Mark E. Smith as a tattoo Credit: Cliff Doerksen

The Reader’s archive is vast and varied, going back to 1971. Every day in Archive Dive, we’ll dig through and bring up some finds.

There will be many tributes to the Fall’s Mark E. Smith, who died yesterday, including a very fine contribution by the Reader’s Peter Margasak. But there will be none more heartfelt than the one spotted more than seven years ago by the late, great Cliff Doerksen at the Berwyn YMCA on the upper left arm of a fellow gymgoer: a tattoo of Smith’s face.

“I bided my time and watched the guy for a while before I said something to him about it,” Doerksen wrote.

Because, you know, he’s obviously a pretty heavy fan of the Fall, and they can be a bit . . . uh, sectarian in my experience. But finally I said, “Hey, that’s a huge tattoo of Mark E. Smith out of the Fall on your arm.” And then I was so glad I did, because I didn’t make his day, I made his year. It turned out that mine was the first positive ID of his tattoo ever. Guy’s been walking around with Mark E. Smith on his arm for ten years, and nobody recognized it once.

Upshot: Come on, people now, smile on your brother: Reach out to those around you with Mark E. Smith tattoos.

The tattooed man, identified as Alan H, later clarified in the comments section that the tattoo was only ten weeks old and that it was on his anterior deltoid. The artist was Patrick Cornolo of Speakeasy Custom Tattoo.