Morrissey is a fascinating monster. He was a member of one of the greatest rock bands of all-time, and his solo career is surprisingly fruitful for a man whose megalomania has reached unprecedented heights of late, but he’s, to put it delicately, a dick, an egotistical, racist, whiny villain. And yet I love him. God, a Smiths’ fan’s feelings for Morrissey are as tangled and uncomfortable as a Smiths song.
It’s because of this allure that I cannot wait to read Moz’s autobiography, the aptly titled Autobiography, which was released in Europe this week. It’s not available here in the States yet, so for now, us unwordly Americans will have to settle for excerpts from the likes of the Guardian and NME, Morrissey’s favorite publication.
Paint a Vulgar Picture
He says he and Johnny Marr were exhausted and that nobody was sensible enough to suggest they both just take a holiday. He does also hint that Marr found it hard to accept Morrissey being the band’s real star. “The press had also tagged the Smiths ‘Mozzer’s men,’ a docket that enraged Johnny and which hacked at our umbilical cord,” he writes…Years later, Morrissey received a letter from Marr, which he reproduces in the book: “I’ve only recently come to realize that you genuinely don’t know all the reasons for my leaving. To get into it would be horrible, but I will say that I honestly hated the sort of people we had become.” (Via)
We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful
Young and hardly gainfully employed, Morrissey wrote to Granada TV, suggesting he be employed as a writer on Corrie. “I am invited to submit a script, and I whip off a word-slinger’s delight wherein young take on old as a jukebox is tested in the Rovers’ Return.” Sadly, he is told his talents lie elsewhere. Many years later, however, the soaps come for him, when he is offered roles on Emmerdale and EastEnders, as Dot Cotton’s “so far unmentioned” son. “I would arrive unexpectedly in Albert Square and cause births, deaths and factory fires every time I opened my mouth.” As Morrissey observes: “The most fascinating aspect of both offers is that somebody somewhere thought it a good idea.” And that’s without even considering the startling fact he was offered a cameo on Friends during a visit to filming of the sitcom. (Via)
Well I Wonder
Morrissey’s reveals that his first serious relationship was with a man named Jake Owen Walters, which took place in the singer’s 30s…[He] writes that he enjoyed a two-year relationship with the man, though he doesn’t specify if they were lovers or not. Referencing his notorious celibacy, Morrissey writes that his time with Walters saw “the first time in my life the eternal ‘I’ becomes ‘we,’ as, finally, I can get on with someone.” (Via)
I Want the One I Can’t Have
After Johnny Marr left the band, the remaining three considered recruiting another guitarist. And one who asked to be considered was the veteran rock writer [Nick Kent]. “I am not a good self-salesman,” he wrote to Morrissey, “but I can confidently boast an encyclopaedic knowledge of the chord structures, dynamics etc of Johnny’s contributions to date…Being musically associated with your very good self would signify the very apex of my crusade for immortality.” (Via)
First of the Gang to (Almost) Die
Morrissey believes Mexican kidnappers targeted him after a show in Tijuana in September 2007, when his driver veers from the highway down a dark road – 20 minutes after having promised they were four minutes from the US border. He and his security guard, fortunately, are able to leave the car, which leaves them in the middle of nowhere. (Via)