"Boy Interrupted, Memoir of a Former Smith" by Dale Hibbert to be published by Pomona Books (Sep. 20

Jonathan writes:

Pomona Books are going to publish a memoir by Dale Hibbert, the original bassist in The Smiths:

Pomona Books news - Wednesday 27 May, 2015

Excerpt:

And, in September, we bring you Boy Interrupted, Memoir of a Former Smith by Dale Hibbert. Dale was a member of The Smiths during their formative years, so was privy to the hopes and dreams and bizarre ideas of young Morrissey and Johnny Marr. He is a fund of hitherto untold stories - how the Smiths were to be launched as a 'gay' band, each of them bearing the stage name of a serial killer. There was also a plan to wear stage clothes based on American baseball teams. Dale helped shape the band's sound at his recording studio. He produced their first demo tape. He even gave Morrissey a lift to sessions on the back of his motorcycle. On the cusp of The Smiths breakthrough, Hibbert was replaced on bass by Andy Rourke. For the first time, he reveals the full details of his sacking. And, The Smiths aside, Dale has lived an incredible life, often tragic but always dogged and hopeful. It is also a comprehensive look at Manchester and its fascinating music scene both before and just after the advent of punk rock.
 

Comments

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Anonymous

Guest
That is actually so sad. Why ... oh why do people do it?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
money and the chance to express themselves in public. could be interesting but it does also feel like a beginning. funny, Manson took the gay serial killer idea to the mainstream ten years later
 

Jamie

Bluff, Ardour & Assoc.
The interesting bits could be published as a pamphlet. The rest is probably less than half a story.
 

Velvis

Not a beginner
The interesting bits could be published as a pamphlet. The rest is probably less than half a story.
Wonder if he can stretch it to ten pages?
Why the negative attitude here?

We have someone who has a genuine insight into a pivotal period in the story. I, for one, am very interested in what Dale has to say.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Why the negative attitude here?

We have someone who has a genuine insight into a pivotal period in the story. I, for one, am very interested in what Dale has to say.
Genuine insight? He was the bass player for about 6 months. He could tell us about that in an article. Or he could have titled his autobiography differently, without the word "smiths" in it since this life period was rather small compared to his whole life.
 

eugenius

Gabba Gabba Hey
I'm looking forward to reading the book, if for no other reason than Dale's view will be a new view. We've all read the regular players' angles (ex-producers, ex-crew members, ex-opening band members, etc.) -- Dale's account should be unique and a look behind the curtain that Morrissey and Marr don't want out there. It also seems like he doesn't have a sinister agenda, otherwise we'd have heard it by now.

His blog was interesting while it was around -- he only got a few posts out there, before he let it die (most likely because he realized he should save the stories for a proper book, not a Blogspot-powered blog.
 
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Eric Hartman

Guest
The Smiths were a gay band.

Anyone who disagrees is either straight or stupid.
 

Chip

Member
He is a fund of hitherto untold stories - how the Smiths were to be launched as a 'gay' band, each of them bearing the stage name of a serial killer. There was also a plan to wear stage clothes based on American baseball teams.
Am I the only person skeptical of these claims?
 

Detritus

Teenage Lightning
Am I the only person skeptical of these claims?
Considering that the band's aesthetic at the beginning was decidedly more homoerotic than it was in later years and Morrissey's preoccupation with the Moors murders at the time, it doesn't seem very farfetched to me. Some early statements from Morrissey, like remarks made in this interview with gay magazine HIM, don't exactly contradict Hibbert's claims either.

This is purely conjecture, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least if Morrissey's plans for the band changed when it became clear they had a bigger shot at fame than anticipated. The lyrics and the image definitely became more ambiguous after the release of their debut album.
 

Bluebirds

Well-Known Member
The Smiths were a gay band.

Anyone who disagrees is either straight or stupid.

Yet their appeal in the UK led to a laddish following of football casuals and the like in 1985/6.

I'm not denying they were initially a gay band (well they were for their lifetime) but were more subtle than a lot of their 80s artists such as Culture Club, Bronski Beat, Soft Cell et al.

Most British 'straight' fans would regard them first and foremost as a Northern band imho
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Yet their appeal in the UK led to a laddish following of football casuals and the like in 1985/6.

I'm not denying they were initially a gay band (well they were for their lifetime) but were more subtle than a lot of their 80s artists such as Culture Club, Bronski Beat, Soft Cell et al.

Most British 'straight' fans would regard them first and foremost as a Northern band imho

That's more to do with the 'sound'. If you're young, gay and revved up on poppers you tend to prefer high-energy electronic music not a jangly guitar genius.
 

SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
This is purely conjecture, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least if Morrissey's plans for the band changed when it became clear they had a bigger shot at fame than anticipated. The lyrics and the image definitely became more ambiguous after the release of their debut album.
Exactly, identifying themselves as a "gay band" would have certainly pigeonholed them and limited their reach. Interesting, if they had seen this through would Morrissey have been open about being a gay man?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Yet their appeal in the UK led to a laddish following of football casuals and the like in 1985/6.

I'm not denying they were initially a gay band (well they were for their lifetime) but were more subtle than a lot of their 80s artists such as Culture Club, Bronski Beat, Soft Cell et al.

Most British 'straight' fans would regard them first and foremost as a Northern band imho
Not gay bi, before the smiths Morrissey had a number of female and make relationships, during the smiths male and female and after the smiths male and female.The only people who insist on seeing gay rather than bi are gay ghetto types DNA rejects.
Most people gay or straight would regard them as an English working class band, like The Kinks and The Jam, but with an Irish underlay .

All this os bullshit anyway, their music is universal, hence their success
 

Chip

Member
Considering that the band's aesthetic at the beginning was decidedly more homoerotic than it was in later years and Morrissey's preoccupation with the Moors murders at the time, it doesn't seem very farfetched to me. Some early statements from Morrissey, like remarks made in this interview with gay magazine HIM, don't exactly contradict Hibbert's claims either.

This is purely conjecture, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least if Morrissey's plans for the band changed when it became clear they had a bigger shot at fame than anticipated. The lyrics and the image definitely became more ambiguous after the release of their debut album.
I should clarify--I am aware of the deeply homoerotic lyrics during their early years and imagery (and debatably throughout the rest of their years as well), but changing their names to serial killers and dressing up as American baseball players? That seems weird.

Also, with the gay band thing--I remember reading that one of the non-Morrissey-Marr Smiths was quite oblivious about Hand in Glove (he thought it was about the band's close friendship) and when he showed the record to his father the father asked him why there was a naked man on the front. Albeit, he could have been the one to replace Dale Hibbert so I don't know.
 

Detritus

Teenage Lightning
I should clarify--I am aware of the deeply homoerotic lyrics during their early years and imagery (and debatably throughout the rest of their years as well), but changing their names to serial killers and dressing up as American baseball players? That seems weird.
Ah, understood. The baseball detail does seem odd to say the least.

Also, with the gay band thing--I remember reading that one of the non-Morrissey-Marr Smiths was quite oblivious about Hand in Glove (he thought it was about the band's close friendship) and when he showed the record to his father the father asked him why there was a naked man on the front. Albeit, he could have been the one to replace Dale Hibbert so I don't know.
That was Andy Rourke. From Goddard's Songs That Saved Your Life:

"I remember showing a copy to my Dad', Rourke reminisces, saying 'This is my first record.' He was mortified. He said to me, 'that's a bloke's bum,' and I said 'yeah,' but when he asked me why I just didn't have an answer for him.'"
 

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