Archive for May, 2008

Side Trips #1

May 9, 2008

Former Fall guitarist Ben Pritchard was a contestant on Ken Bruce’s Popmaster quiz on Radio 2 this morning, phoning in as a regular member of the public rather than as any kind of a celebrity. However, in the way of informing listeners of callers’ interesting jobs or hobbies, Ken did bring up the fact that ‘Ben from Bury’ had been a member of The Fall, and offered the opinion that his six-year stint was pretty good going, considering.

The guitarist, who played on Are You Missing Winner, County on the Click and Fall Heads Roll between February 2001 and May 2006, diplomatically described his time in the band as ‘an experience,’ which enabled him to meet ‘a lot of cool people’ and see parts of the world he wouldn’t otherwise have visited. Pritchard was actually sacked from The Fall in 2004, then swiftly re-instated, before resigning due to ‘irreconcilable differences’ with Mark E Smith, then re-joining, and then walking out along with the rest of the then-current line-up four dates into a disastrous 2006 US tour. When asked if he was currently playing in a band, Ben stuttered anxiously in the manner of a traumatised survivor of the Somme being asked if he was going to re-enlist, muttering something about playing along with records in a special room at home and trying to ‘improve himself.’

Choosing ‘this, that and the other’ as his bonus subject over ‘the Electric Light Orchestra,’ and despite being unable to identify the final hit by New Kids on the Block and wrongly guessing the year that ‘Puppy Love’ was a hit, Ben successfully answered questions on Imagination, The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, The Manic Street Preachers, Yazoo and ‘The UB40’, among others. He won the contest, but failed to bag a state of the art digital radio when he was unable to name three chart hits by The Animals in ten seconds. ‘We gotta get out of this place!’ he cried in the dying moments, no doubt echoing his words on that fated US tour, almost two years ago to the day.