Tag Archives: Mark E. Smith

Brix by Brix

Brix Smith Start – The Rise, The Fall, and The Rise (Faber & Faber)

Laura Salenger was born in Los Angeles, California in 1962. Her father was a psychiatrist who divorced her mother when she was only two years old. Her mother would go on to get employment as a researcher at CBS Television on the programme 60 Minutes.

While growing up, her mother often brought Laura to work where she would sit in a studio and watch while people like Sonny and Cher did the rehearsals for their TV show. Not a bad life for a young kid.

Eventually, music started to become an important part of her life. When she heard The Clash, she was so taken with the song Guns of Brixton that her nickname soon became Brixton (or Brix for short). She also got an earful of a strange sounding band called The Fall.

After her mother decided to move to Chicago, Brix was not amused. She hated the environment and wished to go back to LA. However, her new location would lead to a drastic life change.

After seeing The Fall perform at a Chicago club, she would end up bumping into their leader Mark E. Smith. This chance meeting would develop into mutual attraction and it wasn’t long before Brix decided to move to the UK to be with Mark.

To call the move “culture shock” would probably be a gross understatement. But, before long she adapted to the situation. She would soon join the band as well as marry Mark.

So far, so good. However, trouble began brewing in paradise. A grueling tour schedule, shortage of money and Mark’s increasing intake of speed and alcohol seemed to aggravate things. Also, his constant mistreatment and seemingly random ousting of band members added to the problems. The camel’s back finally broke and Brix was compelled to split up with Mark.

This led to her next romantic coupling with classical violinist Nigel Kennedy. Kennedy was a superstar in the classical world. His fame was soon to shoot even further as his recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons crossed boundaries and pushed his profile beyond the classical world.

As time passed, Brix felt smothered and her own identity suffered. She had attempted a musical venture of her own with Adult Net but, the sales of her records were not satisfactory enough to keep on going. So, she basically quit music altogether.

At this point, Brix was once again in a limbo state of life. That is, until she met fashion entrepreneur Philip Start. This would open up the most recent phase of her life and change things around for her.

Brix married Philip and in 2002 and they started a very successful fashion store called simply START. This seemed ideal for Brix with her penchant for fashion. It was around this time that she also got involved in presenting fashion on television.

Most recently, Brix found her way back into music. This developed into her current band called Brix Smith and the Extricated (featuring former members of The Fall).

That’s the story so far. There are sure to be more twists and turns in the future… which, for now, seems quite bright.

 

The Fall – a documentary

Mark E. Smith started The Fall back in 1976. I had read about them in the British press and eventually tracked down a copy of their debut LP Live at the Witch Trials. Loud, aggressive, shambolic. I loved it.¬†Over the years, I’ve acquired lots of their albums and singles (many of which are quite rare these days).

If you love ’em, hate ’em or have never heard of ’em, here is a 2005 BBC documentary called The Wonderful and Frightening World of Mark E. Smith.

No, I can’t understand half of the things that he says, either. Does it matter?

Enjoy.