'Morrissey's miserable no more' - interview by Tom Cardy in The Dominion Post

''My first US tour was huge venues and incredible sellouts, but the band were quite poor and I lost a lot of my audience, who quite rightly said, 'The Smiths were better'. But I've worked hard at America, and these amount to the very best of days for me."

First, I wonder how Boz privately feels about that statement. Second, it is just not true that he "lost a lot of [his American] audience" - certainly not during 1991 - 1995. And when have select factions of his fanbase EVER stopped saying "The Smiths were better." It goes on to this day.

Did the original iteration of the Lads get off to a rough start? Fair to say there were jagged edges aplenty in their early performances. But I find it quite sad that he makes such an offhand dismissal of a band that he once professed was a lifeline. It also ignores the dramatic effect Alain and Boz immediately had on his material, most of which holds up nicely against his own solo catalog and the Smiths'.

I don't know if the intention was to defend the current "arrangement" (I refuse to call them a band anymore) and I know he is prone to the categoric revision of history - but this one takes the cake. Very disappointing to read.

And, having worked through about half of it, I think Fletcher's book does an estimable job so far with the facts/prevailing opinions at hand and paints a more than fair portrait of Morrissey. Of course, it's a given that he would slate it. I'm a bit surprised that a discussion thread hasn't popped up already.
 

Comments

bored

Lust a prima vista
Good spot. Are we talking about the LIve In Dallas period? They had a lot to learn, and they did their best to emulate the Smiths stuff and the Street stuff. That's pretty much the same band that did Your Arsenal. And the same two guitarists on Vauxhall. I wonder how he quantifies his "loss of audience" and proves to what he attributes the loss?

P.
This pertains ONLY to US tour dates.

Kill Uncle tour - very big in the US.. but no Smiths song really put people off
Your Arsenal tour - not as many big venues, much better album to tour on

Vauxhall and I - no tour on what many at the time thought was his best solo effort and as good as much Smiths stuff

Southpaw Grammar - a weird prog rock style record with bland lyrics - no tour

Maladjusted - A couple great tracks, a bunch of filler - smallest US tour so far

This 3 album stretch with no tour dates in the US for about 5 years and 2 straight albums clearly not in the league of The Smiths or Viva Hate, Your Arsenal or V&I. This tour is even smaller venues.

2000 - No new songs but tours

2002 - New songs but tours the west coast only and no new product in stores or on radio


The US fan base was eroded over time. It wasn't just one thing. It actually started in 1991.

There are always exceptions like LA where he can fill big venues and Boston and NYC and he can do some decent sized venues but MSG? Not anymore.
 

realitybites

making lemonade
Subscriber
"...then you're unlikely to attract hairy metal freaks."

Typo or Moz-oh? :D (should read heavy metal freaks)

''America is fantastic for me. I was predictably snotty about it at first ... yes, hard to believe. But America has been so very generous."

:thumb:

"I'd say I was happy, but who would ever believe me? Exactly - no-one."

I believe it. I really do.
 

CrystalGeezer

My secret's my enzyme.
In the event that anyone cares I was in excruciating back pain when I read and commented on this article, like tears-streaming-down-my-face back pain. I haven't reread it. Glad to hear Morrissey is happy.
 

Irregular Regular

Forget my fate.
Interesting read, and also interesting to see how Morrissey remains a contradiction. After all these years...

So once again he expresses a preference for the 'now' in favour of the 'then', and in some ways it's easy to see why he would do that.
The topic has been discussed at length in other threads over the years.

Objectively as I can, and from the viewpoint of an outsider looking in, a 'fan' who has been following him since the very early days of The Smiths, I can see 3 distinct stages in his career and the quality of the output.

The Smiths 1983-1987: Without any doubt, this period coincides with his best work
Solo 1988-1995 (up until the release of Sunny): At his best as a solo artist, his second best spell overall
Solo 1995 to date (from Southpaw onwards): Some excellent songs released since 1995, many actually, however the output since then has been rather patchy at times.

This is not a criticism of his work in the last 17 years, I still very much enjoy much of this material, from Southpaw to Refusal.
It is a statement of how I view it (and quite possibly a fair few other 'long-timers').

A matter of opinion...
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
the lads were the first band that i grew up with and saw live, that original line up is very dear to my heart, i let most things slide that he says but recently he's really started to disrespect the fans. one the changes to viva hate, its our classic album not just his, leave it alone, two...the slur on the classic line up that were his solo career, very sad he seems to want to rewrite history in such an ill advised way, god knows what this means for the autobiography!
 

markreed

Member
Coming out of lurkerdom... Morrissey is wrong. If, and this is being charitable, he describes his band as poor, by virtue of not having huge amounts of money to buy expensive and good-sounding kit, he is spot on. If by describing a small and underfunded band that had been together with the singer for merely weeks thrust into playing to arenas in America within 10 shows, as "poor", then he is wrong. That band were the hungriest, most passionate incarnation of solo Morrissey there ever was. It was a chance of a lifetime, and they knew it : and they were expected to deliver stadium shows on a Camden-Shithouse budget.

If by describing the talent that (in the main) delivered "Your Arssnal", "Vauxhall & I", "Southpaw", "Maladjusted", "You Are The Quarry" and all the numerous non album singles, as poor, Morrissey is no judge of talent : as his current output testifies. The reason he lost audiences in the US were that he toured the US twice in two years, cancelled a load of shows, then disappeared for five years and didn't play there. What was he expecting? An audience frozen in amber, that didn't grow old or up, that waited patiently for five years whilst he fannied around suing people, sacking band members, cancelling tours, and so on? What a plank.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Owe Moz a life debt in music but he is not very self-critical. I saw the first tour in Toronto and the band was very hammy and trod all over the material, but he chose them! They got wayyy better album to album after that. Also, the Maladjusted date I saw had about the worst sound mix I have ever heard. Maybe they paid crap for the engineer b/c openers the Smoking Popes sounded amazing. The first leg of the Refusal tour was by far the best I've heard in terms of sonics and performance.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
The early band with Spencer, Boz, Alain, and Gary was the best band that he's had... Too bad that Morrissey has bad words to say about them.

I think Beethoven Was Deaf has that early band and it's an awesome live album.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Morrissey actually even said way back when during an MTV or VH1 interview that he'd choose Spencer, Gary, Alain, and Boz over The Smiths, but of course that was a lie. Nevertheless, Spencer, Gary, Alain, and Boz were his best solo band. At this point, Morrissey has a cover band backing him up with no real connection to the songs.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Coming out of lurkerdom... Morrissey is wrong. If, and this is being charitable, he describes his band as poor, by virtue of not having huge amounts of money to buy expensive and good-sounding kit, he is spot on. If by describing a small and underfunded band that had been together with the singer for merely weeks thrust into playing to arenas in America within 10 shows, as "poor", then he is wrong. That band were the hungriest, most passionate incarnation of solo Morrissey there ever was. It was a chance of a lifetime, and they knew it : and they were expected to deliver stadium shows on a Camden-Shithouse budget.

If by describing the talent that (in the main) delivered "Your Arssnal", "Vauxhall & I", "Southpaw", "Maladjusted", "You Are The Quarry" and all the numerous non album singles, as poor, Morrissey is no judge of talent : as his current output testifies. The reason he lost audiences in the US were that he toured the US twice in two years, cancelled a load of shows, then disappeared for five years and didn't play there. What was he expecting? An audience frozen in amber, that didn't grow old or up, that waited patiently for five years whilst he fannied around suing people, sacking band members, cancelling tours, and so on? What a plank.
I think you mis-understand him. I'm sure Morrissey is well aware of how good that band was, certainly from 92 onwards. However in 91 the band were musically awful - one listen to their version of Suedehead tells you that. As others have said, they improved very quickly.

That Kill Uncle tour was a strange time. a bad album, a cackhandded band but the tour was amazing. Crowds were hysterical as at best people hadn't seen him for 5 years, in many cases people had never seen him, and the energy from the band and crowds revitalised him, and led him to Your Arsenal.

but in 91, they were awful
 

Trending Threads

Top Bottom