The office of trakmarx.com has been a very dark place to live in recent times. March the 7th was a black day for all @ tM. The morning started the same way as many – hungover, skunked-up eyelids welded shut – one phone call changed all that. That call came from Rosetta Banks, mother of tM’s very own Leicester. It soon became apparent that Leicester wouldn’t be coming into work that day, or any other day. A tearful & obviously distressed Rosetta explained;

"We found him this morning – I went up to his room to take him his morning dose of Romilar & he was just lying there – in the middle of a vinyl strewn room – a copy of "Dare" spinning quietly on the deck. I’d heard him return from the pub about 11 O’clock last night, stumbling drunkenly up the stairs. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I’d gone to bed around midnite & could hear the sounds of Iggy’s "The Idiot" blaring from the speakers. He’d not been himself for a while; moping around, listening to too much Joy Division, reading Belgian holiday literature. Anyway, I shook him & shouted his name but there was no reply (reply) – the pile of sick under his chin indicated he’d choked on his own vomit - he was as cold as ice & obviously dead. The remnants of his last meal, a frozen French stick pizza, were floating on a sea of Thunderbird Wine that covered the floor tiles. An empty bottle of Romilar lay by his side. I just don’t know what to do with myself – my boy, my boy, my little boy, he’s g-g-g-gone (hysterical sobbing)".

In all honesty, Leicester had not been the same since the Richard Hell debacle (Hell had contacted the tM offices to express his annoyance at Leicester’s feature on him in Issue 2; "Line for line the most inaccurate piece written about me in my whole career – way off the map", was what he’d said.) A dressing down from Encoule in front of the staff & cleaners hadn’t helped – his copy became increasingly more erratic & even later than usual. It was a sad & sorry descent. Personal hygiene problems had also been dogging him, the stench in his office had become almost unbearable & cleaning staff had refused to enter the room until it had been sanitised by a fully qualified outside contractor.

Looking back now, we could probably all of done more to help him. He was one of the 3 Leicesters, after all (Leicesters Square & Odeon had completed the legendary posse of the 3 Leicesters). Even a phone-calls from Neil Young & Courtney Love in the last week of his life failed to lift the gloom. R&R may have a lot of the answers but it sure leaves us with a hell of a lot of questions. Leicester Banks – shall we mourn yr. decline with some more Thunderbird Wine? - journalist & visionary – we salute you – god rest yr. troubled soul.

Leicester’s position has been taken up by tM’s latest recruit – Marquee Smith. Marquee comes to us highly recommended by The Banbury Cake, where he has been editor of their Scandinavian Death Metal Column for the last 7 years.

Meanwhile, back at reality - Issue 4 of tM is a Labels Special - featuring articles on; Italy Records, Estrus Records & Olive Juice Music. We also bring you two of NYC’s coolest new exports – Liars & The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Joe Strummer’s ex-drummer, Smiley, tells us what it was like to work with a genuine Punk rock legend & Situationists Vacant takes a look at the radical 60’s art movement that played such a major part in shaping the UK Punk rock explosion (in the minds of McLaren, Reid & Savage – anyhow).

Until the next time – don’t touch that smile.

Nick Kuntz – April 2002
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