> The Jag noses its way towards West Hollywood, where Morrissey lives, and
> below the rear-view mirror a silver cross and a Greek army dog-tag -
> thrown onstage by a fan in Athens - jangle against one another. Morrissey
> tells me he is "three dotted i's away" from signing a new record
> deal with the Sanctuary Music Group, home to Black Sabbath, Todd Rundgren
> and others of the never-say-die fanbase contingent. As a dowry, they are
> giving him his own label, the resurrected 60s and 70s reggae imprint
> Attack, along with the rights to its back catalogue and license to sign
> whomever he likes (this Morrissey finds especially delicious considering
> the stick he took in the late 80s for telling the NME that "Reggae is
> vile"). Recording of the album Irish Blood, English Heart should
> happen in the summer.
i suppose this will be good if he now wants to go on tour and the band he's asking to support doesn't have a label to pay for it.
> It's not that bad, surely. They show the news, and Father Ted.
> Father Ted? (Pained expression). Ugh. You see, I don't find humour funny.
> That's my problem. What I find funny is things like Alan Bennett, or Jo
> Brand, or Victoria Wood. In the early 80s she completely changed the face
> of television comedy, not just for women by for men too. I admire her for
> that. She was revolutionary.
Father Ted is genius if you compare it to My Hero.
> What can you cook?
> I'm very good with pasta, but I have the most boring palate. I'd cry if I
> had to eat curry, or what's commonly referred to as "a Chinese".
does that Pasta come covered in a jar of Ragu?
> Who comes to visit you in Los Angeles?
> Many people. World figures. The oddest people. Nancy Sinatra came a few
> weeks ago. I served tea, which she wisely did not drink. We talked about
> her, her music and her life - she knows absolutely everything about my
> music, which is extraordinary. She's recording a new song of mine called
> Let Me Kiss You, which makes me very, very happy. My mother and sister
> don't come to Los Angeles too often; my mum doesn't like Americans.
she doesn't like it that the americans have taken away her little boy.
> Is your father still around? Are you like him?
> Yes, he is. And yes, I am, in certain respects. Why?
> Because your Irishness is coming to the fore. You've written a song called
> Irish Blood, English Heart, you've started to say "Jaysus", you
> now pronounce the word "any to rhyme with "Annie"...
> That's interesting. But even when The Smiths recorded Please Please Please
> Let Me Get What I Want there were thousands of letters saying "This
> is Foster and Allen" or something similar.
> There are certain people in modern pop who I am very impressed with.
> People like Bono and Noel Gallagher. I like them enormously. I understand
> Bono and I think he is worth supporting. When you meet him, you can see
> why he is very good at that ambassadorial role. He exudes a great sense of
> ease and enthusiasm. That's a gift. I've met him a few times. The first
> time was when I presented an award to him in Belfast about six years ago,
> and we talked at length. You can see he's a very loving and decent person
> and actually not remotely pretentious. And I think I understand Liam and
> Noel too. They've done so much for Manchester music, and saleswise they've
> put so many people in their. They're very natural. They present themselves
> as they truly, absolutely are, which is admirable. They don't try to
> present some rock persona.
yet, they still make boring music.
> In music? A lot of people. Although I now feel that, somehow in their own
> peculiar way, almost everybody is doing their best. They're just not
> interesting to me because they know no better. In the wider world, George
> W and Tony Bland are insufferable, egotistical, insane despots. It is
> unforgivable of them to send people to Irag and certain death. Watching
> the war from here was astonishing. In this country American error is
> unthinkable, so you simply cannot watch the American news. I was here on
> September 11 and you could clearly see that it has given America another
> opportunity to bully people. When you come through airport customs, you
> must be abused and insulted. Americans are very big on people in authority
> and in uniform. In this country the police have absolute power - they can
> shoot you in the street and the courts will always side with them. So it
> is a very, very fascist country.
and we know how to deport people as well for being troublemakers....
> What's your working regimen here?
> I don't work. I never really have. I don't consider what I do to be work.
> I just exist, and be. In terms of making records, a couple of the band
> live here. Boz has his other work, and some of the others like Spencer
> prefer to work only for me, so they just tend their freesias and wait for
> the call.
Did he slip and mean to say Alain?
>For the signal in the sky. In the very early days. I remember
> Geoff Travis from Rough Trade telling me "You must have a Walkman for
> you work," and I walked away thinking, "What does he mean,
> work?" I can't conceive of what I do as a job. I object very
> strongly, for instance, to the word "performance". I don't think
> I have ever given a performance in my life - I've only ever been me. I
> live a certain life that is documented in recordings, but it is just a
he's basically saying he likes to avoid leisure activities..
> Robbie Williams is now your neighbour here in Los Angeles. Why do you
> think the Americans haven't taken to him?
> He is being absolutely foisted on America - so much money has been
> invested that there has to be a return somehow. But Americans have their
> own people playing that "straightforward entertainer" role, and
> his Cheeky Chappie thing doesn't play here. Americans construe it as being
> rude, just as they never took to Noel and Liam for the same reasons.
we didn't take to Oasis because they make bad music! they had one good album. that's it.
Robbie Williams is just too cheap for us.
> The Morrissey residence is a cool, high-ceilinged house in a quiet,
> serpentine street up the hill off Sunset Boulevard. It could not differ
> more from the pinky-blue stores and ranch-themed steak joints down the
> hill. In his parlour Morrissey has an overstuffed brocade settee, a Thai
> love goddess sitting in his fireplace, a crystal ball on the coffee table
> ("It doesn't work"), a giant brass lion, a disconnected neon
> sign from the Virgin Megastore which reads MORR ISSEY over the fire and no
> TV. A heavy, locked bookcase contains biographies of Steve McQueen and
> other Hollywood stars, and there are bongoes by the patio door. There are
> bits of Mexican silver everywhere, and a keyring with ESTEBAN stamped on a
> little replica of a Mexican license plate. It's all rather sybaritic.
> Another room, however, is less sensually-inclined. It contains a
> flatscreen G4 Powermac and a giant plasma screen TV.
aha! but i suppose that powermac only had the capability to fax letters.
> Fans, inevitably, have found him here. Knots of people often wait at the
> gate; if Morrissey does not give enough of his time, they can be abusive.
> "You don't choose your fans but you sure know how to lose them,"
> is a standard taunt, which Morrissey thought was quite witty at first.
> Then he realised it was common currency among the kind of people who wait
> at pop stars' gates. His house has been broken into twice. Once the
> burglars stole a car, which was frightening because Morrissey was in the
> house at the time, but also sort of reassuring because at least they were
> just thieves - they didn't want to talk to him.
i suppose they found the car...
> The worst thing about living in Los Angeles, Morrissey thinks, is the
> food. You can't get a decent vegetarian meal for love nor money. Most
> nights he eats at home.
weird. but then again, most veggie places probably have oriental and indian food which are not on his list.
> Several of your new songs are about Mexican life. Thereís The First Of The
> Gang To Die, where the typical Morrissey boy-hero is a gangster called
> Hector, and Mexico, about migrant workers. Isnít this the first time
> youíve written about people who arenít British?
> Itís about time isnít it? I do like social observation and these seemed
> like natural subjects for my kind of songs. It is a fascinating culture,
> but also the Spanish-speaking audience is so valuable in America these
> days. Everybody wants the ďHispanicĒ audience. I have to say, though, that
> I donít watch Spanish television any more than English television. Itís
> unwatchable, itís just people cheering and applauding all the way through
> and you never know why.
and he's probably not interested in the parade of scantily clad women that are on all of those shows, either..
> What goes through you mind when youíre onstage?
> The joy of final human fulfilment. Thereís nothing to touch it. Itís as
> good as life gets, and never more so than the last string of dates I did
> in Blackburn, Bradford and Glasgow. They were the best nights of my life.
> The audiences were so astonishing and I though, ďThere is nothing that
> life can give me that will take me beyond these night.Ē
so that's why he didn't resume the tour! it was too much fun!
> What is the current state of play in your legal dispute with Mike Joyce?
> [The Smithsí drummer was awarded £1.25m in back royalties in 1996;
> Morrissey lost an appeal in 1998]
> The appeal comes to court at the end of June. He has put a charge on my
> mother and sistersí houses, and it is astonishing that that could happen.
> In the 1996 trial Judge John Weeks made a very wayward judgment which told
> Joyce he was a 25 per cent partner who can have whatever he wanted. But
> the judge did not explain to Joyce how he could get the money. As every
> contract was always with Morrissey and Marr, no company will recognise
> Joyce so heís issuing writs left, right and centre. He has been at the
> stage door of every concert Iíve played recently, trying to get money. He
> is a purely evil person and he has persecuted my mother, my nephews and
> sister, but he presents the public face of a person whoís hard done-by and
> has been thrown to the wayside.
> Yet Johnny and I looked after and protected him throughout his time with
> The Smiths. He never had to make one creative decision. His drum patterns
> were all designed by Johnny. He never had to sit in on any intense
> business meetings, which is how Johnny and I had to face every single day.
> We even looked after his tax. Joyce went into court with no witnesses and
> no evidence, and stood against a mass of evidence and witnesses, against
> all of which the judge simply said ďthis did not happenĒ. The judge had
> obviously been primed on my character, and told that I had written about
> Thatcher and the Queen. Itís likely that Thatcher had appointed the judge.
> So I was not a very sympathetic character whereas Joyce was playing the
> part of the wounded soldier.
if moz didn't march in there like he was going to pull out an uzi and start shooting everyone, and instead presented himself as a victim, then he would come across as a victim!
go and see the movie Chicago for reference. or see old tapes of the OJ Simpson trial.
but all he did was add to the other side's evidence that he's a bullying con artist back in '96 when he got up there and started lashing out on the stand and being uncooperative when they were asking questions. if you saw somebody doing that, wouldn't you assume that they have something to hide? why not go up there with the attitude that you're more than happy to lay everything out on the table and for it all to end?
i know he probably thinks that his anger makes him look like he's fed up with this nonsense, but that's not how it plays out. i don't care if the judge had been "briefed" on his character. the other side's arguement was that Mike was just some poor sap who was robbed of his money by his scheming and manipulative band mates, when moz or marr took the stand, the judge was going to look at them to see if they came across as that type or not. being uncooperative on the stand played right into it.
> What do you worry about?
> I have a lot of business pressures. There are three court cases and Joyce
> has caused so much pain in my family.
Three?!?!? What are the other two?
do all entertainment types live in the courthouse?
>I worry that I find so much modern
> music atrocious, and unpalatable Ė because I do love music, and I want to
> like, and to be able to join in. I donít want to come across as
> mealy-mouthed Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells but most people who are
> currently successful have absolutely nothing to offer. I long for someone
> to reach out and startle me, and say something that means something. I
> long for someone a little bit like me.
you might want to try searching through the mental wards to find someone who is crazy enough to be a professional musician in this day and age.