• Morrissey excerpt from 'The History of the NME' by Pat Long

    Published in 'The Times' yesterday ~

    "Under the direction of Danny Kelly in the early Nineties, the NME became known colloquially as the New Morrissey Express: every time they put the former Smiths frontman on the cover, sales spiked. "Morrissey was perfect for NME because he was intelligent and articulate," says Andrew Collins, a former writer for the paper.

    Forget acid house and baggy, Morrissey was the NME, something which made what happened in August 1992 all the more strange. On a sunny weekend in North London's Finsbury Park, Madness re-formed to play their first gigs since they'd split acrimoniously in 1986. Only one act performing wasn't a Londoner: Morrissey, who was due to go on stage immediately prior to the Nutty Boys.

    The paper's sole black writer, Dele Fadele, arrived at the office, fuming. "Dele was an amazing guy," says Collins, "a fabled African prince who lived in a squat. He came in to work absolutely impassioned and offended by what he'd seen at Finsbury Park."

    As Fadele described it to the rest of the staff, Morrissey had waved a Union Jack thrown on to the stage in front of a huge picture of two skinhead girls taken by NME photographer Derek Ridgers in 1980. It was a provocative move in front of Madness' crowd, which had always been dogged by an unaccountable association withthe Far Right. But the fact that Morrissey's set also included the songs Bengali in Platforms ("Bengali, Bengali/ Oh, shelve your Western plans/ And understand/ That life is hard enough when you belong here") and a new track, The National Front Disco, seemed calculated to inflame both the right-wing and liberal members of the crowd, for entirely different reasons.

    In retrospect Morrissey's dalliance with skinhead imagery was just another manifestation of the singer's fascination for rough boys rather than any evidence of fascist tendencies. But that year there was nothing cute about messing about with such imagery. 1992 was the year that Combat 18, the white supremacist group implicated in the deaths of several non-white Britons, was formed.

    When the NME's staff heard about what Morrissey was up to, they were aghast. An emergency summit meeting was held at King's Reach Tower. "It was like a Cobra meeting for the government," says Collins, "like being on a real newspaper"

    The following week's NME featured a five-page examination of his lyrics and interviews, scouring all for clues to racism, as well as an impassioned piece by Fadele. The conclusion? While crediting Morrissey with the ability to employ irony, the NME staff had to conclude reluctantly that their hero was, at best, a misguided Little Englander.

    Morrissey had always had a playful relationship with the paper. This time, though, he was less impressed. "My lawyers are poised," he declared and didn't speak to NME again for 12 years."



    Response posted in the original thread by Worm:

    Even after all these years, they still can't get it right.

    "Bengali In Platforms" was not in Morrissey's set.

    He played "National Front Disco" because it was a new song from "Your Arsenal", not because he was trying to "calculate" his way into the hearts of the racists in the crowd.

    I'm still shocked at how badly the NME and every other news source has utterly, completely, scandalously failed to treat Morrissey fairly with respect to the Madstock show. Of course I'd say that, as a Morrissey fan, but I also say it because I care about what the NME was trying to fight for. Instead of making a valid point about the dangers of ambiguous treatments of racism in art, the entire body of writing about Madstock, from Dele's original article to this latest summary, again and again and again suffers from two of journalism's worst sins, inaccuracy and bias. The various journalists appear to care more about political correctness than the facts of the case, which makes it that much easier for the Right to dismiss other, factual, legitimate complaints.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Morrissey excerpt from 'The History of the NME' by Pat Long. started by joe frady View original post
    Comments 19 Comments
    1. Anonymous's Avatar
      Anonymous -
      er. isn't this not allowed to be published because of the forthcoming court case where the NMW will get spanked for lies, lies
      and more lies....
    1. Anonymous's Avatar
      Anonymous -
      The evil people behind the NME never managed to stop the creative era when indie music dominated and made music mean something. NME had music journos that were racist and homophobic and they seemed scared of bands and artists that had some sort of message or dignity.
      In the case of the band Kitchens of Distinctions they did all they could to write bad things about the band cause the band members were all gay. They flirted with Morrissey but only because Morrissey as we know never had the strength to admit he was gay openly and so had he admitted it I am sure we would have seen NME treat him in a totally different way.
      I suggest that the NME are tried in court for crimes against humanity and that all the people that ever worked there are sent to Guantanamo to replace the war heroes there that fucked up USA and gave us all a smile or two.

      Urban the mad swede (Yihad is a way of life)
    1. Anonymous's Avatar
      Anonymous -
      Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous View Post
      The evil people behind the NME never managed to stop the creative era when indie music dominated and made music mean something. NME had music journos that were racist and homophobic and they seemed scared of bands and artists that had some sort of message or dignity.
      In the case of the band Kitchens of Distinctions they did all they could to write bad things about the band cause the band members were all gay. They flirted with Morrissey but only because Morrissey as we know never had the strength to admit he was gay openly and so had he admitted it I am sure we would have seen NME treat him in a totally different way.
      I suggest that the NME are tried in court for crimes against humanity and that all the people that ever worked there are sent to Guantanamo to replace the war heroes there that fucked up USA and gave us all a smile or two.

      Urban the mad swede (Yihad is a way of life)
      You actually seemed to have a point there, writing along with a fair amount of sense... until you somehow managed to confuse a ridiculous British magazine with smiling over fucking up the USA. Have I got that right? In some twisted way you actually think it gave everyone a smile or two to see people killed in the USA? Yihad is a way of life? Are you touched in the head? I'd challenge you to come out from behind your safe little computer and your posting, get off your ass and go out onto an American street and spout off such nonsense. Urban the mad swede, really? There's a fine line between mad and stupid. Congrats. You crossed it.
    1. Anonymous's Avatar
      Anonymous -
      I have always agreed with the argument made in 'Saint Morrissey' - great book by the way, go read if any of you haven't done so already - that in 1992 they needed to kill off Moz because he just didn't fit with the trend of the time - i.e. a mass obsession with Dance Music, fuelled by the biggest explosion in stimulant drug use in the history of society. Moz was making singles about people in wheel chairs, for Christ's sake, whilst most kids were popping E's and getting off their faces. So the NME killed him. Or tried too... 20 years later, Moz is still touring to adoring crowds of latinos, and who can remember any of those awful dance tracks that were the trend at the time? The MNE too is now a relic from the past. History will be the real judge of Moz's integrity.
    1. celibate's Avatar
      celibate -
      well no media ever made a problem of the union jack when the UK soccer team is playing
      somewhere in Europe or London/UK and caried or placed by the fans and hooligans, even
      waving on a stick

      Hello eNeMEy, plaese answer in honoustly that it was planned to put Morrissey down,
      try to break his fame...

      Many bands in every generation has used the Brittish flag, it only takes a nutcase editor to
      plan such a huge article just to get the sales up, well as we know now, Morrissey is still around,
      the eNeMEy sales gets every year less

      good riddance
    1. Anonymous's Avatar
      Anonymous -
      Quote Originally Posted by celibate View Post
      well no media ever made a problem of the union jack when the UK soccer team is playing
      somewhere in Europe or London/UK and caried or placed by the fans and hooligans, even
      waving on a stick

      Hello eNeMEy, plaese answer in honoustly that it was planned to put Morrissey down,
      try to break his fame...

      Many bands in every generation has used the Brittish flag, it only takes a nutcase editor to
      plan such a huge article just to get the sales up, well as we know now, Morrissey is still around,
      the eNeMEy sales gets every year less

      good riddance
      there is no such thing as "the UK soccer team"
    1. PonytheTony's Avatar
      PonytheTony -
      Listen up yankee doodles if yer gonna make comments on this do your homework first because your comments make you sound even more stupid than just being an ordinary stupid yankee Bart Simpson.

      What has the Union flag got to do with the England football team??????????????

      Who the Fk is the "UK soccer team"?????????

      What is "soccer"?????????

      So throw away your Mozzipedia book and go and do some research on the "ENGLAND FOOTBALL TEAM"
    1. Anonymous's Avatar
      Anonymous -
      Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous View Post
      You actually seemed to have a point there, writing along with a fair amount of sense... until you somehow managed to confuse a ridiculous British magazine with smiling over fucking up the USA. Have I got that right? In some twisted way you actually think it gave everyone a smile or two to see people killed in the USA? Yihad is a way of life? Are you touched in the head? I'd challenge you to come out from behind your safe little computer and your posting, get off your ass and go out onto an American street and spout off such nonsense. Urban the mad swede, really? There's a fine line between mad and stupid. Congrats. You crossed it.
      Seeing americans suffering is a sport for some of us you see. The evil you americans have created all over the world must be paid back somehow and you have got it big time and I think you know that next time it happens it will be in your own backyard with millions of americans dying. You only have yourselves to blame for being such arseholes for centuries. What goes around comes around and all that jazz.

      Urban the swede (victim of islamic terror every day)
    1. Anonymous's Avatar
      Anonymous -
      The Bengali attribution is very poor research. The sad thing is that books like this become reference guides and many people who don't know the details of what REALLY happened that day with Morrissey and the crowd will read this and believe the cliche that he'd goosestepped on stage singing racist songs. It's very irresponsible of author Pat Long to get these facts wrong. He could have easily checked the internet to verify what Morrissey sang that day, plus enough other books have been written - it wouldn't have taken him more than a few minutes to double check. Instead errors are presented as fact. It might even be an acceptable error if Morrissey had EVER played that song live. The fact that he has NEVER sung Bengali In Platforms in concert makes this error incredibly suspicious and reeks of the same old tired witch-hunt propaganda.

      Morrissey has every right to complain to the publisher. The only positive aspect is that this only goes to demonstrate how institutionally "anti-Morrissey" the NME and its former staff were/are which will only aid his success when he has his day in court later this year.
    1. 2-J's Avatar
      2-J -
      Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous View Post
      The only positive aspect is that this only goes to demonstrate how institutionally "anti-Morrissey" the NME and its former staff were/are which will only aid his success when he has his day in court later this year.
      Indeed! Someone forward this to Morrissey's lawyer pronto.
    1. celibate's Avatar
      celibate -
      Quote Originally Posted by PonytheTony View Post
      Listen up yankee doodles if yer gonna make comments on this do your homework first because your comments make you sound even more stupid than just being an ordinary stupid yankee Bart Simpson.

      What has the Union flag got to do with the England football team??????????????

      Who the Fk is the "UK soccer team"?????????

      What is "soccer"?????????

      So throw away your Mozzipedia book and go and do some research on the "ENGLAND FOOTBALL TEAM"
      I'm Dutch but am aware that this is a USA based website in a country where football is some sorta rugby.

      Viva Spurs

      later
    1. Anonymous's Avatar
      Anonymous -
      Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous View Post
      Seeing americans suffering is a sport for some of us you see. The evil you americans have created all over the world must be paid back somehow and you have got it big time and I think you know that next time it happens it will be in your own backyard with millions of americans dying. You only have yourselves to blame for being such arseholes for centuries. What goes around comes around and all that jazz.

      Urban the swede (victim of islamic terror every day)
      Agreed! But consider the facts. "Americans", are not really Americans. The British people are not really British. With no national boarders, no respect for the law,( ndaa 1867), no culture and no national language, there is only one undeniable fact left. Your race, your tribe and that's it! Since their is a blatant, overt disregard for our national sovereignty, what is left but the skin that houses you through out your life.
      Personally, invading smaller nations is what hitler did! Those who do it, deserve what they get and no sympathy for them here. These traitors should have obeyed their oath. Now some of them are missing limbs, crazy or dead. For what? The war machines profit margin.
      So what if Morrissey says what he says! Don't like it? Turn it off! What pisses you off, is that there's a ring of truth to Morrisseys opinions. Like all else that is folding in Britian & America, the NME is desperate for anything to boost their bottom line. Rag-mag sales are last on their list. Now NME wants a bailout from Morrisseys bank account for a free speach violation if 20 years ago? Pathetic !
      The Japanese survived the horror of Fukishima, because they are a proud homogenous society and keep it that way. Mass immigration into Britian & America; How's it working out for you?
    1. Anonymous's Avatar
      Anonymous -
      Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous View Post
      Agreed! But consider the facts. "Americans", are not really Americans. The British people are not really British. With no national boarders, no respect for the law,( ndaa 1867), no culture and no national language, there is only one undeniable fact left. Your race, your tribe and that's it! Since their is a blatant, overt disregard for our national sovereignty, what is left but the skin that houses you through out your life.
      Personally, invading smaller nations is what hitler did! Those who do it, deserve what they get and no sympathy for them here. These traitors should have obeyed their oath. Now some of them are missing limbs, crazy or dead. For what? The war machines profit margin.
      So what if Morrissey says what he says! Don't like it? Turn it off! What pisses you off, is that there's a ring of truth to Morrisseys opinions. Like all else that is folding in Britian & America, the NME is desperate for anything to boost their bottom line. Rag-mag sales are last on their list. Now NME wants a bailout from Morrisseys bank account for a free speach violation if 20 years ago? Pathetic !
      The Japanese survived the horror of Fukishima, because they are a proud homogenous society and keep it that way. Mass immigration into Britian & America; How's it working out for you?
      You saw my point with my earlier posts. These people that say they are for multiculturalism complain when they become victims because of it. In that sense it is only fair that muslim fanatics attack these people who claim they want these muslims in their country. I call their bluff as I never believe such people are honest. They say what they say because they need the jobs they have but as soon as a problem occur in the backyard all hell breaks lose.

      Urban
    1. Anonymous's Avatar
      Anonymous -
      Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous View Post
      there is no such thing as "the UK soccer team"
      I wouldn't bother replying to Celibate's posts. You may notice he's a little, um shall we say fuckin' stupid?
    1. PonytheTony's Avatar
      PonytheTony -
      I don't care if yer Dutch or yer a plastic Yank!!!!!!

      Your twisting my melon so just FO
    1. Why?'s Avatar
      Why? -
      Off topic, but why does the nme feature noel gallagher on every cover no matter what? i know its a shitty publication now, but does he really make them money? or is oasis really seen as that important?being from the us i just dont get it.
    1. Anonymous's Avatar
      Anonymous -
      Quote Originally Posted by Why? View Post
      Off topic, but why does the nme feature noel gallagher on every cover no matter what? i know its a shitty publication now, but does he really make them money? or is oasis really seen as that important?being from the us i just dont get it.
      I think you answered your own question with "being from the US I just don't get it". Yes, Oasis are seen as massively important to the last 20 years of British music here and yes, the faces of Noel and Liam will always guarantee good sales for UK music mags. Love them or hate them, they always ensure a good interview, especially Noel. A bit like someone else from Manchester whose name temporarily escapes me.

      All the best

      Guigsy
      x
    1. Anonymous's Avatar
      Anonymous -
      Quote Originally Posted by PonytheTony View Post
      Listen up yankee doodles if yer gonna make comments on this do your homework first because your comments make you sound even more stupid than just being an ordinary stupid yankee Bart Simpson.

      What has the Union flag got to do with the England football team??????????????

      Who the Fk is the "UK soccer team"?????????

      What is "soccer"?????????

      So throw away your Mozzipedia book and go and do some research on the "ENGLAND FOOTBALL TEAM"
      Don't be too hard on them. It is normal they don't know anything about the England Football Team. In the past fifty years or more, there is nothing in the history books about this team.
    1. Anonymous's Avatar
      Anonymous -
      We'll let him know... pat@historyofnme.com

      http://www.historyofnme.com/about-pat-long/