For a few weeks I've been trying to decide whether to order Dave Simpson's The Fallen: Searching for the Missing Members of The Fall from the UK or wait to see if some enterprising Yank outfit decides to publish it here. Well, that's a bit overstating it since I'm really not going to order it from the Olde Countrie but just toss around the idea because it would be cool to do so.
A recent post on the Guardian's music blog almost convinces me otherwise. Really how could anybody resist "The Fallen is a salutary tale in how not to go about being a rock star, being an author, and finding a band to cherish. It is absolutely brilliant."
But then again how many people have resisted The Fall? One thing I like about them is that you get ten fans together and ask for their top three Fall albums and you'll probably get about 25 different titles. How many other bands would that be true? Usually there's a consensus about the top two or three and then a bit of room for an oddity or two so other bands' fans would give about five or six titles. But The Fall is nothing but oddities, a career of eccentricities that stands out even from the British cultivation of same. Smith is part madman like Abiezer Coppe and part obsessive like Henry Green or Ivy Compton-Burnett turning out basically the same novel for years. A perfect combination for cultists who will find plenty to get lost among, nothing too unpredictable and also just too strange for "the masses".