Pat-Trip Dispenser

Lyrics

(1)

He moves slow at the petrol stop
It's Pat the trip dispenser
He came with solvent in his hair (2)
The trip dispenser

Spine-fuhrer of Hoboken (3)
It's Pat the trip dispenser
Friend of Syndicate of Sound (4)
Pigeon-toed band

McGinty thought he could fool the Fall
With his imitation speed
But he had not accounted for the psychic nose
He did not know there are no big shots on the rock (5)
And even if there were, McGinty would not be among them

His head was full of icy calm
A clarity of nothing
It's Pat the trip dispenser

He paid at the generic supermarket
With paper
With paper
It's Pat the trip dispenser

Notes

1. This is apparently about a drug dealer named Pat McGinty who sold bum drugs (so the hypen in the title would more properly have been a full dash). Despite Pat's agnomen, which would usually indicate hallucinogens, speed seems to have been the drug in question. A clue to the gentleman's identity is supplied by Brix in the booklet accompanying the 2010 reissue of The Wonderful and Frightening World of the Fall: "Pat-Trip Dispenser was about this guy, a tour manager in America."

She goes into more detail in her memoir, The Rise, The Fall and the Rise:

Dan: "In her autobiography, The Rise, The Fall, and The Rise, Brix tells the story of her first meeting with Mark E Smith. She describes going with him to a party for the band, and meeting "Pat, The Fall's American tour manager":
 


Pat was a plump fellow from Hoboken, New Jersey. He was a fun-loving, beer-drinking kind of guy.



He also supplied the group with speed.
 


A few months later The Fall would pay homage to Pat, their tour manager, in a song entitled "Pat-Trip Dispenser." In the lyrics, Mark remaks on his "imitation speed" and refers to Pat as "the Spine-Fuhrer of Hoboken," which I found hilarious.

"McGinty" may be a pseudonym applied by Mark Smith (an act of mercy?), since there is a traditional Irish song called "Paddy McGinty's Goat" (in which the protagonist is also referred to as "Patrick" and "Pat"). "Paddy McGinty's Goat," in fact, turns up in some versions of "Words of Expectation," which is a more or less contemporaneous song. 

Note that the punctuation does not suggest a man named Pat who dispenses trips, but someone who dispenses "Pat-Trips"...

According to Dan, "the sleevenotes to The Wonderful and Frightening World Of the Fall include a credit to 'P. Clark, Hoboken' [New Jersey].

A Pat Clark is identified elsewhere on the web as the Fall's tour manager at one time, and a player in Hoboken's music scene."

^

2. Yeah, that's (yet) another weird one; solvent would of course remove one's hair, and, although it is sometimes applied to rid oneself of hair extensions, it seems like this may be a garbled way of talking about one of those well-known substances of which a little dab is sufficient.  

^

3. Nope, there is no explanation for "spine-fuhrer" that I can think of, but somehow it's a neat lyric.  "Hoboken" (New Jersey) bolsters the plausibility of Brix's suggestion that Pat was an American.  

^

4. Syndicate of Sound was a late-60s garage rock outfit from San Jose, California, sometimes credited with being progenitors of psychedelic rock.  

^

5. "The Rock" was a nickname for the prison at Alcatraz. In the episode of The Untouchables entitled "The Big Train," the narrator intones "There are no big shots on the rock" (thanks to delmore on the Fall online forum). This saying may have been in circulation prior to its appearance on television; for instance, an article appeared in the May 26, 1937 issue of The Milwaukee Journal entitled "Big Shots Become Little in Alcatraz Deflating Machine," which says of Al Capone and others: "The 'big shots' are reduced to 'little shots' by the constant application of the warders' deflation system."  

^

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Comments (7)

dannyno
  • 1. dannyno | 18/09/2013
"The Rock" is also a shopping area of Bury, also referred to in Pearl City. I think MES would enjoy the Bury/Alcatraz connection there.
dannyno
  • 2. dannyno | 25/09/2014
I'm not convinced that "Pat" and "McGinty" are the same person.
dannyno
  • 3. dannyno | 04/05/2016
In her autobiography, The Rise, The Fall, and The Rise, Brix tells the story of her first meeting with Mark E Smith. She describes going with him to a party for the band, and meeting "Pat, The Fall's American tour manager":


Pat was a plump fellow from Hoboken, New Jersey. He was a fun-loving, beer-drinking kind of guy."


He also supplied the group with speed.


A few months later The Fall would pay homage to Pat, their tour manager, in a song entitled 'Pat - Trip Dispenser'. In the lyrics, Mar remaks on his 'imitation speed' and refers to Pat as 'the Spine-Fuhrer of Hoboken', which I found hilarious.
bzfgt
  • 4. bzfgt | 24/06/2016
Neil Young has other ideas, like Sinatra:

https://twitter.com/jigsawlounge/status/675838049503289344

It doesn't seem to be THAT Neil Young, by the way.

I still think "Pat"'s surname is "McGinty," via Occam's Razor (which of course ALWAYS applies when it comes to Fall lyrics).
dannyno
  • 5. dannyno | 11/10/2016
"Spine-führer"

I'm gonna have a go at this. You ready?

So inspired by the suggestion in the entry for "Kinder of Spine", that "Spine" could be meant to be the German "spinne" [spider], i thought to myself, "ooh, so what if "spinneführer" is a thing?" Or "spinnenführer"?

And do you know, it kind of is, in that google finds stuff. But nothing helpful.

I wondered if there was a "spiderman" link. I don't see one yet.
dannyno
  • 6. dannyno | 02/04/2017
In the FOF thread on this song, http://z1.invisionfree.com/thefall/index.php?showtopic=35109&view=findpost&p=40048704, I note that the sleevenotes to "The Wonderful and Frightening World Of...." include a credit to "P. Clark, Hoboken".

A Pat Clark is identified elsewhere on the web as the Fall's tour manager at one time, and a player in Hoboken's music scene. A possible candidate?
bzfgt
  • 7. bzfgt (link) | 29/04/2017
I'd say a damn strong candidate, considering the Brix statement.

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