Mark E. Smith's NME Godlike Genius Award up for auction
- Bang Showbiz
- 6 March 2018
The Fall frontman Mark E Smith's NME Godlike Genius Award is going to auction with £5,000 of the proceeds going to Chelsea's Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity
Mark E. Smith's NME Godlike Genius Award is going to auction this month.
The late Fall frontman - who sadly died aged 60 on January 24 following a battle with lung and kidney cancer - was honoured with the gong at the NME Awards in 1998, and passed it onto his former manager John Lennard as a thank you for "putting up with him".
The trophy is expected to fetch between £5,000 and £8,000 when it's put up for sale by auctioneer Hansons on March 14.
It is said that £5,000 of the proceeds will go to Chelsea's Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity, which specialise in heart and lung disease.
Valuer Jim Spencer - a lifelong fan of The Fall - said: "It was an honour to handle and catalogue this object having been introduced to The Fall by my older brothers when I was ten years old. I still love the discordant sinister glam stomp of New Big Prinz, the wired pop of Hit the North and the mellower hung-over mood of Bill is Dead. Mark E. Smith was deceptively clever in both his lyrics and vocal style and, though he appeared anti-intellectual, he was well read. His lyrics are often poetic and inspired.
"I'm sure he would find me oily and unctuous for saying that. I know he admired John Walters for describing The Fall as 'the worst tuneless rubbish I've ever heard'. This is a piece of cult pop history."
Recalling when Smith handed him over the coveted prize, Lennard told the Manchester Evening News newspaper: "Mark handed the award to me telling me I deserved it for putting up with him. He then hugged me and disappeared into the night. The following day I took the award to our London office where it has sat ever since."
The moment Smith went to collect the prize at the 1998 ceremony was a memorable one, as he stormed the stage before presenter Eddie Izzard had even read his name out, and proceeded to wave the middle finger statuette at interviewers backstage.