Book: "Save Us Morrissey" - due Christmas by Jared Morris & Brian Clymer (October 14, 2020)




Regards,
FWD.

Further, via the author:
"Hey gang. I was asked to provide some more info.

The book is a chronological comprehensive collection of essays re: every non-album recordings + all live bsides and alt versions Morrissey has released. A biographical telling of Morrissey, band members, cowriters and producers thru 478 sources, music theory, analytical review and commentary. Unlike list books, each essay is a "deep dive". every entry gets between 2-18 pages. It's told in a conversational AP style and includes information about live performances, other artists cover versions, reissues, record store day releases etc. It's also not negative! I love Morrissey and his music so there's not any of the snarkiness you find in most writings about Morrissey and his work. It also explores some of the press coverage in recent years which, with my broadcasting career, I feel I have a unique take on.

600 pages? It's cause it goes in depth on every song and recording covered. I didn't intend to write so much, but it's also illustrated to an extent.

Qualifications? It's my fourth book, I have a degree in Communcation, I've been a radio talk show host for 15 years, I've been a radio rock DJ for five years. I've written for newspapers, magazines, radio and TV. I'm also highly trained in music theory and audio production and have produced numerous albums for musicians in my area. And I've been playing music for 28 years at various clubs and venues in the Northeast. I also have 22 albums that are currently actively in print. There's also an art to it that I think makes it more compelling.

I wrote it because I wanted to further explore the very rare tracks of Morrissey and his co-writers. I started writing in during Covid quarantine to keep from going crazy. It was Alain Whyte's stay-at-homes sessions that inspired it.

If you "hard pass" on it, that's fine, Nobody has to buy it. But, there's no reason to be a dick about it. Just move along. Thanks - JMX

Edit: the cover star is named Joe Elmer, 1943. I don't think that's the finished cover art."



Update:
The final cover art:

finfished.jpg


Further details and a sample chapter:
 
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BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
I love how when you look at this book on Amazon UK, one of the "related titles" is called Grandpa Mudcake and the Kitchen Calamity.

I may always think of Morrissey as "Grandpa Mudcake" from now on.
 

Fake C

it's all a big nothing
You realize this tripe is just a glorified zine "written" by some random fan who doesn't have any inside track, right? And who probably got 100 percent of his information from this forum and Mozipedia?
Hey why don't you go compile another collection of songs for us all to download. You're clearly feeling the need for some attention here.
 

Skylarker

WHO DO YOU THINK THIS IS THERE
Hey why don't you go compile another collection of songs for us all to download. You're clearly feeling the need for some attention here.
Dude you're the one who just dug up a post I made weeks ago
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

Nobody's Nothing
I received my copy of this book last week and due to "popular" demand (Hi@Mozmar 👋) I wrote a little review.

The main reason for me to buy this book was that it’s the first one to deal with material that was released after Years Of Refusal. The concept of exclusively covering non-album tracks seemed a bit strange and random to me, but I was hoping that it might still work as a book of reference.

Although it seems to be a print on demand release, the quality is decent, but the layout leaves a lot to be desired. The cover is a matter of taste of course, and while it’s understandable that the author chose a picture of himself and Moz, it’s a bit unfortunate that you can’t really see either of them properly in the snapshot.

One thing I like about the layout are all the little public domain pictures and graphics that were used and give the book a type of scrapbook appeal. The actual text looks like a badly formatted Word document though. There’s tons of spelling and grammar errors and lots of missing or superfluous words, which disturbs the flow of reading a lot, especially when some sentences appear to be taken out of context, are missing the subject or verb etc. Random facts like the number of times a song has been played live are often just listed in the text without any indication as to why this is relevant and it often reads more like a copy/paste collage than a coherent, running text. It’s a shame really, because the author obviously put a lot of effort and work into this and a simple proofreading would have eliminated most of these mistakes.

In the introduction the author explains his reasons for writing this book (he’s been a fan since he was 13 and has a lot of nostalgic feelings for hunting down and collecting records, hence the non-album track concept). He’s not a fan of interpreting lyrics (although he also does that in this book) and for copyright reasons hasn’t quoted any, which seems a bit pointless to me, since Morrissey is and always has been first and foremost a lyricist. You can of course write about his vocal melodies, but it doesn’t make for terribly interesting reading material.

The author also states that he hasn’t read any of the well-known biographies, and while I wouldn’t say that anything the likes of Rogan or Bret have put out includes essential background knowledge, Goddard’s work, especially Songs To Save Your Life, certainly does. There is a list of sources provided at the end, all of them are online sources. Instead of quoting primary sources we get many articles (mis)quoting from primary sources as well as opinion pieces and reviews.

So it’s not really surprising that there are quite a lot of inaccuracies to be found while some “essential” information is missing or incomplete. The biggest slip I’ve noticed is unfortunately right at the beginning of the first chapter. This quote, attributed to Morrissey, allegedly taken from Autobiography:

FalseQuote.jpg


It doesn’t sound like something Morrissey would write (“jangly”? “morbidly hilarious indie-pop gems”? That’s exactly the type of buzzwords the press loves and he despises) because he didn’t. It was taken from an openculture.com article and it seems the author overlooked the quotation mark at the end of the actual quote.

Quote.jpg


I think this is also the first book on Morrissey or The Smiths I’ve read that was written by an American author, which was… interesting. It definitely shows with regards to linguistic remarks, cultural references and also attempts at humour.

So to summarise my rambling:

What I liked about the book is the chronological structure (opposed to the alphabetical order in Mozipedia for example) and the personal touch that can be felt throughout.

I’m aware that I’m terribly pedantic but for me all the mistakes (big and small) really tainted the reading experience, which is frustrating because many of them could have been avoided.

I also have to admit that I merely skimmed over the first part that deals with The Smiths' body of work because I feel that Songs To Save Your Life is the ultimate work of reference when it comes to that era and I didn’t feel like going over 130 pages of Smiths non-album tracks (but not all of them) and also some unreleased material (but not all of it).

It’s clearly a book for fans because it often doesn't provide enough context for casual readers. As mentioned above it doesn’t cite lyrics, so you’re expected to know what the author is alluding to. Hardcore fans, predictably, won't find any new information in here.

Does this work as a book of reference? For the material released by Morrissey since 2009 it will probably do, for everything else there’s better places to look. But to be fair, it was never intended as a complete guide to The Smiths' and Morrissey’s non-album tracks and should be treated as a diverting, anecdotal read rather than detailed discourse.
 
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BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
I received my copy of this book last week and due to "popular" demand (Hi@Mozmar 👋) I wrote a little review.

The main reason for me to buy this book was that it’s the first one to deal with material that was released after Years Of Refusal. The concept of exclusively covering non-album tracks seemed a bit strange and random to me, but I was hoping that it might still work as a book of reference.

Although it seems to be a print on demand release, the quality is decent, but the layout leaves a lot to be desired. The cover is a matter of taste of course, and while it’s understandable that the author chose a picture of himself and Moz, it’s a bit unfortunate that you can’t really see either of them properly in the snapshot.

One thing I like about the layout are all the little public domain pictures and graphics that were used and give the book a type of scrapbook appeal. The actual text looks like a badly formatted Word document though. There’s tons of spelling and grammar errors and lots of missing or superfluous words, which disturbs the flow of reading a lot, especially when some sentences appear to be taken out of context, are missing the subject or verb etc. Random facts like the number of times a song has been played live are often just listed in the text without any indication as to why this is relevant and it often reads more like a copy/paste collage than a coherent, running text. It’s a shame really, because the author obviously put a lot of effort and work into this and a simple proofreading would have eliminated most of these mistakes.

In the introduction the author explains his reasons for writing this book (he’s been a fan since he was 13 and has a lot of nostalgic feelings for hunting down and collecting records, hence the non-album track concept). He’s not a fan of interpreting lyrics (although he also does that in this book) and for copyright reasons hasn’t quoted any, which seems a bit pointless to me, since Morrissey is and always has been first and foremost a lyricist. You can of course write about his vocal melodies, but it doesn’t make for terribly interesting reading material.

The author also states that he hasn’t read any of the well-known biographies, and while I wouldn’t say that anything the likes of Rogan or Bret have put out includes essential background knowledge, Goddard’s work, especially Songs To Save Your Life, certainly does. There is a list of sources provided at the end, all of them are online sources. Instead of quoting primary sources we get many articles (mis)quoting from primary sources as well as opinion pieces and reviews.

So it’s not really surprising that there are quite a lot of inaccuracies to be found while some “essential” information is missing or incomplete. The biggest slip I’ve noticed is unfortunately right at the beginning of the first chapter. This quote, attributed to Morrissey, allegedly taken from Autobiography:

View attachment 66002

It doesn’t sound like something Morrissey would write (“jangly”? “morbidly hilarious indie-pop gems”? That’s exactly the type of buzzwords the press loves and he despises) because he didn’t. It was taken from an openculture.com article and it seems the author overlooked the quotation mark at the end of the actual quote.

View attachment 66003

I think this is also the first book on Morrissey or The Smiths I’ve read that was written by an American author, which was… interesting. It definitely shows with regards to linguistic remarks, cultural references and also attempts at humour.

So to summarise my rambling:

What I liked about the book is the chronological structure (opposed to the alphabetical order in Mozipedia for example) and the personal touch that can be felt throughout.

I’m aware that I’m terribly pedantic but for me all the mistakes (big and small) really tainted the reading experience, which is frustrating because many of them could have been avoided.

I also have to admit that I merely skipped over the first part that deals with The Smiths' body of work because I feel that Songs To Save Your Life is the ultimate work of reference when it comes to that era and I didn’t feel like going over 130 pages of Smiths non-album tracks (but not all of them) and also some unreleased material (but not all of it).

It’s clearly a book for fans because it often doesn't provide enough context for casual readers. As mentioned above it doesn’t cite lyrics, so you’re expected to know what the author is alluding to. Hardcore fans, predictably, won't find any new information in here.

Does this work as a book of reference? For the material released by Morrissey since 2009 it will probably do, for everything else there’s better places to look. But to be fair, it was never intended as a complete guide to The Smiths' and Morrissey’s non-album tracks and should be treated as a diverting, anecdotal read rather than detailed discourse.
This is very helpful, thank you!
 

Mozmar

Well-Known Member
@GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn thanks so much for your 'little review', very helpful & very much appreciated...I know I've been (jokingly) pestering you for it, so again thanks very much.

As a fellow pedant, I share your disappointment with the reported errors, and the very thought of 'tons of spelling and grammar errors and lots of missing or superfluous words' is a bit of a turn-off, & just smells like something thrown together against a rushed deadline, with little due diligence, or care.

Like you say, 'many of them could have been avoided' , which again might have been the case with a bit more diligence by the author. I'd find that really irritating tbf.

The misquotes, which you mention, would irritate me also, but I guess if you weren't conversant with Autobiography, then you probably wouldn't have noticed those particular annoyances. Based on what you said, I (naturally) checked, &, of course, you're correct, that quote does not appear.

It's slightly disappointing that it's not a book for hardcore fans, as that would have been my personal preference, & from what you've said, it seems a bit of a mixed bag, targeting fans somewhere around mid-range on the 'fan scale'. I'm sure some will find it of interest.

Thanks again; very helpful indeed. :)
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

Nobody's Nothing
@GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn thanks so much for your 'little review', very helpful & very much appreciated...I know I've been (jokingly) pestering you for it, so again thanks very much.

As a fellow pedant, I share your disappointment with the reported errors, and the very thought of 'tons of spelling and grammar errors and lots of missing or superfluous words' is a bit of a turn-off, & just smells like something thrown together against a rushed deadline, with little due diligence, or care.

Like you say, 'many of them could have been avoided' , which again might have been the case with a bit more diligence by the author. I'd find that really irritating tbf.

The misquotes, which you mention, would irritate me also, but I guess if you weren't conversant with Autobiography, then you probably wouldn't have noticed those particular annoyances. Based on what you said, I (naturally) checked, &, of course, you're correct, that quote does not appear.

It's slightly disappointing that it's not a book for hardcore fans, as that would have been my personal preference, & from what you've said, it seems a bit of a mixed bag, targeting fans somewhere around mid-range on the 'fan scale'. I'm sure some will find it of interest.

Thanks again; very helpful indeed. :)
You're welcome and I hope you pardon the delay 😜

It certainly is a mixed bag, but I think it could be an interesting read for hardcore fans too. It depends on what you're looking for.
It's not systematically listed hard facts, but it's not unappealing either. You can tell he's a fan and that he really loves the music he's writing about, which is nice.
It's more the style of writing and, as I've mentioned repeatedly, the many errors that I disliked rather than the content itself.
 

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