My print version is on its way. Should have it in a week or so. But in the meantime I am going to start reading it as an eBook on my tablet.
This is an ongoing post, updated regularly until I finish the book.
Let the reading begin...
Good morning. And indeed it is. After reading Moz's book in bed last night, I slept like a baby. Didn't want to put it down. But I knew I had a busy day up ahead.
This is going to sound cliche, but the book is a page turner. It really is. From page one I was fully engrossed in the text. Morrissey is a wonderful story teller. Nannie, Jackie, and all his family members read like interesting characters in a novel. Moz's imagery is affective and colorful. Bleak, quiet, dirty, desperate Manchester... no wonder Moz found friendship and amusement in small vinyl discs. There was nothing else to do. The city died after dark. Two channels on television. No other electronics to be found. There was music and books. And that's it. His childhood was so different from my own. But because of his ability to describe his experiences so effectively, I am able to empathize with and visualize his early years.
Moz eloquently and thoroughly reveals why he became a singer and not a guitarist or a pianist. He first fell in love with the words on the page and not the music via Record Song Book... "an expensive magazine that prints the lyrics of famous or bubbling songs of the month, and I practice with invented melodies on the songs that I haven't heard. It is only the singing voice, I decide, that tells us how things became how they are..."
Can't wait to read more tonight. I want to know what became of Mary once she moved to America. And Nannie. Did she settle nicely into her new home? Poor black cat. We can only hope that Minnie fed it. Alas Morrissey tells us it is highly unlikely.
Another great morning. Great read last night. Pages 50-1oo reveal a great deal about Moz's early sexual development. If the book ended here, I'd without any doubt conclude that he is in fact gay (not bi). But there are nearly 400 more pages to ingest. So we shall see.
Hmm. So, Morrissey announces on TTY : "Unfortunately, I am not homosexual. In technical fact, I am humasexual. I am attracted to humans. But, of course... not many."
Well this really muddies the waters, doesn't it? What's a girl to think now?
Woke up this morning with this beautiful passage still etched in my mind...
"The written word is an attempt at completeness when there is no one impatiently awaiting you in a dimly lit bedroom – awaiting your tales of the day, as the healing hands of someone who knew turn to you and touch you, and you lose yourself so completely in another that you are momentarily delivered from yourself. Whispering across the pillow comes a kind voice that might tell you how to get out of certain difficulties, from someone who might mercifully detach you from your complications. When there is no matching of lives, and we live on a strict diet of the self, the most intimate bond can be with the words that we write."
Last night I learned what became of Mary. Married, kids, frogs galore. But what happened between the years that she arrived in the US and got married? Why did she move there in the first place?
Jon Daley. Tragedy. So sad. Lots of loss and death in Moz's young life. Could this explain why he has walls erected? Perhaps.
"My own name is by now synonymous with the word ‘miserable’ in the press, so Johnny putters with ‘misery’ and playfully arrives at ‘misery mozzery’, which truncates to Moz, and I am classified ever after. I had originally decided to use only my surname because I couldn’t think of anyone else in music that had done so – although, of course, many had been known by just one name, but it hadn’t been their surname. Only classical composers were known by just their surnames, and this suited my mudlark temperament quite nicely."
I hope he doesn't mind being called Moz. That is how I refer to him 90% of the time.
Still waiting for my print book to arrive. By the time it gets here, I'll probably be finished with the eBook. I'm almost halfway finished now.
Yay! My book was in my PO Box this morning. Should I read the print version or keep reading it on my tablet? Hmm... I'll probably do both. I like being able to highlight text then copy it and email it to myself. Keeps me from having to type out my favorite passages. But I do love holding a paperback book. And... it is much easier to flip through the pages.
I'm halfway through the book. The Smiths dissolve with a whisper...
"At the close of the Strangeways sessions there took place a glut of meetings with accountants and lawyers at the Wool Hall Studio, and in the context of such, the Smiths breathed a last exhausted sigh, and folded. It happened as quickly and as unemotionally as this sentence took to describe it. No high-octane squabbles, no screams at midnight, no flying furniture, no one dragged head first into the snake-pit, no animated yelps from unused outbuildings (these would, of course, come eight years later, eight years too late, at the Smiths High Court trial). In 1987, at Roland Gardens, Johnny and I stood – he smiling, I not master but servant. Sing me to sleep|I’m tired, and I|I want to go to bed."
Welcome to America! Love Moz's humorous descriptions of his experiences in the US while touring during is early Solo years. Here are a couple examples...
"The Smiths and REM had come to light at roughly the same time, and, as a Sire Records executive had remarked, ‘It’s just a question of which of the two will explode in America first.’ As the Smiths choked to death on a chip, the REM rocket accelerated. Michael’s voice is a very cornfed John Denver sound, and in fact his real name is John."
"I am introduced to ‘the most famous football player in America – who loves you.’
‘Does he have a name?’ I ask, but suddenly this jockstrap hunk of studhorse has me in a crushed manful hug, into which I disappear like a pressed flower. Where, I wonder, am I? ‘Oh, I think Morrissey summed it all up perfectly when he said ...’ and at this point prime-time television’s Denis Leary bursts into mock tears – which is of course the punchline, and the loud audience laughter indicates understanding."
Love Moz's description of his time with Jake. He obviously was very much in love and happy as well.
This had me in stitches. I guess it all depends on who his biting wit is directed at...
"Siouxsie chooses Timi Yuro’s Interlude, and she pulls up at Hook End Manor recording studio in a black Mercedes. She is carrying her own microphone and she wants to get on with it minus any familiar chit-chat. In the event, she is a seasoned professional of exact run-throughs and topnotch precision. There is only one crack in the alabaster as she listens to her final take and softly asks me, ‘Are you sure it’s OK?’ It is the solitary moment when the Soviet Statue breathes. One can suddenly imagine real blood in Siouxsie’s veins – and yet, perhaps not."
I'm about to enter the courtroom...
Trudging slowly through the court case pages. Just when I think I will be able to come up for air... oh no!
Love the last hundred pages of the book. Moz is witty and playful. Almost happy, it seems. His description of his relationship with Tina Dehghani shows her to be loyal, considerate, non-demanding, intelligent, and good company. Passionate? Doesn't say. Obviously he can and does love both men AND women. Maybe just a few more men--or many--than women. Is it ever 50/50? Perhaps he desires men more in a physical and emotional, even intellectual sense. But he can clearly also relate to women and establish meaningful connections with them.
Moz is not a misogynist, as some have suggest. What man does not utter insensitive things every once in a while? Women are not innocent either. The street runs both ways. True misogyny is fueled by dogma and anger. Moz has no script and no rage against femaleness.
Some of Moz's comments can/may be interpreted as anti-Semitic. But I don't believe Moz harbors any real hate for Jews--or any group for that matter. He just doesn't filter what he says a great deal of the time. This is not always a bad thing. At least he is not vulgar--now that would be criminal.
I finished the book this afternoon. Enjoyed it very much. Well done Moz. Thanks for sharing your story with us.