s had all these talented people in the band, but not many have done anything without him. He must have something."
I wish the article had a sidebar listing all 40 members with a short rundown of where they are and what they’re doing, but it is nonetheless a fascinating read on one of the most volatile, import bands ever.
Extra: Have a listen to "Me and Yer Granny on Bongos"
by The Armitage Shanks. "No choice but to sack the band!"
Picture of M.E.S. swiped from photographer Gino Sprio’s website.