"Autobiography" by Morrissey released (Oct 17, 2013 - UK and Europe)

Autobiography by Morrissey is out now in the UK and Europe on Penguin Classics.

Reviews:



 
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Anonymous

Guest
I just wish he'd written it in 1995 (pre Southpaw) so we wouldn't have had 20 years of bitterness and (largely) crap music to contend with.
Does anyone know if Alain Whyte gets much of a mention? He wrote more songs for Morrissey than anybody else ...

Page 390

"Departed guitarist Alain had curdled somewhat prior to YATQ when a legal letter arrived demanding that Alain's face appear on the cover artwork of the new - and every future - Morrissey album. Well, no......His lawyers also demanded that Alain be given the right to publish his own book detailing his life with Morrissey."
 

Johnny Barleycorn

Well-Known Member
Page fifty something, and so far, so good. Some nice turns of phrase, some amusing imagery, witty, if not, so far, particularly charming.

The odd American spelling is getting on my wick though, and should a Penguin Classic really have spelling mistakes? Needed a better editor, but the source material is rather good.
 

johnnymunro

Junior Member
Re: Miniature first impression of the autobiography (one spoiler)

Edit: A e-version of the book obviously allows you to search for names etc. It's quite amazing who's not mentioned, or only in passing. But such is the nature of editing...

Anyone in particular who you would expect to get mentioned who doesn't?
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
Wow. Geoff Travis really comes in for a battering, doesn't he? And Rogan wasn't exaggerating about Morrissey's jealousy/insane possessiveness when it came to Johnny's session work. One passage describing Moz finding Bryan Ferry in the studio is written in the manner of a man having walked in on an adulterous wife. "Monogamous me, polygamous he" -

"As if jealously guarding a can of sardines, Billy Bunter and his playmates are rumbled and the Smiths battleship springs its first mutinous leak, with John Porter as sly Captain Bligh, and Johnny as the always-innocent young cabin boy, hoping old Moby Dick will use his tune [...] Mary, Mungo and Midge were caught at it. I could almost hear John Porter as the monster in the middle cannily edging Johnny on with a "Well, you know you don't need this Morrissey silliness...", and a crisis of spirits kicks in. [...] When the Bryan Ferry single finally emerges, Johnny is there in the video looking lost, minus only a pair of slaves' sandals....Johnny, I hardly knew ye".

He is obsessed with the idea that slimy forces adopted a "divide and conquer" approach to separate he & Johnny, and he refuses point-blank to let the court case go. He's grinding one axe after another.
 
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King Leer

Leering since '97
Vini Reilly, Dean Butterworth, Peter Hogg (joke).

Speaking of Reilly, I thought the book might have a sentence or two sorting how who is the real author of the music for the disputed Viva Hate tracks but Moz just mentions Street dropped off some tapes and that's about it.
 

Johnny Barleycorn

Well-Known Member
Wow. Geoff Travis really comes in for a battering, doesn't he? And Rogan wasn't exaggerating about Morrissey's jealousy/insane possessiveness when it came to Johnny's session work. One passage describing Moz finding Bryan Ferry in the studio is written in the manner of a man having walked in on an adulterous wife. "Monogamous me, polygamous he" -

"As if jealously guarding a can of sardines, Billy Bunter and his playmates are rumbled and the Smiths battleship springs its first mutinous leak, with John Porter as sly Captain Bligh, and Johnny as the always-innocent young cabin boy, hoping old Moby Dick will use his tune [...] Mary, Mungo and Midge were caught at it. I could almost hear John Porter as the monster in the middle cannily edging Johnny on with a "Well, you know you don't need this Morrissey silliness...", and a crisis of spirits kicks in. [...] When the Bryan Ferry single finally emerges, Johnny is there in the video looking lost, minus only a pair of slaves' sandals....Johnny, I hardly knew ye".

He is obsessed with the idea that slimy forces adopted a "divide and conquer" approach to separate he & Johnny, and he refuses point-blank to let the court case go. He's grinding one axe after another.

It is starting to get a bit "poor me" now, which is disappointing after such a terrific start. The court case section might be hard work if this continues. He seems to take no personal responsibility for any failure whatever, preferring to blame the person standing nearest to him at the time.

By the time we get to the High Court there's an increasing chance a fair minded person might think Judge Weeks had Morrissey's personality pretty much spot on.
 

Orson Swells

Well-Known Member
I'm not that interested in his private life or the court case, I must say, but some of the smaller morsels do fascinate me in the book - like when he admits he was wrong about the Rolling Stones, for instance, or that he once met Marc Bolan. Oddly, there is no real discussion of the songs themselves - no insight into what he was writing about or where the inspiration came from. Perhaps that's a different book. But he does confirm Kirsty MacColl sings the backing vocal on I'd Love To, which I'd always thought she must. I also assume that the Moz-hating NME editor he alludes to is Steve Sutherland - but I'm not too sure of the dates he was at the helm.
 

King Leer

Leering since '97
And after all the Jake Owen/Jake Walters talk over the years (with some buffoons actually insisting they were two different people) we finally learn the simple truth -- Owen is is middle name. And for anybody who ever doubted their relationship...
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
His evasiveness concerning the Alain Whyte fiasco is frustrating.

"Having rescued Alain from the mad-death of his mind-crushing job at Camden Council, he would now cross continents rather than say a hello to me". p.378
"My friendship with Alain had reached it's natural term long ago", etc, but then says that Alain "closed the door on himself" and warned Moz that someone was "planning [his] downfall"? It doesn't make sense.

This outburst was fairly revealing as well, I thought. He writes to Johnny in 1992 in the hope of reconciliation, but has convinced himself that JM thinks -

"Morrissey is a bad smell in the attic. Morrissey is a death-machine. Morrissey is evil and should be stuffed. But as Johnny spouts, he looks all wrong. His clothes are crooked and the eyes are in torment. What had happened since the serenity of our drive to Saddleworth Moor, when the coffin-lid shifted and the old spark rose like a small miracle?" - p.266.
 

Sidnettle

Death to Racists
all i know is that steve sutherland's melody maker reviews of kill uncle and 0898 are the most caustic i have read. oh yeah
 

Pokey

Member
Figured Australia still wouldn't have caught up to the rest of the world, can't find a single bookshop in Melbourne that is stocking the book. Looks like it's time to order in!
 

Chip

Member
And after all the Jake Owen/Jake Walters talk over the years (with some buffoons actually insisting they were two different people) we finally learn the simple truth -- Owen is is middle name. And for anybody who ever doubted their relationship...

It wasn't just one buffoon. It seemed to be the prevailing thought. Any article that mentioned Jake Walters/Owens was filled with comments by people correcting them that they were different. I remember some article about a previously unseen Morrissey photo, I think it was the Your Arsenal one, that was taken by Jake Walters the author mentioned that he had been Morrissey's personal assistant--people in the comments section kept responding Jake Owen was his assistant (and most likely his lover) and Jake Walters was a photographer not to be confused with him.

I guess this settles it though.

Was he really an ex-boxer though? That's what I am wondering.
 

Uncleskinny

It's all good
Subscriber
Amy Lame is on Channel 4 news after 7:30pm tonight talking about the book, after a piece on it. Gotta love Channel 4 news. Best by a mile.

P.
 

CrystalGeezer

My secret's my enzyme.
"Morrissey is a bad smell in the attic. Morrissey is a death-machine. Morrissey is evil and should be stuffed. But as Johnny spouts, he looks all wrong. His clothes are crooked and the eyes are in torment. What had happened since the serenity of our drive to Saddleworth Moor, when the coffin-lid shifted and the old spark rose like a small miracle?" - p.266.

Woah. :eek:
 

King Leer

Leering since '97
Re: Article: "Autobiography" by Morrissey released (Oct 17, 2013 - UK and Europe)

Was it the prevailing opinion? My memory is foggy.
I do remember thinking it ridiculous that some believed that Two Jakes (pun intended) entered and exited Morrissey's life during the exact same period. And I guess they thought Jake Owen was taking the amateur pics (e.g. Now My Heart is Full cover, or mirror shots where they appear together) while Walters was taking the "professional" shots?

There is an anecdote in the autobiog where Jake flattens a mugger in L.A., so I guess he could handle himself.

It wasn't just one buffoon. It seemed to be the prevailing thought. Any article that mentioned Jake Walters/Owens was filled with comments by people correcting them that they were different. I remember some article about a previously unseen Morrissey photo, I think it was the Your Arsenal one, that was taken by Jake Walters the author mentioned that he had been Morrissey's personal assistant--people in the comments section kept responding Jake Owen was his assistant (and most likely his lover) and Jake Walters was a photographer not to be confused with him.

I guess this settles it though.

Was he really an ex-boxer though? That's what I am wondering.

- - - Updated - - -

Was it the prevailing opinion? My memory is foggy.
I do remember thinking it ridiculous that some believed that Two Jakes (pun intended) entered and exited Morrissey's life during the exact same period. And I guess they thought Jake Owen was taking the amateur pics (e.g. Now My Heart is Full cover, or mirror shots where they appear together) while Walters was taking the "professional" shots?

There is an anecdote in the autobiog where Jake flattens a mugger in L.A., so I guess he could handle himself.

It wasn't just one buffoon. It seemed to be the prevailing thought. Any article that mentioned Jake Walters/Owens was filled with comments by people correcting them that they were different. I remember some article about a previously unseen Morrissey photo, I think it was the Your Arsenal one, that was taken by Jake Walters the author mentioned that he had been Morrissey's personal assistant--people in the comments section kept responding Jake Owen was his assistant (and most likely his lover) and Jake Walters was a photographer not to be confused with him.

I guess this settles it though.

Was he really an ex-boxer though? That's what I am wondering.
 

Uncleskinny

It's all good
Subscriber
Have we had the credits yet?

"Acknowledgements

to Damon Anacreonte, for encouragement
to Julia Riley, for being everywhere
to Helen Conford, a steady scrutineer
to Tina Dehghani, always level

whatever is sung is the case"

P.
 
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