posted by davidt on Thursday March 16 2006, @03:00PM
Update: 03/16 22:56 GMT:
joemoss writes:
Billboard reports that Morrissey said today that The Smiths were offered $5 million to appear at Coachella.

Morrissey: Smiths Turned Down Millions To Reunite -

"If people must know, it was 5 million [dollars]," he told journalist David Fricke today (March 16) during an interview at the South By Southwest Music & Media Conference in Austin, Texas.

After gasps from the fans in the audience subsided, Fricke asked Morrissey if he had considered it. "No, because money doesn't come into it," a response that drew applause from the crowd.

Of the critically adored act, he said, "It was a fantastic journey. And then it ended. I didn't feel we should have ended. I wanted to continue. [Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr] wanted to end it. And that was that."
Just concluded in front of full conference hall.

Please add details in the comments section if you have them (Update: 03/16 23:48 GMT: see details/photos link posted by Suzanne).
Update: 03/17 00:31 GMT: Links posted anonymously (unless otherwise noted) as they are sent in:---
Topics included:

Playing the Apollo in NY, "At Last I Am Born", "Reel Around The Fountain" banned by BBC, celibacy, Jeff Saltzman, producers.

The writing process, titles of songs, "Life Is A Pigsty, playing instruments, writing with Johnny Marr, Johnny Marr's music and influences, largest offer for a Smiths reunion ($5 million for Coachella 2006), NY Dolls, seeing the original Ziggy Stardust tour in 1972, writing lyrics (started at age 6 yrs old, listened to The Righteous Brothers, "You've Lost That Loving Feeling"). First confirmation w/The Smiths on songwriting - "Hand In Glove"

American Idol, Eurovision, Los Angeles, being interviewed by the FBI, Special Branch, process of being interrogated. Thatcher, politics, "I Will See You In Far-off Places", British celebrity, Pete Doherty, critics, Robert Smith, Mark E. Smith, Manchester, Joy Division ("incredibly boring", records - "flat as pancakes"), advice for new bands such as Arctic Monkeys.
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  • Okay, so they were the topics, but any opinion on what was said?!

    Come on people!

    Agent Provocateur -- Thursday March 16 2006, @03:10PM (#203825)
    (User #10171 Info)
    "Kiss him? Of course I didn't kiss him, he's ugly!"
  • Didn't get to see this but i did get to go see a free Billy Bragg show in the ACL Studio. It was real cool but unfortunately no mention of the Mozzer (was being broadcast by Seattle radio).
    pimpfnick -- Thursday March 16 2006, @03:17PM (#203828)
    (User #3556 Info)
  • Interesting topics, now awaiting the content
    Anonymous -- Thursday March 16 2006, @03:18PM (#203829)
  • they're one of those tiresome bands (like The Rolling Stones or Bob Dylan) that the music police insist everyone loves. they are bloody awful. sure, they might have written a couple of catchy pop songs (Atmosphere and Love Tore Me Apart) but the singing is f***ing terrible!
    sounds like Vic Reeves' 'club singer' on Shooting Stars but 7.2 billion times worse. well done Moz!
    Anonymous -- Thursday March 16 2006, @03:22PM (#203833)
  • He praised Mark E. Smith, but I somehow doubt it. Come one Moz! He's a genius.

    What did he say?
    Anonymous -- Thursday March 16 2006, @03:25PM (#203836)
    • Re:I hope by suzanne (Score:1) Thursday March 16 2006, @03:26PM
      • Re:I hope by Anonymous (Score:0) Thursday March 16 2006, @03:30PM
  • Anything about Pete Burns. Did anyone with brains take in an mp3 player and record it?
    Anonymous -- Thursday March 16 2006, @03:43PM (#203845)
    • Re:burns by wemissumoz (Score:1) Thursday March 16 2006, @06:01PM
      • python by Anonymous (Score:0) Friday March 17 2006, @07:05AM
  •[email protected] []

    When Morrissey took the stage, even I noticed which is quite amazing.

    He was about 20 minutes late, and I began to get that feeling of "oh, what if he doesn't show?", but they had set out a carafe (is that the word?) of tea and a selection of Heinekens, none of which were touched.

    They had placed out two sofa-like chairs. When he took the stage, he grabbed one of the pillows off of it and made to toss it into the audience like he was throwing a shirt. He was dressed in a medium-long jacket/coat which was way too hot for the 80+ degree weather outside (even if it was fitting for yesterday, as they say in Tx, if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes), but even so, it was quite nice looking.

    I apologize for not having an audio transcript, but finding 5 minutes to run to Target to buy a minirecorder hasn't been easy the last week or more and i'm a poor planner. The pictures weren't too great because they asked for no flash photography and my camera is retarded when it comes to anything other than full bright lights.

    They discussed the Smiths for a while, obviously. He said that the reason original was because between he and Johnny, there were a massive load of influences pulled together to create something original. Morrissey's influences being the cheap and drab pop music while Johnny was into something more folkie (can't remember the name of what he said Johnny's absolute most favorite band was, but they are supposedly folk).

    He said that they were offered $5 million to reform at Coachella, but there were more important things in this world other than money.

    He said that Mark E Smith was a favorite of his, but Mark didn't have a good voice for radio and was left to toil outside of it, but Morrissey said that this wasn't a bad thing.

    He has no idea where people got the idea that he is the president of the NY Dolls fan club because there were "4 of them" and even a 4 year old could have been the president.

    When he was growing up, he used to crawl under a table and make lots of noise until someone finally went out and bought him new albums and that nothing has really changed. He used to run around the house like a "cockerspaniel" whenever music was on (for some reason, he was obsessed with that song "you've lost that loving feeling" which...i've personally got my own associations of that song being sung to me by about half of the bus filled with band members when we were going to march at football games in high school, but that's beside the point). Anyway, he ended with the point that he was really a little terror as a kid, which we all knew that.

    The celibacy issue was only mentioned by him twice in interview, but it has stuck, and that basically, "we all have dry spells" and he looked out at the audience with a glint that caused a huge laugh. At the time, he felt the need to mention it because it was something he wasn't hiding from.

    The interviewer tried to get him to talk about the writing process. Moz said that song titles were important because more people read the song titles than actually hear the music, but beyond that, Moz seemed confused about what David Fricke meant about "ok, you start from a song title and then...what happens next?" so Moz leaned over and addressed someone named "Winnie" and asked her to interpret what he meant by that question. He said, "what do you suggest? Change the question?" And so it was dropped.

    There was more about the FBI interrogations. Apparently, it happened in a public place when the Feds showed up and started shouting at him so that he would be embarrassed and caught off guard and go along with them, and that it was frightening because these people could shoot him at any time and he would be swept under the rug. The same sort of thing happened in the UK in regards to the exact same incident, but he reiterated that he is against all murder and barbarism, and couldn't stand it when
    suzanne -- Thursday March 16 2006, @03:53PM (#203850)
    (User #36 Info)
    I scare dead people.
  • And miss the chance to play to all those confused latino morrisites piling into indio, california.
    Performing within the mixed smell of spicy taco meat and feltch.
    Anonymous -- Thursday March 16 2006, @03:54PM (#203852)
  • y.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002198233
    Anonymous -- Thursday March 16 2006, @04:08PM (#203864)
  • I was an initial critic of the first 3 tracks... partially due to their quality I suppose. As a whole they fit much better. Not a fan of "Dear God" and I was disappointed with Quarry. I thought it was too safe and dull and uninspired.... I must say though, I have a top quality MP3 version of ROTT and IT IS INCREDIBLE. I think it's my favourite Morrissey album and I have every song ever released (or not released). The band impresses me quite a bit here as well. An extremely good album. I expected ALOT and the more I listen, the more I FIND it.

    One Happy Fan - Man of Vision
    Anonymous -- Thursday March 16 2006, @04:42PM (#203877)
  • If "The Smiths" got $5M to reunite, would they promoter expect the entire band or would they settle for Moz/Marr. I'm assuming the latter would be sufficient.
    bored -- Thursday March 16 2006, @04:53PM (#203881)
    (User #8415 Info)
  • More quotes (Score:1, Informative)

    On celibacy: “I only said it twice. The last time was in 1958. The word is a curse - it was me for a while, but then it wasn't me. Everyone has a dry patch now and then.”

    “I'm real. Which is why I've never been on the cover of Rolling Stone. I'm too real.”

    Jeff Saltzman who produced The Killers was Morrissey's first choice of producer for the new album.

    “There are too many people making music.”

    Morrissey said that when writing songs, he starts with the title. “More people see the title than hear the song.”

    On his need for collaborators: “I'm not a musician. I don't want to play an instrument. I want to be naked before the world. Guitars are such a cop out. It's just a way of being very busy all the time, overcoming the stage fright and avoiding looking at the audience.”

    On writing with Johnny Marr: “It was the bare bones of the music first, then the vocal melody then the words. And we would sit side by side doing that.

    “There was a great deal of melancholy to the way he wrote. He wouldn't admit that because he always believed he was happy.

    “I liked cheap British pop, nasty sounds, people who couldn't sing very well making short, aggressive statements which didn't sell.

    “Johnny's favourite artist ever was a group called Pentangle."

    “It was a fruitful time."

    “I didn't feel we should have ended. I felt we should have continued. He wanted to end it. So that was that."

    “There was someone else I'd written songs with. But Johnny was really the first.”

    On reforming The Smiths: “We were offered five million dollars to reform The Smiths for this year's Coachella. Is that high or low? I didn't give it a second thought because money doesn't come into it. I mean really it doesn't.”

    On the New York Dolls: “The best group ever to come out of America and of course the American press ignored them which made me like them even more. American music was atrocious then. Every New York Dolls song should have been a top ten American single.”

    On Bowie: “He gave so much. It was incredible. But it ended. He has made some albums that aren't fantastic. He's one of the few people in pop music who changed the world. Most people do nothing, ever.”

    On when he started writing lyrics: “When I was about six years old. I was obsessed with the Righteosus Brothers. That bit at the end where the vocals were crashing, I would run around the house like a cocker spaniel going insane.”

    On American Idol: “It's just a sign of the times. Everybody knows it's crap. There are certain crap things that people seem to enjoy. I feel sympathy for the contestants, and the whole action of mocking the contestants seems to be part of modern entertainment, but I don't know anyone who enjoys it. People who are celebrated now are only celebrated for being known. They live in a fantasy world, they really do.”

    On the Eurovision Song Contest, which three videos for his new album pastiche: “When I was a child I was amazed by it. There was a voting system at the end that was really exciting. When I was a ten year old I would sit in front of the screen with a notepad. I was fascinated by how the songs were constructed and presented. There were many entries that I loved. They were probably recorded for about a pound and the next day the singers were probably executed.”

    On LA: “I think it's a beautiful place. The weather's nice. The trees are nice. The other things are not nice. In Los Angeles every house was built by Clark Gable for someone. Someone will have died in your bathtub.”

    On being interrogated by the FBI: “In England if you speak out against the government they knight you, and then you shut up.”

    On politics: “I just oppose anything barbaric. That's all. I don't think the deaths of Iraqis is a good thing. Thatcher was such a destructive force. She killed all those boys in Argentina then laughed about it. The only political leaders I can admire are the ones who can solve conflicts without bloodshed. You have to go to Europe to find out
    Anonymous -- Thursday March 16 2006, @05:04PM (#203883)

    At a SXSW event today, Moz expounds on his celibacy (it's over), American Idol (he hates it), Robert Smith (not a fan), and the Coachella festival (he and his former Smiths bandmates turned down $5 million to reform for it).

    Veteran mod rocker Morrissey is nothing if not honest.

    In a lengthy interview chock full of spectacular soundbites at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival today, the former Smiths frontman took on every topic tossed his way with a level of honesty that was engaging, comical, and, at times, brutal.

    He even made some news, saying that the organizers of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival offered he and his former Smiths bandmates $5 million to reform for this year's festival in late April. They declined.

    "I think I was always very honest--brutally honest," Morrissey said in the interview with Rolling Stone's longtime writer David Fricke in a packed conference room at the Austin Convention Center. "Some people thought I was too open. You're not supposed to say those things and sing about those things. But I didn't want to ever be one of the headless pack."

    Moz was speaking about his often emotionally charged song lyrics and sexual themes in his songs. But he then went to display that honesty for all to hear.

    "The word is a curse--because it's just so old," Morrissey said of his much-publicized declaration of celibacy. "[Celibacy] was me for a while, but then it wasn't me. I think everybody goes through ... dry spells."

    Morrissey's new album, Ringleader of the Tormentors, comes out in early April, and he plans a lengthy tour of the UK in support of it. He's playing a live set tonight at the Austin Music Hall.

    He said the album includes some material that is less melancholic that a lot of previous work.

    "I'm seeing more joyful things in life," he said. "I didn't in the past, which maybe you noticed. You can't just present a smiling face of the world the whole time--who needs it."

    But it's not all sunshine on Ringleader, of course. Of his song "Life is a Pig Sty," Moz said, "I think life for many people is a pig sty. We're not supposed to say these things--it's supposed to be rock and roll and beer and madness."

    Ringleader was made in an increasingly difficult climate for honest, meaningful songwriting, Morrissey said.

    "You have to compete with people who aren't doing something meaningful," he said. "If you're a complete imbecile and make dreadful, meaningless music, they'll throw all this money at you. I find it unfair to be honest."

    "The people that are celebrated are actually only celebrated for being known," he said. "They're not celebrated for giving something or for enriching the world, they're just celebrated for being known."

    He praised Johnny Marr, the lead guitarist of The Smiths and his so-songwriting partner during the band's heyday in the mid-80s.

    "He was very melodic and very prolific," he said. "Many people couldn't reproduce what he did. He was very talented. It was very fruitful and it was a fantastic journey and it ended--thankfully, really. I thought we should have continued, but [Marr] wanted it to end, so that was that."

    In one 15-minute span, Morrissey took on David Bowie, Joy Division, and Cure frontman Robert Smith.

    He said Bowie's Ziggy Stardust tour in 1973 was "full of wonderment for me" and that "Bowie was going where nobody else had gone before with the music and the visuals. He was extraordinary."

    "He gave so much--it was incredible--but it ended," he said. "He has made lots of albums since that aren't fantastic."

    "Certain people seem to think I don't like him," he said of Smith. "I'm not crazy about him, but I don't mind him. He cuts a reasonably original figure."

    "I saw Joy Division and they were always incredibly boring," he said. And they're records? "Flat as pancakes."

    Even in handing out lavish praise to American punk pioneers New York Dolls, Morriss
    Anonymous -- Thursday March 16 2006, @05:34PM (#203891)
  • “Certain people seem to think I don't like him. I'm not crazy about him but I don't mind him. He cuts a reasonably original figure which is good enough these days.”

    at last some progress on this front.
    I hope someday that Morrissey covers some Cure songs, like "Charlotte Sometimes" and "A Letter to Elise." and maybe Robert Smith will do the same. I'd like hear Roberts take on "How Soon Is Now".

    someraincoatedlovers -- Thursday March 16 2006, @06:17PM (#203894)
    (User #10290 Info)
  • My new favourite quote for the next 48 hours. It sums up the World of Morrissey quite well, actually.

    For the Love of God, did nobody record a simple audio file, even on their phone? Onegaishimasu!

    king leer -- Friday March 17 2006, @04:03AM (#203971)
    (User #80 Info)
  • Reading all this stuff makes me think that the True to You Q&As are fake... The Moz in this interview is not the same that answered those questions!!
    Anonymous -- Friday March 17 2006, @06:22AM (#204000)
  • a few days ago - I said the righteous brothers were an amazing vocal group and said I thought joy division were boring and a bad pub rock group and I got slated on the message board.

    I got slated for criticising Joy Division - now suddenly Moz says the same thing and all the mindless idiots on this site suddenly "thank him" for speaking out against JD!

    You idiots crack me up.

    I Entered Nothing -- Friday March 17 2006, @10:38AM (#204051)
    (User #15565 Info | check out this site - that HAS to be the real Morrissey!
  • I cannot understand all the people who say that Bowie albums of the last ten years are not worthwhile or "fantastic." I was just listening to hours... and recalling how wonderful it is.
    authorreader -- Friday March 17 2006, @01:42PM (#204093)
    (User #15943 Info |
    Follow your bliss
  • OK, here's my ques. and, hopefully, someone is reading this far down in the postings to answer it: how could Coachella financially justify offering one band $5 million to play? Would they charge a crazy ticket price? Film it and sell it later on DVD?

    My point is that, if you sell 10,000 tickets for $100 a pop, that's 1 mil. So how are you gonna pay a band $5?!

    Oh, and Bowie rules!
    Anonymous -- Friday March 17 2006, @05:47PM (#204128)

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