Did Alain Whyte play on Ringleader of the Tormentors?

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
I remember feeling very sad reading that passage in Autobiog, and reeling just a little at the mean-spiritedness of 'I rescued him, he'd be nothing without me'. Morrissey suggests that Alain was the one in the wrong for sending him 'accusatory emails'... but it says something about his track record that I find this hard to take on face value. The rumour (as I'm sure you know FWD) was that Alain had mental health problems, and if that's true he wasn't given much sympathy from his boss (who never tires of telling us about his own mental health history). Not knowing either of them, I'm more inclined to side with the numerous people who've met Alain and said what a kind, friendly, modest bloke he is.
Alain and Gary were top guys to meet.
Down to earth, polite, modest and just the kind of people you'd want to have a pint with.
Yes, Morrissey's words are not brilliant describing the end of the relationship and his praise for the songwriting is totally diminished with the barbed 'rescued' & 'East Finchley' comments.
I think he often gets so swept up in the florid language that it overtakes and clouds any intended kind sentiment.
One day, Alain might put his POV across - I'd welcome it (along with the collection of his early demos).
Regards,
FWD.
 
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Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
Moz recollects:
"As we begin the You Are the Quarry tour in 2004 we say goodbye to Alain, who shuts the door upon himself – taking himself off the road amid fears that he is suffering from exhaustion, which certainly seems to be true. Backstage at the final Alain show in Dublin, he takes me aside and whispers: ‘I know who is planning your downfall. It is not me.’ I stand back and I let chance stirrings take their lead, but as Alain departs we are contractually bound to find an immediate replacement, and we eventually settle with the steely and stylish Jesse Tobias. We had all felt great concern for Alain, but, always knowing too much, I await personal criticism for Alain’s departure – having had no part in it. Assuredly, criticism whistles through the poplar trees soon enough with accusatory emails from Alain, and my only surprise is that I’m surprised. By such gestures I now live, as if whatever you bestow has no value unless the flow is endless, and as soon as your life-giving generosity retires, you are human filth. That’s just the way it goes. 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. When both Nancy Sinatra and Marianne Faithfull cover songs written by Alain and I, he has nothing to say, as if it
had always been his due, and as if it could so easily have happened with any other co-writer from East Finchley.
‘Where were the New York Dolls from?’ asks Alain, as he trails away. I’m so confused by the question that I can’t utter any sound by way of reply."


FWD.
What a load of smoke and mirrors nonsense. Morrissey is so predictable - always the victim, always the hapless soul getting caught in the eye of the storm and stabbed in the back by his comrades at every turn. This entire passage is a lot of words but no substance - who is exactly would gain from planning his "downfall" and why would Alain know about it? If Morrissey had nothing to do with Alain's departure, why does he "await criticism"? What's all this cryptic guff about his being generous and "bestowing" things endlessly? Morrissey's profound narcissism prevents him from seeing any fault in himself, and the more you read of it (in Autobiog), the more you just can't trust a thing he says.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
What a load of smoke and mirrors nonsense. Morrissey is so predictable - always the victim, always the hapless soul getting caught in the eye of the storm and stabbed in the back by his comrades at every turn. This entire passage is a lot of words but no substance - who is exactly would gain from planning his "downfall" and why would Alain know about it? If Morrissey had nothing to do with Alain's departure, why does he "await criticism"? What's all this cryptic guff about his being generous and "bestowing" things endlessly? Morrissey's profound narcissism prevents him from seeing any fault in himself, and the more you read of it (in Autobiog), the more you just can't trust a thing he says.
I think it’s stating and claiming that Alain was making confusing off the wall comments and that he needed and took a break from touring and perhaps other duties so they got Jesse to finish there contractual commitments. He also thought that no matter what happened he would be blamed and made the villain. It’s not really that vague a statement
 
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Anonymous

Guest
He was drafted in after Alain left during the Quarry tour.
Mikey Farrell pushed Jesse forward having worked with him & Jesse's ex-wife (in the group "Splendid").
Moz recollects:
"As we begin the You Are the Quarry tour in 2004 we say goodbye to Alain, who shuts the door upon himself – taking himself off the road amid fears that he is suffering from exhaustion, which certainly seems to be true. Backstage at the final Alain show in Dublin, he takes me aside and whispers: ‘I know who is planning your downfall. It is not me.’ I stand back and I let chance stirrings take their lead, but as Alain departs we are contractually bound to find an immediate replacement, and we eventually settle with the steely and stylish Jesse Tobias. We had all felt great concern for Alain, but, always knowing too much, I await personal criticism for Alain’s departure – having had no part in it. Assuredly, criticism whistles through the poplar trees soon enough with accusatory emails from Alain, and my only surprise is that I’m surprised. By such gestures I now live, as if whatever you bestow has no value unless the flow is endless, and as soon as your life-giving generosity retires, you are human filth. That’s just the way it goes. 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. When both Nancy Sinatra and Marianne Faithfull cover songs written by Alain and I, he has nothing to say, as if it
had always been his due, and as if it could so easily have happened with any other co-writer from East Finchley.
‘Where were the New York Dolls from?’ asks Alain, as he trails away. I’m so confused by the question that I can’t utter any sound by way of reply."

It appears the cessation of playing live left him contributing to song writing/studio only which then ended fully as Jesse contributed more and more (5 of his songs making it on to Ringleader).
Regards,
FWD.
Thanks FWD,
that story from Moz above makes absolutely no sense. One can only speculate what really went on.
I wonder why no one ever speaks out? It's not like Moz is some form of Ganglord who would silence someone with a death warrant.
 

markreed

Member
Moz should probably be more honest and level that Alain and The Lads rescued him from solo purgatory that was he was heading for at *great* speed, he effectively inherited a young and hungry band that was looking for a great lead singer - and both served their purpose well.

There may be 100's of songwriters and musicians of equal talent to Alain in London at the time, but Moz met Alain, not Colin or Clive or Steve or Bob or whomever, and Alain and Boz rescued Morrissey much more than he realises.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
For all that people say they love Alain and that he was instrumental to the music they loved those stadium threads got like five replies. Not a shot against him but it seems strange as the love for him expressed in these threads appears to only come out as a way to be angry at morrissey and isn’t expressed much anywhere else
 

markreed

Member
That's because Stadium are a frankenband of side guys from appalling bands such as INXS, and a reality TV show and Alain or not, I'd rather be at work than see that kind of dross.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
What a load of smoke and mirrors nonsense. Morrissey is so predictable - always the victim, always the hapless soul getting caught in the eye of the storm and stabbed in the back by his comrades at every turn. This entire passage is a lot of words but no substance - who is exactly would gain from planning his "downfall" and why would Alain know about it? If Morrissey had nothing to do with Alain's departure, why does he "await criticism"? What's all this cryptic guff about his being generous and "bestowing" things endlessly? Morrissey's profound narcissism prevents him from seeing any fault in himself, and the more you read of it (in Autobiog), the more you just can't trust a thing he says.
Your comment is predictable. Always spouting off as if you are saying something of importance and insight. The harsh reality is that you're a nobody saying nothing.
 
Alain always looked the part. He looked good with Moz up on stage and I miss that. Visually the current band with t-shirts and sneakers is just so uninspiring.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
Your comment is predictable. Always spouting off as if you are saying something of importance and insight. The harsh reality is that you're a nobody saying nothing.
Really? I thought I was just contributing my thoughts like everyone else here. You're perfectly entitled to think my views are nonsense, of course - but really you've told me I'm saying nothing, whilst adding nothing at all yourself either.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I'd wager Alain is responsible for:

- The "bomp-ba-bomp" intro and first chorus backing vocal in "The Youngest Was The Most Loved
I thought this "bomp-ba-bomp" was echo and reverb on Gary Day's bass notes? Or am I wrong?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I thought this "bomp-ba-bomp" was echo and reverb on Gary Day's bass notes? Or am I wrong?
I'd never heard it before - but listening back, after the police siren starts, and before the bass comes in, there is a voice in the back of the mix saying" ba-ba-ba-bomp-bomp-ba-bomp" (or something like it). I guess that must be Alain? It's about 9 seconds in on this video:
 

King Leer

Leering since '97
This is an awesome take on it.
Moz was looking for a gang, and he found the best.

Moz should probably be more honest and level that Alain and The Lads rescued him from solo purgatory that was he was heading for at *great* speed, he effectively inherited a young and hungry band that was looking for a great lead singer - and both served their purpose well.

There may be 100's of songwriters and musicians of equal talent to Alain in London at the time, but Moz met Alain, not Colin or Clive or Steve or Bob or whomever, and Alain and Boz rescued Morrissey much more than he realises.
 

King Leer

Leering since '97
And listening to Ringleader again after quite a few years -- it's clearly better than what he's doing now.

I still think Moz could pull out a timeless masterpiece that transcends world music before he shuffles off.
 

Peppermint

Well-Known Member
Thanks FWD,
that story from Moz above makes absolutely no sense. One can only speculate what really went on.
I wonder why no one ever speaks out? It's not like Moz is some form of Ganglord who would silence someone with a death warrant.
Non-disclosure agreements. Bet your life on it.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Autobiography:

"Of Kill Uncle Chas confirms: ‘You’ve lost it, but you’ll re-find it.’ I seem to be eternally cased in by friends who give me bad news because they care. Yet Chas introduces me to Boz Boorer, a known face on the British rockabilly scene, and Boz collects guitarist Alain Whyte, who works for Camden Council, Spencer Cobrin, who has a drum kit somewhere and who helps his father out in the family antique shop, and Gary Day, who plays bass and lives with his father in Neasden. They all know each other and they manage a certain harmony together, although Alain nurses an aversion to Boz that creates frequent difficulties. Generally, it works, and all four are essential to me after the session-musician embalming fluid of Kill Uncle."

"Alain Whyte is introduced to me as a street-sweeper from Camden, which may or may not be a joke – I never could tell. He looks a bit like ‘Kookie’ actor Edd Byrnes from 77 Sunset Strip, and he talks in a similarly bonkers 1950s backslang, which may or may not be a speech impediment. The jargon is baffling until he hits on something riotously funny – which, thankfully, is often. I like him. He is a skilfull style-guide and always looks spiffed up."

"We had started the Southpaw Grammar album in the south of France, but the deserted farmhouse atmosphere seemed all wrong, and we returned to England where everything clicked with a killing. The band is now in impressive strike: Spencer’s drumming winning out magnificently and Alain delivering a showstopping slam of inventive guitar and crowning backing vocals. Boz remained the star in the firmament, orchestrating and pointing the way, although I heavily felt the strain of the emotional clash between Boz and Alain."

"I wake in the middle of the night and I have no idea where I am. Jesse is my main companion, of late-night walks and cellars full of wine, whereas my friendship with Alain had reached its natural term long ago. My nightly walks with Jesse would begin at the tip of Villa Borghese where Via Ulisse Aldrovandi lines up its glossy array of roadside prostitutes – mostly male, hard-bitten heroes fastidiously attired as sons of Eros."
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Interestingly, this is a direct quote from Morrissey, from one of the 'Q & A' sessions he briefly held on True To You, back immediately after 'Ringleader' was finished - so clearly at that point, Alain still seemed to be 'in the picture' in his mind - though obviously something happenned to change things:

"If you hear the new album you will notice a marked difference in sound, principally due to both Michael Farrell and to Jesse. Personally and musically, Jesse has made a big impact - You Have Killed Me, The Youngest Was The Most Loved, In The Future When All's Well, I Just Want To See The Boy Happy....these songs, especially, fully release the hounds. There are no Boz songs on this album, but strangely, it is the album on which Boz has been most involved and had such a massive input. Boz is 24-hour non-stop, and if impetus lulls, Boz steers everyone back on track.
If it seems to some people that Jesse has replaced Alain, I would like to say that this isn't true. There is no replacing and there is nothing but harmony amongst all the players. I understand that there are always poisonous assumptions on the SoLow site, but that's all just crap. "
 
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