Morrissey — KROQ interview (part 4/4)

air date: July 6, 1997
Interview by Richard Blade
for KROQ 106.7, Los Angeles, CA

Text transcribed by Melinda Hsu
Audio digitized by
David Tseng

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"Smoking Popes"
BLADE: We’re listening to an interview I did with Morrissey on Thursday after he talked live with Jed the Fish. And before the interview I should tell you that the record company said, Whatever you do, don’t talk about the Smiths, and don’t talk about like older music! But as you can hear from the interview, Morrissey was more than happy to talk about the Smiths. In fact, he was the one who brought up the idea of the Smiths. Then I thought, you know, as it’s going to be an all-request Fourth of July weekend at KROQ, wouldn’t it be cool if Morrissey chose some music himself? So, after I finished the interview I thought I would lead into getting Morrissey to choose some songs by asking him about the kind of music he was currently listening to:

[cut to pre-recorded interview]

M: I’m listening to the Smoking Popes’ new album, which I don’t think has been released yet. It’s called Destination Failure, and it’s excellent. And a group from England called Travis. Have you heard of them? (B: Not Travis, no.) Yeah, and ummm... probably nobody else, I don’t think.

B: Now with the Smoking Popes we played "Need You Around", and everybody said, "Sounds like Morrissey!"
M: Yes, they said that too in England, yes they did. And I bought the album, and I just thought it was extraordinary — the most lovable thing I’d heard for years. I think he has a great voice. Are they big here?

B: That last single was, that "Need You Around" single. But since then they haven’t been played that much. (M: Yeah, yeah) Are there any other similarities that you find? Or is it just that one single?
M: Oh, no! I love the entire album, and it’s unusual for me to buy a cd and to like every single track. I mean if I buy a cd and I like three tracks, I consider it to be a good cd. But in the boring old days of vinyl, if I bought an album and I didn’t like the whole thing, I’d consider it to be failure. But I feel a bit more generous towards cds, so I thought that it was excellent.

["Need You Around" (1995) by the Smoking Popes]

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"The Clash"
B: You’re listening to the all-request Fourth of July Flashback weekend. Morrissey was in the studio, and I said, What do you want to hear? And he gave me a list of songs that I have in my hand. I said, Go ahead, you introduce them. I’ll just roll the DAT tape, and you talk about them. And he said, "No, I can’t do that, Richard. You’ve got to ask me questions about them." So I said, "Okay. The first one you want up is the Clash, right?"

[cut to pre-recorded interview]

M: It’s a great song.

B: What do you like about it?
M: I think it’s nice and British and very urban and quite violent and so forth, very west London.

["London Calling" (1979) by the Clash]

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"Siouxsie And
The Banshees"
B: It’s the all-request flashback weekend. Morrissey has taken over the radio station, and here’s his request for Siouxsie.

[cut to pre-recorded interview]

M: Yes, another great single, a hit in England, certainly not here, I don’t think. But they were one of the great groups of the late 70s, early 80s and very underrated, I think. Siouxsie and the Banshees were excellent.

["Spellbound" (1981) by Siouxsie and the Banshees]

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"Iggy And
The Stooges"
[commercial break]

B: I’m Richard Blade, and Morrissey has taken over the radio station. When I interviewed him a few days ago I said you can choose anything you want to hear for this all-request flashback weekend. And this one was for Iggy and the Stooges, "Search and Destroy".

[cut to pre-recorded interview]

M: Yes, which is a very L.A. song to me, don’t you think? And did you remember EMF’s version a few years ago? A very, very good version, I thought. A great song, "Search and Destroy".

["Search and Destroy" (1973) by Iggy and the Stooges]

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"The Jam"
B: It’s all Morrissey’s requests at 106.7 KROQ. This one is for one of those formative punk bands, the Jam.

cut to pre-recorded interview]

M: Umm, another great British group — there’s been so many. Once again, a group that I don’t think ever made it in America, but... timeless record.

["A Town Called Malice" (1982) by the Jam]

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B: We’ve let Morrissey choose the songs. His next group, Magazine.

[cut to pre-recorded interview]

M: Magazine are an overlooked Manchester group. In assessments of Manchester, they never mention Magazine. I don’t know why. An excellent group, very strong, and this was the first single in England that really had attention. Great lyrics.

["About The Weather" (1981) by Magazine]

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"Roxy Music"
B: Morrissey has taken over KROQ: his next request for Roxy Music.

[cut to pre-recorded interview]

M: This was the third single, "Street Life", and it was the first track on the third album, Stranded. And I think it reached #10 in England. Excellent unique sound, a very, very unique group in their early years. They certainly slipped under water a bit when they became famous, but this is a very unique sound.

["Street Life" (1973) by Roxy Music]

listen here
B: Morrissey has chosen the songs on DAT. Now, after choosing some of his favorite songs from the 70s and 80s, I said, Morrissey, now please put the spotlight on yourself if you could. I would like you to choose your favorite Smiths song. And he turned to me, and he said, "Shoplifters of the World Unite". And I said, "Why?"

[cut to pre-recorded interview]

M: Oh, very, very witty single and a great moment for the Smiths in England. I think it was probably the best days of our career. It was just a very funny time and a time of very sparky rebellion, and this song, more than any, I think, exemplifies that. I like it.

[Shoplifters of the World Unite]

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"Alma Matters"
B: You are listening to Morrissey’s choices for his favorite songs, and now we know his all-time favorite Smiths song, "Shoplifters of the World Unite". And I said, "Well okay, Morrissey, how about your solo work? You’ve been with the Smiths for five years, you’ve been solo for ten, which song do you want to play?" And he said, "I think I want to play 'Alma Matters'." The new single.

[cut to pre-recorded interview]

M: Yes, it’s the new single, and I think it’s great. By all means make your own mind up. Alma matters. She does!

[Alma Matters]

  B: That’s Morrissey’s choice for his favorite Morrissey song, the brand new single from his upcoming cd Maladjusted. That’s "Alma Matters". And thank you so much for listening to this little Morrissey interview that we did a few days ago. Just a recap if you’re just tuning in, Morrissey will be coming in concert. The Los Angeles date: October the 13th. And to quote Morrissey, there is no chance that he will cancel unless he‘s dead. And hopefully that’s not going to happen, so we’re really looking forward to seeing Morrissey in concert. Of course, KROQ will being bringing that to you. Thanks a lot for being part of this all-request Fourth of July flashback weekend. Had a lot of fun playing your requests over the weekend, playing Morrissey’s requests just now and talking with the guy. He is, as always, a gentleman and a very, very intelligent musician. A lot of people say he’s morose, but uh, he’s not exactly the most forthcoming person, but you can ask him just about anything. A couple of things I wish I mentioned to him was about his obsession with the tv show Friends. Forgot to ask him. Next time I will...


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