Bless the Daily Mail - they also reckon The Fall have released 95 albums.......
added 9 April
The RSPCA wasn't impressed with Mark's comments in the Uncut article. From today's Daily Mail:
Veteran rocker faces RSPCA probe for chopping up rare red squirrels with hedge-clippers
By Sam Greenhill
Ever since Ozzy Osbourne bit the head off a bat, hard-core rockers have had much to live up to in the depravity stakes.
So perhaps veteran guitarist Mark E Smith, frontman of The Fall, was trying to go one better when he boasted of murdering endangered red squirrels with hedge clippers.
The short-tempered punk rocker - said to have been one of Radio 1 DJ John Peel's favourite acts - bragged to a music magazine he had "killed a couple last weekend".
But if the readers of Uncut magazine were impressed, the RSPCA is decidedly unamused by Smith's claims - and yesterday announced an investigation.
Now the 51-year-old could be prosecuted under the Wildlife and Countryside Act if his backyard bloodbath is confirmed.
The gruff singer claimed he would "happily set about an endangered red squirrel with a set of professional hedge-clippers".
He added: "Squirrels mean nothing to me. I killed a couple last weekend actually. They were eating my garden fence.
"My sisters are animal lovers and they had been leaving food out for these squirrels. They've got rats in the bloody house now. Serves 'em right."
To make matters worse, the maverick frontman went on to add that he 'wouldn't have a problem' with running over seagulls for fun.
But the RSPCA said its investigators were appalled by the remarks and were now preparing a prosecution.
Spokesman Klare Kennett said: 'The comments made by Mark E Smith are extremely irresponsible and he has basically admitted to committing an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act by killing two red squirrels.
"These animals are highly protected and anyone killing, harming or taking red squirrels from the wild is liable to prosecution and can face up to six months in prison and/or a fine of up to £20,000.
"We will certainly be investigating this alleged offence now it has been brought to our attention."
She added: "If he is getting confused and talking about grey squirrels, then killing them without a good reason - eating food put out for them is not a good reason - could also be an offence under certain circumstances."
Red squirrels used to be common in Britain but have steadily been wiped out by their grey cousins, which have become the dominant species.
Famed for his quick temper, prolific singer and lyricist Smith has sacked dozens of musicians who have played for The Fall over the years.
The group - whose songs include Disney's Dream Debased and DIY Meat - have released 95 albums since forming in 1976.
They never achieved widespread public success but maintained a strong cult following, and were championed by legendary DJ Peel who once cited them as his favourite band.
Franz Ferdinand, The Smiths, Nirvana and the Happy Mondays have all named The Fall as inspiration.
In the May edition of Uncut, interviewer Ben Marshall suggested seagulls should be run over because they were a public menace, and Smith replied: "Quite f*****g right. I don't have a problem with that."
Miss Kennett said: "Running over gulls is also an offence and the RSPCA has prosecuted people for illegal killing of both squirrels and gulls - and would not hesitate to do so again.
"To suggest in a magazine read by youngsters that it is a good idea to harm wildlife is both extremely stupid and highly irresponsible."
: "I don't know what would be worse for Mark E Smith's image - being found guilty of killing squirrels, or the RSPCA finding out he made up the claims."