"Autobiography" by Morrissey – review by Stuart Maconie - The Observer

Autobiography by Morrissey – review by Stuart Maconie - The Observer
Brilliant one minute, petulant the next, Morrissey's autobiography is as maddening as the man himself

Excerpt:

Occasionally, he is just plain wrong, as when he states that there was an NME meeting in which the "unnameable" editor – it was Danny Kelly – declared that the paper should "get Morrissey". I was the deputy editor at the time and part of a small but vocal faction who fought Moz's corner and I can tell you, dear reader, that no such meeting ever took place. Misinformed, mischievous or malevolent? Who can say?
 
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Comments

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Anonymous

Guest
This guy is a plum:

"I was the deputy editor at the time and part of a small but vocal faction who fought Moz's corner"

Simple question - If there were no meeting or meetings were Morrissey was discussed, focused on, under attack and targeted (which is exactly what Morrisey is suggesting and Maconie is saying didn't happen) Then why/when did he form part of a "small faction..fighting his (Morrissey's) corner".
The "get Morrissey" quote is irrelevant but that was clearly the sentiment.
So in the same paragraph as the denial Maconie essentially admits that Morrissey was targeted in meetings in a negative way by the majority of the NME, staff including the editor.

This part is pathetic and it tells the tale "Misinformed, mischievous or malevolent? Who can say?" - not you that's for sure.

If you want to know the truth look at the past articles and the history its all there. The coverage at the time was an attack (nothing less) and it continues.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
This guy is a plum:

"I was the deputy editor at the time and part of a small but vocal faction who fought Moz's corner"

Simple question - If there were no meeting or meetings were Morrissey was discussed, focused on, under attack and targeted (which is exactly what Morrisey is suggesting and Maconie is saying didn't happen) Then why/when did he form part of a "small faction..fighting his (Morrissey's) corner".
The "get Morrissey" quote is irrelevant but that was clearly the sentiment.
So in the same paragraph as the denial Maconie essentially admits that Morrissey was targeted in meetings in a negative way by the majority of the NME, staff including the editor.

This part is pathetic and it tells the tale "Misinformed, mischievous or malevolent? Who can say?" - not you that's for sure.

If you want to know the truth look at the past articles and the history its all there. The coverage at the time was an attack (nothing less) and it continues.
What Morrissey claims in the book is that, when Danny Kelly became NME editor, a few years prior to Finsbury Park, he held a meeting and effectively said to his staff "bring me the head of Morrissey" because, in Morrissey's words, he had a "plan...to dislodge me as an NME staple". What Maconie is denying is that there was ever any such meeting or any such plan. Not that Morrissey was never discussed in any meetings at the NME or that they somehow managed to create the whole "Flying the flag" issue without communicating with one another.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
It also doesn't ring very true that Kelly wanted to end the NME's support for Morrissey, given that he repeatedly put him on the cover even without having an interview to print, including giving him the honour of cover star for the NME's 40th birthday issue.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I don't understand your point
We agree there were meetings where Morrissey was discussed and targeted
We know this because Maconie was "part of a small faction..fighting his (Morrissey's) corner".
We also know that simply put, Kelly does not like Morrissey
and we know that those NME articles were hatchet jobs - because its not racist to hold a union flag. That's the end of the story. The truth is in plain sight.
Maconie is arguing (laughably) that Morrissey created the whole "Flying the flag" issue himself by flirting so outrageously with fascism and that the NME just reported it. That is a joke. The story was invented
I dare say a new editor would be alarmed at the papers singular association with one artist (The New Morrissey Express) it isn't a good business model and Morrissey's version of events seems much more believable. Maconie is a well known sour turd.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
"It also doesn't ring very true that Kelly wanted to end the NME's support for Morrissey, given that he repeatedly put him on the cover even without having an interview to print, including giving him the honour of cover star for the NME's 40th birthday issue. "

Morrissey on the cover increased sales. A necessary evil when they had a weak issue. They'd asked for interviews and offer him awards and when Morrissey refused they'd bitch and bate him and dare him to explain himself - exclusively in the NME of course. When he again refused they went in for the kill.
 

jdbabz

Member
On Stuart Maconie's twitter profile he says 'Courteous, attentive, reliable' so he is the anti-Moz. There has to be more to this, maybe he was snubbed in some way. Morrissey hasn't mentioned him in 'autobiography' I wonder what Maconie's beef is.
 

Mozza220559

Surmontil 50
80% of Maconie's career has been based around waxing lyrical about Morrissey and the whole Manchester indie scene, he's like a fucking broken record.

He's not moaning about Moz when he's getting paid 4 grand for a vox pop on these BBC4 Manc/Hacienda/Indie music programmes
 

Johnny Barleycorn

Well-Known Member
I don't understand your point
We agree there were meetings where Morrissey was discussed and targeted? We know this because Maconie was "part of a small faction..fighting his (Morrissey's) corner".
That doesn't necessarily follow. By the early 90s, post Bengali In Platforms, post Kill Uncle, and coming off the back of The National Front Disco, Morrissey was seen as a spent force by much of the very, very left-wing music press, and guilty of the famous thought crime of "flirting with right-wing imagery". He hardly helped himself though, did he, because he did do just that. He left himself open to attack, and was then astonished it happened. As with so much political through his career he proved himself to be a dilettante. Not for the last time.

What is interesting about Madstock is how Madness themselves got off scot free. Those nasty hooligans which offended that delicate flower Andrew Collins - a "man" who would make Milhouse Van Houten look like Arnold Schwarzeneggar - so deeply were not Morrissey fans, they were there to see Madness.

It is not unlikely that some in the music press still liked him and fought his corner in editorial meetings. That does not mean the others were out to destroy his career. Some quite probably were, the repulsive Steven Wells made great capital out of it from memory, because the far left are the scum of the earth, but that doesn't mean it was a concerted "official" effort. They could have damaged him far more by relegating him to the inside edge of page thirteen.

We also know that simply put, Kelly does not like Morrissey
and we know that those NME articles were hatchet jobs - because its not racist to hold a union flag. That's the end of the story. The truth is in plain sight.
Post-Thatcher, post the NF and others you could barely get through a week without some nutcase lefty claiming the Union flag and/or the St. George's Cross was a racist symbol. Billy Bragg virtually made a career out of it. It certainly wasn't the music. The 90s saw the ratcheting up of the sect of cultural Marxism which has so successfully dominated the political agenda here for so long. Within five years we had Cool Britannia and the flag waving of the Spice Girls and Oasis, but as that was under the warmonger Blair suddenly the NME lost its high moral position, and wrapped itself in "the butcher's apron" as keenly as any.
 
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A

Anonymous

Guest
I don't understand your point
We agree there were meetings where Morrissey was discussed and targeted
We know this because Maconie was "part of a small faction..fighting his (Morrissey's) corner".
We also know that simply put, Kelly does not like Morrissey
and we know that those NME articles were hatchet jobs - because its not racist to hold a union flag. That's the end of the story. The truth is in plain sight.
Maconie is arguing (laughably) that Morrissey created the whole "Flying the flag" issue himself by flirting so outrageously with fascism and that the NME just reported it. That is a joke. The story was invented
I dare say a new editor would be alarmed at the papers singular association with one artist (The New Morrissey Express) it isn't a good business model and Morrissey's version of events seems much more believable. Maconie is a well known sour turd.
Whether Morrissey is a racist or not is beside the point. Maconie doesn't allege that in his review. You asked what you said was a "simple question" - how can he deny that there were meetings about Morrissey at the NME and then go on to describe a meeting about Morrissey at the NME. Simple answer: he doesn't, he denies that a specific meeting that Morrissey alleges to have taken place ever did.

You're right that it is not *necessarily* racist to hold a Union Flag. However, many people were sincerely alarmed by Morrissey's performance at Madstock, not *simply* because he held a Union Flag, but because he appeared to them to be performing a slightly camp sort of National Front tribute pantomime, for which he was unwilling to offer an explanation.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Again what is your point?:

You are denying a meeting took place where Danny Kelly (editor of the NME) issued an instruction to "get" Morrissey. Yet we all know:
Danny Kelly doesn't like Morrissey
Danny Kelly was the editor of the NME
Maconie apparently represented a "small but vocal faction who fought Moz's corner" within the NME
The NME produced several articles clearly designed to "get Morrissey" accusing him of fascism simply because he waved a flag.

You say Morrissey half asked for it - How? by voicing concerns about immigration when asked? or by daring to use skinhead imagery? (gasp)
By leaving yourself open to attack (by a fool) it doesn't men you welcome attack, it just means you are intelligent and articulate and you have an opinion (how dare he). Politically Morrissey is and remains streets ahead of the likes of Billy Bragg.
You admit that "Some quite probably were........out to destroy his career" yet you fail to notice that one of those at the time was Danny Kelly. When you do admit that point we will be in complete agreement.
 

Cornflakes

"A bit iffy" ★★☆☆☆ - AV Club
Post-Thatcher, post the NF and others you could barely get through a week without some nutcase lefty claiming the Union flag and/or the St. George's Cross was a racist symbol. Billy Bragg virtually made a career out of it.
Are we talking about this Billy Bragg, Alf?


Reason no-one calls him a racist is that it would be absurd. Whatever else might be said, Morrissey has never really gone out of his way to ensure that he could never be misunderstood as a racist.
 

Johnny Barleycorn

Well-Known Member
Are we talking about this Billy Bragg, Alf?


Reason no-one calls him a racist is that it would be absurd. Whatever else might be said, Morrissey has never really gone out of his way to ensure that he could never be misunderstood as a racist.
Lord Bragg of Dorsetshire, the fucking hypocrite? Yeah, that's him, Che.
 

Uncleskinny

It's all good
Subscriber
Again what is your point?:

You are denying a meeting took place where Danny Kelly (editor of the NME) issued an instruction to "get" Morrissey. Yet we all know:
Danny Kelly doesn't like Morrissey
Utter bullshit. I sat next to Danny on the panel at the ICA Smiths event and he couldn't have been more effusive and generous, both on stage and off. You don't know what you're talking about, and you're making stuff up.

P.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
And Morrissey went on to allow the very same journalists to interview when they moved on to work on other publications.
 
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Sidney P

Guest
Emergency meeting to "Get" Morrissey by journalist Andrew Collins

Did Maconie read the book? He states wrongly that Jake and Morrissey discussed having a child. It was clearly explained that it was him and his girlfriend.

Andrew Collins was an nme journalist with Maconie and he states.
"I never said the Morrissey witch-hunt issue was real journalism, Jon. I said it was "real" journalism, ie. closer to journalism than the shit we usually did. I was at Madstock and the crowd were pretty dodgy, some of them - fat, middle-aged skins who looked like they hadn't come out of their North London pub since Madness's heyday. Whether Moz is/was a racist or not was less important than the fact that he was flirting with far right imagery - like a cultural tourist - and not going on record about his reasons, or his real feelings. He could have stopped that cover story with one statement. He chose to remain enigmatic and distant, compounding his error. There was an artificial excitement in the office over those two days (we dropped Kylie from the cover for Moz you know!) At first, as features editor, I refused to get involved, but I was ordered by my boss into the big emergency staff meeting, and once the decision was made, it was up to the senior staff (me, Danny Kelly and Stuart Maconie) to get the copy done, along with an excellent piece by Dele Fadele who is black and could therefore offer a perspective none of us NME white boys could. (Dele was furious about Moz's actions and needed no coercion to write.) All I did was compile Morrissey's faux-racist quotes from every interview he'd ever done, and collate the lyrics. My own personal opinion never appeared, but I was part of the staff and stood by the issue. It asked questions of an increasingly remote but still hugely influential artist who refused to answer them. There are very few issues of NME from that period that anybody
remembers let alone still talks about. We did our job.* Then Stuart and I left and "reclaimed" the Union Jack for the Select British issue." http://www.angelfire.com/super/sotcaabits/forums/nme05.html

pathetic, talentless, power mad journalists.
 
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Sharmim

Guest
And Morrissey went on to allow the very same journalists to interview when they moved on to work on other publications.
Because they are not important. Refusing them would be saying they are.
All journalist are lying scum.
The Nme isn't and never was worth any value and The Guardian is full of middle class public school boys who foolishly think they mattere. That paper is obsessed with Morrissey, they have a new derogative article every day. They claim to hate him but constantly talk about him. Free publicity.
Personally, better to be hated at scum than liked.
 

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