What difference does it make? Jackie Kay on her Morrissey-backed survey of real-life Smiths - The Guardian
by Jackie Kay
What’s it like to have Britain’s most common surname? To find out, poet Jackie Kay went on a quest round Salford – and met a bedridden tarantula-keeper and a woman kidnapped by her own husband
Morrissey once told an interviewer that he chose to call his band the Smiths “because it was the most ordinary name”. It was “time that the ordinary folk of the world showed their faces,” he reasoned. More than 30 years later the singer has given his blessing to a special project celebrating people with the surname Smith in his old stomping ground.
...The Lowry had to approach Morrissey and Marr to get permission for their music to be used in the installation. They agreed, Kay thinks, because it echoes Morrissey’s original intentions. “I think in this project there is the germ of the original idea, which was to project the ordinary and the extraordinary together, to see them as both one and the same thing, the somebody and the nobody.”
• 30 Days of the Smiths is at the Lowry, Salford, 7-8 May.