Read The Fall’s Brix Smith Start’s tribute to “first love” Mark E Smith

She says The Fall frontman "defied convention and definition"

Brix Smith Start, the former Fall member and Mark E Smith‘s ex-wife, has paid tribute to the late cult icon following news of his death.

The Fall’s manager Pam Vander confirmed the news of Smith’s passing on Wednesday (January 24). His cause of death has yet to be confirmed.

Brix Smith Start was lead guitarist and songwriter in The Fall from 1983 until the couple’s divorce 1989. She later returned to the band from 1994 to 1996.

Posting a statement to Twitter, she says that her former husband “defied convention and definition,” describing Smith as a “true artist”.

Mark E. Smith

Mark E. Smith

Start credits Smith as having “introduced me to pickled onions, pubs and punk”, adding: “He was my music mentor, my cultural anchor and my first love”.

“I feel deeply saddened by his passing, but I feel greater joy for having shared his journey,” she writes, concluding by quoting a lyric from The Fall song ‘New Big Prinz’ – “Check the guy’s track record, He is not appreciated” – adding: “Now at last he is…”

See the tribute in full below.

Salford-born Smith formed The Fall in 1976 after attending a Sex Pistols gig at the Manchester Free Trade Hall. They released their debut EP ‘Bingo-Master’s Break Out!’ two years later and would go on to become one of the most influential post-punk bands. Ever prolific, The Fall eventually released 32 studio albums, the most recent being last year’s ‘New Facts Emerge’.

Smith was the band’s only constant member, performing alongside more than 60 different musicians over the years. BBC Radio 1’s John Peel, a longtime champion of the band, once said of them: “They are always different, they are always the same.”