The Fall – White Lightning

I’ve always been a big fan of The Fall. In 1990 Mark E Smith was having difficulty getting Polygram, their new label, to cough up some money for a video of The Fall’s new single ‘White Lightning’. I’d worked with their previous label, Beggars Banquet, on a Fall video compilation and through this I’d been introduced to Mark E Smith. He asked me if I’d be interested in doing something very cheaply, i.e. for nowt (nothing).

TheFall1I struck a deal that if he could get me and a my brother on the side of the stage at their forthcoming Reading Festival appearance we’d film and edit the video for free. We stood at the side of the stage with camera and tripod and filmed The Fall. John Peel was the DJ that day and a big fan of The Fall too. He was standing behind us filming the group with his very old battered camera.

TheFall3When I got back to London I took the camera around Soho looking for down-and-outs to film for the title refrain and gave them some money for their help. Then one evening I got a mate to let us film on the back of his motorbike as he zoomed round central London to get some more useful footage. I also used some of the graphics from previous The Fall video compilation to help liven it up.

TheFall2The most difficult bit was blagging some time in an edit suite in Soho. (There was no such thing as desktop computer editing software in 1990.) I managed to get an editor to help and give me an hour edit time. We edited the whole video in just over and hour and that’s why it’s so rough and ready, just like Mark E Smith likes them. As it turned out he’d managed to get Polygram to sort some money out for an official video and this one never saw the light of day….. until now that is.