Morrissey — KROQ interview (part 4/4)

air date: July 3, 1997
Interview by Jed The Fish
for KROQ 106.7, Los Angeles, CA

listen here
(part 4 - 4:45)

JED: We've got Morrissey here this afternoon, it's a real treat to have you sitting next to me here.
MORRISSEY: Thank you.

J: Why is Oscar Wilde so special to you?
M: Well, he was very special to me when I was younger because I think he was a great writer and his life was extraordinary and really, probably the most prolific person in the history of literature. And as time goes by, he becomes more interesting to people. There's a play on here at the moment, there's a play on in New York, and there are two films being made in England which look as if they'll be very big films. So he's becoming more important as time goes by. He's the most quoted, perhaps even more so than Shakespeare really, because although people know Shakespeare quotes they don't really know what they mean. But an extraordinary life — one of the few people, I suppose Dickens's was the same, whose life is perhaps more interesting than the great things that he wrote.

J: Is sex important to you?
M: It's not one of my strong points, actually. You might be surprised to hear that. I like watching other people. No, that isn't true. Why do you ask?

J: Because you were reputed to be celibate for so long.
M: Oh yes, I was, wasn't I? What's your next question? (laughs)

J: Are you still celibate?
M: Umm, only on Christmas and bank holidays.

* Richard Blade (KROQ DJ) adds: Monday is a bank holiday in England.
J: Monday is a bank holiday (laughs).

J: So, everywhere I go people ask me — like I know, "Jed, are the Smiths getting back together?" And I know it's a question that you've been asked ad nauseam...
M: Well, it's the question I came here today to ask you. (laughs)

J: Well, I think by the time you're 50, you'll put The Smiths Anthology 1, 2, and 3 together, have a 60 million dollar deal for a 12-hour video...
M: Well, me being 50 is not really that far away (laughs). I've got no idea. I have no crystal ball. Who knows what tomorrow might bring, to quote... nobody.

J: Well, I guess it would take you and Johnny Marr wanting to do it. That would be the key thing. Have you been in touch with him?
M: No, not at all, no.

J: Because he was asked that question 3 or 4 years ago, and he had pretty much the same answer as you. That he was open to it, that he hadn't talked to you, and that who knows, it could happen, it may happen, it may not happen, so that's where it is right now...
M: Well, the Smiths broke up 10 years ago, and it's interesting to me that there is a legacy that's lived on. And people still do talk about the Smiths, and they seem to have been an influence to lots of new British groups. And that's very interesting because I suppose we didn't really think that would happen. But it has. So it's very interesting, and it's nice to be patient with time and see what happens.

J: In 1986 at the Universal Amphitheater...
M: I was there. (laughs)

J: I know, I saw you! And you guys were playing "The Queen Is Dead", I think that was the opening song of the set, and Johnny's wailing away with a drumstick on his guitar, I happened to catch that drumstick...
M: He'd like it back. (laughs)

J: Unfortunately, I didn't think to write "Johnny Marr - The Smiths/Universal Amphitheater"...
M: Don't tell me you sold it to Bleecker Bob's. (laughs)

J: What I'm saying is, I know I have it, but I don't know which one it is because I play the drums myself and I have odd sticks around, and I'm thinking it's in an odd pile of 30 sticks right now...
M: Oh dear... Right...

J: Well thank you very much for coming to KROQ today.
M: It's been my pleasure, thank you.

J: Very good to have you here, the Maladjusted album comes out August 12th, 11 mostly dark songs on it, produced by Steve Lillywhite, many, many bright spots. "Roy's Keen", I like... let's play a new one before you go.
M: Yes, please play "Roy's Keen", it's a great song.

J: Like a window-washer guy?
M: Yeah, it's just a bit of English gibberish, but very pleasant on the air, I think.

"Roy's Keen", "The Queen Is Dead" played

end part 4

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