Morrissey on the Sean Hughes Radio Show

GLR Radio, Nov. 14, 1999

intro and transcription by Gemma Wearing

* photos outside GLR Radio, by Peter Van San

N.B. For those of you that know nothing about Sean Hughes, he's an extremely talented Anglo-Irish poet, novelist, comedian, TV quiz show person and DJ who's been around for about ten years now, and is a devout Morrissey fan. (It's actually through reading about Morrissey in one of Sean's books that I got interested in Morrissey and then became a fan.)

I haven't bothered in putting all of Sean's umms and ahhs etc., but Morrissey's lines are about as accurate as I could get.

Running time: approx 40 min.

Sean: Morrissey is here with us, good day to you sir.
Morrissey: Good day to you, sir.

S: Eh, you're back on form, the gig was fantastic last night...
M: Well, I think it was a.. great night, very enjoyable, great crowd, and er... hopefully three more to come at The Forum.

S: Yeah, why four fairly small gigs, rather than one big one?
M: It was just the offer made to me. And it was a good offer, and I thought the venue's quite nice, so... that was it, really. I mean, where do you play?

S: Well, North London, thanks for that [M chuckles], cos y'know.. no matter how much I love you, if you were down Brixton Academy, it was.. touch and go...
M: Oh, very, very, very dodgy, yes I know...

S: And three.. well, not costume changes, but.. within a sense...
M: Well, as close as I come to costume changes, yeah, and er... every one, very worth seeing, I think... [chuckles]

S: No, you got your, er, I like the West Ham Boys thing.
M: Thank you.

S: I liked the shirt, that was very, er... looked quite expensive...
M: Well, Prada, quite expensive...

S: [semi-incredulous] Prada?!
M: Yes, yes, yes, yes...

S: Prada, Morrissey's wearing Prada...
M: I know, I know...

S: So - now, this has been quite a long tour.
M: It has, it's gone on for about six weeks so far, and we go on 'til... December the 20th.

S: Were you just missing the live vibe?
M: Well I was, and I don't have - I'm not signed at the moment.

S: Yeah, but that's through your choice, it's not where..
M: Well not really, I mean the record company I was on dissolved, so suddenly I was free, and I am free, and er... thank you... and I haven't released anything for the best part of two years.

S: Are you writing though?
M: Yeah, we - we have an album that's ready to be recorded. And we do have some labels who are very interested.

S: Well no, that's what I mean, like, you're not gonna have a problem getting..
M: Well, y'know... it's an ever-changing world, and... things like that.

S: So - you're living in LA now.
M: I live in LA and I have a, I still have a.. Dublin hideaway.

S: Well, Dublin is a hideaway really, y'know...
M: Exactly, exactly. [chuckles]

S: So, erm.. [chuckles] you have no place in London any more?
M: I have no place in London, I've er, chopped every tie.

S: No desire to...?
M: Well, it's a great place, but y'know, sometimes you just have to... move sideways, move on.

S: When you did Hairdresser on Fire last night, there was a slight dig at London, wasn't there...
M: [teasing] Oh, you listen too intently.

S: No, I like it, cos it was quite impassioned.. cos I love the lyric in that anyway...
M: Yes..

S: But that's only a certain type of Londoner, rather than London.
M: Yes, yes, but nice to focus on them for a change...

S: Totally...
M: Dig into them...

S: Give 'em a good kicking, I say.
M: Oh, well!.. Never hold back.

S: With the London shows, were you looking forward to doing that song in particular?
M: Yes, I was... because I changed certain lines, and I just wondered how people would take them, but, y'know, erm, so far, everything - everybody's all smiles.

S: I believe throughout, you are getting that football, kind of anthem....
M: Yeah. [chuckles]

S: Last night... [chants] "Mor-ris-sey, Mor-ris-sey, Mor-ris-seyyy..."
M: It's incredible, I mean incredible throughout Europe... it's incredible that it happens everywhere. But there really always was that slightly footbally crowd... and I don't know why the press begin to write, y'know, "Morrissey's saddo audience" and things like that, I don't know... that never existed.

S: I'm going to see Crystal Palace play QPR today...
M: [teasing] Talking of saddo audiences.

S: Yeah, no totally, but when Palace score I'm just gonna go [chants] "Morrissey, Morrissey, Morrissey"... and see how they...
M: [M chuckles] They'll join in!

S: Are you West Ham though, or not really..?
M: Oh... slightly.

S: Do you not miss the football, with LA?
M: No, not really, no...

S: What do you miss most? There must be something.
M: I miss... gossip, I miss the wit, I miss the exchange of silliness, and people always understanding what you're saying, and, y'know, throwing in these little... Alan Bennett-type references. Which you can't do in LA...

S: Well you can, but people'd just go "What?"
M: Well exactly, so you can't really do it.

S: I, I just can't get to grips with you living in LA, y'know?
M: Me - well, it was an accident and something I never planned to do, but erm... I like it, I like the sun, I like the brightness and I live a very quiet life, it's not really as if I'm part of this great big rock 'n' roll... circus, I'm not - I don't know anybody remotely pop-starry or industry-ish...

S: You don't hang out with Guns 'n' Roses?!
M: I've tried, but they just won't let me in, they won't let me in...

S: Those fools!
M: I know...

S: So, day to day, like, have you got a nice network of friends over there?
M: Mmm... small... they're nice people, they're nice people...

S: Are they ex-pats or Americans?
M: They are... mostly... Americans.

S: So no cricket on a Sunday and stuff like that?
M: Hard to believe, but no.

S: It's frightening... what I want to do now is--
M: [teasing] Yes I know, I know what you want, you want a break now don't you?

S: No, I wanna play 'Meat Is Murder'. But.. now, you more or less made a political statement last night.. which we were talking about earlier on, you said: "Slave trade, holocaust, meat industry." Also, you mentioned the fox-hunting.
M: Yes.

S: So are you keeping abreast of things in England?
M: Yes, I'm trying to, I'm trying to, I mean, I hate to read British newspapers because I really dislike them... so it's quite difficult therefore to keep abreast... but I do try.

S: And the fox-hunting is a big issue for you?
M: Well it's a very interesting issue for me, because here we go again.. the, the belief that Tony Blair has any interest in passing the bill I think is just a joke, it will never happen.

S: Right.
M: And of course the dopey Princes, Charles, William, blahblahblahblah, they enjoy it, it's the right to kill and they must have their right to kill, and eh... it won't go through.

S: Living in LA, the vegetarianism, they probably find that totally extreme, I take it?
M: Well not really, I mean it's changing slightly, but it's not completely, it's not part of the common language, really.

S: So are you living on salads?
M: Yes. And er... I think I look reasonably well.

S: Better than reasonably well...
M: I know people who eat animals and they look absolutely atrocious, so... this old myth of protein in animals... it is a joke.. and as far as I know, eating animals, they're all cancerous and they kill most people.

S: No well I'm vegetarian myself for political reasons...
M: [approvingly] Mmm, yes.

S: I loved the taste of meat when I was a kid, but once I realised what it was...
M: Yes, of course. And how it... becomes what it is...

S: Yeah... but you don't do campaigning on the subject..?
M: I don't get asked to do anything much like that, I don't actually get asked to be involved in most things in pop music, which most of the time is a blessing... but I'm not really part of the, erm, y'know, the little pop society.

S: You didn't get invited to number 10 that time, when all the...
M: I have never been invited to number 10, no... or number 9, or number 11.

S: Who lives in number 11? Is that the, eh...
M: Well.. [chuckles]

S: They put all the dead animals in there, don't they...
M: I think they do. I think they put all the old prime ministers there.

S: Now, you finished the actual gig with Meat is Murder... why'd you finished with it?
M: Um, it's, it's very very important to me, and people occasionally say to me "Are you still vegetarian?" which really annoys me, er, so it's still very very important to me and with all the live export thing on the television recently, the animals being exported to.. Greece and other parts of Europe.. which is the most atrocious thing I've ever seen. The saddest, cruelest thing I've ever seen. I just can't believe it still happens. So therefore, for me to sing 'Meat Is Murder', I mean, if it just means that five people think about it, y'know, I will keep doing it.

S: Well.. a lot of respect for you for doing that..
M: Thank you.

S: But let's play that song now... and we'll sip water.
M: Yes.

S: This is the seminal song from The Smiths, 'Meat Is Murder'.


S: ...Morrissey is in with us. Now, Morrissey, the British press have been diabolical towards you.
M: Yes.

S: Erm, why, d'you think?
M: Well, I don't really know. Um, it started almost ten years ago, and I thought it was gonna be one of those faddy things with the press, but it turned out not to be, it has lasted for almost ten years, and it goes on and on and on, it gets worse and worse and worse...

S: Does it hurt?
M: Um... it hurts the people around me. But I've become quite used to it.

S: But y'know, you can say that, but does it actually hurt, cos it's not nice reading stuff about yourself...
M: No, it's not very nice, erm.. but the thing is if you have an audience who is incredibly dedicated, you also get critics who are very dedicated to pulling you down, and that's the flipside of it. And they also don't go away.. and they are also waiting for your next.. CD, blahblah, so they can say you're absolute crap again.

S: Yeah.
M: But they don't go away.

S: But that must be self-restraint... cos you were the darling of the press, and you always gave good interview, and you gave them the cover so they could sell the magazine...
M: Yes, yes.

S: And was it a situation where you said "No, I don't wanna do the interview", so they went "Right, we're having you"?
M: Yeah. I mean.. there's a story behind every single bad review. And there's a history behind every single embittered journalist. They try to get you, they want you to meet them at the pub, and if you don't meet them at the pub, they spend their lifetime trying to get to you. And also, if they can't have any positive influence over your life, and your music, they try to have a negative one, just so that they'll be quotable, and remembered.

S: You more or less said pop music was dead a long time ago... it's weird actually cos even though those magazines are not important, I think they were influential at one point but they're not any more...
M: Well it's a very very separate world now. It's a very separate world and it doesn't really have anything to do with mainstream pop music, and most British pop journalists... live in a world of their own. And I think most of the magazines are in terrible decline, and people aren't reading them anymore, and people don't need to read them because if you want to find out, about artists and their dates and so forth, you just... consult the internet.

S: Do you use the internet yourself much?
M: No, no.

S: Do you surf?
M: No, I never ever surf, I never surf, I use it just for, y'know, basic letters and printing and blahblahblah, but I've got no curiosity, really, about, y'know.. certain people's websites and things like that.

S: Not even a sneaky one, a weird one...
M: Never even a sneaky one!

S: I've been reading stuff, this probably isn't true, but, like, all of a sudden Mexicans are so behind you...
M: [chuckles] Well, er... it's news to me really. I think I mentioned Mexico to somebody along the line and then suddenly I read that this tour has a Mexican influence.

S: So, that was someone just jumping the gun?
M: Well, yeah, but [laughs] y'know, it's not too bad. I wouldn't worry about it.

S: Also, I was reading, just the one article you did recently, about, erm, you drive around the Mexican areas [M chuckles] of LA.. is that nonsense as well?
M: It's partly true. I mean I'm not there every day...

S: [laughs] Well...
M: ...With a notebook and binoculars, and y'know knocking on people's door, but I do it occasionally, but, y'know, I drive around lots of places [starts to laugh] and, y'know, it's nothing terrible...

S: You just like driving!
M: Exactly! And I can't really explain it, but there I am behind the wheel, blahblahblah...

S: With the new material, which we've yet to hear... cos you wouldn't do any new stuff, is that for a reason...?
M: Yeah, I'd rather wait 'til I have a new label and so forth, because maybe I'd do some new songs, and people would say... not very nice things about them, so... it dampens the situation somewhat.

S: No, that's fair enough...
M: But also, there's many songs that I'm doing now that I've never sang before, or haven't sang for a long time...

S: Yeah.
M: So it's not as if it's the same set as 2 years ago.

S: Actually, the amazing thing last night was even though you did three Smiths songs, there was no big deal made out of them, they fitted in nicely with everything else.
M: Yes, yes, yes, well they're a part of me as much as any other songs, and I don't feel that I should distance them, and say "well they belong to... those people, that time..."

S: You did for a while though.
M: I did for a while because I wanted to become established as a solo person, I mean if I'd gone off in '89 or '90 and gone on tour and sang Smiths songs immediately, people would've just persecuted me.

S: No, I think that's true enough. With the new material, subject matter... where is that at?
M: Well, subject matter, it's - y'know, it's always me, and my views, and erm... I can't explain it beyond that, really. It's just my life.

S: But there's an England you pine for that is no longer in existence.
M: Yes.

S: Is there still a lot of that nostalgia?
M: Not really, I think that's been worked out, y'know... over the past... 20 albums. [chuckles]

S: [chuckles] I'm sure there's another 20 there, you can't just dismiss nostalgia!
M: I... think I hammered that one.

S: Last night, listening to a lot of the lyrics... it's like, having emigrated myself from Ireland myself, I know there isn't a huge cultural difference, y'know, the same influences are knocking about... but I find you can write more about your home town when you leave it, that's why I was asking about the subject matter, are you writing more about England again now?
M: Not really, I mean, I know what you mean, distance, y'know, you have a clearer vision with distance, but no, that's not happening to me.

S: So, just brand new subjects.
M: Umm... yeah I think so, I think so, I'd say so.

S: Are you writing with the band?
M: Yes, yes, with, with Alain and Boz.

S: Are they in LA as well, yeah?
M: They're not, no, they're still here, in.... you know where. [chuckles]

S: So you go "Get on the plane to LA"...
M: Yes, that's exactly how it happened, that's exactly what I say.

S: So are you writing most days as well, yeah?
M: Yes, yes. Night and day. [chuckles]

S: You said years ago you'd never write a novel, is that still the case?
M: Well, I just feel that, erm, I think there's time, I don't, I don't want to leave pop music and I still want to make some more albums... and I know I've been around a reasonably long time now and people are always saying to me "well why don't you do something else?"... and then of course you do do something else and people say "why don't you do someth- why don't you make an album?".... so I think that there will be time to do other things.

S: Now... obviously the lyrics are always pretty spot-on... but do you find that there are certain subject matters where you might belittle it by putting it in a 3-minute lyric?
M: No.

S: You just think you can always...
M: I think so. I think there's a way to say everything, really.

S: Within 3 minutes?
M: Ah... 2 and a half.

S: Right!... [chuckles] God, I've been wasting my time writing novels for the last 2 years, should've just written a song...
M: I was just about to tell you that. [both laugh]

S: That's fair enough... I'll send you a copy...
M: Thank you...

S: Let's have another song... this song was certainly my highlight last night, eh, 'Break Up The Family'. Erm, this certainly isn't a criticism, but...
M: Please criticise me. I've got, I've got leather skin.

S: Haven't we all... With songs like 'Boy Racer'... emotionally, you don't have to... it's like an anthem... and when you do 'Break Up The Family' you have to put more into it...
M: Yeah, but.. they're very different songs, and they each have their place... with 'Boy Racer' being the 2nd song of the night, if 'Break Up The Family' was the second song of the night... I think there needs to be some kind of, er.. initial charge.

S: Right.
M: [chuckles, mimics Sean's deep tone] Riiiight.

S: I'm just getting my head round it....
M: [still mimicking] Riiiight. [both laugh]

S: So you wanna get the adrenalin going, do some fast ones at the start?
M: Well yeah, yeah... is that so complicated?

S: No, I'm thinking it's a bit too simple!
M: Well, the best things are.

S: So, the gig is start off with a few fast ones, then hit them with the...
M: I think so, just creep round behind them and hit them with the... the soft ones. [chuckles]

S: Well, here's one of the soft ones... eh, soft rock from Morrissey... 'Break Up The Family'.


S: With the first solo album, Viva Hate, everyone was so surprised because it came out so quickly, and was so brilliant as well. Were these songs you'd been storing?
M: Not really, no. They just all happened on the spur of the moment... lots of them happened in the studio. So it was very quick.

S: And erm.. at the time, obviously, The Smiths were so big, there was a lot of pressure.. were you feeling that pressure, or were you just going "no, I'm doing my own thing"?
M: I didn't really have time to think about the pressure, I didn't want to waste time, I wanted to go in as soon as possible... and, er... Johnny and I had signed to EMI--

S: Who's Johnny?
M: [chuckles, tuts] Now now, now now...

S: Sorry. Little joke.
M: Well Johnny and I had signed to EMI, and that deal had to be fulfilled. So as soon as The Smiths split, EMI pounced on me and said "Don't think you're free, you have to fulfill this Morrissey/Marr contract". Which... I was quite happy to do.

S: But how did that work out when it was a Morrissey/Marr contract?
M: Well, there you go.

S: [pause] We can't talk about that?
M: Well, we can, but y'know, it's a bit frustrating.

S: Sure, and, like, also, it is annoying for you, cos that was such a long time ago, it is disrespectful to your solo career...
M: Well, it's just that I've been solo for 12 years, and The Smiths were 5 years, and eh... but people seem to always want to talk about The Smiths.


S: Well, you can understand, but I think--
M: I can understand, but I don't understand why people don't ever say to me "Why do you write the songs that you do, what's your motivation?", and so forth, and...

S: I did, earlier on...
M: [affectionately] Yes I know, I know. I know.

S: So, did you watch the boxing match last night? Did you stay up?
M: No, I didn't, I'm afraid.

S: Is this, eh...
M: I'm on the, I'm on the periphery. I keep one eye open.

S: As did Lennox Lewis last night, I believe.. [both chuckle] So if you were in America, you wouldn't've went: "it's Morrissey on the phone, I wanna be in the front row..."
M: Oh, yes, definitely, I am that flash. No, I don't do things like that. I say: "hello, I'm Morrissey, could I possibly be on the back row?"

S: "I want the, the seat by the door."
M: Yes. Please.

S: So, you're about to tour America as well... and the thing is, as a solo artist, you were always much bigger in America.
M: Yes, yes...

S: So is that one of the reasons you went to LA?
M: Yes, it was, because it was a very welcoming place for me, and the audience was so big, and the situation in England was so bad for me, I was being called and accused of everything and... then of course this terrible Smiths trial thing happened, and I got lots of bad publicity from this horrible judge. So, erm, I just thought, "well, what's the point? what really is the point?"

S: So at that point, you just said "Right, I can't take this, I'm gonna go..."
M: I didn't say "I can't take it", but I just felt that maybe life would be easier elsewhere, really [chuckles]. I mean when you have journalists prying, and going through your dustbin and saying terrible things about your parents, your parents' background. You just think, well... what's the point?

S: Have you got any of that in America?
M: No, no. I mean, the American press actually completely disregard me. The only thing I have in America, the only thing I've ever had is a large, large audience. Otherwise, the American media don't take me on at all.

S: It's quite a strange thing to do, is do a very very big tour when you're not flogging a record... was that just because you missed the live....
M: Yeah... it is that, it's also because I, I felt I could do it... and er... I felt that I didn't need the press to do it, and I didn't need to release anything to do it, and I know that the audience I have are very strong and they're waiting, and we can do it without anybody's help.

S: But surely as a writer and a musician, you want to get new audiences as well.
M: Yes. But... I don't know whether that's possible really, because I never get any kind of promotion, ever. I mean, I'm doing four nights at the Forum, over these nights, and my name isn't even outside the venue! There's no posters in London, as ever, to advertise the gig.

S: But that's cos they're sold out anyway...
M: Well yeah, but it always seems to be the fate I have, I never get publicity.

S: Actually we've got 3 pairs of tickets for tonight, d'you wanna set a question, cos it'll be an even bigger thrill for the winners then...
M: Right... can I have a minute to think about it?

S: Certainly can. Can we put the clock on, please? [M chuckles] Now, erm, when you talk about new audiences... Gary, who works here.. he lives in Norwich, so he hadn't heard any music until he moved to London...
M: [laughs] What, none whatsoever? He'd never even heard a brass band?

S: The Higsons, I think he'd heard of... but his friends have lent him the Smiths and the Morrissey solo stuff and now he's a fan, so there is, y'know... if you're given that oxygen of publicity, there is, there is new audiences...
M: Well that's exactly as you've described it, is exactly how it always is, it's always word of mouth, nothing else. I mean, I've never had a record company to promote me. Ever. I mean... do you remember a time when the world was sand-blasted with... Morrissey.

S: Just my bedroom, really...
M: Doesn't really count...

S: A lot of people used to come into my bedroom!
M: I can well imagine.

S: If only... [both chuckle] So, erm.... you've had a minute...
M: Oh, yes, but, y'know, I was consumed in... questions and answers...

S: That's true enough.
M: This isn't fair...

S: Well, we could say... for people listening... what's the second song you played?
M: No, because they'll think we've already mentioned that.

S: Yeah, but it's one of those, were they really listening...
M: You mean what was the second song I played last night?

S: Yeah.
M: No, let's say what was the... third song.

S: OK. So, er, what is the third song on the setlist? And the setlist stays the same... cos you'll cheat tonight, won't you?
M: Oh yes.

S: So, [gives GLR phone no.] What's the third song... Gary was there and Angela was there last night, so they'll remember... or they're in *big* trouble, they're getting sacked.

...Now I wanna talk about this purely just to get it out of the way, but, after the Madness thing and the Union Jack. Which rightly it's been pointed out that every other band has jumped on it and it's been called Britpop, after that...
M: Exactly, yes, yes.

S: But you were totally tortured over that.
M: Yes, yes. But once again, initially it was the same old journalists who were torturing me anyway, so finally, they saw that they had a cause to do it... and they would've jumped on anything at the time, regardless of what I'd done. But immediately Britpop started and every single, y'know... artist connected with Britpop was, y'know, Union Jack-ing, and nobody was ever-- Union Jack-ing, that sounds awful... and nobody was castigated.

S: I'm having that word for the next novel. "I was out Union Jack-ing last night... [M laughs] With a couple of friends, we were bored..." See the thing I don't understand is... because I think it was nonsense, saying you're a racist...
M: Yes, yes.

S: And I think there is a certain amount of dignity in remaining silent. But I couldn't understand at the same time you just saying "Look, I'm not..." [trails off]
M: You can't do it with the British music press, because even if they're nice to you they never print what you say. And even if they like you, they don't print what you say. So if there's a confrontation, they will never print what you say. I mean, at the time... David Bowie did an interview with the NME, and I think it was Steven Wells he did the interview with... and Bowie actually came to me with the NME, he was on the cover, he'd done the interview, and he was saying to me: "what's this? Steven Wells says, 'how could you go on tour with this racist Morrissey?'" and Bowie was saying to me that Steven Wells never said that.. or the journalist, I'm sure it was Steven Wells...

S: Yeah.
M: But y'know there's this pretence all the time of aggression and being on top and confrontation, and er, once again, as I said before, the press live in a world of their own.

S: Do you read your own press, though...
M: No.

S: ...Or d'you try to avoid it...
M: I just don't read it any more, there's absolutely no point. And it has nothing to do with the reality of how I live, and it has nothing to do with the reality of what I'd like to do with music.

S: So, you're saying what you'd like to do with music now. With the new album, you're saying it's new subjects, less of the nostalgia.
M: Yes.

S: We were just talking during one of the records, like for instance with Bowie, how - I don't necessarily think that it has to equate where someone gets older, and their music becomes mellower...
M: No, I don't think it does. I think that we, we're meant to believe that, and we're meant to believe that as people marry and have children they sing about their children... even Bowie sang about his wedding... er, so, no, I don't understand it, but... it really depends how you live... and how edgy your life is anyway.

S: But have you got much anger in you?
M: Yes, always. Enormously.

S: Really?
M: Oh yes! Always.

S: And do you take that out on yourself? Is there self-hatred involved?
M: Uh... [chuckles] self-mutilation... it's not self-hatred, but, y'know... it helps to be your severest critic, really. And every time you make a record you see the flaws, and you realise that you have to go back and do something to rectify them...

S: But less so about the actual critic for your music, but for your life, cos.. you're coming from a working-class background...
M: Yes.

S: And then all of a sudden you have... the wealth of the world at your feet... there is a certain guilt that comes with that, surely?
M: Yeah, there is working-class guilt, and erm... yeah, I do still have that. And I am very nervous about money, it's like Kirk Douglas saying that he always expects his money to be taken away from him, even now, because he was born in extreme poverty... y'know, when you're working-class, you're... drilled with the belief that there are... governing classes elsewhere who know better than you, and who know what's best for you. And er... I fight with that.

S: So is that one of the reasons why you're continuing with the court case?
M: Well I'm continuing with the court case because it was very unjust, it was severely unjust to me, and the Judge John Weeks was appalling, very injudicious and very unintelligent and very, very rude... but the whole judicial system in England is under incredible review now, people are criticising it, people are sick to death of these old judges, who don't know what they're talking about, effectively destroying people's lives... and it really has to come to an end because it's the old England. And there is no governing body in England whereby you can complain about judges. Because the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irving, who professes to take on complaints about judges - they don't do anything of the kind. They just collect your complaints and give them to the judge and protect the judge.

S: But you could just save yourself bother, all this angst, - and you're going to have to go through it again now - by just saying "Look, take this money..."
M: The appeal system in England is no good because you simply go before three... white male individuals who are the same age and the same background of the judge who you're fighting against... so there's absolutely no point with the appeal system, it's absolutely ludicrous. So you have to find a barrister who is prepared to fight a judge, and that's very very difficult because they all... they're all a member of the same club, they all have this code of conduct and silence where they protect each other against... the peasants like me, who nonetheless dish out the money all the time. It's an astonishing political system that really is so old and has to end.

S: Yeah, they should make them just box each other...
M: Well... that would be much more interesting, but, unfortunately, what they're really doing is just wreaking havoc on people's lives, and I think of this Judge John Weeks, and every single day of his life he's passing judgement over other people and I think it's tragic.

S: You know this guy's name, he's obviously gnawing at the back of your head... why don't you just say "Let's leave it, I'm gonna live in LA", and revenge.. have your own revenge by... living healthily?
M: Because this judge is a menace... and he's a social menace, and he's still going on. And he's wreaking havoc everywhere with other people, and I don't see why these people, this judge should be protected. Because he's very very dangerous to society.

S: Well, er, obviously I don't know as much about it, but you're definitely, er, he's, he's got you... he's making you angry...
M: Well...

S: Is there a song about him on the next album?
M: Well I, I'd never please him that much, because, y'know judges, they want to be remembered. And they will be outrageous so that we'll all remember them forever. No, I'd never... I'd never give him that much satisfaction.

S: Well, I think that's the proper way to do it... [mentions competition winners] We'll have a song, and then we'll chat on about less... [M chuckles] er, court case-y type stuff... cos I'm not up to it as much as you are yourself... now this is one of your finest solo achievements. Now, it's off Vauxhall And I, any idea which one I'm gonna pick?
M: Eh.. yes, I know exactly what you're gonna pick.

S: Which one?
M: Erm.. 'Used To Be A Sweet Boy'.

S: Nope. 'Hold On To Your Friends'.


S: 'Hold On To Your Friends'. Morrissey, what's your favourite song of your own?
M: Um... it's a song... from... the album Your Arsenal, and it's called 'We'll Let You Know'.

S: Oh yeah, yeah I like that... but why is that a particular favourite?
M: I don't know. It seems to sum everything up somehow... I don't know.

S: And yet you're not doing that on this tour.
M: No, no, no.

S: See, you're punishing yourself again there!
M: Well... well yes, I know. I just- I've done it so many times in the past.

S: Is that a lovely freedom actually, cos when you do a tour usually, you are promoting an album, so that has to become the main...
M: I've never applied that logic personally. Er, I, I find that none of the usual pop logics apply to me!... and that's quite nice. But when you have, when you build up a catalogue of songs, it's quite nice to be able to, to be very choosy.

S: So was that fun at the start of this tour, getting a big list in front of you and going "that one"...
M: Yeah. It's very much fun, yeah.

S: And, totally your decision, or were the boys going "we'd like to rock out with such-and-such.."
M: No, [chuckles] they don't say that! They don't say that, no.

S: It must be a bit strange for them... cos, people will come away from your gig last night and go "Was there a band on with him?"
M: Well, it's, it's an incredibly happy unit, everybody's very happy... and once again people never ask about the musicians, and people never want to interview them, which mystifies me. But... it's a very very happy unit.

S: But the sad thing is that even if people did interview them they'd be going "So what's Morrissey like?"
M: [laughs] Yeah, I think they know that actually.

S: Yeah, so they avoid all that... now, when you get back to LA... talk us through a day.
M: Talk you through a day, erm, well, you, you might nod off, I think.

S: No, I'm interested... what time d'you get up at?
M: I, well... I don't know whether I should really tell you the truth, really...

S: Well, lie if you want!
M: Oh, all right, I'll lie.

S: If there's a sparkle in your eye I'll know you're telling the truth.
M: I usually wake very early, but I usually do... go back to bed.

S: Bit of Sky TV?
M: Not really, not really. [laughs] No, there's enough channels in LA, but, yeah, I usually do crawl back into bed and...

S: Have a little nap?
M: Have a little nap, y'know... these things do happen as you.. at my time of life [laughs].

S: I have it in the afternoons. I don't get up and go "oh, time for a nap"...
M: Yeah. You just find yourself, y'know in a chair, falling asleep.

S: Yeah, but that's usually cos Richard And Judy's on... [M laughs] They tend to make me nod off...
M: They tend to do that.

S: Surely you miss stuff like Supermarket Sweep?
M: I've never seen Supermarket Sweep, to be honest.

S: You haven't lived, Morrissey!
M: I have, I really really have... I mean, y'know, you talk about missing, missing, missing... I mean romantically, yes. I miss many things. But realistically, I really don't.

S: Did you watch much TV when you were living here?
M: [laughs] Yes, yes I did, yes.

S: Do you not miss the kind of quaint cosiness of some of the rubbish programmes?
M: No, certainly not, no... I mean, strangely, before I left, I became interested in Emmerdale. [laughs]

S: Well, they did... sex it all up, for a bit, didn't they?
M: Yeah, but, eh... I don't miss Emmerdale, really.

S: So are you ringing up saying "Can you send over some Emmerdale for me?"...
M: Well... [laughs]

S: I can't believe you got into Emmerdale!...
M: I did, for a while. I thought, this is definitely the best of British, er, so-called soaps... and I just thought Eastenders was just so ridiculous and when Tiffany died, I just thought it was the worst television ever, and I just thought, never ever again can I watch this programme.

S: Did you book the flight over to LA the second Tiffany died...
M: As, as her eyes closed.. I was on to British Airways...

S: You were leaving the house, turning off the television with Frank Butcher going [does impression] "I don't believe it!"... Morrissey's gone - "I'm outta here".
M: That was the final impulse.

S: You haven't got into the soaps in LA though, have you...?
M: No. They're really atrocious. I mean, everybody's dressed from head to foot in Gucci, and I... but that's the difference between American soaps, people like to see people in extreme glamour. And in England, the soaps - everybody wants to see people in total drudgery, and, y'know... old cardigans.

S: Grant had a nice leather jacket at some point, didn't he?
M: Is that good enough?

S: I think that's glam as far as Eastenders is concerned...
M: Right, right...

S: Erm... why did you not play Manchester on this tour?
M: Well, we looked at a few venues, but it was all, y'know, the kind of Christopher Biggins... Brigade were in, and the pantomime-y stuff... [chuckles] and I also hate the Manchester Evening News.

S: Have they been cruel to you?
M: They've been absolutely obnoxious to me. But, y'know, they only like the local pop people who are as thick as two short planks. And if you're a pop person and you're intelligent they absolutely resent you [chuckles].

S: That book came out about Manchester, eh... very good book actually, just looking at Manchester...
M: Which one?

S: Dave Haslam...
M: Oh, Dave Haslam... I haven't seen it, but I remember him as a really good writer.

S: Will you pick it up at the airport?
M: No, because he's probably said something horrible about me.

S: He hasn't! [M laughs] You're getting a little paranoid here...
M: Ohhh, not without reason, not without reason!

S: Relax... I just wish you'd rise above that, cos you're better than these people...
M: I, I think I do rise above it, I mean, I'm still here, and er... I haven't got a hump or anything.

S: Yeah, that's me I'm afraid... [M laughs] Bad posture... So, for activities in LA... you've talked us through this get up, go to bed...
M: Yeah, which isn't really much of a talk through.

S: No.
M: But I was just hoping you'd be happy with that and you wouldn't ask me any more questions. It's just a very serene, peaceful day, y'know, it really is films and television and books and walks and things like that. I'm not a very exciting person. And it's certainly nothing to do with er.. rock 'n' roll and, y'know.. that whole spirit.

S: And is there any love in your life at the moment?
M: Me. ...And that's enough.

S: There's enough love for yourself there...
M: Yeah... just think of all the money I save going out to restaurants and things like that.

S: Yeah, well that's er... a good way of looking at it.
M: It's very economical.

S: Rather than going to a fancy restaurant on your own, you could bring a friend to Little Chef... and it would cost the same...
M: Not really. I've got very overweight friends!... [chuckles]

S: You're in very trim condition, but you're saying you don't work out at all...
M: I don't work out, I don't do anything at all.

S: You're just in that car. Driving around.
M: Yes. Absolutely, yes. Stooping over the wheel.

S: Unleaded, I hope.
M: Oh, come- everything about me is unleaded... [both laugh]

S: How many cars have you got?
M: I've got.. one here and one there. Well, I've got two here and one there.

S: You could become a member of the Labour Party, cos they all have their two cars...
M: Yeah, they do, don't they... but unfortunately they have no policies, so.. [laughs]

S: So... you're always gonna love England, even if you can't live here...
M: Well I love the romantic spirit of it.

S: But as you said that died years ago...
M: Yeah, it did, but I still love it, y'know, I love the memory of it [laughs]

S: So before you started this tour, when was the last time you were back in England?
M: Um... er, this summer, the beginning of the summer.

S: And that was just to hook up with friends and the like...
M: Yeah, yeah.

S: When you're in London, for these four days, is there anything you wanna do in London or is it... cooped up in the hotel?
M: It really is cooped up in the hotel, to be honest. Because I have to conserve as much energy as possible and I know it will sound ridiculous to you but... I have to avoid the dreaded, y'know, sniffles and flu bugs and so forth, so... I mean the worst thing that can ever happen is that you, you get a fluey buggy. So... I'm a bit, I'm a bit {?}.

S: Erm.. so.. can I borrow your two cars, while you're here, cos you're not using them?...
M: You can have them.

S: Super duper! Erm... now it's been an absolute pleasure, we're coming to the end now... I just wanna know, cos GLR, tiny little station [M chuckles], I just wanna know why did you agree to come on?
M: Well, because of you.

S: That's too sweet, now...
M: Oh I am, I'm too sweet.

S: See,... I love you, so you can always have that love from a distance... if you're only gonna be loving yourself...
M: Well, I.. I feel it.

S: With the European dates, are they more.. feverish for Morrissey than here now?
M: Well, they've, they've all been crazy, but.. Nottingham, Leeds and Liverpool were absolutely incredibly crazy. I mean, they're, they're just beyond everything really.

S: D'you get a real buzz still from doing it?
M: I do, because I think the audience has taken so much flak from the press and I just think well, y'know... it's all very funny and we're all still happy and we can still survive without anybody, so it's a great victory.

S: Have you been looking into the audiences, can you see them?
M: Yes. Oh yeah, I examine everybody. I mean, y'know, not literally, but....

S: And what's the weirdest thing that's been thrown at you recently?
M: Um... well, things get thrown to me but not really at me...

S: Yep, my mistake.
M: ...It's very very expressive, and it's all incredibly loving. But thankfully it's very, er, loud also. [laughs] Nothing like loud love.

S: Nothing like loud love...! [both laugh more] Have you been watching porno movies in LA?
M: Mmnn. [tuts] No.

S: No, no, we won't go into that. So... for the next three nights... cos you probably won't be around again for a while then, will you?
M: I hope not. [chuckles]

S: This is the one big splurge of live stuff.
M: Yes, yes.

S: Cos this goes on for a while now...
M: Yes, it goes on 'til nearly the end of December.

S: So you're gonna be staying in hotel rooms and keeping your agenda, no cold bugs or anything...
M: Yeah.

S: Before you go on, is there anything you do?
M: Absolutely not, no. Absolutely not.

S: D'you get nervous beforehand?
M: No, I don't, because if you get nervous you'll ruin everything. You can't get nervous also because it affects other people. And it's the old thing about keeping one's head while those around you are... not necessarily losing theirs, but, y'know...

S: Are you saying the boys get a bit nervous beforehand?
M: Well, twitchy...

S: And do you try and calm them down?
M: Not really, but, erm...

S: "Lads, here's a Toblerone!"
M: Well... I've tried that method. [laughs]

S: Are you going "c'mon lads, let's do it"? Is is like a team thing?
M: Oh, definitely. I mean, it, it is one, it's all a very spirited thing.

S: It was nice as well last night, you didn't do that pop star thing, letting the band come on first and play a couple of chords...
M: That happens tonight.

S: Oh! [laughs] It's a fantastic start as well, with the light, the light show beforehand and everything...
M: Oh, it's not bad. It's not bad. [chuckles]

S: Well, final question, Morrissey, er.. album of the year? Have you been listening?
M: Yeah, and there isn't one.

S: There isn't...
M: There just isn't one.

S: Music's dead.
M: Erm... it's in a terrible state.

S: Well, it's been an absolute pleasure--
M: And it's great to leave things on that note, isn't it?

S: Terrible - actually that's our news headline. "Welcome to GLR, it's 12 o'clock, music is dead." [both laugh] Morrissey, it's a pleasure, I'll see you again tonight...
M: Thank you.

S: Here's Jason with the news.


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