Anyone ever figure out why Moz put that genus symbol on the cover?

M

Mr. Man

Guest
On the cover of the original The Last of the Famous International Playboys the letter M has a 'genus' symbol on it. Anyone know why?
 

Skylarker

Active Member
On the cover of the original The Last of the Famous International Playboys the letter M has a 'genus' symbol on it. Anyone know why?
It has to do with Jim Henson
 

joe frady

Vile Refusenik
í'd always pegged it as a double overlaid tilde, but eitherway, it all added to the "rather Gothique" whole, as per Jo Slee.

.
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

Well-Known Member
I always thought of it as a "paragraph" (§) symbol. Since the song is one of those dealing with "the romance of crime" I always assumed that the sign was a nod to this topic. I could be completely wrong though.
Screenshot_20200425-190006_Chrome.jpg
 
M

Mr. Man

Guest
It has to do with Jim Henson
I don't get your joke.

í'd always pegged it as a double overlaid tilde, but eitherway, it all added to the "rather Gothique" whole, as per Jo Slee.

.
I looked that up and to my eye it is definently not that. Also, the Morrissey I know always does things for a reason when it comes to design amd I don't figure something so specific would be just for a Gothic touch.

I always thought of it as a "paragraph" (§) symbol. Since the song is one of those dealing with "the romance of crime" I always assumed that the sign was a nod to this topic. I could be completely wrong though.
View attachment 56104
Thanks for posting the image! Very kind of you. I looked up a paragraph symbol and it is called a 'pilcrow'. It does not look like this symbol at all. But I did find that the symbol on the cover is actually called a 'section' sign, not a 'genus' synbol as I had originally called it. Here's the wiki: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_sign One of the descriptions given for the sign is a 'double S'. I found this interesting for the fact that the name Morrissey has double S's in it. Maybe it was his own inside joke referencing that his name has two S's in it not one as it is sometimes misspelled by those who are oblivious or just don't care. Or maybe he just thought it looked cool. Lol. I hate not knowing. These are the things that kill me. I wish I could ask him about it over tea.
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

Well-Known Member
Thanks for posting the image! Very kind of you. I looked up a paragraph symbol and it is called a 'pilcrow'. It does not look like this symbol at all. But I did find that the symbol on the cover is actually called a 'section' sign, not a 'genus' synbol as I had originally called it. Here's the wiki: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_sign One of the descriptions given for the sign is a 'double S'. I found this interesting for the fact that the name Morrissey has double S's in it. Maybe it was his own inside joke referencing that his name has two S's in it not one as it is sometimes misspelled by those who are oblivious or just don't care. Or maybe he just thought it looked cool. Lol. I hate not knowing. These are the things that kill me. I wish I could ask him about it over tea.

Uhm, yeah, I think this was a (translation) mistake on my side. :) English is not my first language and the "section sign" is called a "paragraph mark" in my first language. So I was referring to the right thing using the wrong term because I was too lazy to look it up.

Anyway, like I said, I believe that the topic of the lyrics being crime has something to do with the symbol being used on the cover because it is always used in legal code. But I like your theory about the 'double S' as well.
 

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
Jo Slee was very descriptive in Peepholism - the fact it isn't mentioned there is odd or such an in joke we'll never know.
The first few singles all had an almost William Morris (arts & crafts movement) art style to them - Playboys more so with the butterflies.
Definitely one of his oddest bits of iconography.
Regards,
FWD.
 

Mozmar

Well-Known Member
§ section symbol, or section sign, used when referencing individually numbered sections of a document, frequently so when citing sections of legal code. (Too early for any Moz reference to any court case though).
Alternatively used as paragraph mark in parts of Europe.
Use Alt + 21 in Word.
(Edit: Hadn't read all posts, but notice Mr. Man beat me to it. Credit where due)
 
Last edited:
M

Mr. Man

Guest
Uhm, yeah, I think this was a (translation) mistake on my side. :) English is not my first language and the "section sign" is called a "paragraph mark" in my first language. So I was referring to the right thing using the wrong term because I was too lazy to look it up.

Anyway, like I said, I believe that the topic of the lyrics being crime has something to do with the symbol being used on the cover because it is always used in legal code. But I like your theory about the 'double S' as well.
Thanks for your reply! I love that you have actually thought about this before and came up with a theory on it's meaning. Now that I further understand what you were saying I think you are spot on here. I can totally see Moz reading a "Who's who" type book about real life criminals and coming across that symbol in a legal document. Great theory! I feel elated to have talked to you about this and gotten some closure on it. I've been wondering for 30 years. Thank you so much! I'm gonna go with it until I hear from him about it. lol.
 
M

Mr. Man

Guest
Uhm, yeah, I think this was a (translation) mistake on my side. :) English is not my first language and the "section sign" is called a "paragraph mark" in my first language. So I was referring to the right thing using the wrong term because I was too lazy to look it up.

Anyway, like I said, I believe that the topic of the lyrics being crime has something to do with the symbol being used on the cover because it is always used in legal code. But I like your theory about the 'double S' as well.
Upon further reading of the Wiki for the Section symbol it says: "The section sign is itself sometimes a symbol of the justice system, in much the same way as the Rod of Asclepius is used to represent medicine. The Austrian Ministry of Justice used the symbol in its logo for a time."

Now it makes perfect sense as to why he used this symbol. It represents the justice system and the song is about criminals and crime. Which is even more specific than only being used in 'legal code'. Excellent. Case closed. At least for me anyway. :)
 

marred

Member
The SS is Stephen Street's initials. That's how I saw it. I thought I saw it on Interesting Drug also but I could be wrong.
 
Last edited:

bhops

Last of the famous international screw ups.
Jo Slee was very descriptive in Peepholism - the fact it isn't mentioned there is odd or such an in joke we'll never know.
The first few singles all had an almost William Morris (arts & crafts movement) art style to them - Playboys more so with the butterflies.
Definitely one of his oddest bits of iconography.
Regards,
FWD.
The pattern on that single reminded me of that God awful sweater I saw Morrissey wearing in that photo Danton Supple posted a few days back. Yuck.
 
M

Mr. Man

Guest
The SS is Stephen Street's initials. That's how I saw it. I thought I saw it on Interesting Drug also but I could be wrong.
I doubt Moz would put the initials of a guy that he wouldn't even allow on stage with him onto his OWN NAME on the cover.
 

marred

Member
I doubt Moz would put the initials of a guy that he wouldn't even allow on stage with him onto his OWN NAME on the cover.
I don't see how not wanting Street on stage would equate with his initials not appearing on a sleeve he co wrote. Maybe Morrissey's post Smiths stage appearance was more about performing live with musicians he's worked with before and showing the audience that he was here to stay by presenting everyone that was in The Smiths apart from Johnny Marr. As in we don't need Marr.

If he was really against showing Street as part of the gang he never would've put him in the Playboys music video.
 
Top Bottom