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StarClassic Marc Riley InterviewStar

This was done by Neil Clarke. It is an interview about Marc Rileys life in The Fall and some other stuff. Neil C was/is such a huge fan of The Creepers that he got a tattoo of Marc Riley on his arm!

HEY! MARC RILEY! (Reference to a disparaging song The Fall sang about him after he left. Bootleg copies survive but you can't hear the lyrics.) In November 1994, Neil Clarke got in touch with Marc Riley to put some questions to the boy they call Lard..

Neil Clarke: How did you come to join The Fall?

Marc Riley: I was actually a roadie for the band before I joined. Id met them going through to their gigs. They were my favourite band and I eventually got to know em. Being a keen sixteen year old I was deliriously happy to be allowed to lug their gear around from time to time, and this eventually evolved into me being their full-time dogsbody. At one gig, in Manchester if I remember rightly, the bass player of the time, an oily little beast called Ferret, stopped half way through a song to light a fag. Mark responded by throwing a chair (and presumably a P45) at said workshy fop and the bass players role was up for grabs. Being a dazzling jazz funk maestro bass player I was obviously the man for the job and joined in May 79.

NC: Do you still listen to their records, old or new?

MR: Not really. I hear the new stuff at work and still rate them as one of the best bands around. As for sitting at home with my pipe and slippers listening to the old stuff, yes I am a sad man... but not that sad.

NC: Martin Bramah joined The Fall, then left, then joined again, then left again. Brix seems to have rejoined. Karl Burns has become involved again. If the opportunity was to arise for you to rejoin, would you?

MR: No.

NC: What were the best and worst gigs you ever played with them?

MR: The best gig I can remember off the top of my head wouldve been at a small dump in LA called The Anti-Club. We had played earlier that night and on the other side of town nowt special and then packed up and played this tiny place with Non supporting. The Hammersmith Palais with the Birthday Party was a good un as well. As for the worst... hmmmm... couldve been in LA, at Madam Wongs. I remember Craig and I not being able to hear anything, or each other, so out of desperation we swapped sides for a bit... still no good. Smithy took this stage manouvering as being a rock-star Bon Jovi type routine and threw a wobbly afterwards. He never was the most practical of fellas!

NC: Now a Creepers question, The Wedding Present have recently covered Jumper Clown (one of the tracks on the Its a Gas single). What do you think of their version and did Gedge ask you if they could do it?

MR: Yeah, Ive heard it and its not a bad job! I seem to remember talking to Dave when I was working on Hit the North (someones elses title I hasten to add) for Radio Five and we mentioned that the Wedding Present had been approached to do a Fall song to contribute to an LP of Fall cover versions. They decided to do a Riley song instead and it has now surfaced on a single release. Whether it will pop up on the new Fall LP I couldnt say.

NC: Is there any more TV work in the pipeline?

MR: Oooh, I wouldve thought so! If Fred Talbot should meet with an (un) fortunate accident then a regular spot on This Morning might be nice, pissing about on a large lump of polystyrene and talking through my arse... thatd be nice! Hope this fits the bill. By the way, have you still got that tattoo of me on your upper arm? Frightened the shit out of me that did. (ends)



The Marc Riley interview was in issue 3 of the Fall fanzine, The Biggest Library Yet. Unfortunately the magazine has now finished and all back issues have sold out.

Interview sent in by Graham Coleman

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