posted by davidt on Saturday October 06 2001, @09:00AM
Davin Kolderup writes:

Rock's Backpages has a special feature called 'After The Smiths'. It has a piece called 'This Disarming Man: In Defense of Morrissey' (about Moz's solo career) by Djuna Parnes as well as an interview with Marr by Barney Hoskyns. It also has links to two old Moz interviews in their archives, but you have to be a (paying) member to access those.
Hurry and read these as they are already 'archived' for paying subscribers through the front page so the above links may disappear at any time.

Excerpt from "This Disarming Man: In Defense of Morrissey":
Living in exile in Los Angeles, a million cultural miles from his native Manchester, Morrissey presently has no record deal, no publishing deal, no manager, and no real place within the record industry. He is the ultimate anti-star, an icon for those who don’t belong.

While there are numerous people on hand to attest to how difficult Morrissey is — how he rejects the very friends who love and support him, and so forth — one wonders whether it’s actually his piercing, unsentimental honesty which they can’t handle.

For here is an artist who for the last decade has simply refused to play the pop game — a singer who, to paraphrase Herman Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener, "would prefer not to". A man whose withering wit lays waste to all around it, and who is equally honest about the painful isolation this creates.
Excerpt from Johnny Marr interview:
You last saw Morrissey three years ago – what were the circumstances, and have you talked to him in the past year?
We have to have a certain amount of communication on and off, like when that hideous record [The Very Best of The Smiths] came out. But there isn't any active feud with Morrissey. And if something ever does crop up, and I hear on the net that he's said something about me onstage, it always seems to me to be about publicity. So I can't even go there, because I don't know if it's people just trying to wind us up or whatever. It is very, very simple: if we were to get together and hang out, we could only do one of two things. One would be to sit around and discuss what a great time or what a strange time we had in, say, California, or when we did Top of the Pops, and that just seems a massive waste of time. Or the other thing would be to make music together, and neither of us wants to do that. Because it would just be one god-almighty wind-up. When we got together in Manchester in… I guess it was the mid-to-late '90s, I went round to see him and we went for a drive, and it was very cordial and very pleasant. And we did that a couple of times, but after doing it a couple of times, when we met again it was almost kind of like thumb-twiddling time, and, like, 'When are we gonna get the guitars out?' And I just didn't really feel inspired to do that.
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  •   Excellent and professional; sympathetic without being fawning. You must have a look.
    green crooner -- Saturday October 06 2001, @09:43AM (#19757)
    (User #27 Info)
    "I'm chilled to the bone, and I'm going home--alone"
  • the marr interview was very good. The moz interview isn't much of a defense as it is another bland overview of his solo career. oh well.
    sleaterkinney22 <[email protected]> -- Saturday October 06 2001, @12:53PM (#19759)
    (User #1769 Info |
    all is full of love
  • I feel that the Morrissey article in particular was rather dreary and painted Morrissey as being some mythical artist recluse, similar to Camille Claudel, and is still "reeling" from the so-called immense loss of Johnny Marr. Although I realize and do believe that the unification of Morrissey and Marr created many many wonderful songs - lyrically and musically - I do not, for a moment, believe that Morrissey has lost his soulmate and should be content with crying in a corner of Los Angeles. Morrissey has proven to me at least that he can and will write poignant and classic songs. He's still got it and if he needs to step back from the public eye like the one I am now participating in, well, can you blame him?
    badscenes -- Saturday October 06 2001, @01:46PM (#19760)
    (User #3688 Info)

  • I wonder if the writer of the Morrissey essay
    has actually listened to Southpaw Grammar and
    MAladjusted, because the quick dismissals of them
    are quite unjust. Some of the songs on those
    albums and the accompanying b-sides are fantastic
    and among my most listened to. For example: "Reader Meet Author," "Nobody Loves Us,"
    "T{ouble Loves Me, "Wide to Recieve," "Lost,"
    "This is not your Country," "Southpaw"...the list could on.

    I do not find "Southpaw Grammar" in any way "dull." It ROCKS from start to finish.
    I can see how "Maladjusted" can be attacked
    as not venturing into new ground, but it nonetheless is a nice addition to the body of work. There always will be the major works
    and the minor works.

    And why no mention of My Early Burglary Years, a most wonderful compilation?

    The only unfortunate low point of the solo years
    (outside of the recent absence of ne material)
    was Kill Uncle. I'm not sure what was going on back then that allowed Morrissey to accept such a subpar effort, but I was disturbed when I read in a Spin magazine interview at the time that Morrissey was trying to tell us the music side of his songs is not important, its all about the voice and lyrics. I thought at the time he certainly cannot mean what he is saying, but must be feeling defensive about the album. Fortunately he quickly got a group together, went on a great tour (a tour which showed us that the songs on Kill Uncle were better than we thought, when played by the band), and the albums that followed - Your Arsenal, Beethoven Was Deaf, Vauxhall and I - marked another creative peak, right up there with The Smiths.

    A curious thing about the solo years has been the way so many of his finest songs have been
    b-sides. I'm not sure if this is because Morrissey felt they didn't fit the albums, or
    if he doesn't always know what his best songs are,
    or if he does it as a way to reward his best fans and keep casual observers in the dark on just how great he is. Whatever the case, I have sometimes put togther the songs from the various periods the way I wish Morrissey had, and I have to say I feel these albums-that-could-have-been are as good as any of The Smiths' albums. The albums that we actually got, however, are not.

    Therefore, there are as many great songs in the solo years as there were with The Smiths, however, there also are more average to subpar songs, and the albums themselves are not as strong from first track to last. This led to
    the mistaken impression by the casual observer that he was not as good a songwriter in the 90s as in the 80s.

    It also needs to be stated that as a live performer he got better and better all through the 90s.

    As for what is going on now, it's very unfortunate that there hasn't been an album
    in so long. I was always impressed by how
    prolific Morrissey was, and one wonders if
    he's still writing songs at the same pace but just not putting them out, or if he has
    turned his back on it all for awhile. I so miss the excitement of speeding to the record store
    to pick up the new release. I never feel quite the same excitement for anyone else's new releases. I hope he knows there are still many people waiting with baited breath for his next move.

    Finally, I must disagree with what Grant Showbiz said. I don't know what Morrissey does on a daily basis right now, but it's quite impossible to be alive and not have experiences you can write about. So, as long as Morrissey is still conscious, hearing, seeing, feeling, etc, wherever he is, wherever he goes, even if he's a shut-in, he will have plenty of potential inspiration from which to write new songs. If anything, a retreat back behind the curtain for awhile, away from the pop star world, will only strengthen his future output. One gets concerned when pop stars start writing too many songs about being a pop star, an existance few people relate to.

    [email protected]
    Anonymous -- Saturday October 06 2001, @11:25PM (#19765)
  • Gosh - what intelligent stuff!
    David T (different) -- Sunday October 07 2001, @05:56AM (#19768)
    (User #256 Info)
  • The interview conducted by Antonella Black can probably (if it is the same interview, the year is the same at least) be found in the The arcane old wardrobe (link provided at Morrissey's solo main page). As for the other interview, I'm still trying to find some webapge where it might have been posted.
    Havfine -- Monday October 08 2001, @05:01AM (#19783)
    (User #284 Info)
    "Have you forgotten how to love yourself?" Red House Painters
    • Re:interview by Havfine (Score:1) Monday October 08 2001, @07:25AM
      • Re:interview by David T (different) (Score:1) Wednesday October 10 2001, @11:12AM
  • Ah, that's what I've been doing!
    mattorefice <[email protected]> -- Tuesday October 09 2001, @11:32AM (#19810)
    (User #2318 Info |
    Leslie Towne Hope = Packy West

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