Excavate! The Wonderful and Frightening World of the Fall, a book of ephemera from and essays inspired by the music and world of the Fall, gives readers a look inside the brilliant and briar-y mind of frontman Mark E. Smith.
The book drops for the first time in the U.S. on Tuesday via Faber Books, but Rolling Stone readers can browse a collection of never-before-seen handwritten lyrics and other selections from the tome right here.
From scribbled notes for Smith’s late-Eighties play Hey! Luciani: The Life and Codex of John Paul I (perhaps erroneously believed to have been written on beer mats) to song notes and T-shirt designs, these excerpts from Excavate! offer a unique window into the Fall’s legacy. The book is not meant to be an autobiography of Smith — who died in 2018 at 60 from the effects of lung and kidney cancer — but a look into the eclectic world that he built with his band.
Excavate! also includes contributions from a variety of writers ruminating on the band: Grant Showbiz, Michael Clark, Elain Harwood, Ian Penman, Paul Wilson, Owen Hatherley, Mark Fisher, Mark Sinker, Michael Bracewell and Jon Wilde, Stuart Bertolotti-Bailey, Siân Pattenden, Dan Fox, Adelle Stripe and Scott King, and Richard McKenna. It was edited by Bob Stanley and Tessa Norton.