I started something I couldn't finish: the Smiths reunion that wasn't - The Guardian

A somewhat padded-out interview with Messrs Joyce and Gannon about the recent Classically Smiths debacle.

I started something I couldn't finish: the Smiths reunion that wasn't - The Guardian
Three former members of the indie band were due to reunite for a series of gigs that fell apart as soon as they were announced. Mike Joyce and Craig Gannon explain why they tried to make it happen

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Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
Thanks Amy. I like your take on this. You know all the details very well. A great sense of recall. It's almost as if it's important to you. This silly Smiths stuff. What would we do with ourselves without this wacky website? I love that radio interview you mentioned. It's strangely intimate.

Ah, The Smiths are always important..

It strikes a chord with me too because I've been in the same situation as Johnny seemed to be, back then. I had a complicated, intense friendship where the boundaries became more unclear. Eventually, other people start talking about us and making assumptions that were close to the bone - it's hard to hide a situation like that - and we ended up having several big, confessional conversations. I'll spare you the details but it didn't have a happy resolution - 50% "didn't feel I could act on it" and 50% "I would, if I could, but I can't." God knows, I think we all have the capacity to fall in love, but sexuality is hard-wired and a mismatch between those impulses is a painful thing. It's ridiculously irrational as well - you find yourself saying, "No, I can't", and at the same time being impossibly jealous and affronted if they try to look for someone else. It's just toxic, it really is.
 

Peppermint

Well-Known Member
A good discourse around here is hard to find, but well worth the effort. I really never thought of Marr as being the subject of Morrissey's writing. It is quite obvious now from what you have written that there was something much deeper than I ever imagined.

What is most remarkable about his lyrics is how they have such clear homo...oh excuse me...humasexual undertones, but still speak to more universal human thoughts and feelings. In a way, they transcend sexuality all together and speak more to inner wants and desires. This is what drew me to the music during my youth. He has had to walk a fine line for his whole career for fear of the ramifications of self disclosure. I am sure this has taken some sort of toll on his psyche and possibly health.

It has been argued here quite thoroughly whether he should come out and proclaim his sexuality, but I am in the camp that appreciates him keeping his hidden. What fun is a clown if his make up is off. Not equating him to a clown, but simply an excellent performer, showman, and entertainer that has created a persona that is forever intertwined with whatever sexuality we the listener ascribe to him. I think he knows and relishes this part of how he and his music are interpreted.
There are potentially dozens of songs that it's possible to argue were about Johnny (and a few that surely are). Just off the top of my head, I keep mine hidden, There is a light, Hand in glove, I know it's over, Angel, Angel (which he's admitted is about Johnny), I know very well how I got my name... it's still a bit early for me, I'm sure others can fill in the gaps.

Some are so obvious that I've often wondered how that felt for Johnny, being the object of such intense and public devotion, and whether that was an additional tension which added to the Smiths demise.
 
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A

Anonymous

Guest
There are potentially dozens of songs that it's possible to argue were about Johnny (and a few that surely are). Just off the top of my head, I keep mine hidden, There is a light, Hand in glove, Angel, Angel (which he's admitted is about Johnny), I know very well how I got my name... it's still a bit early for me, I'm sure others can fill in the gaps.

Some are so obvious that I've often wondered how that felt for Johnny, being the object of such intense and public devotion, and whether that was an additional tension which added to the Smiths demise.

Hi Johnny,

Can you put on a Judy Garland record? I'm just finishing off the lyrics to Suffer Little Children which is all about you pumpkin pie! Don't forget the vegan Vaseline.

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Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
There are potentially dozens of songs that it's possible to argue were about Johnny (and a few that surely are). Just off the top of my head, I keep mine hidden, There is a light, Hand in glove, I know it's over, Angel, Angel (which he's admitted is about Johnny), I know very well how I got my name... it's still a bit early for me, I'm sure others can fill in the gaps.

Some are so obvious that I've often wondered how that felt for Johnny, being the object of such intense and public devotion, and whether that was an additional tension which added to the Smiths demise.

Billy Budd, Disappointed, I Don't Mind If You Forget Me, These Things Take Time, I Want The One I Can't Have, What Difference Does It Make? I Won't Share You and The Never Played Symphonies are ones I would go for well.

I have also wondered about Speedway.
 

Peppermint

Well-Known Member
Billy Budd, Disappointed, I Don't Mind If You Forget Me, These Things Take Time, I Want The One I Can't Have, What Difference Does It Make? I Won't Share You and The Never Played Symphonies are ones I would go for well.

I have also wondered about Speedway.
Hi Amy, I agree with most of those. I had wondered about Speedway myself. I had always wondered if What Difference Does it Make was either about his father (who he seems to have had a seismic rift with in his youth) or an early pre-Smiths encounter... but who knows.

I liked that quote from GQ you mentioned earlier about Johnny not having the courage to act. Of course, this could just be Morrissey's perverse form of defence, or even just simple mischief-making (and let's face it, he's more than capable of that) but it's an interesting thought.

Another thing that puzzles me is Johnny's swallow tattoo on his neck which he seemed to have acquired post-Smiths. Was this before or after Morrissey recorded Swallow on My Neck? I know the general assumption is this is about Jake, but it's still a curious coincidence. Swallow tattoos can mean lots of things but on the neck they tend to mean something very specific...
 
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swift eclipse

Active Member
Hi Ketamine,
I really like your stonewall response to all the vile insults these people keep flinging at you.

Come on Peterb. She's the worst of all at bullying people. I seriously thought you were smarter than that. You need to check yourself.
 
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g23

Always crashing in the same car
If we're going to be over-analyzing lyrics, I hear that a "crack on the head" actually refers to Morrissey's deep desire for analingus at all costs.

EDIT: And Swift Eclipse, if you like that one, then I probably shouldn't tell you that I keep mine hidden is about a butt plug.
 
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Peterb

Well-Known Member
Come on Peterb. She's the worst of all at bullying people. I seriously thought you were smarter than that. You need to check yourself.
Hey Swift
I don't recall Ketamine calling anyone a 'c**t' .
Maybe I've missed stuff but as far as I see she merely presses her point of view.
Maybe more stridently that most but so what.
She seems to be the victim of a lot of nastiness.
I'm only showing a bit of support.
 

evennow

Writers on the storm
Cool it with the levity. We're trying to figure out The Smiths here and we don't need some yahoo making everybody laugh. This is serious. Seriously. Be serious. Or I'll spank you with a wet plimsoll! ;)

Figure out The Smiths! :lbf: There is a better chance of entering a black hole and coming out the other side alive. Seriously though, maybe some rocks are better left alone. I used to lift them as a kid and found many disgusting things living underneath. :eek:

The drama though is quite compelling. Forget these crappy movies a quality Netflix mini-series could just be what is needed. :thumb:
 

swift eclipse

Active Member
Figure out The Smiths! :lbf: There is a better chance of entering a black hole and coming out the other side alive. Seriously though, maybe some rocks are better left alone. I used to lift them as a kid and found many disgusting things living underneath. :eek:

The drama though is quite compelling. Forget these crappy movies a quality Netflix mini-series could just be what is needed. :thumb:

I was only joking...:rock:
 

swift eclipse

Active Member
If we're going to be over-analyzing lyrics, I hear that a "crack on the head" actually refers to Morrissey's deep desire for analingus at all costs.

EDIT: And Swift Eclipse, if you like that one, then I probably shouldn't tell you that I keep mine hidden is about a butt plug.

Okay, you got me with that one. That shit's funny. :lbf: Rating updated to reflect my lulz.
 

evennow

Writers on the storm
Hi Amy, I agree with most of those. I had wondered about Speedway myself. I had always wondered if What Difference Does it Make was either about his father (who he seems to have had a seismic rift with in his youth) or an early pre-Smiths encounter... but who knows.

I liked that quote from GQ you mentioned earlier about Johnny not having the courage to act. Of course, this could just be Morrissey's perverse form of defence, or even just simple mischief-making (and let's face it, he's more than capable of that) but it's an interesting thought.

Another thing that puzzles me is Johnny's swallow tattoo on his neck which he seemed to have acquired post-Smiths. Was this before or after Morrissey recorded Swallow on My Neck? I know the general assumption is this is about Jake, but it's still a curious coincidence. Swallow tattoos can mean lots of things but on the neck they tend to mean something very specific...

Wow. Between what you and Amy have posted it would appear he was more fixated on Johnny than I could ever have imagined. I am happy though that I was able to interpret the meaning of the lyrics without this filter. I prefer to consider the meaning and subject of his songs to be at least a bit ambiguous. I believe some of the best music is that which leaves everything up to one's own interpretation. A muse should be heard and not seen. ;)
 

swift eclipse

Active Member
Wow. Between what you and Amy have posted it would appear he was more fixated on Johnny than I could ever have imagined. I am happy though that I was able to interpret the meaning of the lyrics without this filter. I prefer to consider the meaning and subject of his songs to be at least a bit ambiguous. I believe some of the best music is that which leaves everything up to one's own interpretation. A muse should be heard and not seen. ;)

You should write a book, evennow. You have a grasp of language that is revelatory yet accessible. And I agree about the ambiguity being nice to enjoy without the baggage of reality. I stay in the dark on purpose sometimes.
 

Peppermint

Well-Known Member
Wow. Between what you and Amy have posted it would appear he was more fixated on Johnny than I could ever have imagined. I am happy though that I was able to interpret the meaning of the lyrics without this filter. I prefer to consider the meaning and subject of his songs to be at least a bit ambiguous. I believe some of the best music is that which leaves everything up to one's own interpretation. A muse should be heard and not seen. ;)
Well, the lyrics are a bit of speculation but the fixation is there for all to see in the photos.
 
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classically smiths craig gannon mike joyce

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