Issue #185 / February 2022
Do you have any memories of Mark Lanegan that you’d like to share? He seemed to be one of the most highly regarded and respected musicians by his peers. A rare lyrical talent with a voice like no other.
ANTON, KOTKA, FINLAND
Dear Anton and everyone who has written to me about Mark,
I encountered Mark many times over the years — we engaged in some extremely dubious escapades back in the ’90s; he sang ‘White Light/White Heat’ and ‘Fire and Brimstone’ with Warren and me on the Lawless soundtrack; he recorded my favourite ever Nick Cave cover — an astonishing version of ‘Brompton Oratory’; we did something together for the Jeffrey Lee Pierce record, I think; and he toured and hung out with us on The Bad Seeds’ 2013 Australian tour.
Go online and watch Mark sing Blixa’s ‘father’ part with me in ‘The Weeping Song’ on that tour. As a frontman, I move around a lot on stage, I can’t help it, it is a habitual nervous thing, a kind of neurotic compensation for a voice I have never felt that comfortable with. But watch Mark, watch how he walks onto the stage, plants himself at the mic stand, one tattooed fist halfway down the stand, the other resting on top of the mic, immobile, massive, male. When the time comes to sing, he simply opens his mouth and releases a blues, a blues lived deeply and utterly earned, and that voice tears right through you, his sheer force on stage absolutely humbling. A greatness, Mark, a greatness — a true singer, a superb writer and beautiful soul, loved by all.