Final Smiths Gig - Conspiracy Theory

Discussion in 'General Discussion archive 2006 (read-only)' started by robertzombie, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. robertzombie

    robertzombie Member

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    As I was lying in a hospital bed this morning, waiting for my operation, I was listening to a recording of The Smiths' final gig, December 12th 1986, Brixton Academy.

    Passions Just Like Mine writes...

    Ask
    Bigmouth Strikes Again
    London/Miserable Lie
    Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others
    The Boy With The Thorn In His Side
    Shoplifters Of The World Unite
    There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
    Is It Really So Strange?
    Cemetry Gates
    This Night Has Opened My Eyes
    Still Ill
    Panic
    /The Queen Is Dead
    //William It Was Really Nothing
    //Hand In Glove


    This concert was put together for the Artists Against Apartheid. Tickets were £8, £7, £6 and £5. It was to be the last time the Smiths would be on stage together, bar a few television appearances. What makes this gig even more special is that it turned out to be the only time songs like "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others", the yet unreleased "Shoplifters Of The World Unite" and the "London"/"Miserable Lie" medley were ever performed by the Smiths. "This Night Has Opened My Eyes" and "William It Was Really Nothing" which hadn't been played in a long time were also performed. Finally, the live staple "Hand In Glove" which had been dropped on the recent British leg of the "The Queen Is Dead" tour also returned, making the Smiths' debut single also the last song they played together in a concert.

    ...

    During "Still Ill", Johnny moved next to Andy and Morrissey joined them. They could be seen smiling and laughing, as if they were in on some inside joke.

    The last song before the Smiths entered stage was a whole recording of "Take Me Back To Dear Old Blighty", not only the short snippet heard at the beginning of "The Queen Is Dead" on the album of the same name.

    ...

    The audience was surprised to find that at the end of "London", the band moved into the fast-paced outro to "Miserable Lie". As they switched from the former to the latter, Morrissey wildly whipped the microphone cord in loops. Instead of singing "I'm just a country mile behind the world", he switched to the early lyric "I'd run a hundred miles away from you". The medley was extremely well received, the crowd roared in appreciation and Morrissey thanked them by telling them "You've got incredibly good taste".

    In the next song, "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" which was being played for the first and last time ever, Morrissey added an extra verse saying "On the shop floor, there's a calendar, as obvious as snow, as if we didn't know". Morrissey replied to the loud applause that number also received by growling loudly "Hello!". A few songs later, the soon to be released "Shoplifters Of The World Unite" was introduced with "This is our new single..."

    ...

    The Smiths then returned for a final two-song encore. The last of these was "Hand In Glove". It ended with Morrissey wailing in a high pitched voice for about 20 seconds. The Smiths didn't know it at the time, but with its final line "I'll probably never see you again", "Hand In Glove" couldn't have been a better choice of final song to perform together.

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    Isn't it a bit odd that this gig was different to every other Smiths gig. Old favourites returned (This Night... and William) and some songs were played that were never played before, including Some Girls which had been released long before this gig, there was no reason why they couldn't have played in on any of the other dates. They also brought back Miserable Lie, and Morrissey even sang the lyrics as they were in it's original form.
    I think to end the gig on Hand In Glove was no coincidence, it is the perfect ending and allows everything to come full circle.

    I think they brought back these old songs, and played some rarer songs because they knew that it would be their final gig and their last chance to play such amazing songs together.

    What do you lot think?
     
  2. bobalmighty

    bobalmighty *Cornette Face*

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    Dunno. They may not have known. Maybe that was going to be the main setlist for the upcoming Strangeways tour? Just a thought.
     
  3. thaxter tewksbury

    thaxter tewksbury Member

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    Wow very interesting indeed. I guess i never thought of it like that. After all of the shows I've read about and listened to this one does seem out of character. Maybe they did know something was up. How did your operation go? I hope your okay.
     
  4. Still Tired

    Still Tired as it were...

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    I think it is just one of those funny coincidences to be honest, interesting to consider though. Just got to add this quote by Stephen Fry in his autobiography which I'm just reading, seems to apply perfectly:

    "I can only assert that, as in a novel, the locations with which this story climaxes are the same as the locations with which it begins. Life is sometimes novel-shaped, mocking the efforts of those authors who, in an effort to make their novels life-shaped, spurn the easy symmetry and cheap resonance of reality'"

    True non?! :)
     
  5. Danny

    Danny Senior Member

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    Isn't Morrissey usually prone to mess around with the setlist on the last night of a tour and add in a few extras? That's what people were expecting at Manchester (and he surprised them by changing nothing! :D ).
     
  6. robertzombie

    robertzombie Member

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    The operation was a success, it was only a minor one (ingrown toenail :o), just on some (rather strong) painkillers now, going on Saturday to get it checked :)
     
  7. Lost

    Lost New Member

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    That's astonishing! I've often wondered about this theory myself.
    I was at that gig and as we left I swear to this day I saw the lone figure of Morrissey in a belted coat, high on the grassy knoll adjoining the theatre, apparently making a small bonfire of Smith's albums.
    It all fits now!!!:eek:
     
  8. duchess_of_fork

    duchess_of_fork New Member

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    Ha. I found that rather amusing. But it doesn't sound that far from the truth, I must say...
     
  9. robertzombie

    robertzombie Member

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    I don't think he'd burn The Smiths albums, I think he's very proud of what he accomplished with the smiths.
     
  10. Lost

    Lost New Member

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    Er....i wasn't being serious my friend:)
     
  11. Kuiper

    Kuiper Better than Marr

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    Well I think it was different just because it was a one-off concert after having been a long tour with mostly the same songs being played every night. Strangeways was still a bit off in the future, the release of Shoplifters was right around the corner, Sheila was probably not written yet, and two more compilations were to be released. But that is a very interesting thought/topic. I wonder what they would have played on a Strangeways tour. One question that jumps to mind is what, if anything, song from Strangeways would they have not played? They never played Well I Wonder from MIM, and only played Some Girls from TQID once, Suffer Little Children once from TS and The Hand That Rocks the Cradle only a few times long before the release of the album. So, if history was to repeat itself, I wonder what track they would decide to overlook? And would they decide to play Rubber Ring on its own, maybe cover a new song, finally play Unlovable after soundchecking it once, keep playing the London/Miserable Lie medley, perhaps even play I Keep Mine Hidden? And how much from The Queen is Dead would they keep, would their concert setlists get longer/shorter? Sorry I got caught up in that thought a bit, but I'm very enamored with Strangeways, Here We Come, it's my favorite Smiths album.
     
  12. bobalmighty

    bobalmighty *Cornette Face*

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    Fool Such As I perhaps? They recorded it for a single so it would have been on the Strangeways tour.
     
  13. Kuiper

    Kuiper Better than Marr

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    Yes, thank you for reminding me of that lost track. I think it's pretty much certain that if the band had stayed together that song would've been released in completed form as a b-side to one of the Strangeways singles instead of the I Started Something rarities (which I am actually glad they did release) and just a random Peel session for Last Night I Dreamt (which too, I am actually glad they released, well, I am glad for anything released by The Smiths and Morrissey!).
     
  14. robertzombie

    robertzombie Member

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    Are there any recordings of Fool Such As I?

    If we go by the Strangeways songs that Morrissey has performed then maybe we can presume that: Rush & Push, Coma, Last Night I Dreamt, Vulgar, Elbow and Stop Me would've been in the setlist.

    Plus I Started Something seeing as it was a single and perhaps Half A Person and Hooligan
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2006
  15. bobalmighty

    bobalmighty *Cornette Face*

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    The only recording of Fool... had the first couple of bars deleted. But the recording probably exists somewhere. But it's never been revealed.
     
  16. Chartres

    Chartres New Member

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    Ahh, love conspiracies, allthough I don't think that this was a planned setlist for the Strangeways tour, it was the last concert half a month afterthe rest of the tour and it would be natural if they wanted it to be special. And then the "Meat Is Murder" tour also had "Hand In Glove" as the last song performed, maybe it was planned as a little tradition for a longer career. Who knows?
     
  17. Kuiper

    Kuiper Better than Marr

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    Interesting thought, Chartres. Sounds believable.
     
  18. Chartres

    Chartres New Member

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    Thanks:)

    As the case with the "Meat Is Murder" tour, "Hand In Glove" wasn't performed during the last leg till the last gig. This was not the case with the "The Smiths" tour but back then it was still quite fresh.

    Cheers
     
  19. sid james

    sid james Stone me!

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    It's a nice theory, but as has already been pointed out this was a special one-off performance, not the last night of an ongoing tour. Also this was their first (and as it turned out only) return as a live four-piece without Craig Gannon on 2nd guitar, so maybe that helped dictate the set-list, as to what did and didn't work with only Johnny on guitar?

    Regarding potential Strangeways tour set-lists, Johnny Marr did an interview in the US (which you can buy on CD) just before the album came out (in fact I think it was only a couple of weeks before he left the Smiths): in it he states how the band are looking forward to playing live in the States again, and that they will be opening their set with a new song called 'Stop me If you Think you've Heard This one Before'...
     
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